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Reading Myths: Finn McCool 3

In this worksheet, students will read the myth of Finn McCool and try to work out why the characters are behaving in particular ways and what happens next.

'Reading Myths: Finn McCool 3' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:   Draw Inferences About Texts

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

These pictures are of the Giant's Causeway in Ireland.

    

 

The rocks are huge boulders that fit together like a paved path, far too heavy to be lifted by people.

To explain their creation, people in Ireland tell the story of Finn McCool.

 

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

Finn McCool

Finn was fed up. He was a huge giant who lived happily with his wife Oonagh in a cottage by the sea. But, something, or should I say, someone, had come along to ruin his peace.

In Scotland there lived a giant called Benandonner, The Red Man. He had been boasting that he was stronger and bigger than Finn! Finn was so angry that he decided to build a path across the sea to Scotland so he could go and fight him.

So, Finn picked up the boulders from the surrounding hills and threw them into the sea until he had made a path. He yelled across at Benandonner:

"Come on then, Benandonner, if you think you are stronger than me, come and prove it!"

Finn laughed as he sat down on the beach to wait. It didn't take long. Benandonner had already started to walk across from the other side of the sea.

"Ha!" thought Benandonner. "He thinks he can beat me! Ha! He's nothing but a dot on the horizon!"

But as Benandonner got closer, Finn realised that the small dot was getting larger and larger, taller and... wider!

Finn leapt to his feet and ran into the cottage to find Oonagh.

"Oonagh, Oonagh, I've done something really silly!" he cried.

Oonagh was stoking the fire, and she looked up when he ran in.

Finn explained that he had shouted a challenge to Benandonner across the sea, and even built a path so he could come across without getting his feet wet. Now, Finn was scared, he thought Benandonner looked enormous!

Oonagh sat down on a creaky wooden chair and listened carefully. When Finn had finished explaining, she unfolded her hands from her lap, and quietly said,

"Right Finn, you will need to move fast. We haven't got much time... "

 

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

 

Now answer some questions about what you have read. Think particularly about what happens next and why. Remember to explain your answers and write in sentences.

Why did Finn build The Causeway?

Type your answer below using sentences.

How did Finn feel when he saw Benandonner?

How do you know this?

Read the next part of the story to find out some of Oonagh's plan.

 

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

 

Quickly, Oonagh started telling Finn things to do. Whilst she did that, she started gathering ingredients: flour, salt, water and threw them on the table. She got a big bowl and spoon and started stirring and kneading some rolls. She found some stones and pebbles on the beach and mixed these into some of the rolls, leaving only one, which she sweetened with honey instead.

Meanwhile, Finn collected an old cradle from the attic, just as Oonagh had told him to. He hoped she had thought of a way to save him from Benandonner. When he had set the cradle down, Oonagh said: 

"Get in the cradle, Finn."

"But I'm too big!" Finn replied.

"Yes, that is all part of my plan!" declared Oonagh. She tucked him in with some toys, then fetched the freshly baked rolls from the oven.

Suddenly, there was a great bang at the door...

 

​*************************************

 

 

Why has Oonagh dressed Finn like a baby?

What do you think her plan might be?

How is Benandonner feeling now?

How do you know this?

Why did Oonagh give a honey bun to Finn (the baby) and a stone and pebble bun to Benandonner?

Now read the story ending.

 

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

 

"That baby is huge! How can he eat that bun? He must be REALLY strong!" Benandonner cried. His whole body began to tremble. He threw down the rest of his bun and started backing towards the door.

"IF THAT'S THE BABY, THEN HOW STRONG IS HIS FATHER?" he yelled in fear.

At that, he burst out of the cottage and ran as fast as he could along the causeway, back to Scotland.

"That show's him who's boss!" laughed Finn as he climbed awkwardly out of the cradle.

"Yes!" said Oonagh, "I hope it showed you too!"

 

 

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

 

Who is 'the boss'?

Read all of the story again, thinking carefully about Finn and Oonagh.

Then fill in the table below to describe the personalities of Finn and Oonagh. 

 

 FinnOonagh
cunning
calm
foolish
stupid
helpful
scared

Use your answers from the previous question to help write a character description for Finn or Oonagh.

Read the story again from beginning to end.

Did you expect this ending?

Read the next part to find out what happened when Benandonner reached the house.

 

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

 

Oonagh opened the door.

"I'm sorry," said Oonagh, "but Finn is not at home. He has to move just a few more mountains before he has finished for the day."

Benandonner was a very big giant, but he looked a little worried when he heard about the mountains.

"Come and sit down. I will make you a cup of tea and while you are waiting, I wonder if you'd mind moving the house round for me? Finn always does it for me when the wind is blowing from the sea."

Benandonner heaved and tugged but couldn't move the house round at all.

"Oh!" said Oonagh in surprise, "couldn't you manage? My Finn can practically do it with one hand!" she laughed.

Benandonner gulped, and his hand started to shake.

"Ooh, you look a bit pale. Would you like a fresh bun?" asked Oonagh. "They are Finn's favourites."

She handed him one of the stone and pebble buns she had made earlier.

Benandonner bit into it hungrily, then yelled in surprise as his teeth crunched onto an enormous stone. He gave such a yell that the whole cottage shook. Finn yelled too. He didn't know what was going on and thought Benandonner was about to find him.

"Oh dear," sighed Oonagh, "you've woken up the baby."

She drew back the cloth and handed Finn the honey bun she had made. He ate it quickly.

Benandonner couldn't believe his eyes when he saw a GIANT baby eat the bun.

 

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

 

Why did Oonagh ask Benandonner to move the house?

  • Question 1

Why did Finn build The Causeway?

Type your answer below using sentences.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Allow up to two marks for a similar answer that refers to the text and is written in a sentence:
Finn built the causeway so that he could go across to Scotland and find Benandonner. He wanted to fight Benandonner to prove he was the strongest giant.
  • Question 2

How did Finn feel when he saw Benandonner?

How do you know this?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Allow up to two marks for a similar answer that refers to the text and is written in a sentence:
Finn felt very scared when he saw Benandonner. He ran away from him into his cottage and told his wife that he had done something very silly.
  • Question 3

Read the next part of the story to find out some of Oonagh's plan.

 

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

 

Quickly, Oonagh started telling Finn things to do. Whilst she did that, she started gathering ingredients: flour, salt, water and threw them on the table. She got a big bowl and spoon and started stirring and kneading some rolls. She found some stones and pebbles on the beach and mixed these into some of the rolls, leaving only one, which she sweetened with honey instead.

Meanwhile, Finn collected an old cradle from the attic, just as Oonagh had told him to. He hoped she had thought of a way to save him from Benandonner. When he had set the cradle down, Oonagh said: 

"Get in the cradle, Finn."

"But I'm too big!" Finn replied.

"Yes, that is all part of my plan!" declared Oonagh. She tucked him in with some toys, then fetched the freshly baked rolls from the oven.

Suddenly, there was a great bang at the door...

 

​*************************************

 

 

Why has Oonagh dressed Finn like a baby?

What do you think her plan might be?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Allow up to two marks for a similar answer that refers to the text and is written in a sentence:
I think Oonagh has dressed Finn like a baby to trick Benandonner. Maybe she is trying to hide him by pretending he is her baby. I think her plan is to pretend that Finn is not there.
  • Question 4

How is Benandonner feeling now?

How do you know this?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Allow up to three marks for a similar answer that refers to the text and is written in a sentence:
Benandonner is feeling worried now, worried that Finn is much stronger than he is. I know this because it says that his hand is shaking and he is gulping. Oonagh said he looked pale and he yelled when he bit the bun. All these things mean that he is scared.
  • Question 5

Why did Oonagh give a honey bun to Finn (the baby) and a stone and pebble bun to Benandonner?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Allow up to two marks for a similar answer that refers to the text and is written in a sentence:
Oonagh tricked Benandonner by making him think that the baby could eat a hard bun like the one he was given. Benandonner now thinks even the baby is stronger than he is!
  • Question 6

Now read the story ending.

 

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

 

"That baby is huge! How can he eat that bun? He must be REALLY strong!" Benandonner cried. His whole body began to tremble. He threw down the rest of his bun and started backing towards the door.

"IF THAT'S THE BABY, THEN HOW STRONG IS HIS FATHER?" he yelled in fear.

At that, he burst out of the cottage and ran as fast as he could along the causeway, back to Scotland.

"That show's him who's boss!" laughed Finn as he climbed awkwardly out of the cradle.

"Yes!" said Oonagh, "I hope it showed you too!"

 

 

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

 

Who is 'the boss'?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Allow up to two marks for a similar answer that refers to the text and is written in a sentence:
I think Oonagh is the boss because she was in charge of everything that happened. She thought of the plan and told Finn what to do. She knew how the plan was going to work and Finn didn't understand at all.
  • Question 7

Read all of the story again, thinking carefully about Finn and Oonagh.

Then fill in the table below to describe the personalities of Finn and Oonagh. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
 FinnOonagh
cunning
calm
foolish
stupid
helpful
scared
EDDIE SAYS
Finn is foolish, excitable and scared. He was foolish to build the causeway and yell a challenge to an enemy he had never met without thinking about what might happen. He was scared and ran in asking Oonagh to help although he was too stupid to think of a plan himself, or understand what Oonagh was planning.

  • Question 8

Use your answers from the previous question to help write a character description for Finn or Oonagh.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Allow up to four marks for a detailed explanation that refers to the text and is written in a sentence:
Finn is a silly giant. He was foolish to build the causeway and yell a challenge to an enemy he had never met without thinking about what might happen. He ran into the cottage because he was scared. He had to ask Oonagh to help because he was too stupid to think of a plan himself.

Oonagh is clever. She didn't worry when Finn told her what he had done, but calmly thought of a plan. She was kind and helpful to Finn.
  • Question 9

Read the story again from beginning to end.

Did you expect this ending?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Award up to two marks for an answer that shows the student has thought carefully about the story, its characters and their actions.
  • Question 10

Read the next part to find out what happened when Benandonner reached the house.

 

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

 

Oonagh opened the door.

"I'm sorry," said Oonagh, "but Finn is not at home. He has to move just a few more mountains before he has finished for the day."

Benandonner was a very big giant, but he looked a little worried when he heard about the mountains.

"Come and sit down. I will make you a cup of tea and while you are waiting, I wonder if you'd mind moving the house round for me? Finn always does it for me when the wind is blowing from the sea."

Benandonner heaved and tugged but couldn't move the house round at all.

"Oh!" said Oonagh in surprise, "couldn't you manage? My Finn can practically do it with one hand!" she laughed.

Benandonner gulped, and his hand started to shake.

"Ooh, you look a bit pale. Would you like a fresh bun?" asked Oonagh. "They are Finn's favourites."

She handed him one of the stone and pebble buns she had made earlier.

Benandonner bit into it hungrily, then yelled in surprise as his teeth crunched onto an enormous stone. He gave such a yell that the whole cottage shook. Finn yelled too. He didn't know what was going on and thought Benandonner was about to find him.

"Oh dear," sighed Oonagh, "you've woken up the baby."

She drew back the cloth and handed Finn the honey bun she had made. He ate it quickly.

Benandonner couldn't believe his eyes when he saw a GIANT baby eat the bun.

 

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

 

Why did Oonagh ask Benandonner to move the house?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Allow up to two marks for a similar answer that refers to the text and is written in a sentence:
I think Oonagh asked Benandonner to move the house to trick him. She said that Finn always moved the house so that makes Finn sound very strong. Benandonner now thinks that Finn is much stronger than him.
Try it ---- OR ----

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