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Read and Understand Stories From Other Cultures: 'Baboushka'

In this worksheet, students read the traditional Russian tale 'Baboushka' and answer questions based on the story.

'Read and Understand Stories From Other Cultures: 'Baboushka'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:   Increase Range of Texts

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

The tale of Baboushka comes from Russia. Read the story and then answer the questions. Remember that you can look back at the story as often as you like by clicking the Help button.

 

 

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Baboushka

Long, long ago, in a forest in Russia, there lived an old woman called Baboushka. She was very house proud and used to spend all her time sweeping, dusting, washing and cooking. She also grew vegetables, chopped wood for her fire and fed her chickens.

One cold, icy day, the villagers were all talking about a bright star that they had seen. Everyone was very excited as they had heard that something wonderful was going to happen that would change the world. Baboushka was so busy scrubbing her doorstep and polishing her furniture that she didn't see the star, nor did she hear what the people were saying.


The next day, as Baboushka was knitting socks, she heard a knock at the door. When she opened it, there stood three kings, dressed in long, velvet robes, and wearing crowns on their heads. 'Baboushka, may we come in?' they asked. Their names were Melchior, Caspar and Balthasar. They explained that they were on a special journey, looking for a new-born king who would save the world. 'Everyone says that your house is the finest in the village,' they said. 'May we rest here a while?'


Baboushka was so proud that they had chosen to come to her house, that she made them welcome. She prepared a very special meal. 'Will you come with us, to look for the new-born king?' they asked.


'Alas, I can't go with you as I have so much work to do,' said Baboushka. 'Besides, I don't have any gift that's good enough for a king.' So the three kings left without her, to continue their journey. Baboushka promised to follow them when she was ready.


After they had left, Baboushka decided to finish her housework and follow the three kings. She found the box of toys she had kept since she was a child. She set to work to clean and mend every toy. Then she swept the floors, polished the furniture and cleared the snow from her path. Finally, she loaded the gifts on her small sledge to give to the baby. She wrapped herself warmly and set off, to follow the three kings.


For days and days, Baboushka trudged through the snow, looking for the three kings. She knocked on doors and asked if anyone had seen them, or the new-born king, but nobody could help her. After a long time, she came to a small town called Bethlehem and stopped at an inn. When she told the inn-keeper her story, the inn-keeper said, 'Alas, good woman, you are too late. A baby king was born outside in the stable, but his mother and father have taken him away.'


Babouska was so upset that she had missed her opportunity that she travelled on, still searching for the baby king. Many people say that she never stopped looking. Every Christmas morning she walks from house to house, and if she sees a child asleep, she creeps in and leaves a toy, just in case it is that one, special child.

 

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Where did Baboushka live? Write the name of the country in the answer box.

At what time of year does the story take place?

summer

winter

Why didn't Baboushka see the star?

She was asleep.

She was too busy doing housework.

She never looked out of her window.

Why did the three kings choose Baboushka's house to stay the night in?

They were lost in the forest and it was the first house they found.

They didn't want anyone to recognise them.

They had been told that Baboushka's house was the finest in the area.

Why didn't Baboushka go with the kings? Tick two reasons.

She was too tired.

She didn't have a suitable present for the baby.

She wasn't interested.

Her clothes weren't smart enough.

She had too much housework to do.

Tick all the jobs that Baboushka did before she left home to follow the kings.

She bought some new toys.

She cleaned and mended her old toys.

She made herself some new clothes.

She swept her floors.

She polished her furniture.

She cleared the snow from her path.

She fed her animals.

She went to talk to the villagers.

Where did Baboushka finally hear news that the baby had been born? Write the name of the town in the answer box.

Why wasn't the baby at the inn?

He had been born at a different inn.

He had been taken away by his parents.

He had been born in a different town.

According to the story, what is Baboushka doing now?

Cleaning her house.

Looking for the baby.

Mending her toys.

Which of the statements below sums up the message of the story?

Don't bother with housework.

Make time for the important things in life or you will miss them.

  • Question 1

Where did Baboushka live? Write the name of the country in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
Russia
  • Question 2

At what time of year does the story take place?

CORRECT ANSWER
winter
EDDIE SAYS
It says 'one cold, icy day', so we can guess that the story is set in winter.
  • Question 3

Why didn't Baboushka see the star?

CORRECT ANSWER
She was too busy doing housework.
  • Question 4

Why did the three kings choose Baboushka's house to stay the night in?

CORRECT ANSWER
They had been told that Baboushka's house was the finest in the area.
  • Question 5

Why didn't Baboushka go with the kings? Tick two reasons.

CORRECT ANSWER
She didn't have a suitable present for the baby.
She had too much housework to do.
  • Question 6

Tick all the jobs that Baboushka did before she left home to follow the kings.

CORRECT ANSWER
She cleaned and mended her old toys.
She swept her floors.
She polished her furniture.
She cleared the snow from her path.
  • Question 7

Where did Baboushka finally hear news that the baby had been born? Write the name of the town in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
Bethlehem
  • Question 8

Why wasn't the baby at the inn?

CORRECT ANSWER
He had been taken away by his parents.
  • Question 9

According to the story, what is Baboushka doing now?

CORRECT ANSWER
Looking for the baby.
  • Question 10

Which of the statements below sums up the message of the story?

CORRECT ANSWER
Make time for the important things in life or you will miss them.
EDDIE SAYS
Baboushka really wanted to see the baby, but she cared too much about less important things like housework so she missed her chance to see something special.
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