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Understand Writing within Stories from Other Cultures

In this worksheet, students will increase their familiarity with stories from other cultures. They will be asked to use a range of comprehension skills in order to answer questions about the story shared.

'Understand Writing within Stories from Other Cultures' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:   Increase Range of Texts

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

In this activity, you will become more familiar with a story from another culture and answer questions about it.

 

What is a story from another culture?

A story from another culture is a piece of writing that gives you the opportunity to experience a world outside of your own.

It will help you to appreciate a culture different from your own that you may not have realised existed!

For example: 'The Butterfly Lion' by Michael Morpurgo is a story from another culture.

 

Top tips when answering questions about a text:

 

First of all, read through the text twice.

If you reach a word with a capital letter that you don't understand, it will be the name of something/someone, move on.

If you reach a word you don't know the meaning of, read around the sentence for clues to help you to understand it.

When you are asked to give evidence in an answer, always use words/key phrases from the text to back up your opinion.

You don't have to answer the questions in order, if you find a tricky one, just move on, you can always return to it later!

Remember that reading comprehension is not a memory test, all of the information you need to answer the question will be within the text.

This activity will focus on the story of 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves'. This is from one of the most famous collections of stories in the world called 'One Thousand and One Nights'.

This story has origins in India, Iraq and Iran. It's such a famous story that it has been translated into many different languages.

Now it's over to you!

Long ago, there were two brothers, Ali Baba and Cassim. Although they were brothers, they had very different lives, Cassim was wealthy and gained any treasure he desired, whereas Ali Baba was a poor woodcutter, who struggled to make enough money to feed his family.

One day, Ali Baba was carrying out his usual job of chopping wood when he saw a large troop of robbers riding past carrying sacks of silver and gold.

 

What does the word 'troop' mean in this passage?

 

A group of people

Some soldiers marching

Horses galloping

A sudden, loud noise

Ali Baba felt very scared of the group of dangerous men and quickly hid behind some rocks on the mountainside.

Strangely, he watched as the robbers galloped quickly towards a sheer cliff face!

All at once, the leader of the troop paused, looked up at the foreboding mountainside and shouted, "Open sesame!"

Ali Baba was absolutely amazed when a gigantic rock swung open, the huge group of men rode into the cavern and the rock closed behind them!

 

In the box below, copy the command that the leader gave to the mountain.

Ali Baba remained frozen to his hiding spot, after some time, the gang of robbers appeared out of the mountainside and rode off into the distance.

Ali Baba plucked up his courage and walked over to the sheer cliff face.

 

What do you think Ali Baba will do next?

Run away and never return

Hide again to see if the robber's return

Try to go into the mountainside to explore

Go home and think about what to do next

"Open Sesame!" Ali Baba called and much to his astonishment, the same rock swung open!

Incredibly carefully, Ali Baba crept inside the mountainside, he looked around and could see glistening jewels.

The cavern was brightly lit from fissures in the rock.

Ali Baba could not believe his luck! He stuffed as much gold and silver as he could into his sack, dragged it to the cliff face, shouted "open sesame!" and walked home.

This meant the the end of an impoverished life for Ali Baba and his family.

 

Can you match the words below to their correct meaning?

Column A

Column B

Astonishment =
poor
Fissures =
a crack or a split in the rock
Open sesame =
feeling great shock or surprise
Impoverished =
create a free passage

Ali Baba showed his wife the precious treasure and they were able to move into a new house and finally eat well.

Ali Baba made his wife promise not to tell anyone how they had suddenly come into good fortune, however, she couldn't help but boast to her sister-in-law, Cassim's wife.

She even said to her, 'We are now much richer than you!'

 

Obviously, Cassim did not like this. What do you think he did and why?

Cassim did indeed threaten his brother and warned him that if he didn't tell him where the money had come from, he would tell everyone Ali Baba had stolen it.

Ali Baba did not want to risk being exposed and so he told Cassim about the mountainside. Cassim went there alone with a donkey and shouted, "Open Sesame!"

Again, it worked, Cassim could not believe his eyes and greedily, he loaded the donkey with treasure.

However, when he had finished, he realised, with great horror, that he had forgotten the words to get out!

He was trapped and soon the robbers discovered him in their secret cavern!

 

What do you think they did to Cassim?

 

They made him join their troop

They made him give all the treasure back

They killed him and cut him into four pieces

They let him go but swore him to secrecy

Ali Baba became very concerned when his brother didn't return so he revisited the cavern. He was devastated to find his brother's body there.

He took more treasure and tenderly carried his brother home and gave him a funeral.

When the chief robber returned to the cavern, he was furious to discover Cassim's body and more treasure gone!

He swore to track down the person responsible! He asked around and soon found out about Ali Baba's impressive new house and Cassim's funeral.

In the dead of night, he drew a chalk mark on Ali Baba's door, which was discovered the following morning by one of his serving girls, Morgiana.

 

From reading this passage, can you write a word in the box that shows it is set in another culture?

Morgiana was incredibly clever and when she saw the chalk mark on the door, she immediately drew marks on the doors of all the houses nearby!

 

Why do you think she did this?

So that the chief robber would visit one of the other houses instead

So the chief robber didn't know which house he had marked

So that all the houses looked the same

To annoy the robbert

The chief robber was livid again and so created a new plan, to visit Ali Baba disguised as an oil merchant!

The chief robber presented Ali Baba with forty jars of oil, although really, only one had oil in, the rest were full of his robbers!

Ali Baba was thankful to the fake oil merchant and invited him in for supper.

As they were eating, Morgiana went outside to collect some oil for cooking and discovered the robbers hiding in the jars.

 

Can you copy the word into the box below that has the same meaning (synonym) as 'grateful'?

Morgiana had a cunning plan, when it got dark, she crept outside with a huge urn of boiling oil.

She swiftly poured some into each jar! All of the robbers who were hiding either fled or were killed!

The chief robber soon realised his vulnerable position and ran away.

Ali Baba owed his and his family's life to Morgiana and her quick thinking. Therefore, he asked her to marry one of his sons.

She happily accepted and joined the family.

 

Why was it a great honour for Morgiana to join Ali Baba' family?

  • Question 1

Long ago, there were two brothers, Ali Baba and Cassim. Although they were brothers, they had very different lives, Cassim was wealthy and gained any treasure he desired, whereas Ali Baba was a poor woodcutter, who struggled to make enough money to feed his family.

One day, Ali Baba was carrying out his usual job of chopping wood when he saw a large troop of robbers riding past carrying sacks of silver and gold.

 

What does the word 'troop' mean in this passage?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
A group of people
EDDIE SAYS
In the context of this passage, 'troop' refers to a group of robbers, travelling through the woods carrying the treasure. A comprehension exercise is very useful in enabling us to learn new vocabulary. Try to remember one new word from each comprehension you complete and use it in your writing to impress!
  • Question 2

Ali Baba felt very scared of the group of dangerous men and quickly hid behind some rocks on the mountainside.

Strangely, he watched as the robbers galloped quickly towards a sheer cliff face!

All at once, the leader of the troop paused, looked up at the foreboding mountainside and shouted, "Open sesame!"

Ali Baba was absolutely amazed when a gigantic rock swung open, the huge group of men rode into the cavern and the rock closed behind them!

 

In the box below, copy the command that the leader gave to the mountain.

CORRECT ANSWER
Open sesame
Open sesame!
EDDIE SAYS
How did you get on with this retrieval question? The leader of the troop, shouted "open sesame!", which means, "give us free, unrestricted passage", which the mountain did!
  • Question 3

Ali Baba remained frozen to his hiding spot, after some time, the gang of robbers appeared out of the mountainside and rode off into the distance.

Ali Baba plucked up his courage and walked over to the sheer cliff face.

 

What do you think Ali Baba will do next?

CORRECT ANSWER
Try to go into the mountainside to explore
EDDIE SAYS
How did you find this prediction question? Ali Baba did in fact try to enter the mountainside; he was very interested to find out what was in there! Carry onto the next question to find out what happens next...
  • Question 4

"Open Sesame!" Ali Baba called and much to his astonishment, the same rock swung open!

Incredibly carefully, Ali Baba crept inside the mountainside, he looked around and could see glistening jewels.

The cavern was brightly lit from fissures in the rock.

Ali Baba could not believe his luck! He stuffed as much gold and silver as he could into his sack, dragged it to the cliff face, shouted "open sesame!" and walked home.

This meant the the end of an impoverished life for Ali Baba and his family.

 

Can you match the words below to their correct meaning?

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Astonishment =
feeling great shock or surprise
Fissures =
a crack or a split in the rock
Open sesame =
create a free passage
Impoverished =
poor
EDDIE SAYS
Comprehension exercises are a fantastic way to extend your vocabulary, making you a more confident reader and writer! Don’t panic if you found this difficult, this was a more challenging question.
  • Question 5

Ali Baba showed his wife the precious treasure and they were able to move into a new house and finally eat well.

Ali Baba made his wife promise not to tell anyone how they had suddenly come into good fortune, however, she couldn't help but boast to her sister-in-law, Cassim's wife.

She even said to her, 'We are now much richer than you!'

 

Obviously, Cassim did not like this. What do you think he did and why?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Cassim would feel jealous that his brother was now wealthier than him and so would want to find out how he suddenly had become rich. He may decide to threaten him in order to gain more wealth for himself.
  • Question 6

Cassim did indeed threaten his brother and warned him that if he didn't tell him where the money had come from, he would tell everyone Ali Baba had stolen it.

Ali Baba did not want to risk being exposed and so he told Cassim about the mountainside. Cassim went there alone with a donkey and shouted, "Open Sesame!"

Again, it worked, Cassim could not believe his eyes and greedily, he loaded the donkey with treasure.

However, when he had finished, he realised, with great horror, that he had forgotten the words to get out!

He was trapped and soon the robbers discovered him in their secret cavern!

 

What do you think they did to Cassim?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
They killed him and cut him into four pieces
EDDIE SAYS
Unfortunately, the robbers were ruthless men and did not want anyone else to find out about their secret cavern. Therefore, they killed Cassim and cut his body into four pieces. Pretty gruesome, right?
  • Question 7

Ali Baba became very concerned when his brother didn't return so he revisited the cavern. He was devastated to find his brother's body there.

He took more treasure and tenderly carried his brother home and gave him a funeral.

When the chief robber returned to the cavern, he was furious to discover Cassim's body and more treasure gone!

He swore to track down the person responsible! He asked around and soon found out about Ali Baba's impressive new house and Cassim's funeral.

In the dead of night, he drew a chalk mark on Ali Baba's door, which was discovered the following morning by one of his serving girls, Morgiana.

 

From reading this passage, can you write a word in the box that shows it is set in another culture?

CORRECT ANSWER
Ali Baba
Cassim
Morgiana
EDDIE SAYS
The names of the characters in the story show that it is set in another culture; Ali Baba, Cassim and Morgiana.
  • Question 8

Morgiana was incredibly clever and when she saw the chalk mark on the door, she immediately drew marks on the doors of all the houses nearby!

 

Why do you think she did this?

CORRECT ANSWER
So the chief robber didn't know which house he had marked
EDDIE SAYS
Morgiana put a mark on all of the doors so the chief robber did not know which house he had marked and therefore could not pose any danger to Ali Baba and his family. Morgiana was loyal and wanted to protect them.
  • Question 9

The chief robber was livid again and so created a new plan, to visit Ali Baba disguised as an oil merchant!

The chief robber presented Ali Baba with forty jars of oil, although really, only one had oil in, the rest were full of his robbers!

Ali Baba was thankful to the fake oil merchant and invited him in for supper.

As they were eating, Morgiana went outside to collect some oil for cooking and discovered the robbers hiding in the jars.

 

Can you copy the word into the box below that has the same meaning (synonym) as 'grateful'?

CORRECT ANSWER
thankful
EDDIE SAYS
The word in the passage with the same meaning as 'grateful' is 'thankful'. Well done if you spotted that!
  • Question 10

Morgiana had a cunning plan, when it got dark, she crept outside with a huge urn of boiling oil.

She swiftly poured some into each jar! All of the robbers who were hiding either fled or were killed!

The chief robber soon realised his vulnerable position and ran away.

Ali Baba owed his and his family's life to Morgiana and her quick thinking. Therefore, he asked her to marry one of his sons.

She happily accepted and joined the family.

 

Why was it a great honour for Morgiana to join Ali Baba' family?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
By marrying one of Ali Baba' sons, Morgiana was no longer a servant, she became an official family member and also gained her freedom. Great work, you've completed another activity! How about attempting another one so you feel super confident?
Try it ---- OR ----

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