The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Affordable pricing from £10/month

Understand the Importance of Settings: 'The Secret Garden'

In this worksheets, students read a description of the neglected garden in Frances Hodgson Burnett's book 'The Secret Garden' and answer questions on it.

'Understand the Importance of Settings: 'The Secret Garden'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:  Identify Text Meaning

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

The setting of a story is the place where the action happens. Sometimes the setting plays a major role in the development of a character.

 

In the book The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the main character is a girl called Mary Lennox, who lived in India until her parents died. She was sent to live in a lonely house in Yorkshire, where she was very miserable. She was used to having servants in India and had been given everything she wanted, and so she was bad-tempered when she didn't get her way.

 

One day, Mary discovered a hidden door to a secret garden that had been locked up for ten years, and things began to change for her. This is the description of the garden when Mary found it.

 

 

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

 

It was the sweetest, most mysterious-looking place any one could imagine. The high walls which shut it in were covered with the leafless stems of climbing roses which were so thick that they were matted together. Mary Lennox knew they were roses because she had seen a great many roses in India. All the ground was covered with grass of a wintry brown and out of it grew clumps of bushes which were surely rosebushes if they were alive. There were numbers of standard roses which had so spread their branches that they were like little trees. There were other trees in the garden, and one of the things which made the place look strangest and loveliest was that climbing roses had run all over them and swung down long tendrils which made light swaying curtains, and here and there they had caught at each other or at a far-reaching branch and had crept from one tree to another and made lovely bridges of themselves. There were neither leaves nor roses on them now and Mary did not know whether they were dead or alive, but their thin grey or brown branches and sprays looked like a sort of hazy mantle spreading over everything, walls, and trees, and even brown grass, where they had fallen from their fastenings and run along the ground. It was this hazy tangle from tree to tree which made it all look so mysterious. Mary had thought it must be different from other gardens which had not been left all by themselves so long; and indeed it was different from any other place she had ever seen in her life.

"How still it is!" she whispered. "How still!"

 

 

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

 

 

In this worksheet, you will be answering questions about the description of the setting. Remember that you can look back at it as often as you like by clicking the Help button.

The garden Mary finds has been abandoned a long time ago and is no longer colourful. Only two colours are mentioned in the description. What are they?

grey

blue

green

black

brown

Although the garden is dead or dying, Frances Hodgson Burnett makes it clear in the first sentence that it is still a lovely place.

 

Read the first sentence again and copy the missing words into the answer box.

 

It was _________________________________________ any one could imagine.

The book was published in 1911 and contains some words that we no longer use today, but it is often possible to work out new words from their context (the words around them).

 

The climbing roses have spread over the walls, trees and grass and are described as looking like 'a sort of hazy mantle'. What do you think this means?

a shed

a cloak or coat

a swing

The story uses lots of description so that we can imagine the garden ourselves. The word 'hazy' is used twice.

What does it mean? You can tick more than one meaning.

air or weather that is not clear, often when it is hot

not remembering things clearly

something is tangled

What is Mary's first reaction when she sees the garden?

She is sad because it looks dead.

She is frightened of it.

She thinks it is different from anything else she has ever seen.

The roses are compared with other things to show how they have grown across the garden.

 

Which two things are they compared with?

curtains

boats

carpets

bridges

meadows

Look at this word definition:

'hair, wool or fur tangled into a thick mass'

Which word is this describing?

tendrils

matted

At the end of the extract, Mary speaks in a whisper. Why did she whisper?

Tick two reasons.

Mary has a bad throat.

The garden is so special that Mary doesn't want to spoil the quiet.

Mary doesn't want anyone to hear her.

After she finds the garden, Mary begins to change. She secretly brings the garden back to life, and becomes a happier, healthier person herself. Other characters in the book also change and develop.

 

Why is the setting of the garden important to the story?

The garden is important because the story has to take place somewhere.

The garden is important because it is a secret.

The garden is important because Mary grows and changes just as it does.

  • Question 1

The garden Mary finds has been abandoned a long time ago and is no longer colourful. Only two colours are mentioned in the description. What are they?

CORRECT ANSWER
grey
brown
EDDIE SAYS
The branches of the trees are grey and brown, and the grass is described twice as being brown.
  • Question 2

Although the garden is dead or dying, Frances Hodgson Burnett makes it clear in the first sentence that it is still a lovely place.

 

Read the first sentence again and copy the missing words into the answer box.

 

It was _________________________________________ any one could imagine.

CORRECT ANSWER
the sweetest, most mysterious-looking place
It was the sweetest, most mysterious-looking place any one could imagine.
EDDIE SAYS
The garden starts to have a positive effect on Mary from the first moment she sees it.
  • Question 3

The book was published in 1911 and contains some words that we no longer use today, but it is often possible to work out new words from their context (the words around them).

 

The climbing roses have spread over the walls, trees and grass and are described as looking like 'a sort of hazy mantle'. What do you think this means?

CORRECT ANSWER
a cloak or coat
EDDIE SAYS
A mantle is a coat or a cloak. Frances Hodgson Burnett makes it seem like the garden is wearing a cloak.
  • Question 4

The story uses lots of description so that we can imagine the garden ourselves. The word 'hazy' is used twice.

What does it mean? You can tick more than one meaning.

CORRECT ANSWER
air or weather that is not clear, often when it is hot
not remembering things clearly
EDDIE SAYS
There is a 'hazy mantle spreading over everything', and a 'hazy tangle from tree to tree which made it all look so mysterious'.
The writer uses the word 'hazy' to make us understand that the garden is difficult to see in the sunshine and that it is full of blurred memories from the past.
  • Question 5

What is Mary's first reaction when she sees the garden?

CORRECT ANSWER
She thinks it is different from anything else she has ever seen.
EDDIE SAYS
At the end of the main paragraph it states that the garden was different from any other place Mary had ever seen in her life.
  • Question 6

The roses are compared with other things to show how they have grown across the garden.

 

Which two things are they compared with?

CORRECT ANSWER
curtains
bridges
EDDIE SAYS
The tendrils of the climbing roses sway like curtains, and some have travelled from tree to tree like a bridge.
  • Question 7

Look at this word definition:

'hair, wool or fur tangled into a thick mass'

Which word is this describing?

CORRECT ANSWER
matted
  • Question 8

At the end of the extract, Mary speaks in a whisper. Why did she whisper?

Tick two reasons.

CORRECT ANSWER
The garden is so special that Mary doesn't want to spoil the quiet.
Mary doesn't want anyone to hear her.
EDDIE SAYS
Mary is overcome by what she has found - a special place that no one has been in for a long time. She might also be worried that someone might hear her in the garden, as she may not be allowed in there.
  • Question 9

After she finds the garden, Mary begins to change. She secretly brings the garden back to life, and becomes a happier, healthier person herself. Other characters in the book also change and develop.

 

Why is the setting of the garden important to the story?

CORRECT ANSWER
The garden is important because Mary grows and changes just as it does.
EDDIE SAYS
Although Mary is alive at the beginning of the story, she is lonely and bad-tempered. As she brings the garden back to life it is as if she is coming to life herself.
---- OR ----

Sign up for a £1 trial so you can track and measure your child's progress on this activity.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Start your £1 trial

Start your trial for £1