Stories adapted from Very Short Stories and Verses for Children by Mrs. W.K. Clifford This printable supports CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2

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Summarizing a Short Story (Grade 5)

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Summarizing a Short Story

Spring - Tree The sun came out and shone down on the leafless trees that cast hardly any shadows on the pathway through the woods.

"Surely the Spring is coming," the birds said; "it must be time to wake the flowers."

The thrush, and the lark, and the linnet sang sweetly. A robin flew up from the snow, and perched upon a branch; a little ragged boy at the end of the wood stopped and listened.

"Surely the Spring is coming," he too said; "and mother will get well."

The flowers that all through the Winter had been sleeping in the ground heard the birds, but they were drowsy, and longed to sleep on. At last the snowdrops came up and looked shiveringly about; and a primrose leaf peeped through the ground, and died of cold. Then some violets opened their blue eyes, and, hidden beneath the tangle of the wood, listened to the twittering of the birds. The little ragged boy came by; he saw the tender flowers, and, stooping down, gathered them one by one, and put them into a wicker basket that hung upon his arm.

"Dear flowers," he said, with a sigh, as if loth to pick them, "you will buy poor mother some breakfast," and, tying them up into little bunches, he carried them to the town. All the morning he stood by the road-side, offering his flowers to the passers-by, but no one took any notice of him; and his face grew sad and troubled. "Poor mother!" he said, longingly; and the flowers heard him, and sighed.

"Those violets are very sweet," a lady said as she passed; the boy ran after her.

"Only a penny," he said, "just one penny, for mother is at home." Then the lady bought them, and carried them to the beautiful house in which she lived, and gave them some water, touching them so softly that the poor violets forgot to long for the woods, and looked gratefully up into her face.

"Mother," said the boy, "see, I have brought some bread for your breakfast. The violets sent it to you," and he put the little loaf down before her.

The birds knew nothing of all this, and went on singing till the ground was covered with flowers, till the leaves had hidden the brown branches of the trees, and the pathway through the woods was all shade, save for the sunshine that flecked it with light.
Who is this story about?
  1. a flock of birds
  2. a family of flowers
  3. a little boy and his mother
  4. a lady who liked flowers
What was the problem in this story?
  1. It was very cold during the winter.
  2. The little boy's mother was sick.
  3. The flowers were still sleeping.
  4. It was the beginning of spring.
How did the main character try to solve the problem?
  1. He woke up the birds and the flowers.
  2. He sold flowers to earn money to buy food.
  3. He asked a doctor to come look at his mother.
  4. He called his father away from work.
Which is NOT an obstacle the main character faced?
  1. No one wanted to buy his flowers.
  2. He didn't have any money to buy food.
  3. The violets refused to be picked.
  4. His mother was very sick.
Which choice correctly summarizes the story?
  1. It was a very long winter, but spring just started, and the birds went around to wake everything up.
  2. A little boy's mother is sick, but he doesn't have any money to buy food. He sells violets to a lady so he can buy his mother breakfast.
  3. A mother needs to buy food for her little boy so she decides to sell daffodils at the market.
  4. The birds are happy that it is the first day of spring, so they fly around chirping and waking the flowers.

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