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Read and Understand Fables: 'The Tortoise and the Hare'

In this worksheet, students read the fable 'The Tortoise and the Hare' and answer questions on it.

'Read and Understand Fables: 'The Tortoise and the Hare'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:   Check Understanding of Text

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

A fable is a short story that has a moral, or message. The characters in fables are often talking animals.

 

Read this famous fable and then answer the questions in the worksheet. Remember that you can look back at the story as often as you like by clicking the Help button.

 

The Tortoise and the Hare

 

 

Once, long ago, there lived a hare who thought very highly of herself. She believed that she was the fastest animal in the land, so she challenged the tortoise to a race, confident that she would win and be admired by all the other animals.

 

The tortoise was a kindly creature and didn't want to say no, so the race was fixed for the following day. All the other animals turned up to watch.

 

As soon as the starting gun fired, the hare shot off and was out of sight while the tortoise was still taking his first steps. After a few minutes the hare decided to have a rest, as she knew the tortoise was a long way behind. She lay down under a tree and in a few seconds she was fast asleep.

 

Half an hour later the tortoise trundled past the sleeping hare and continued on his way to the finish line. The hare eventually woke up, still believing she was in the lead, and carried on running, but just as the finishing line came in sight she saw the tortoise ahead of her. She speeded up but it was no avail - the tortoise had won.

 

The moral of this story is 'Slow and steady wins the race'.

Why did the hare suggest a race against the tortoise?

She liked running.

She thought she would win.

The tortoise was her friend.

The tortoise agreed to the race even though he knew that the hare was faster than he was. Why did he do this?

He was afraid of the hare.

He knew what would happen.

He was a kind animal.

Why did the hare decide to rest?

She was exhausted.

She wanted to give the tortoise a chance to catch up.

She thought that she had plenty of time to spare.

Find the verb in the story that describes the way the tortoise moved past the hare while she was asleep.

Write it in the answer box.

Often you can work out what words mean by their context (the words around them). Read the following sentence again.

 

She speeded up but it was to no avail - the tortoise had won.

 

What do you think 'to no avail' means?

It was no use.

It was hard work.

Look at the following adjectives and decide which ones describe the tortoise and which ones describe the hare.

 

You may need to use a dictionary if you do not know what the words mean.

 tortoisehare
fast
slow
boastful
sensible
careful
cautious
reckless
wise
silly

The moral of this fable is 'Slow and steady wins the race'. What does this mean?

Slow people always win races.

It is better to take things carefully and steadily than to rush into them without thinking.

Slow people are always more clever than fast ones.

  • Question 1

Why did the hare suggest a race against the tortoise?

CORRECT ANSWER
She thought she would win.
EDDIE SAYS
The hare only chose to have a race with the tortoise because she believed she would win easily.
  • Question 2

The tortoise agreed to the race even though he knew that the hare was faster than he was. Why did he do this?

CORRECT ANSWER
He was a kind animal.
EDDIE SAYS
The tortoise is referred to as a 'kindly animal' in the story. There is no mention in the story that the tortoise knew what would happen.
  • Question 3

Why did the hare decide to rest?

CORRECT ANSWER
She thought that she had plenty of time to spare.
EDDIE SAYS
The story does not say that the hare was tired. She rested because she was over-confident and thought she had plenty of time.
  • Question 4

Find the verb in the story that describes the way the tortoise moved past the hare while she was asleep.

Write it in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
trundled
Trundled
EDDIE SAYS
To trundle means to move slowly and heavily.
  • Question 5

Often you can work out what words mean by their context (the words around them). Read the following sentence again.

 

She speeded up but it was to no avail - the tortoise had won.

 

What do you think 'to no avail' means?

CORRECT ANSWER
It was no use.
EDDIE SAYS
If you read on it says that the tortoise had won, so the fact that she had speeded up didn't matter.
  • Question 6

Look at the following adjectives and decide which ones describe the tortoise and which ones describe the hare.

 

You may need to use a dictionary if you do not know what the words mean.

CORRECT ANSWER
 tortoisehare
fast
slow
boastful
sensible
careful
cautious
reckless
wise
silly
EDDIE SAYS
If someone is reckless they do things without thinking about what might happen. It is the opposite of cautious.
  • Question 7

The moral of this fable is 'Slow and steady wins the race'. What does this mean?

CORRECT ANSWER
It is better to take things carefully and steadily than to rush into them without thinking.
EDDIE SAYS
The moral is not really about races. It means that it is better to take your time and do something properly than to rush into it but then lose interest in it.
---- OR ----

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