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Read and Understand: 'The Emperor's New Clothes'

In this worksheet, students answer questions about 'The Emperor's New Clothes' including the meaning of new words in context.

'Read and Understand: 'The Emperor's New Clothes'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:   Check Understanding of Text

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

The Emperor's New Clothes is a story by Hans Christian Andersen. It was written in 1837 and contains lots of words you wouldn't find in children's stories today. Read through the story carefully.

 

 

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The Emperor's New Clothes

Many years ago there lived an Emperor, who was so fond of new clothes that he spent all his money on them in order to be beautifully dressed. He did not care about his soldiers, he did not care about the theatre; he only liked to go out walking around, showing off his new clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the day; and he spent all of his time in his wardrobe.

In the great city in which he lived, there was always something going on. One day, two swindlers arrived, pretending to be weavers, and said that they knew how to weave the most beautiful cloth imaginable. Not only were the texture and pattern uncommonly beautiful, but the clothes which were made of the magical stuff were invisible to anyone who was not rich enough, or was very stupid.

"Those must indeed be splendid clothes," thought the Emperor. "If I had them on I could find out which men in my kingdom are unfit for the offices they hold; I could distinguish the wise from the stupid! Yes, this cloth must be woven for me at once," and he gave both the swindlers a lot of money, so that they could begin their work.

They bought two weaving-looms and began to work, but they had nothing on the looms. They also demanded the finest silk and the best gold, which they put in their pockets, and worked at the empty looms till late into the night.

"I should like very much to know how far they have got on with the cloth," thought the Emperor, but he remembered, when he thought about it, that whoever was stupid or not fit for his office would not be able to see it. Now he certainly believed that he had nothing to fear for himself, but he wanted first to send somebody else in order to see how he stood with regard to his office. Everybody in the whole town knew what a wonderful power the cloth had, and they were all curious to see how bad or how stupid their neighbour was.

"I will send my old and honoured minister to the weavers," thought the Emperor. "He can judge best what the cloth is like, for he has intellect, and no one understands his office better than he."

 

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What is an Emperor?

If you are not sure, read the story again and think about the types of things he does and the people around him.

a wealthy businessman

a king

a swindler

How did the Emperor enjoy himself?

He went to the theatre.

He walked around the city.

He liked to show off his new clothes.

Two swindlers arrived to see the Emperor. They were pretending to be weavers.

What is a swindler?

a weaver

a cheat and a liar

a window cleaner

What did the swindlers say about the cloth they were going to make?

Tick two boxes.

It was very beautiful.

It was soft.

It was invisible.

It was expensive.

The Emperor thought he would use the invisible cloth to 'distinguish the wise from the stupid!'

Wise means to be clever, but what does distinguish mean? Try working out the meaning from the rest of the sentence.

put something together

disgusting

find the difference between

The Emperor said that he 'had nothing to fear' in seeing the cloth first.

What does that description mean?

He was afraid.

He was not afraid.

He was too far away.

"I will send my old and honoured minister to the weavers," thought the Emperor. "He can judge best what the cloth is like..."

What does honoured mean?

Tick two boxes.

to be trusted

to be ignored

to be believed especially

Even though the Emperor 'had nothing to fear' he didn't go and see the cloth himself. Why?

He wanted to make sure that he had clever people working for him who could see the cloth.

He was afraid he was not rich enough to see the cloth.

He was too busy changing his coats.

Do you think there is any cloth?

No, there is definitely no cloth because the swindlers are pretending. They have empty looms and are not weaving anything.

Yes, they are weaving beautiful cloth for the Emperor and the Emperor will wear it and parade through the city.

  • Question 1

What is an Emperor?

If you are not sure, read the story again and think about the types of things he does and the people around him.

CORRECT ANSWER
a king
EDDIE SAYS
An emperor is a king.
  • Question 2

How did the Emperor enjoy himself?

CORRECT ANSWER
He liked to show off his new clothes.
EDDIE SAYS
The Emperor liked to show off his new clothes.
  • Question 3

Two swindlers arrived to see the Emperor. They were pretending to be weavers.

What is a swindler?

CORRECT ANSWER
a cheat and a liar
EDDIE SAYS
A swindler is a cheat and a liar who will pretend in order to get what he wants.
  • Question 4

What did the swindlers say about the cloth they were going to make?

Tick two boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
It was very beautiful.
It was invisible.
EDDIE SAYS
The swindlers said that the cloth was very beautiful but also invisible to some.
  • Question 5

The Emperor thought he would use the invisible cloth to 'distinguish the wise from the stupid!'

Wise means to be clever, but what does distinguish mean? Try working out the meaning from the rest of the sentence.

CORRECT ANSWER
find the difference between
EDDIE SAYS
The Emperor thought he would be able to tell who was clever (the people who could see the cloth) and who was stupid (the people who could not see the cloth).
  • Question 6

The Emperor said that he 'had nothing to fear' in seeing the cloth first.

What does that description mean?

CORRECT ANSWER
He was not afraid.
  • Question 7

"I will send my old and honoured minister to the weavers," thought the Emperor. "He can judge best what the cloth is like..."

What does honoured mean?

Tick two boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
to be trusted
to be believed especially
EDDIE SAYS
The Emperor's minister is 'honoured' because he has shown before that he can do a good job, and he can be believed and trusted.
  • Question 8

Even though the Emperor 'had nothing to fear' he didn't go and see the cloth himself. Why?

CORRECT ANSWER
He wanted to make sure that he had clever people working for him who could see the cloth.
EDDIE SAYS
The Emperor wanted to make sure that he had clever people working for him who could see the cloth.
  • Question 9

Do you think there is any cloth?

CORRECT ANSWER
No, there is definitely no cloth because the swindlers are pretending. They have empty looms and are not weaving anything.
EDDIE SAYS
No, there is no cloth. The swindlers have been very clever in telling everyone that only stupid people cannot see the cloth.
---- OR ----

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