The Snowman and the Dog
Reading Comprehension Activity

Snowman awakens to a winter wonderland. When he sees the flickering light of a nearby fire, he wants more than anything to go to it. A dog warns him not to. Does Snowman listen? Students will read the story and answer questions on the setting and the characters.

Topic(s): Humor, Science Fiction / Fantasy. Skill(s): Summary, Story Elements. Genre(s): Prose

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The snowman opened his eyes. The air around him was crisp and cold. He watched the reddish sun sink behind the hill. The moon rose in its place.


The snowman looked down. “Hello, there. Who are you?”

WOOF. “I live here. I saw the children build you this morning. They packed the snow thick. You should last through the whole winter.”

The snowman tried to move, but couldn’t. “How come you can move about and I can’t.”

The dog ran around the snowman. “That’s because you don’t have legs to walk or arms to wave.”

The snowman furrowed his brows of ash. “Well then, how do I get legs and arms so I can move? There’s a wonderful crackling red and orange glow coming from that window in the house. I want to go to see it.”

WOOF. WOOF. “Oh, no. Even if you could move, you should never go near that red and orange glow. It’s not good for you.”

“What do you mean?” said the snowman. “If I can move I would surely go to that glow. It looks beautiful. It’s almost like it’s calling me.”

WOOF. WOOF. “Then,” said the dog, “it’s a good thing you can’t move. For if you went there, you would surely be no more.”

All night, the snowman listened to the howling winds. He watched the red and orange glow dancing behind the window. “I have to find a way to move. I want nothing more than to be near that glow.”

The dog who sat beside the snowman said one more time, “Don’t let your desire for that glow fool you. It will lead you to no good. Be thankful you can’t move.”

The snowman narrowed his eyes. “I will find a way to move. And, I will go to that glow.” The snowman thought and thought. He looked all around. Then, his eyes lit up. “I have it. Will you fetch me those branches on the ground by that tree?”

WOOF. “This isn’t a good idea, but if that’s what you really want, I’ll do it.” The dog raced off and dragged the branches to the snowman.

“Now, stand two of the branches up and push them under me.”

The dog did as the snowman asked.

“Now,” said the snowman, “take the other two branches and stick them in my sides.”

The dog did as the snowman asked.

The snowman closed his eyes. He thought and thought and thought about those branches turning into legs and arms. When he opened his eyes, he could move. “It worked! I can move!” He shuffled toward the red and orange glow.”

WOOF. WOOF. WOOF. “Even though it may look wonderful, it’s not good for you.”

“Ah, pooh. You just want to keep it for yourself.” The snowman continued toward the glow.

The dog watched.

The snowman got to the window. He lifted it up and crawled inside. “See, I told you I’d get to see the red and orange glow,” he yelled to the dog.

The snowman began to drip. “Dog,” he yelled. “What’s happening?”

The dog jumped on the ledge of the window. “I told you that the glow wasn’t good for you. But, you wouldn’t listen. That glow is fire. It’s melting you.”

“Nooooo!” screamed the snowman. He tried to run away, but it was too late.

The dog shook his head. “Not everything that glitters is good for you.”

Comprehension Questions

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