Paul Finds A Lot Of Money
Reading Comprehension Activity

Paul helps his elderly neighbors. Well, it’s more that his mom volunteers him to help them. One day, while cleaning the neighbor’s garage, he finds something of value. His first thought is to take it as payment for all his hard work. The student will read the passage and answer questions on the details of the story and the theme.

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

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Steve grabbed his bat and glove. “See ya later, Mom. I’m going to Paul’s.” He raced out the door and slammed it behind him.

Summer vacation just began. The boys planned to play baseball every day, so they could make the freshman team.

Paul was waiting outside for Steve.

“What are you doing? Where’s your stuff?” Steve lifted his bat onto his shoulder.

Paul shook his head. “I have to clean Mr. Thimpson’s garage before I can go. With his broken arm, he can’t do it himself. My mom always volunteers me to help the Thimpson’s. They’re kind of old.”

“Okay,” said Steve. “I’ll help you. We’ll get done quicker working together.”

The boys went down the block to the Thimpson’s and got started. They found a couple of brooms and shovels. Before they swept, they put boxes that were strewn around the garage floor on shelves.

As Paul put a big box on a shelf, it fell off and with it fell an envelope. He picked it up. It wasn’t sealed, so he opened it. There were lots of one hundred dollar bills.

“You’ve got to see this.” He pulled out a handful of bills and showed Steve.

“Whoa,” said Steve. “Where did you get that?”

Paul pointed to the shelf. “It just fell down when the box fell. There’s got to be a couple of thousand dollars here.” Paul looked past Steve to the garage door opening. “The coast is clear. If we take some, I bet no one will ever know.”

Steve furrowed his brow and shook his head. “Are you crazy? That’s stealing.”

“Well, I do a lot of chores for them and don’t get paid. It’s not really stealing, it’s kind of payment for my hard work.”

Steve grabbed the money from Paul’s hand and stuffed it back in the envelope. “Knock it off. You’re better than that.” He put the envelope back on the shelf. “Come on. Let’s get done and get to the park.”

“Hello, boys.” Mr. Thimpson walked into the garage, surprising them. “Mrs. Thimpson baked a chocolate cake. She wants you to come in for a piece. We sure appreciate all the things you do for us, Paul.”

“Ugh . . . sure, Mr. Thimpson,” said Paul. “Let us finish up and we’ll be right in.”

Mr. Thimpson went back to his house.

“Whew,” said Paul. “That was close. You know, Steve, you’re right. I don’t know what got into me. The Thimpson’s are always trying to pay me for the work I do. My Mom won’t let me take money from them, since she thinks they don’t have that much. But, Mrs. Thimpson is always making me cakes and cookies, and she’s knitted me like five sweaters.”

The boys finished cleaning the garage then went to the house. They had big slices of chocolate cake and two glasses of milk each.

When they were about to leave, Mrs. Thimpson handed Paul a brand new bat and glove. “This is for you. Your mom said this is something you’d like. You do so much for us, we try to find little ways to show our appreciation.”

Paul looked at the bat and glove then he looked at Steve. His face got red. “Th . . . thanks so much. I love them!”

Outside, Steve put his hand on Paul’s shoulder. “See, you not only have a clear conscience, you have the bat and glove you wanted in McGroger’s Sports Store.”

Comprehension Questions

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