The Bumblebee
Reading Comprehension Activity

Author: Elizabeth T.

When Ella finds a bumblebee outside her back door, she’s scared. What happens next surprises her and changes her mind about bees. Students will read the passage and answer follow-up questions about the plot and other story elements.

Topic(s): Fairy Tales & Fables. Skill(s): Character Traits, Fact & Opinion, Context Clues. Genre(s): Prose

Click for the passage & questions on one printable PDF.


One day, Ella opened her back door and looked out. She wanted to go to play outside, but there was a large bumblebee flying around. He was bigger than her thumb, and very fuzzy. She could hear the humming of his wings as he made large figure-eights across the patio.

Carefully, Ella stepped outside. The bee flew towards Ella and hovered just inches from her nose, wings beating quickly. 

Ella crouched down and hid her face in her hands. “Don’t sting me!” she cried. Ella wanted to run, but she her legs wouldn’t move.

“I am a guard bee,” the bumblebee said. 

Ella was so surprised that the bee spoke that she forgot to be afraid. “What are you guarding?” she asked. “I promise I won’t go near it.”

The bumblebee made a quick circle around Ella’s head and said, “I’m not keeping you from going anywhere. I’m guarding you.” 

Ella wasn’t sure what the guard bee meant, but she decided to walk slowly away from the bumblebee and toward her swing set. The bumblebee followed.

“I really wish you wouldn’t follow me,” Ella said. “You’re making me nervous.”

“And I wish people weren’t so afraid of bees,” the guard bee said. “We have plenty of work to do to gather pollen and nectar without worrying about stinging people.”

Just then, a big dog ran into Ella’s yard. Around his neck was a frayed rope, and he barked loudly at her. The dog ran toward Ella and was about to jump on her. But just as he stood on his hind legs to leap, the guard bee flew right up to the dog and stung him on the nose!

The dog sat down rubbed his face with his paw. He whimpered. 

“Go back home where you belong or I will sting you again,” warned the bumblebee.

The dog turned and ran. Ella was glad. “Thank you,” she said to the bee.

“That’s what I’m here for,” the guard bee said. And he flew toward a patch of daisies to gather pollen.

Ella decided that from now on, she would treat bumblebees as friends.

Comprehension Questions

Get the passage & questions on one printable PDF.

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