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Read and Understand Stories From Other Cultures: 'Baucis and Philemon'

In this worksheet, students read the ancient Greek tale 'Baucis and Philemon' and answer questions based on the story.

'Read and Understand Stories From Other Cultures: 'Baucis and Philemon'' 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 Baucis and Philemon comes from Ancient Greece. 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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The Tale of Baucis and Philemon

 

Long, long ago, in Ancient Greece, there was a town called Tyana. The two gods, Zeus and his son Hermes, came down from Mount Olympus disguised as beggars, to visit the country folk. They knocked on doors, asking for food and somewhere to rest, but the people turned them away and locked their doors. After a while, they came to the house of a poor peasant couple, Baucis and Philemon. They knocked on the door and said: “We are hungry from our travels. Can you spare some food and let us rest a while in your house?”

“Alas, we only have half a barley loaf and a small skin of wine,” said Baucis and Philemon, “but we would be honoured to share it with you.”

So Zeus and Hermes sat with Baucis and Philemon and shared their simple meal. After a while, Baucis noticed that a very strange thing was happening. Every time she cut a slice of bread, the loaf grew a little. Although Philemon filled their guests’ cups many times, the wine skin never emptied. Philemon thought his eyes were playing tricks on him. It was then that it dawned on them that these were no ordinary visitors... They were the Gods from Mount Olympus.

Baucis and Philemon bowed low and apologised for the simple food they had offered to their guests. “I must kill the goose that guards our doorway, so I can cook it and serve you a good meal,” said Baucis.

Zeus replied: "Do not kill your goose. When you have shared your best, there is never a need to apologise. You must come with us to the top of the mountain, I shall punish all the townspeople by destroying the town!”

So Baucis and Philemon climbed to the top of the mountain and, when they looked back, the town was flooded, except for their own house, which had turned into a shining temple. “Now,” said Zeus, “as you have been so kind and generous, your greatest wish shall be granted. What might that wish be?”

“We have only one wish, which is to remain together as husband and wife, always,” said Baucis. Philemon nodded in agreement. And so it came to be that when Baucis and Philemon died, an oak and a linden tree grew with their trunks entwined around each other, on the spot where the couple lay buried.

What is the name of the town where Baucis and Philemon lived? Write it in the answer box.

The Greek gods were believed to live on a mountain. Write its name in the answer box.

Why did nobody recognise Zeus and Hermes when they called at people's houses?

It was dark.

The local people believed in different gods.

The gods were in disguise.

What food and/or drink did Baucis and Philemon have to offer to Zeus and Hermes? Tick two boxes.

milk

barley loaf

cake

ham

wine

What happened to the food and/or drink that Baucis and Philemon offered to their guests?

It tasted better than usual.

It had gone bad.

It didn't run out, however much they ate and drank.

Why were Baucis and Philemon ashamed when they realised who their guests were?

They felt they should have recognised them earlier.

They felt they should have given them grander food.

They were embarrassed because they lived in a small house.

Why did Zeus and Hermes want to punish the townspeople?

They had been greedy.

They had not offered food to the gods.

They were lazy.

How were the rest of the townspeople punished?

The town burned down.

The town was destroyed in a storm.

The town was flooded.

What reward did Baucis and Philemon ask for?

They wanted their house to become a temple.

They wanted to become a god and goddess.

They wanted to stay together for ever.

What message does the story hold?

You should treat everyone well even if you don't know who they are.

You should keep your best food for gods and goddesses.

You should kill your goose to feed visitors.

  • Question 1

What is the name of the town where Baucis and Philemon lived? Write it in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
Tyana
  • Question 2

The Greek gods were believed to live on a mountain. Write its name in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
Mount Olympus
Olympus
  • Question 3

Why did nobody recognise Zeus and Hermes when they called at people's houses?

CORRECT ANSWER
The gods were in disguise.
  • Question 4

What food and/or drink did Baucis and Philemon have to offer to Zeus and Hermes? Tick two boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
barley loaf
wine
  • Question 5

What happened to the food and/or drink that Baucis and Philemon offered to their guests?

CORRECT ANSWER
It didn't run out, however much they ate and drank.
  • Question 6

Why were Baucis and Philemon ashamed when they realised who their guests were?

CORRECT ANSWER
They felt they should have given them grander food.
  • Question 7

Why did Zeus and Hermes want to punish the townspeople?

CORRECT ANSWER
They had not offered food to the gods.
  • Question 8

How were the rest of the townspeople punished?

CORRECT ANSWER
The town was flooded.
  • Question 9

What reward did Baucis and Philemon ask for?

CORRECT ANSWER
They wanted to stay together for ever.
  • Question 10

What message does the story hold?

CORRECT ANSWER
You should treat everyone well even if you don't know who they are.
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