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Interesting Phrases: The Wind in the Willows 3

In this worksheet, students will read an extract from 'The Wind in the Willows' and find words and phrases that capture the reader's interest and imagination.

'Interesting Phrases: The Wind in the Willows 3' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:   Listen to and Discuss Texts

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

This extract is part of a story called The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. The story is about a Mole who makes friends with a Water Rat and other animals on the river. In this extract he is going to see his friend Badger in the middle of the Wild Wood.

Read it several times to make sure you that you understand it.

 

 

*********************************

 

The Wind in the Willows

 

 

It was a cold still afternoon with a hard steely sky overhead, when Mole slipped out of the warm parlour into the open air. The country lay bare and entirely leafless around him as he pushed on towards the Wild Wood, which lay before him low and threatening.

There was nothing to alarm him at first entry. Twigs crackled under his feet, logs tripped him, funguses on stumps startled him for the moment by their likeness to something familiar and far away; but that was all fun, and exciting. It led him on, and he penetrated to where the light was less, and trees crouched nearer and nearer, and holes made ugly mouths at him on either side.

Everything was very still now. The dusk advanced on him steadily, rapidly, and the light seemed to be draining away like floodwater.

Then the faces began.

It was over his shoulder, that he first thought he saw a face; a little evil wedge-shaped face, looking out at him from a hole. When he turned and confronted it, the thing had vanished.

He quickened his pace, telling himself cheerfully not to begin imagining things, or there would be simply no end to it. He passed another hole, and another, and another; and then - yes! - no! - yes! certainly a little narrow face, with hard eyes, had flashed up for an instant from a hole, and was gone. Then suddenly, every hole, far and near, seemed to possess its face, all hard-eyed and evil and sharp.

Then the pattering began.

He thought it was only falling leaves at first, so slight and delicate was the sound of it. Then as it grew it took a regular rhythm, and he knew it for nothing else but the pat-patpat of little feet still a very long way off. As he listened anxiously, leaning this way and that, it seemed to be closing in on him.

The whole wood seemed running now, running hard, hunting, chasing, closing in round something or - somebody? In panic, he began to run and ran into things, he fell over things and into things, he darted under things and dodged round things. At last he took refuge in the deep dark hollow of an old beech tree.

And as he lay there panting and trembling, and listened to the whistlings and the patterings outside, he knew it at last, that thing which the Rat had tried to shield him from - the Terror of the Wild Wood!

 

*********************************

 

 

Now use this extract to answer the following questions. Remember you can press HELP at any time to come back to this page. You can read the extract as many times as you like.

Which words describe the weather when Mole leaves on his walk?

cold and still

warm

raining

The writer describes the outside as being "hard and steely", "bare and leafless", and "low and threatening". 

How does this make us feel about the outside?

happy

scared

angry

surprised

Read the second paragraph again. The writer uses a verb to show us that although Mole is excited about being outside, he is still feeling frightened.

Type the verb below.

The writer uses description to pretend that the outside is alive. This is called personification. What are the trees doing?

Type one word.

How does the writer describe the animal holes that Mole sees?

Type two words.

Mole is getting more and more scared as he carries on through the wood. What noise does he hear that makes him believe he is being chased?

crackled

pattering

screaming

In the final two paragraphs, Mole is petrified and trying to get away as fast as he can. Which verbs does the writer use to describe Mole's movements?

Tick all that apply.

dawdled

run

darted

delayed

trembled

panting

fell

dodged

Which phrase tells us the wood is getting darker as Mole travels along?

the trees crouched nearer and nearer

the light seemed to be draining away like floodwater

Read these two extracts. The first is from the main passage at the beginning of this worksheet, the second is from an earlier part of The Wind in the Willows.

 

extract 1

It was over his shoulder, that he first thought he saw a face; a little evil wedge-shaped face, looking out at him from a hole... certainly a little narrow face, with hard eyes, had flashed up for an instant from a hole, and was gone. 

 

extract 2

Mole sat on the grass and gazed at the bank opposite until a dark hole caught his eye.

"What a fine home that would make!" he thought. As he continued looking at the hole, something twinkled at him. It was an eye. An eye that belonged to a little brown face. It was the Water Rat.

 

How does the writer describe the eyes in each extract?

 extract 1extract 2
twinkled
flashed
hard

Read these words:

BANG, tap, SPLASH, boooom

These words sound like the noise they describe. They are called onomatopoeic words.

 

Read this paragraph again: 

There was nothing to alarm him at first entry. Twigs crackled under his feet, logs tripped him, funguses on stumps startled him for the moment by their likeness to something familiar and far away; but that was all fun, and exciting. It led him on, and he penetrated to where the light was less, and trees crouched nearer and nearer, and holes made ugly mouths at him on either side.

 

Type the onomatopoeic word in the paragraph.

  • Question 1

Which words describe the weather when Mole leaves on his walk?

CORRECT ANSWER
cold and still
EDDIE SAYS
"It was a cold still afternoon with a hard steely sky overhead, when Mole slipped out of the warm parlour into the open air."
The cold weather outside is the opposite to the warm feeling inside the parlour (living room).
  • Question 2

The writer describes the outside as being "hard and steely", "bare and leafless", and "low and threatening". 

How does this make us feel about the outside?

CORRECT ANSWER
scared
EDDIE SAYS
It makes us feel scared as the outside world does not sound friendly or welcoming.
  • Question 3

Read the second paragraph again. The writer uses a verb to show us that although Mole is excited about being outside, he is still feeling frightened.

Type the verb below.

CORRECT ANSWER
startled
EDDIE SAYS
"Twigs crackled under his feet, logs tripped him, funguses on stumps startled him for the moment by their likeness to something familiar and far away".
Everything around Mole is making noises or stopping him walking, 'startling' him as he travels on.
  • Question 4

The writer uses description to pretend that the outside is alive. This is called personification. What are the trees doing?

Type one word.

CORRECT ANSWER
crouching
crouched
EDDIE SAYS
"the trees crouched closer now"
This is a great phrase for describing the trees as getting closer and closer, even bending down to Mole.
  • Question 5

How does the writer describe the animal holes that Mole sees?

Type two words.

CORRECT ANSWER
ugly mouths
EDDIE SAYS
"... holes made ugly mouths at him on either side."
Again the writer is using personification to make the ordinary outside seem alive - this can make us feel scared, like Mole.
  • Question 6

Mole is getting more and more scared as he carries on through the wood. What noise does he hear that makes him believe he is being chased?

CORRECT ANSWER
pattering
EDDIE SAYS
"Then the pattering began.
He thought it was only falling leaves at first, so slight and delicate was the sound of it. Then as it grew it took a regular rhythm, and he knew it for nothing else but the pat-patpat of little feet still a very long way off."
  • Question 7

In the final two paragraphs, Mole is petrified and trying to get away as fast as he can. Which verbs does the writer use to describe Mole's movements?

Tick all that apply.

CORRECT ANSWER
run
darted
trembled
panting
fell
dodged
EDDIE SAYS
"... he began to run and ran into things, he fell over things and into things, he darted under things and dodged round things. At last he took refuge in the deep dark hollow of an old beech tree... he lay there panting and trembling".
All of these verbs show us the panic that Mole was feeling.
  • Question 8

Which phrase tells us the wood is getting darker as Mole travels along?

CORRECT ANSWER
the light seemed to be draining away like floodwater
EDDIE SAYS
"... the light seemed to be draining away like floodwater."
This is a lovely phrase to describe how it was getting darker and darker.
  • Question 9

Read these two extracts. The first is from the main passage at the beginning of this worksheet, the second is from an earlier part of The Wind in the Willows.

 

extract 1

It was over his shoulder, that he first thought he saw a face; a little evil wedge-shaped face, looking out at him from a hole... certainly a little narrow face, with hard eyes, had flashed up for an instant from a hole, and was gone. 

 

extract 2

Mole sat on the grass and gazed at the bank opposite until a dark hole caught his eye.

"What a fine home that would make!" he thought. As he continued looking at the hole, something twinkled at him. It was an eye. An eye that belonged to a little brown face. It was the Water Rat.

 

How does the writer describe the eyes in each extract?

CORRECT ANSWER
 extract 1extract 2
twinkled
flashed
hard
EDDIE SAYS
Both of these extracts show Mole looking inside some animal holes he has seen but it is interesting to see how the writer has used different descriptions of the eyes to make one extract seem scary and one seem friendly.
  • Question 10

Read these words:

BANG, tap, SPLASH, boooom

These words sound like the noise they describe. They are called onomatopoeic words.

 

Read this paragraph again: 

There was nothing to alarm him at first entry. Twigs crackled under his feet, logs tripped him, funguses on stumps startled him for the moment by their likeness to something familiar and far away; but that was all fun, and exciting. It led him on, and he penetrated to where the light was less, and trees crouched nearer and nearer, and holes made ugly mouths at him on either side.

 

Type the onomatopoeic word in the paragraph.

CORRECT ANSWER
crackled
EDDIE SAYS
The onomatopoeic word is 'crackled'.
---- OR ----

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