Peter s coal mine

Words: 401-500

Skills: Story Elements Summary

Grades: 3rd 4th

Topics: Realistic Fiction

Genres: Prose

Lexile Range: 740L - 1050L

Lexile Measure: 940L

CCSS: Reading: Literature

Themes:

Peter’s Coal-Mine


by Edith Nesbit from The Railway Children

Chapter 2 Passage: Edith Nesbit wrote "The Railway Children" in 1906. It is the story of an English family with three children named Peter, Phyllis, and Roberta. The mother and children move to a house near a railway, or railroad track, after the father has been put in prison. In the passage, the children and their mother have just arrived at their new house very late in the day. No one is at the house to greet them. The house is dark, there are boxes everywhere, and there is no dinner ready. The mother and the children have just opened a box in the cellar that has food and candles.

Reading Comprehension Passage

Peter’s Coal-Mine

by Edith Nesbit from The Railway Children
This is from a story of an English family with three children named Peter, Phyllis, and Roberta. The mother and children move to a house near a railway, or railroad track, after the father has been put in prison. In this passage, the children and their mother have just arrived at their new house very late in the day. No one is at the house to greet them. The house is dark, there are boxes everywhere, and there is no dinner ready. The mother and the children have just opened a box in the cellar that has food and candles.

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 “Hooray!” said Mother; “here are some candles—the ver y first thing! You girls go and light them. You’ll find some saucers and things. Just drop a little candle-grease in the saucer and stick the candle upright in it.”

“How many shall we light?”

“As many as ever you like,” said Mother, gaily. “The great thing is to be cheerful. Nobody can be cheerful in the dark except owls and dormice.”

So the girls lighted candles. The head of the first match flew off and stuck to Phyllis’s finger; but, as Roberta said, it was only a little burn, and she might have had to be a Roman martyr and be burned whole if she had happened to live in the days when those things were fashionable.

Then, when the dining-room was lighted by fourteen candles, Roberta fetched coal and wood and lighted a fire.

“It’s very cold for May,” she said, feeling what a grown-up thing it was to say.

The fire-light and the candle-light made the dining-room look very different, or now you could see that the dark walls were of wood, carved here and there into little wreaths and loops.

The girls hastily ‘tidied’ the room, which meant putting the chairs against the wall, and piling all the odds and ends into a corner and partly hiding them with the big leather arm-chair that Father used to sit in after dinner.

“Bravo!” cried Mother, coming in with a tray full of things. “This is something like! I’ll just get a tablecloth and then—”

The tablecloth was in a box with a proper lock that was opened with a key and not with a shovel, and when the cloth was spread on the table, a real feast was laid out on it.

Passage Only

Reading Comprehension Questions

Circle the correct answer to each question.

1. The lock on the box was opened with what?
A. A shovel and not a key
B. A knob and not a shovel
C. A knob and not a key
D. A key and not a shovel

2. When the candles were lit, what did the  dining-room walls look like?
A. Wood with carving of wreaths and loops
B. Plaster with pictures of flowers
C. Wood with painted animals
D. Stone with paintings of fruit

3. Roberta said it was very cold for what?
A. September
B. May
C. Summer
D. June

4. Mother took what out of the box?
A. A feast
B. A shovel
C. A tablecloth
D. Candlestick