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Understand the Importance of Settings: 'The Secret Garden'

In this worksheet, students will 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

Year:  Year 4 English worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:   Identify Text Meaning

Popular topics:   Reading Comprehension worksheets

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

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!"


secret garden door





In this activity, 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 red Help button.

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