The Sad Day
Reading Comprehension Activity

When Ava hears sad news at school, she wants to help her friend feel better. But how? Students will read the passage and answer follow-up questions about setting and other story elements.

Topic(s): Realistic Fiction. Skill(s): Character Traits, Fact & Opinion, Story Elements. Genre(s): Prose

Click for the passage & questions on one printable PDF.


Ava sat down at the lunch table. She always sat next to her best friend, Rory. “Hi, Rory!” said Ava. “Ready for recess?” Ava loved recess. She was excited to play tag.

Rory did not answer. Instead, his shoulders started to shake.

“Rory, what’s wrong?” Ava asked. She saw a tear roll down his cheek and fall onto his sandwich. He had not taken a bite.

Rory sniffed. “Fritter died ast night.”

Ava felt her stomach flutter. Fritter was Rory’s white cat. He had a pink nose and one black spot the tip of his tail. Fritter sometimes let Ava pet him when she played at Rory’s house. Ava knew that Rory loved Fritter very much.

Ava didn’t know what to say. She felt very sad. She knew she would miss Fritter. She knew that Rory must feel even worse. 

Ava put her arm around Rory. “Fritter was a great cat. I will miss him very much.”

Rory didn’t say anything. But Ava knew when she was sad her mom hugged her as long as she needed. She kept her arm around Rory and sat quietly.

Rory sniffled. “Remember that time Fritter thought the black part of his tail was a mouse? And then when he caught it he was scared because he thought something bit him?” 

Ava laughed. “He was so surprised!” Ava looked at Rory and stopped laughing. “Sorry,” she said.

But Rory was smiling. “It’s okay. I like to talk about Fritter. It’s a little happy even though it’s still sad.”

So Ava and Rory spent lunch and recess quietly talking about all of the funny things they could remember about Rory’s cat. It was a sad day, but Ava knew that Rory felt better to have a friend to talk to. Ava was mostly sad, but also happy that she could be a good friend when Rory needed one.

Comprehension Questions

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