Suzanna’s Summer Cottage
Reading Comprehension Activity

Author: RV Staff Writer J.C.

This descriptive passage tells of the long summer days and warm nights at Suzanna’s favorite place: her family cottage. Student’s will read the passage and respond to figurative language questions and questions on the theme.

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

Click for the passage & questions on one printable PDF.


When the bell rang on the last day of school, Suzanna cheered with the rest of her classmates. School was over, and summer was beginning! Suzanna’s favorite season was summer. No coats, no homework, and no shoes either!

Some children were excited to go to camp, or travel on a vacation, or maybe even just stay home and play video games. Summertime for Suzanna meant only one thing: the cottage.

She loved the way the sunshine made the lake sparkle like tiny diamonds; she loved how the gentle breezes made the leaves on the trees rustle, sounding like a waterfall; and she loved how relaxed her whole family felt there together.

She could be as busy or as lazy as she wanted. On rainy days, when she couldn’t go outside, the family would get cozy together and read their books, or work on a tricky jigsaw puzzle, or play a board game. At night, they would often pop some buttery popcorn and watch a movie together. Listening to the sounds of the rain falling on the roof was like a lullaby to Suzanna, and on those nights, she fell asleep dreaming peacefully.

On sunny days, there was so much to do! Suzanna loved swimming in the clear lake water on the hottest days. She liked rowing herself on the paddleboard, even though she often fell off it! It was fun to take the boat over to the marina to buy ice cream after dinner. And she loved it when her cousins came up to visit.

She had lots of cousins, boys and girls that were taller and shorter and older and younger. Some liked to talk, some were quiet, some liked to run, some liked to wrestle, some liked to do nothing at all. But they all liked to eat, so family time meant lots of food! Hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, pie and ice cream … it was all delicious.

Having so many cousins meant somebody was always happy to play: jumping on the trampoline, playing tetherball, running races, swimming, or seeing who could jump the farthest off the dock. Sometimes her dad took them out on the boat, or pulled them behind on the float so fast that they bounced over the waves and hung on tightly until they laughed themselves silly, and somebody fell off. Then they would do it all again.

The cottage was surrounded by lots of trees so it sometimes felt like they were the only people in the world. It was a nice feeling. The days stretched out from the early sunrise until the crickets started chirping as the sun went down. They would often light a campfire, then roast marshmallows and listen to the water lap up against the shore. Her older cousins would try to find the star patterns like Orion’s Belt and the Big Dipper until the clouds of mosquitoes would finally send them inside to their waiting beds.

Once inside, snuggled under blankets like caterpillars in cocoons, Suzanna and her cousins would tell jokes and giggle until the adults came in to shush them. After the door closed again, they would only whisper, and that made them laugh more. Eventually, they’d drift off to sleep, one by one, until only Suzanna remained awake. She’d fall asleep to the gentle snores of exhausted children, and she wished that summer at the cottage would last forever.

Comprehension Questions

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