The Dragon’s Valentines
Reading Comprehension Activity

Author: RV Staff Writer J.C.

Ember the Dragon burns every valentine she is given in class. Her friends think she is mean, but she just has the hiccups! Students will read the passage and answer detail and language questions.

Topic(s): Science Fiction / Fantasy. Skill(s): Character Traits, Context Clues, Story Elements. Genre(s): Prose

Click for the passage & questions on one printable PDF.


Ember the Dragon was feeling pretty happy. Her class was having a party for Valentine’s Day.

Everyone had brought in treats and cards to share. Her friend Prism, a unicorn, made rainbow-colored marshmallows. Coral the Mermaid had fresh sushi rolls, and Patrick the Leprechaun shared some of his gold chocolate coins. There was lively music playing, and even the grumpy troll and shy werewolf were dancing.

Ember was bopping to the music at her desk as she put the final touches on the paper bag she was decorating. Each student had a bag to hold the valentine cards they would receive. Mrs. Granger said it was almost time to hand out the valentines. Ember popped another spicy meatball into her mouth as the rest of the class took their seats. Mmm, they were good! She had made them with extra spicy hot sauce just the way dragons like them.

First, Zevon got up and padded around the room. When he gave one to Ember, the dragon
smiled and picked it up to read it. Suddenly, a snort of flame escaped her, burning the paper heart in her hand. Oops, thought Ember. The werewolf gave her a funny look and low growl as he moved to the next

Next, Trixie gave out her valentines. She flitted around the room on her pretty wings. The little pixie dropped a sparkly valentine on Ember’s desk. Again the dragon picked it up, and again a flash of fire turned the card into a wisp of gray smoke. Trixie frowned. “How rude,” she said as she fluttered past. “You nearly burnt my wings.” Ember turned pink with embarrassment.

As Prism passed out his cards, he looked at Ember with concern. “Are you okay?” her
friend asked, handing her a rainbow-colored heart. The dragon started to answer, but instead a spark flew out, and the valentine sizzled like a piece of bacon. Ember covered her mouth quickly. “Not cool,” the unicorn said, shaking his head with its flowing white mane and long horn, and he trotted back to his seat.

Mrs. Granger had seen enough. She called the dragon up to her desk. “What is going on, Ember? Why do you keep burning the valentines your friends are giving you?”

“I didn’t mean it! The spicy hot sauce from my snack gives me the hiccups,” proclaimed Ember. “And when I hiccup, sparks fly out.” The young dragon looked down and shuffled her feet shyly.

Mrs. Granger gave her a sympathetic smile. “So that’s it. Don’t be embarrassed, Ember. All of you are still learning how to control your magical abilities. Just tell them the truth.”

The dragon turned to face the rest of the class. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I didn’t mean to burn your valentines! It was a mistake, and I hope you’ll forgive me and still be my friends.” The students got up from their desks and crowded around her. With hugs and high-fives, they assured her they were all still friends, and Ember promised never to bring extra spicy hot meatballs to school again.

Comprehension Questions

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