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Read and Understand: 'The Ugly Duckling'

In this worksheet, students will practise writing their own sentences to answer different comprehension questions about 'The Ugly Duckling'.

'Read and Understand: 'The Ugly Duckling'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Year:  Year 3 English worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:   Check Understanding of Text

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

Enjoy this first part of the tale by Hans Christian Andersen and answer the questions, using full sentences for your answers.




The Ugly Duckling



It was lovely summer weather in the country, and the golden corn, the green oats, and the haystacks piled up in the meadows looked beautiful. In a sunny spot stood an old farm-house close by a deep river, where a duck sat on her nest in the reeds, waiting for her young brood to hatch.

At length one shell cracked, and then another, and from each egg came a living creature that lifted its head and cried, "Peep, peep."

"Quack, quack," said the mother, and then they all quacked as well as they could, and looked about them on every side. "How large the world is," said the young ducks, when they found how much more room they now had than while they were inside the egg-shell.

"One egg is not hatched yet," said the mother duck, "but I think I will sit on it a little while longer. I have sat so long already, a few days more will be nothing."


At last the large egg broke, and a young one crept forth crying, "Peep, peep." It was very large and ugly. The duck stared at it and exclaimed: "|t is not at all like the others. I wonder if it's a duck at all. Maybe it's a turkey. We shall soon find it out, when we go to the water."



On the next day the weather was delightful, and the sun shone brightly on the green leaves, so the mother duck took her young brood down to the water, and jumped in with a splash.

"Quack, quack," she cried, and one after another the little ducklings jumped in. The water closed over their heads, but they came up again in an instant, and swam about quite prettily with their legs paddling under them and the ugly duckling was also in the water swimming with them.

"Oh," said the mother, "how well he uses his legs, and how upright he holds himself! He is my own child, and he is not so very ugly after all if you look at him properly. Quack, quack! Come with me now, I will introduce you to the farmyard, but you must keep close to me or you may be trodden upon; and, above all, beware of the cat."


The other ducklings in the farmyard stared, and said, "Look, here comes another brood, as if there were not enough of us already! What a queer looking object one of them is. We don't want him here," and then one flew out and bit him in the neck.

"Leave him alone," said the mother; "he is not doing any harm."
"Yes, but he is so big and ugly," said a spiteful duck, "and therefore he must be turned out."

"The others are very pretty children," said an old duck, "all but that one. I wish his mother could improve him a little."



The poor duckling, who had crept out of his shell last of all, and looked so ugly, was bitten and pushed and made fun of, not only by the ducks, but by all the poultry. He did not know where to go and was quite miserable. So it went on from day to day till it got worse and worse. Even his brothers and sisters were unkind to him, and would say: "Ah, you ugly creature, I wish the cat would get you," and his mother said she wished he had never been born. The ducks pecked him, the chickens beat him, and the girl who fed the poultry kicked him. So at last he ran away, frightening the little birds in the hedge as he flew over the palings.

"They are afraid of me because I am ugly," he said. So he closed his eyes, and flew still farther, until he came out on a large moor, inhabited by wild ducks. Here he remained the whole night, feeling very tired and sorrowful.

In the morning, when the wild ducks rose in the air, they stared at their new comrade. "What sort of a duck are you?" they all said, coming round him.

He bowed to them, and was as polite as he could be. "You are exceedingly ugly," said the wild ducks, "but that will not matter if you do not want to marry one of our family."

He ran away from the moor as fast as he could. He ran over field and meadow till a storm arose, and he could hardly struggle against it. Towards evening, he reached a poor little cottage that seemed ready to fall, and only remained standing because it could not decide on which side to fall first. The storm continued and was so violent, that the duckling could go no farther, so he sat down by the cottage. There was a narrow opening near the bottom large enough for him to slip through, which he did very quietly, and got shelter for the night. 



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