New Year’s Resolutions
Reading Comprehension Activity

Author: RV Staff Writer J.C.

Intro: A teacher discusses with her class the idea of making a resolution for the new year. Students will read the passage and respond to questions on the theme and the figurative language.

Topic(s): Realistic Fiction. Skill(s): Theme, Figurative Language. Genre(s): Prose

Click for the passage & questions on one printable PDF.


Mrs. Grady welcomed her class back inside the warm cheerful room. The children settled down at their desks, still chatting about the activities they had enjoyed over the winter break. It took a few minutes for Mrs. Grady to get their full attention.

“I’m so glad you’re all back. I’m sure you’re well rested and ready to get back to work!” she grinned.

The children made faces and groaned, but most of them were happy to be back at school with their friends after two weeks off.

“Since it’s the start of a new year, I thought we’d talk a little bit about something people do this time of year. It’s called making resolutions. Does anyone know what that means?” Mrs. Grady asked.

Liam put his hand up. “You mean like when my mom says she’s going to give up eating chocolate, but then she eats it all anyways?” His friends smirked. Mrs. Grady frowned. Liam looked embarrassed.

“Do any of you know what a resolution is?” The teacher’s eyes focused like lasers on the boys still giggling. They immediately stopped and looked down at their fingernails to avoid her stare.

Olivia raised her hand. “I know. It’s when you decide to do something different for the new year.” Olivia always seemed to have the answers.

Mrs. Grady nodded. “Yes, that’s close. It doesn’t have to be at the beginning of the year, but a resolution is a decision to make some kind of change and stick to it. Many people like to make a fresh start in the new year to improve themselves or focus on new things to try that might be challenging.”

“Like quitting smoking?” asked Ashley. “My dad said that’s his resolution.”

Mrs. Grady nodded. “That’s a great example of somebody making a resolution to be healthier,” said the teacher. “But let’s leave everyone’s parents out of this conversation. Who has an example of making a healthy resolution for themselves?”

Several hands shot up in the air. Suggestions such as eating more vegetables, eating less candy, and drinking lots of water were offered. Mrs. Grady agreed they were good choices to make for a healthy resolution.

“Now what about other resolutions we might make if we wanted to do something different?”

Max raised his hand and said, “You mean like learning a new sport? I am going to start snowboard lessons soon. I got a new board for Hanukkah!”

The teacher smiled. “That’s cool, Max! I’ll bet you will have lots of fun learning something new. You’ll be getting lots of fresh air and exercise too. A new sport or activity can be an excellent idea for a resolution to try something different this year.”

Lots of hands went up. The students were excited to share all the different sports, hobbies, and activities they were involved in or would be starting soon.

“Those are all examples of ways of being more active and trying something new. These are great resolutions to have. Now let’s think of other ways we can improve or challenge ourselves,” the teacher prompted.

The children thought about it.

“Do you mean like being a nicer person?” asked Emma. “Like, don’t be a bully?”

“Or maybe sharing your lunch if your friend forgot theirs?” asked Matthew.

“Or telling the teacher if someone is being mean to somebody else at recess?” said Keenan.

Mrs. Grady agreed. “Those are all ways of being a good person, being a good friend, and being helpful to others,” said the teacher. “Those are ways to demonstrate your resolution to be kinder to others this year,” she suggested. The students nodded, understanding.

“The ways we chose to keep our resolutions are all different, but the resolution we make is a bigger idea: to be kinder, or  to be healthier, or to try something new. Is that what you mean?” Olivia piped up, this time forgetting to raise her hand.

“That’s right,” Mrs. Grady said. “And now, I would like all of you to take a few minutes to write about what kind of resolutions you could make this year, and a few ways you would be able to achieve them.”

The children took out their workbooks and started writing.

Comprehension Questions

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