8541RB Reading for Me Level 4 Part A

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Reading for Me is a series of workbooks designed to support the development of children’s

literacy skills while also building a sense of enjoyment and confidence in their independent

reading at home.

There are six levels in the series, each containing a Part A (printed paperback format) and B

(digital online format). Each part contains 60 original texts that cover three different text types

(factual, imaginative and persuasive), which are indicated on the upper left-hand corner of the

text page. Each text is accompanied by a worksheet containing six questions based on literal,

inferential, evaluative and vocabulary understandings.

Texts advance in difficulty throughout the book, so teachers and parents can be assured that

reading skills are developed as children progress through the series. Children will also be

encouraged by visualising their progress on the progression bar at the top right-hand corner of

the text pages.

This series uses a dyslexia-friendly font to make texts more accessible for children and to help

foster a love of reading.


My Humble Request............... 2

The First Rugby Practice....... 4

Interesting Facts You

Probably Didn’t Know About

Your Body.............................. 6

Life in the Ant Colony........... 8

Crazy Card Games................10

A Family for Sprinkles..........12

The Hockey Match................14

Molly the Mosquito..............16

Watchdog Available..............18

The Tree...............................20

Public Speaking 101..............22

Racheltjie de Beer................24

Old Hopgiant........................26

The Dangers of Magnetic


Jamie’s Painting Review........30

Make Your Own Dessert.......32

The Girl with the Rose-red


Tomorrow’s Home..................36

Royal Limericks.....................38

Boring-coloured Cars

Must Go!.............................40

Disaster on the River...........42

A Perfect Past?...................44

The Best Game in the


Building Towards a Better


Should Musical Education be

Compulsory in Schools?........50

Brutal Bugs...........................52

The Castle of Good Hope.....54

A Day in the Life of a

Blind Person.........................56

Spiders Deserve Better.........58

The Flying Cow.....................60

Are Dogs Really Man’s

Best Friend?.........................62

The Rubik’s Cube..................64

Battle of the Books..............66

VacMac 2000........................68

Headphones or Speakers?.....70

Who Cut the Onions?...........72

Sweets or Chocolates?.........74

Iqbal Masih’s Story..............76

Serenading the Sunflowers...78

Kahekili’s Leap......................80

The School Concert..............82

Save the Rhino!...................84

A Catastrophic Adventure....86

Harald Bluetooth


How Stories Came to Earth:

An African Folk Tale............90

Vegetables Should Be


How to Make Your Own


The Magic of the Theatre.....96

Pieta’s Walk.........................98

How Animals See the

World................................. 100

The Tygerberg Nature

Reserve.............................. 102

The Mountain Man.............. 104

The Baby Olympics............. 106

Communication Through

the Ages............................. 108

Go to Sleep!...................... 110

Say Cheese!....................... 112

Radiant Rainbows............... 114

The Immortal White Snake –

A Chinese Myth.................. 116

Erik the Red....................... 118

How Do Fitness Trackers

Work?................................. 120

Answers.............................. 122

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 i


My Humble Request

Dear Parents

I am writing this letter to you in the hope that you read it with an open

mind. I believe the time has come to finally ask you for the one thing my

heart desires.

Please may I have more screen time?

I know that your first reaction is to say no, but please read through

my list of reasons why I deserve it. I have faith that you will genuinely

consider my request.

1. I am doing well academically. I do my homework every day. I do not

complain and whine about it like other children. I even got 85% for a

spelling test this week. I know that I can keep my grades to the high

standard that they are currently at.

2. Even though we basically live in a scorching desert, I play tennis twice

a week. Outside. In the sun. My body is getting the exercise and fresh

air it needs to stay fit and healthy.

3. I fear that my developing brain is shrinking. Do you know how many

hours I waste over weekends just staring at the wall because there is

nothing else to do? If I can play games like Sudoku on the computer,

my brain will grow and develop.

4. Do you know what a nether portal is? Neither do I. My classmates

talk about it all the time. Do you realise how damaging the lack of

screen time is to my social life? I feel abandoned as I’m left out of

conversations for not knowing what everyone is talking about.

I am not asking for unlimited screen time; all I ask for is one hour per

weekday and two hours per day over the weekend. I promise that I won’t

play before all my homework is completed.

Mum and Dad, I read somewhere that life is all about balance. Please

grant me this wish so that I have more time doing something that I love.

Yours sincerely


2 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What is Nina’s request?

2 How many times a week does she play tennis?

3 Why is the lack of screen time damaging Nina’s social life?

4 Why do you think Nina wrote a letter to her parents instead of

asking them in person?

5 How much screen time do you think a 10-year-old should have?

Explain your answer.

6 Find and write another word with the same meaning as finished.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 3


The First Rugby Practice

Boots on, mouthguard in;

clear the path for the rugby king.

I’m new here, my talent unseen,

brace yourselves for this tackle


I won’t be deterred

by the rumours you’ve heard.

Sure, it’s my first practice ever—

might I say, a brand new endeavour.

I know how this game works.

(Sitting in front of the TV has its


The Springboks and Wallabies have


how this game should be played.

Okay, fine, if you insist.

It’s obviously futile to resist.

One ... two ... three ... four ...

my entire body is sore!

Next in line is the scrum,

I have to shove my face next to

AJ’s bum.

You can’t be serious, is this a joke?

What if he farts? I’m going to


Passing the ball is refreshingly nice,

it’s the catching that comes with a


Dare to miss, down you go,

for fifty burpees in a row.

What do you mean I can’t tackle


Isn’t that why we’re here, you silly


Fifty push-ups for me? I’m afraid I

have to disagree.

My rugby career was short,

thanks Mr Ref for your lack of


I’m afraid I won’t return for more

excruciating torture you have in


I’m here to play rugby, can’t you


4 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How many practices has the writer attended before?

2 What happens if you miss a catch?

3 Why did the referee tell the writer to do fifty push-ups?

4 Compare how the writer saw his own abilities at the beginning of

the poem to the end.

5 What are your thoughts on rugby? Write two sentences.

6 Write another word for excruciating.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 5


Interesting Facts You

Probably Didn’t Know

About Your Body

Our bodies are one of the most incredible life forms on Earth. Check out

15 weird and wonderful facts about the human body below.

1. Your ears and nose never stop growing.

2. Babies are born with 300 bones in their bodies. As they grow older,

some of the bones fuse together and they end up with 206 bones.

3. Earwax is a type of sweat. Ironically, its job is to keep the ear clean.

4. You are about 1 cm taller in the morning than in the evening. This is

due to the soft cartilage between your bones squashing during the


5. You can’t breathe and swallow at the same time. Try it!

6. If you smooth out all the wrinkles in your brain, it will be roughly the

size of a pillowcase.

7. Just as you have a unique set of fingerprints, you also have a unique

tongue print.

8. The jaw is the strongest muscle in the body.

9. Humans produce about two swimming pools of

spit in an average lifetime.

10. About 50% of your hand strength comes from

your little finger!

11. Humans are the only animals with chins.

12. The sound of cracking knuckles comes from

gas in your joints.

13. A person will die quicker from a total lack of

sleep than from hunger.

14. You lose about 4 kg of skin cells every year,

which often end up as dust in your home. The

entire surface of your skin is replaced every


15. The average lifespan of an eyelash is 150 days.

6 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why are you taller in the morning?

2 True or false? A person not sleeping for ten days has a higher

chance of dying than a person not eating for ten days.

3 How many kilograms of skin have you lost so far in your life?

4 Why is it beneficial to have the jaw as the strongest muscle?

5 Which of these facts surprised you the most? Explain your


6 What does lifespan mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 7


Life in the Ant Colony

My name is Number 35701. I am a worker ant in the colony under the rocks

just outside your bedroom window.

My first task for today is to find food for the colony. The queen laid a

ton of eggs yesterday. She needs her nourishment. As I leave the colony,

I catch on to the scent Number 34562 has left. I’m sure it will lead to

something yummy! I walk up along the wall, through the little open space

in the window and, sure enough, there are some delicious breadcrumbs

waiting for me on your bedside table. I’m very glad that you did not listen

to your mum when she asked you to clean it up!

I load a few crumbs in my mandibles and carry them back to the nest. I

also leave a scent behind so my friends can know where to find food. Did

you know that I can carry up to 20 times my body weight? That is the

equivalent of a 40-kg human lifting an adult giraffe! I drop the crumbs at

the back of the nest and head out again.

As I walk along the path, I catch an unfamiliar scent. Every ant colony

has its own unique scent they leave behind. There are definitely some

intruders from another colony around! I hurry to pick up another pile of

crumbs and make my way back to the nest. Hopefully the intruders are not

looking to pick a fight. When ants fight, it’s usually to the death.

As I enter the nest, I receive

the order that I am on garbage

duty. We are very clean and tidy

insects. Worker ants, like me, are

responsible for taking the rubbish

out of the nest and dropping it in

a pile outside. To be honest, this

is not my favourite job.

My favourite job is to look after

the queen’s eggs. I was there

yesterday, and they looked very

close to hatching. Hopefully I can

go there again tomorrow. If I’m

lucky, they will hatch into larvae

right there. I love to feed the

larvae and watch them grow.

Being a worker ant sure is hard work, but it is very rewarding to be

part of a colony. Please remember to leave some crumbs for me again


8 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How do ants know where to find food?

2 Complete the sentence:

Ants don’t stop fighting until one of them is .

3 What are baby ants called?

4 Who is the most important ant in the colony? Why?

5 If you were an ant, which of the jobs would you like best?

Explain your answer.

6 Where will you find

an ant’s mandibles?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 9


Crazy Card Games

A pack of cards can be wildly entertaining. See the instructions for two

card games below. Try them out next time you are bored.

Crazy Eights

2–5 players

Each player is dealt five cards.

These cards must not be shown to

the other players. The rest of the

cards are placed face down in the

centre of the table.

The dealer turns the top card of

the centre pile and places it face

up next to the pile. This pile is

called the starter pile. If an eight

is turned first, the dealer must

place it back in the centre of the

pile and turn over another card.

Each player chooses one of their

five cards to place on top of the

starter pile. The chosen card has

to match the top card in suit or

denomination. For example, if the

card on the starter pile is a jack of

clubs, a player can place any jack

or any club.

If a player is unable to go, they

must draw cards from the stock

pile until they draw one that they

can use.

Eights are special in this game,

because they can be played on

any card. If an eight is placed,

that player can nominate the suit

the next person has to play. That

person then has to play a card of

the nominated suit, or an eight.

The first person who has zero cards

left, wins.


3–6 players

Shuffle the pack and deal the

whole deck face down between the


Each player tidies their pile in their

hands without looking at the cards.

Beginning from the dealer’s left,

each player lifts a card and places

it face up in the centre of the

table, creating a pile.

The jacks are where the fun begins.

If the centre card is a jack, players

must try to be the first to slap it.

The first one to do so, takes all

the cards from the centre pile and

places them face down beneath

their own pile.

If you slap the pack and it’s not

a jack, you must hand one card to

the person who played the card.

If a player runs out of cards, they

have one more chance to redeem

themselves and slap the jack. If

they don’t, they’re out of the






all the


is the


10 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What makes an eight special in the game ‘Crazy Eights’?

2 What happens if you wrongly slap the pack in ‘Slapjack’?

3 What cards can you play on a seven of spades in ‘Crazy Eights’?

4 Why can’t players look at their cards in ‘Slapjack’?

5 Which of these games would you most like to play? Why?

6 Draw a card that has the same suit as a queen of hearts.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 11


A Family for Sprinkles

Sprinkles, the rabbit, lived in a

warren in the forest all on her own.

She couldn’t remember ever being

part of a colony. Every morning

when she woke up, she would go and

look for other bunnies. Every evening

she returned, feeling more alone

than ever.

One evening, she came back and

realised that she had covered the

entire forest and not found one

creature that looked like her. The

thought made her feel sad and


The next day, she decided to take

matters into her own hands. She

thought, ‘I have a short, stubby tail,

just like Bear Cub.’ She found Bear

Cub playing in the river and asked

him, ‘Bear Cub, are we related?’

Bear Cub replied, ‘Why would you

think that? I thought you were a


‘It’s just I can’t find any other

rabbits and I thought since our tails

look alike, maybe we are family,’

Sprinkles answered.

Bear Cub answered, ‘No, Sprinkles,

I’m a bear and you are a rabbit.

There is no way that we can be


Dejected, Sprinkles walked back to

her warren.

The next day, she walked over to

the red fox family. She asked the

mother, ‘Excuse me, Mrs Fox, we

both have long ears, do you think

that we might be related?’

Mrs Fox replied, ‘Oh, dear me,

child! We are not related at all.

We are foxes and you are a rabbit.

Just keep looking for your family,

you will find them one day.’

Sprinkles was devastated, but

determined to find a family. The

next day, she paid a visit to the

raccoons. The kits were playing

catch outside while the adults were

resting in the den. She asked the

raccoons, ‘Do you think that we

might be family? I have soft fur,

just like you.’

The biggest kit answered, ‘Aren’t

you a rabbit? I don’t think that we

are family but, if you want to, you

can come and play catch with us!’

Sprinkles was very excited about

the invitation and answered, ‘Yes

please, that would be marvellous!’

She played outside with the

raccoons for the remainder of the

morning. They invited her back the

next day and the day after that

and, eventually, she became best

friends with them.

Sprinkles still planned on finding

other rabbits

but, for now,

she was

excited and

content to

be welcomed

into the gaze

of raccoons.

At last,

she felt

like she


12 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why was Sprinkles sad and alone?

2 Why did Sprinkles ask Bear Cub if they might be family?

3 Why was Sprinkles excited about the raccoons’ invitation?

4 True or false? Sprinkles didn’t think about finding other rabbits


5 Think of an act of kindness you have done. Write it down.

6 What is a group of rabbits called?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 13


The Hockey Match

14 March 2022

Dear Diary

I finally made the hockey team! Tomorrow, I will be jogging out on the

grass for the under 10 G-team. Obviously, I’m only in the G-team because

the coaches haven’t seen my spectacular stick skills yet. All of that is

about to change.

15 March 2022

Dear Diary

What a disaster of a day this has

been! I left my stick bag in the car,

so I didn’t have any gear with me for

the match. I had to borrow socks and

shin guards from one of the U/9s that

played in the match before us. I had

to beg my sister to let me borrow her

stick, which is so small that ants could

play hockey with it. I asked Shaun if I could borrow his mouthguard, but

he said no. I don’t know why.

Anyway, as the match started, I took my position on left wing. My job

was to wait for a ball to come through, run with it and shoot a goal. It

sounded simple enough. At first, the play was mostly in the opposition’s

half, so I didn’t have much to do. Honestly, it was the most boring

10 minutes of my life. My mother always says that I should find something

to keep myself busy with when I’m bored. I saw this as the perfect

opportunity to practise my ‘windmill’ skills. The windmill is the age-old art

of swinging your stick in front of you like a windmill. It’s harder than it

sounds. As I was nailing the windmill, out of nowhere, a ball came up to

me. I stopped it with my foot. Apparently, that is not allowed in hockey.

What a silly rule. The referee, who is also our coach, shouted something

like, ‘Stick on the ground, Franks!’ He gave me the evil eye.

Twenty seconds later, Willem passed me the ball. This was my big moment

of glory. I dribbled the ball, lifted my stick to shoot and ...

My ant stick accidentally flew out of my hand and hit the coach on the

head. The match was stopped immediately so that the paramedics could

check the coach out. Luckily, he was fine. I wondered if the paramedics

had anything that I could take to cure my embarrassment.

14 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why was the match stopped?

2 What is the ‘windmill’?

3 Does the boy believe that he should be in the G-team? Why or

why not?

4 Why did Shaun not allow the boy to borrow his mouthguard?

5 How would you feel if you accidently hit your coach? Explain

your answer.

6 What does opposition mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 15


Molly the Mosquito

I truly do not understand

why Suzie won’t give me her hand.

I’ve asked so nicely:

Pleazzzzz Suzzzzzzzie, pleazzzzzzz!

I’m not asking for much,

Just a few drops for lunch.

PleaZZZZZ SuZZZZZZZ, help me out

I’m about to faint, no doubt!

She swats me away.

Wait, what did she say?

Shoo, mosquito, shoo,

I’ve not invited you!

Well, how utterly rude,

Nobody likes to be shooed.

If I ever have guests

I won’t treat them as pests.

Humans are all the same,

They only like animals they can tame.

I wish Suzie could see

The friend she could have in me!

16 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What type of insect is Molly?

2 Underline the correct answer.

Molly is happy / hungry / fast.

3 Why does Molly want Suzie’s hand?

4 Why did Suzie shoo Molly away?

5 Do you think humans and mosquitoes can be friends? Why or why


6 What does the word tame mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 17


18 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Who is Neska’s owner?

2 How old is Neska?

3 Do you think the writer likes Neska? Explain your answer.

4 Is Neska’s owner aware of the problems the writer has with

Neska? Why or why not?

5 Do you think anybody will want to adopt Neska? Why or why


6 What does incessantly mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 19


The Tree

I’ve always loved the enormous tree

at the back of our garden. It is

truly beautiful, almost magical. I’ve

dreamed of climbing it, but I have

always been too short—until now. I’ve

grown so much over the holidays that

my arms are finally long enough to

reach that first branch.

I stand at the bottom, looking up.

I see a canopy of green and brown.

I hear the wind sing through the

branches. I feel a tingle up my spine.

There’s something special about this

tree, I can feel it.

It takes me four jumps to grab hold of

the branch. I hang on, and I chuckle,

because I know that I probably look

like washing on a line. With all my

strength, I heave myself up to the

first branch. I rest for a few moments

before continuing my journey up the

tree. From the first branch, the others

are easy to reach. Soon enough I am

sitting at the top of the tree, from

where I can see the whole town. The

view is spectacular. I feel like I am on

top of the world!

I see something moving at the end of

the branch. It’s a small, green lizardtype

creature ... a chameleon! The

little reptile is displaying beautiful

lime green, orange, yellow and teal in

impressive patterns on its scaly body.

Its two eyes are rolling in different

directions, scouting for its next meal.

I’ve never seen one in our garden

before. I look around to see if there

are any more and, sure enough, I can

see almost ten chameleons from where

I’m sitting. This

is amazing! I

can’t wait to

tell Mum!

As I scan the

branches, I see

more and more


appearing. There

are now at least

100. Where did

they all come

from? All at once, their eyes lock in

on me. Staring, completely motionless.

Something is not right. In perfect

unison they lift their pincher hands

and start walking towards me. I have

to get out of this tree!

I see no other option than to jump.

I have to land on one of the lower

branches and if I miss, I will surely

not survive to tell the tale. The

chameleons are closing in, their

mouths slightly open, their tongues

exposed. It’s now or never! I jump.

A wild gust pulls me in another

direction. I’m going to miss the

branch! I am strangely calm for

someone who’s about to break so

many body parts. I see the branch as I

fly past. I prepare myself for the fall.

The fall does not happen. I find myself

hanging ten centimetres from the

ground. Softly, I am put down. What

on earth happened? I look up, straight

into the eyes of the chameleons. They

rescued me with their sticky tongues.

Together, they wink. Then, they


20 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why could the writer not climb the tree before?

2 Why did the writer miss the branch he wanted to jump to?

3 Why was the writer scared when the chameleons started walking

towards him?

4 What happened that made us doubt that the chameleons were


5 Do you think it’s a magical tree? Explain your answer.

6 What is a gust?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 21


Public Speaking 101

Do you have an irrational fear of public

speaking? Don’t worry, you are not alone.

Thousands struggle with the same problem.

You don’t need to be afraid to speak in public.

Read the tips below on how to overcome your


– Choose a topic you are passionate about.

The more you understand your topic, the

greater your chances are of a successful


– Be well prepared. Make sure your speech

has an introduction, a middle and an end.

Do not choose words that you find difficult

to pronounce or struggle to remember.

– It might feel awkward at first, but, if you practise in front of a mirror,

you already have one audience member—a very kind and forgiving one!

– When you are ready, grab a few family members and deliver your speech

to them. It will gradually make you more comfortable speaking in front

of people. They will also give you honest feedback.

– It also helps to record a video of yourself delivering the speech.

You will hear your own voice and see how you can improve.

– Visualise what you are saying. Don’t only memorise the words. If you see

what you are saying in your head, it will sound more natural. You will

also remember it better.

– Breathe! Take one or two deep breaths before you walk to the podium.

Also, remember to breathe during your speech.

– Pick two or three members in the audience and focus on them. You don’t

have to look at everybody in the room while you are delivering your


– If you lose track of where you are, stop and gather your thoughts.

Don’t be afraid of silence. Rather, get yourself back on track and

continue from where you stopped.

Public speaking is a great opportunity for you to speak your mind. You will

feel so empowered when you deliver your speech with confidence. Just go

for it!

22 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 True or false?

You have to look at everyone in the audience

when you deliver a speech.

2 What should you do if you forget the words?

3 Who is the one audience member when you practise in front of a


4 Why would it help to only focus on two or three people in the


5 How comfortable are you

speaking in public? Explain

your answer.

6 What is a podium? Draw one


R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 23


Racheltjie de Beer

In 1843, Racheltjie de Beer, a

twelve-year-old girl, lived on a farm

in the Free State, South Africa, with

her father and little brother, Dirkie.

One afternoon, Racheltjie’s father

realised that a calf had not returned

to the kraal with the other cattle.

He asked Racheltjie to go and look

for the calf next to the river, while

he went up the mountain. He warned

that a storm was brewing and that

she should be home before dark.

Dirkie desperately wanted to go with

Racheltjie, so she took him by the

hand and the two headed towards the


Racheltjie and Dirkie searched all

along the riverbank, but they could

not find the missing calf. Snow and

rain started to fall and a terrible

cold dawned on the valley. Racheltjie

lost track of time and the children

were overcome by nightfall. They

walked and walked but they could

not find their way home in the dark. Racheltjie had to carry Dirkie when

he was tired and she also gave him her jacket when he complained about

the cold.

Racheltjie became so tired that she could not walk any further.

Exhausted, she fell down next to a deserted anthill. She thought of a

plan with which she would be able to keep her brother safe until help

arrived. With her freezing hands, she dug in the snow in search of a rock.

She used the rock to make an opening in the anthill and hollow it out.

Even though she was cold and tired, she was determined to see her plan

through. There was just enough space inside for little Dirkie. Racheltjie

took off all her clothes and used them to make a bed for Dirkie in the

anthill. She laid in front of the opening to shelter Dirkie from the cold.

The next morning, Racheltjie’s father found his two children in the snow.

Racheltjie did not make it through the night, but her selfless action saved

her brother’s life.

24 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why were Racheltjie and Dirkie outside in the snow?

2 What plan did Racheltjie think of to save her brother?

3 Why could they not find their way back in the dark?

4 What caused Racheltjie’s death?

5 Would you be able to save your brother/sister/friend the same

way that Racheltjie did? Why or why not?

6 Complete the sentence.

If something is hollow,

it is


R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 25


Old Hopgiant

A long time ago in Sweden, there

lived two farmers. One of the farmers

was rich and the other one was poor.

The two farmers shared a big meadow

and they divided all the work and

produce from the meadow equally.

One day, the rich farmer said to the

poor farmer, ‘Neighbour, I think it

would be best if the meadow only

belonged to one of us.’

The poor farmer did not like the sound

of this at all. ‘And whose will the

meadow be, neighbour?’

‘Tomorrow we will mow the meadow

and the one who mows the biggest

share, will keep the meadow for

himself,’ the rich farmer answered.

‘And if you do not agree to this deal,

I will make sure that you never set

foot in this town again!’

The poor farmer was devastated. He

did not have the same resources as

the rich farmer, who would surely hire

mowers to help him mow the meadow.

He went to the nearest town to ask

for help, but no one was interested in

mowing without pay. The poor farmer

was weeping on the cobbled pathway

when he was approached by a strange

man. The man told him, ‘Do not cry,

for I have a solution to your problem.

Tomorrow when you mow, shout “Old

Hopgiant!” three times and all of your

problems will be in the past.’ The man

vanished before the poor farmer could

ask any questions.

The poor

farmer was


rich farmer



mowers to

help him.

They started

promptly, swinging their scythes from

side to side, filled to the brim with

confidence that they would mow the

biggest part of the meadow. The poor

farmer shouted, ‘Old Hopgiant!’ but

nothing happened. The other mowers

laughed at the poor farmer. ‘Old

Hopgiant!’ he shouted again, ignoring

their comments. Still nothing. ‘Old

Hopgiant!’ he shouted for the third

time and for ten seconds all was

quiet. Then, out of nowhere, a glorious

giant appeared from the sky. He ripped

his scythe back and forth, mowing

incredible amounts of the meadow.

The rich farmer was very angry. He

ran up to Old Hopgiant and kicked

his boot. Unfortunately for the rich

farmer, his foot got stuck to the boot.

Angrier than before, he kicked Old

Hopgiant with his other foot as well.

This foot also got stuck and the rich

farmer swung on Old Hopgiant’s shoe

whilst he mowed the entire meadow.

When Old Hopgiant had finished, he

flew away with the rich farmer still

stuck to his boot.

The poor farmer successfully

harvested many crops on the big

meadow for many years to come.

26 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How many mowers did the rich farmer

hire to help him mow the meadow?

2 What happened to the rich farmer at the end of the story?

3 Why did the rich farmer want the meadow for himself?

4 How do you think the poor farmer felt when he saw Old Hopgiant


5 What do you think the rich farmer could have done instead if he

wanted the meadow all for himself?

6 What is another word for disappeared?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 27


The Dangers of Magnetic


I got a set of 100 magnetic balls for

Christmas. My father ordered it online.

It was the best gift! It was so much

fun to experiment with different ideas.

I played with it for hours. I made fancy

necklaces and creative shapes. I even

made a cube!

One day, I tried to tie my hands

together with the magnetic balls.

Because my hands were tied, I used my

mouth to put the final balls into place.

I don’t know how it happened, but I

accidentally swallowed a few balls. I

didn’t think much of it at first. I have

swallowed a Lego ® block before and

nothing happened. A few magnetic balls

couldn’t be so bad.

Oh boy, was I wrong! Within a few

hours, my stomach started to ache.

After a quick internet search, my mum

rushed me to the hospital.

The doctor did an X-ray of my

stomach. Sure enough, four balls were

stuck together around my bowels. I had

to go to surgery immediately.

The surgery went well. I am lucky that

the balls did not cause any permanent


When magnetic balls are swallowed, they interact with each other. If they

become lodged in your intestines, they can cause serious damage and even

death. Magnetic balls are banned from most stores (now I know why!), but

you can buy them easily online.

If you have magnetic balls at home, please put them away—especially if

there are young children and toddlers around the house. Although they are

loads of fun to play with, they are very dangerous.

28 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Who gave the boy the magnetic balls

as a gift?

2 Why did he have to go to hospital?

3 What did his mum search for on the internet?

4 Why are magnetic balls a bigger danger to toddlers?

5 Do you think magnetic balls should be available to purchase

online? Why or why not?

6 What does it mean when something is lodged in your intestine?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 29


Jamie’s Painting Review

My name is Jamie. My

teacher asked me to give

a personal opinion about

a painting. I chose the

Mona Lisa by Leonardo

da Vinci. It is the most

famous painting in the


My first thought when

looking at the painting

was that it is properly

dull. The colours are

muted. I think it would

have been much more

cheerful if da Vinci

chose some brighter

colours. Just imagine

how spectacular the

river in the background

would have looked in a

bright turquoise.

The lady (I suppose her

name is Mona Lisa?) is

very pretty. She has

great curly hair and a

nice posture. She has

the facial expression of

someone who knows a

whopper of a secret, but

she’s not going to tell

anybody what it is.

Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most well-known artists of all time. I can

totally see why. The lady stands out from the background. It is almost

as if she radiates a soft glow. The details on her face and clothes are

remarkable. Just look at the folds in her sleeves! I don’t even know how it

is possible to paint something so well.

I really like this painting. Even though it seems a bit dull at first glance,

it gets better the longer you look at it. I completely understand why so

many people call it a masterpiece.

30 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What is the name of the painting?

2 Who painted it?

3 What was Jamie’s first impression of the painting? Do you agree

with her?

4 Besides the sleeves, where do you see great detail?

5 Do you like the Mona Lisa? Why or why not?

6 What is a masterpiece?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 31


Make Your Own Dessert

Wouldn’t it be great if you made the dessert for the next family dinner?

Follow the recipe below to make chocolate brownies.

Chocolate Brownies

Preparation time: 15 minutes Baking time: 40 minutes Servings: 20


- 200 g butter or margarine - 300 g dark or milk chocolate

- 3 extra large eggs - 1 cup sugar

- 1½ cup plain flour - 1 teaspoon baking powder

- pinch of salt


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 160 °C. Grease

a baking pan of about 18 x 27 cm

with a non-stick spray, then lightly


Step 2

Melt the chocolate and butter in

the microwave. Check the bowl

every 20 seconds and remove when

completely melted and smooth.

Step 3

Mix the eggs and

sugar with an

electric mixer until

light and creamy.

Fold the chocolate

mixture into the

egg mixture.

Step 4

Sieve the flour, baking powder and

salt in a bowl.

Step 5

Add the dry ingredients (flour,

baking powder and salt) to the

chocolate mixture and stir to mix.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared


Step 6

Bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool

for 15 minutes and cut into squares.

Variations: Add 100 g chopped

marshmallows or 60 g chocolate

chips to the batter.

32 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How many different ingredients are on the list?

2 For how long must the brownies be in the oven?

3 In baking, what is the difference between mixing and folding?

4 Why should you check the bowl in the microwave every

20 seconds?

5 Do you think you would be able to make these brownies on your

own? Why or why not?

6 What does the word batter (in baking) mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 33


The Girl with the Rose-red


The ancient Egyptian tale of the girl with the rose-red slippers is said to

be the origin story of Cinderella.

A long time ago, a beautiful Greek girl was taken from her home by

pirates. She was taken across the ocean to a marketplace in the Egyptian

town of Naucratis. The pirates wanted to sell her.

Charaxos, a local trader, immediately saw the Greek beauty at the slave

stall. She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. He felt sorry for

this girl. He decided to buy her. He took her home and lavished her with

gifts and comfort. He treated her as a daughter. He found out that her

name was Rhodopis.

One day, Rhodopis and her friends were bathing in the pool. They had

put their clothes and shoes next to the pool. A magnificent eagle circled

above them. Suddenly, the eagle was charging towards them. The girls

thought the eagle was going to attack them. Instead, the eagle grabbed

Rhodopis’s rose-red ruby slipper that was gifted to her by Charaxos. She

was relieved that they weren’t attacked, but also saddened by the loss of

her slipper. They were very precious to her.

The eagle flew back to Memphis, in search of the pharaoh, Amasis. He was

having an audience outside. The eagle dropped the slipper on Amasis’s lap.

Amasis was immediately drawn to it. He looked at the beautiful rubies. He

looked at the fine craftmanship. He thought that someone who wore such

a beautiful slipper must be the loveliest girl in Egypt.

Amasis sent his cavalry to look for the girl to whom the slipper belonged.

When the cavalry reached Naucratis, they heard about the beautiful Greek

girl from the market. They went to Charaxos’s house and asked for the

girl. Rhodopis was delighted to see her lost slipper.

The cavalry informed her that she had to go

to the pharaoh. She was very sad to leave

Charaxos. She was forever grateful to him for

everything he had done for her. Charaxos was

also sad that Rhodopis had to leave, but he

knew that royal command must be obeyed.

Rhodopis eventually married the pharaoh and

became Queen of Egypt. They lived happily ever


34 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Who kidnapped Rhodopis from her home?

2 How did the pharaoh get the slipper?

3 Why was Rhodopis lucky that Charaxos bought her from the


4 What do you think would have happened if Charaxos refused to

let Rhodopis go?

5 Can you think of any similarities between this story and

Cinderella? Write them down.

6 What is a cavalry?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 35


Tomorrow’s Home

It’s the year 2050. You are barely awake.

You make your way to the bathroom. Your

toothbrush and toilet are waiting to give

you a report on your overall health. Does

this seem far-fetched? Some scientists and

futurists do not think so.

Researchers from University College

in London held an exhibition called

Tomorrow’s Home. Their vision of homes

in the future is centred around healthy aging. The bathroom will be the

medical centre. The toilet will analyse your urine. It will send the results

to the display area in the bathroom mirror. Your toothbrush will analyse

your saliva. Your morning breath will be analysed for indicators of bad

health. Your bathroom mirror will display your calendar and the weather,

and remind you to take your medication. Need a make-up assistant? Your

mirror will be waiting to give you advice.

You will be able to try clothing on before purchasing online. Artificial

intelligence will display the dress you want to buy over your own image

in your mirror. Trying on a swimsuit? Your mirror will provide you with the

proper beach background.

You won’t have to worry if you forget something on your grocery list. Your

fridge will check its contents. If anything is nearing empty, it will place

an order at your supermarket. Your order will be delivered by drones in no


If you are irritated, your wallpaper will hear it in your tone of voice. It

will change from a happy yellow to a calm blue. The children will love their

playroom. Characters from their favourite shows will live in the wallpaper.

If you miss a loved one, a 3-D hologram of that person will appear on your

couch. They will be able to join you for a cup of tea.

Your house’s roof tiles will generate solar power. If you need a ride to

work, you will be able to order an electric car. It will drive to your home

by itself.

But what if you don’t want all of this in your future? The Tomorrow’s

Home research team says that you will be able to live off the grid.

Who knows exactly what the future will bring? Home is where the heart is

... your future home will know if it’s a healthy heart or not!

36 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What will your fridge do if your milk bottle is almost empty?

2 List three things the bathroom mirror will be able to do in 2050.

3 Do you think people may live longer in 2050 compared to now?

Explain your answer.

4 What colour do you think the wallpaper will turn if you are angry?

5 Would you like to live in a house as described in the text? Why

or why not?

6 Circle the correct definition for ‘off the grid’.

(a) not using public utilities

(b) very angry

(c) alone

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 37


Royal Limericks

There once was a sultan, Aashir,

who all thought was so very dear.

He talked to the crowd

and all of them bowed,

and gave their great leader a cheer.

There once was a man named Bill-Chucky.

He didn’t know he was lucky.

A knock on his door

shocked him to the core,

with news he’s the king of Kentucky.

There once was a royal hound called Rover,

who went on a hunt in Hanover.

He caught a fat quail,

too big for the scale,

and now he has lunch ‘til October.

There once was a pharaoh called Net,

who wandered around all upset.

She looked at her tomb,

with darkness and gloom.

She’s not keen to use it quite yet.

38 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What news did Bill-Chucky receive?

2 Did the people like sultan Aashir?

3 What is Rover going to eat for lunch?

4 Why was Net upset?

5 Which one of these royals would you like to be? Why?

6 What is another word for dog?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 39


Boring-coloured Cars

Must Go!

Have you ever played ‘car cricket’?

It’s a game that you can play with

your siblings on your next road trip.

Everyone gets a turn to ‘bat’. If a

white/grey/silver/black car passes, you

get one run. If a coloured car passes,

you get two runs. Motorcycles are

four runs and trucks and buses are six

runs. If any red car comes by, your

wicket is hit, and you are out. After

everyone had a chance to bat, the

person with the most runs, wins.

Playing car cricket made me realise

just how many white, grey, silver and

black cars there are on the road. Why

do people choose these boring colours

for their cars? I think it would be

simply fabulous if people could add

some colour and vibrancy to our roads

and stop buying boring-coloured cars.

Black, grey, white and silver cars are

less visible in bad weather. If you

forget to switch your headlights on,

other drivers may not be able to see

you. Research has shown that orange

cars are least likely to be in an

accident. They can be seen from afar

in most weather conditions.

There have been rumours that brightly

coloured cars get pulled over more

often. This has never been proven. If

you are a driver in a lime green car

and you are holding the speed limit,

you have the same chance of being

pulled over as everybody else.

Thieves tend to steal cars in the

boring-colour category. It would be

much easier for police to track down a

bright pink car than a grey one.

It has been proven that brighter

colours lift people’s spirits. One car

manufacturer, Honda, believes that

a bright orange or yellow car can

brighten the driver’s day, especially in


White and black cars tend to show

dirt more clearly. You might have to

visit the car wash more often than

with a brightly coloured car.

Brighter-coloured cars on the road

will cheer everyone up. And, most


I might

finally win

car cricket!

If you forget where you parked your

boring-coloured car at the shops, you

might have some difficulty finding it.

White, grey, silver and black cars are

so common, your car won’t stand out

in the crowd.

40 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How do you lose your wicket in car cricket?

2 Which car would you have to wash more, a green one or a black


3 Why would an orange car brighten the driver’s day in winter?

4 Why would people think that brighter cars are pulled over more


5 What colour car would you choose? Explain your answer.

6 What are siblings?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 41


Disaster on the River

Sienna, Emily and Emma went on

a camping trip to the Breede River

with their parents. They had been

looking forward to this trip for


Immediately upon arrival, the

grown-ups put the tents up by the

riverbank and unpacked the supplies.

The girls’ parents warned them not

to go to the river alone because

the strong current could be very


The girls went to explore their

surroundings. They saw a group of

boys kicking a ball on the field in

the middle of the campsite. They

saw a small kiosk at the top of the

campsite. They saw a shed with

kayaks next to the campsite.

Exploring made them thirsty. They

decided to head to the kiosk to buy

a drink. They saw one of the boys

on the field kick the ball with a

mighty blow. The ball bounced over

their heads. It rolled down the road,

into the river. The boys were very

disappointed as their ball drifted


‘We’ll get your ball for you!’ Emma


bring our ball back, we will buy you

each an ice cream!’

Sienna looked at Emily and said,

‘We don’t have enough money for

ice cream. We might just as well try

to get their ball.’

Emily sighed and reluctantly agreed.

They saw the ball stuck between

reeds on a small island in the middle

of the river. After planning what

to do, with tremendous effort, they

dragged a kayak out of the shed and

launched it in the water. The three

of them balanced on the two-seater


Almost immediately, the current

swept them away. They couldn’t

control the kayak at all. They tried

to row against the current, but it

was no use.

‘Help us!’ Emily screamed, ‘HELP!’

Luckily, their parents heard the

girls. Emily’s father jumped in the

river and brought them to safety.

The girls were so relieved. However,

they knew their parents were very

disappointed in them. They wondered

what their punishment would be.

‘What? No, we won’t,’ Emily

whispered to her. ‘We’re not

allowed to go near the river,


The boys were very impressed with

Emma for offering to fetch their

ball. One of them replied, ‘If you

42 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Where did the grown-ups put the tents?

2 What did the boys promise the girls if they brought their ball


3 Which one of the girls didn’t want to fetch the ball from the


4 Going onto the river was irresponsible of the girls. What else

was irresponsible?

5 What would be a fair punishment for the girls’ actions?

6 Write another word that has the same meaning as tremendous.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 43


A Perfect Past?

‘When I was your age, things were so much better!’

I’m pretty sure that every grandparent alive has said those words in their

lifetime. I think the debate should be settled once and for all. Was life

better in the 1950s than it is now?

In the 1950s, many children left school as young as 14 to start work. Not

all subjects were available for all genders and races. Today, completing

your high school education is very important. Subjects are available for

everyone. I won’t even start on corporal punishment!

In the 1950s, refrigerators were a luxury item. Many families had to go to

the shop daily for fresh produce. These days we don’t even have to leave

our house to order groceries. An online order arrives at our doorstep with

the press of a button.

Televisions were very popular in the 1950s.

In 1950, only 9% of Americans had a television.

By 1959, 86% of Americans had a television.

Family dinners were centred around it. These

days, most households have a television, but we

are aware of the consequences of spending too

much time in front of it.

In the 1950s, cars were a dangerous place to

be. They did not have seat belts or airbags.

Modern cars are developed with safety in mind

and will alert you if all passengers are not

buckled up.

Phones were completely different in the 1950s.

They worked with a rotary dial. Most were

mounted on a wall. There was one telephone in the house. The further you

dialled from your home, the more expensive the call was. Today, if you

have access to the internet, you can phone your family in another country

at the same price as a call to your neighbour.

Our grandparents spent a lot of time connecting with their neighbours and

townspeople. We can use technology to instantly communicate with people

all over the world.

No one can deny that the 1950s were quite different to today. I believe

that you have to embrace the time you live in. New inventions are not all

bad; they can make our lives easier!

44 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why did families have to go to the shop every day in the 1950s?

2 Why were cars dangerous in the 1950s?

3 Do you think phone calls were private in the 1950s? Explain your


4 Why can we say that televisions were popular in the 1950s?

5 Do you think life is better now than it was 70 years ago? Why or

why not?

6 What is a rotary dial?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 45


The Best Game in the


Sports have so many benefits: your body gets

a workout, you socialise and you learn new

skills. Everyone, if able, should take part in at

least one sport. But which one is the best?

Why, tennis of course! Here are five reasons

why tennis aces all other sports (see what I

did there?).

1. Challenging

Tennis may seem straightforward. It is,

after all, two people hitting a ball at each

other. Really though, it is anything but. Tennis is technically complex

because it involves hitting a moving ball. Players must master a far

wider range of strokes than, for example, golfers or cricketers.

2. Great workout

When playing tennis, you’re constantly moving and using most of your

muscles. Tennis is not a contact sport. If you’re healthy, you can keep

playing well into your seventies and eighties—or even older!

3. Challenges you mentally

At first, your main focus will be mastering the strokes. Eventually, your

focus will shift to strategies you can use to outsmart your opponent.

Tennis stimulates your mind like no other sport!

4. Easily accessible

Tennis is played worldwide. It doesn’t matter where you live, chances

are there will be a tennis court nearby. All you need is a racquet and

tennis balls. If you don’t have a partner, you can practise against a

wall or join a club and meet new people.

5. Minimal injuries

Most tennis injuries are related to overuse. If you regulate your time

on the court, the chance of a serious injury is minimal. Compared to

contact sports, tennis is really safe.

There are many sports that can be beneficial to your overall health.

I believe tennis provides benefits on a physical, emotional, mental and

social level. It’s the best game and I think everybody should play!

46 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What is the first focus area when learning tennis?

2 What equipment do you need to play tennis?

3 Do you think that someone will be able to play a contact sport

at the age of 70? Why or why not?

4 Do you think that tennis is a difficult game? Why or why not?

5 Do you want to play tennis? Why or why not?

6 What does the word beneficial mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 47


Building Towards a Better


Ecobricks are reusable plastic building blocks. An ecobrick is a plastic

bottle packed with single-use plastics to a set density, used by developing

countries to make affordable garden structures and buildings. You can also

use ecobricks to make furniture for your own home.

It is fairly simple to make your own ecobrick. Here’s how:

1. Start collecting plastic

It is very important to only use

clean, dry plastic; for example,

polystyrene, straws, packaging and

plastic bags. Do not use paper,

glass or metal.

2. Choose the plastic bottle

Ensure that all the bottles you

use are the same size and brand

because, if you are building a solid

structure, your bricks have to fit

perfectly. Smaller bottles (600 ml

or less) are a good choice to get

started with, because you can finish

your brick much faster and learn

from any mistakes before you move

on to bigger bottles. Do not use a

bottle with a crack in it.

3. Find the right stick

You will use a stick to pack your

bottle with as much plastic as

possible. Bamboo and wood make

the best sticks.

Choose a stick that’s

roughly twice the

height of your bottle

and make sure that

the tip is rounded;

a sharp tip might

damage the bottle.

4. Add a bottom colour

The first piece of plastic will give

your ecobrick a bottom colour,

so choose wisely. Pick a few soft

pieces in your chosen colour and

pack the bottle so that the plastic

fits in the corners at the bottom.

Continue to pack more soft plastic

tightly for up to 2 cm.

5. Organise your plastics

Cut the rest of your plastics into

smaller pieces. The smaller the

pieces, the denser the filling and the

better for your ecobrick. Mix soft

and hard plastics and use your stick

to press the plastic right around,

packing it tightly.

6. Weigh your ecobrick

A solid ecobrick has to be strong

and densely packed. A good

weight for a 600 ml bottle is at

least 200 g. If your ecobrick is

underweight it will be too squishy

to build solid structures. Continue

to stuff the bottle with plastic to

reach the goal weight. Leave 1–2

cm at the top of the bottle and

tightly cap it.

7. Store

Store your ecobricks until you have

enough to complete your project.

48 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What is an ecobrick?

2 What will happen if your ecobrick is not dense enough?

3 What is one advantage of using ecobricks?

4 What is one disadvantage of using ecobricks?

5 Do you think that it is a good idea to build with ecobricks? Why

or why not?

6 What is another word for approximately?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 49


Should Musical Education

be Compulsory in Schools?

I have met many people who wish they had learned to play a musical

instrument. Few people say they regret learning to play. Should learning

a musical instrument be compulsory in schools? Let’s have a look at the

advantages and disadvantages of musical education.


• Learning to play a musical instrument stimulates the brain. Music

students have to remember rhythms, pitches and several other things

all at once. It improves memory and reasoning skills. These skills are

important for mathematics and science.

• Children who study music usually have larger vocabularies. Their reading

skills are also more advanced.

• You can’t learn a musical instrument overnight. It takes discipline and

dedication. It helps children understand that you have to work hard to

be successful.

• You may have to play in front of other people. This builds confidence.


• To teach a musical instrument is a

specialised skill. A teacher can teach

mathematics to thirty children at

once. Small groups or one-on-one

teaching is required for music. It would

be very difficult to find the time for

individual music lessons for everybody.

• Instruments can be expensive. Parents

may not be able to afford the

instrument. Schools might not have

the resources to provide every child

with an instrument.

There are many benefits to learning to

play a musical instrument. Unfortunately,

it is impossible for most schools to give

music lessons for every child.

50 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Write one advantage of learning to play a musical instrument.

2 Write one disadvantage of learning to play a musical instrument.

3 Can you think of a way to help schools/parents who do not have

the resources to provide an instrument for each child?

4 Why is it difficult to teach an instrument to a whole class of children?

5 Do you think that music lessons should be compulsory? Why or

why not?

6 What is a synonym for the word mandatory?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 51


Brutal Bugs

I read a book called Brutal Bugs. It is written

by Joshua Ferreira and illustrated by Hugo

de Wet.

If you are interested in bugs, the cover

alone will have you rip it off the shelf.

A larger-than-life botfly decorates

the front page. Spoiler alert: botfly

larvae develop under your skin

and eat their way out. How

wonderfully wicked!

Brutal Bugs covers the

gross, the weird and the

wonderful bugs from all

around the globe. There

is a good balance between

information and imagery. Each featured bug

has its own introductory paragraph and a good

amount of fun and interesting facts.

What I enjoyed most about this book is the ‘gross-metre’ section. It

summarises the most gruesome attribute of the bug and gives it a score

out of 10. Which one is the grossest? You’ll have to read for yourself.

The book is also surprisingly funny! The author speculates what career

each bug would have as a human. I didn’t expect to laugh out loud while

reading a book about bugs.

What’s missing in the book is a world map. It would have been great to

see where all the bugs come from.

The illustrations are extremely detailed and colourful. However, I feel that

there should be a better balance between illustrations and photographs.

The photographs are a striking way of bringing the bugs to life. The cover

proves that perfectly.

I recommend this book to everyone; it doesn’t matter whether you like

insects or not. After reading this book, you will definitely be intrigued by

the wonderful little beasties living among us. Go on, read it. I dare you!

52 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Which section did the writer enjoy most about the book?

2 What is one piece of critique the writer has of the book?

3 What job do you think an ant would do if it was a human?

4 Did the writer enjoy the book or not? Explain your answer.

5 Would you like to read this book? Why or why not?

6 What does the word brutal mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 53


The Castle of Good Hope

The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest building in South Africa. It was

built between 1666 and 1679 by Dutch settlers. Cape Town was a supply

station for passing ships.

The castle was planned around a water well. It was the shape of a

pentagon. The five corners are bastions. A bastion is a structure built at

an angle to help people defend the building from different directions.

Three hundred sailors, soldiers, slaves and local men and women worked

very hard to build the castle. They had to break stones and collect

seashells. These were burned in lime ovens to form very hard cement.

It is called a castle because it was like a small town. If it was only to

defend, it would have been called a fort. There was a bakery, a church,

living quarters, workshops and shops inside the castle. There were also

prison cells and a dungeon. The dungeon was better known as the ‘dark

room’. In those days, horseshoes were sometimes put on doors for good

luck. The horseshoe on the dungeon was put upside down. This meant that

your luck had run out.

The bell at the front gate weighs 300 kg. It could be heard 10 km away. It

was used to warn people of danger. The bell was also used to announce

the time. It rang every hour. The guard on duty used a sundial to tell the

time. At night-time or on cloudy days, the guard had to turn an hourglass

every time he rang the bell.

In 1936, the castle was declared a national monument. Today, the castle

houses the Castle Military Museum. It also serves as the headquarters

for the South African Army. If you ever find yourself in Cape Town, book

a tour of the Castle of Good Hope and experience the history the castle

has to offer.

54 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What is the name of the castle

in Cape Town?

2 How many people worked

together to build the castle?

3 Why had your luck run out when you were a prisoner in the


4 Why did the guard have to use an hourglass to tell the time at


5 Do you think people should build more castles like this in modern

times? Why or why not?

6 What is a fort?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 55


A Day in the Life of a

Blind Person

Close your eyes. Try to imagine what it would be like if

that darkness is all you knew. Does it seem difficult?

I can tell you that it is difficult, but not impossible.

Let me tell you more about my life as a blind person.

I wake up extra early to get ready for school. I like

to have about 30 minutes spare, because if I can’t

find something or drop something, I need that extra

time to find it.

After my mum drops me at school, I use my

walking stick to get to the classroom. I walk the

same route every day, so I know precisely where

the pavement is and where the corners are. I

count 17 steps down the corridor to my class.

My assistant, Mrs Jenkins, is already waiting in class. She helps me with

anything that I need or don’t understand. It’s quite challenging to try to

do new things when you can’t see how the people around you do it. That’s

where Mrs Jenkins come in. If she sees that I’m doing something wrong,

she will quietly come and help me set it right.

My teacher, Mr Fallon, is also very helpful in class. Today in mathematics,

we had to measure things using a scale. I couldn’t see the measurements,

so Mr Fallon brought me a talking scale.

I can’t use the same workbooks and textbooks as my classmates. All my

learning material is in Braille. It takes longer to read in Braille, because

you have to read letter by letter. I prefer audiobooks. I use a Brailler (a

Braille typewriter) to complete written assignments in class.

I enjoy break times the most. My friends and I sometimes play with a ball

that makes a sound. This helps me to know where it is. Sometimes I talk

to my friends, but they have already left. I wish they would remember to

tell me if they were leaving!

In the afternoons, I take part in athletics. I do sprinting. An older boy

runs next to me so I know where to go and when the race is finished. I

really enjoy taking part in sports.

Being blind is hard, but I get along. I am lucky to have an amazing support

system to help me through the school day.

56 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why does the writer walk the same route to their classroom

every day?

2 What do blind people use to type?

3 Why does it help to see other people when you are

all trying something new?

4 Why does the writer prefer audiobooks?

5 Think of three ways in which you would be able to help a blind


6 What is Braille?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 57


Spiders Deserve Better

Spiders are notorious for being

scary and creepy. Many people are

scared of them. Maybe it’s the eight

legs. Maybe it’s the idea that they

can climb walls. Maybe it’s because

you’ve heard that in your lifetime,

you will swallow eight spiders while

you are sleeping.

Good news! The swallowing spiders

in your sleep bit, has been proven

to be untrue. Rumour has it that a

columnist, Linda Holst, supposedly

wrote fake facts for PC Magazine

in 1993, to show how easily people

believe what they read. I’d say

that her experiment worked quite

well. Scientists have unanimously

debunked the myth. It is highly

unlikely that you will swallow even

one spider in your sleep.

Spiders have been treated

unfairly for many years. They are

very important to nature. The

unnecessary killing of spiders is

harming the environment.

One reason why spiders should be

welcome in your home is that they

eat pests. They catch cockroaches,

fleas, mosquitoes, flies and moths in

their webs. Mosquito-borne viruses

kill more humans than any other


Spiders are very good mothers. They

usually carry their sack of eggs on

their back until the spiderlings are

ready to hatch. The spider then ties

the sack underneath a leaf. When

the spiderlings hatch, the mother

stands guard until her babies are

ready to leave. Sometimes this

takes up to a week.

Most spiders have venom. Only

a few species are dangerous to

humans. Black Widow venom is being

researched for cancer treatment. It

is also used in the development of


Spiders are found everywhere in

the world, except Antarctica. They

are crucial to keeping the number

of insects under control. If spiders

were to vanish from the planet, the

insect population might spiral out of


Remember to always be cautious

around spiders. Leave them alone.

Spiders are good for you, as well

as the environment. They definitely

don’t deserve their bad reputation.

Spiders won’t attack humans. They

will only defend themselves if they

feel threatened. There is not one

species of spider that feeds on

humans. They are not aggressive and

just want to be left alone.

58 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Which insect kills more humans than any other animal?

2 Which is the only continent in the world without spiders?

3 Why can we say that Linda Holst’s experiment worked?

4 Why might the insect population become out of control if spiders

become extinct?

5 How do you feel about spiders? Give a reason for your answer.

6 What is another word for poison?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 59


The Flying Cow

The hoatzin is an interesting bird

species. It is found in the basins of

the Amazon River in South America.

The hoatzin has many nicknames.

These include stink bird, reptile bird

and the flying cow.

The hoatzin is about the size of a

pheasant. It has a small head and

orange feathers. It sports a distinctive

orange and black mohawk.

Hoatzins are mostly active during the

day. They prefer to perch in trees.

They build their nests on branches

overhanging the river. If anything

attacks the nest, the nestlings escape

into the river. Each hoatzin chick has

two claws on their wings. They use

these claws to climb back into their


The hoatzin is not the only bird

with clawed wings. Some species

of chicken, duck and ostrich also have claws. What makes the hoatzins’

claws unique? They are the only species whose claws serve a purpose.

The hoatzin’s diet consists of leaves. They digest their food with the help

of bacterial fermentation. The food goes in a large sack in its gut. Cows,

goats and sheep also digest their food in this way. Now we know where

the flying cow nickname comes from! Hoatzins are the only birds who

digest their food in this way.

For the majority of bird species, digestion takes a matter of minutes. For

the hoatzin, it takes up to 48 hours! These birds spend about 80% of their

time lounging around digesting leaves. The process of fermentation gives

off plenty of smelly bacteria. This leads to another nickname, stink bird.

The hoatzin does not only smell bad, it tastes bad as well. This is

probably why they are not actively hunted by predators.

The hoatzin is a truly unique and remarkable bird.

60 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What helps the hoatzin chicks to climb back

into the nests?

2 Which animals have the same digestive track as the hoatzin?

3 Do you think that the hoatzins are good flyers? Why or why not?

4 Write one pro and one con of owning a hoatzin as a pet.

5 What do you think the most unique characteristic of the hoatzin

is? Explain your answer.

6 What is a suitable synonym for the word relaxing?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 61


Are Dogs Really Man’s

Best Friend?

Man’s friendship with dogs can be traced back almost 15 000 years.

Dogs descended from wolves. It is believed that wolves

domesticated themselves, in a way. They learnt that the

friendlier they are towards humans, the better their

chances of survival would be. Humans were mindful

to interact only with the friendliest of wolves.

Soon enough, some wolves were living in

harmony with people. In time, humans

managed to breed different types of dogs

as we know them today.

Is it fair to say that dogs, and only

dogs, are man’s best friend? Is there

anything that sets them apart from other

domesticated animals?

Like their wolf ancestors, dogs function in packs—the pack being your

family. They will be loyal and supportive. They will protect their pack at

any cost. There isn’t any other domesticated animal that will protect their

humans with their life.

Dogs are always excited to see us. They will be the ones greeting you at

the door with a wagging tail. They will follow you around the house. They

are always happy to be at your side. Another domesticated animal, the

cat, seems mostly irritated when their humans try to pet them.

Dogs help humans to stay fit and active. It’s good exercise for you and

your dog to go for a walk every day. Walking your dog is a great way to

get some exercise and fresh air. You can even make new friends at the dog

park. Can you think of another pet that can walk on a leash? (I’ve tried

walking with a rabbit once, with no success.)

Dogs can be trained to be obedient. They can do cool tricks. They can

also be trained to help people. They can herd sheep on a farm or guide a

blind person. Some dogs serve in the army or police force. I don’t know of

any other domesticated animal that can support humans in this way. The

only other animal that comes close to dogs on this one, is horses.

You are the most important person in your dog’s world. Dogs are fabulous

company and loads of fun to be around. They always have your back, no

matter what. I think it’s safe to say that dogs truly are man’s best friend.

62 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What species is the dog’s ancestor?

2 Who are the domesticated dog’s pack?

3 How is having a dog good for your health?

4 What should you do if you have a naughty dog?

5 Do you think that dogs are man’s best friend? Why or why not?

6 What does domesticate mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 63


The Rubik’s Cube

Have you ever tried to solve a Rubik’s cube and failed miserably? Don’t

feel bad. It took the inventor of the cube more than a month to get it

right the first time.

Erno Rubik developed the Rubik’s cube in 1974. At the time, he was a

professor at the Academy of Applied Arts in Budapest. He had a degree

in architecture. He taught geometric design at the academy. He found

geometric shapes very interesting.

One day, he tried to put together nine small cubes. He wanted the cubes

to stick together, but he also wanted them to move around. This cube

fell apart almost immediately. After many tries, he finally came up with

a design that worked. He used 27 small cubes. Erno decided to paint the

sides of the blocks different colours. He chose orange, red, blue, green,

white and yellow. He fiddled with the cube and realised he couldn’t get it

back to how it was. He wasn’t even sure that it was possible to get them

back into place. It took him a month to solve his own creation.

Erno named his cube the Magic Cube. A Hungarian toy company

manufactured 5000 Magic Cubes in 1977. Two years later, 300 000 cubes

were sold all over Hungary.

An American, Tom Kremer, spotted the cube at a toy fair in 1979. He

decided to bring it to America. His company changed the name to Rubik’s

Cube. It was wildly popular. More than three million units were sold

between 1980 and 1983. The cube even had its own animated TV series,

Rubik, the Amazing Cube.

Many books were published with tips and tricks on how to solve a Rubik’s

cube. In 1982, the first Rubik’s Cube World Championship took place in


In the years following 1983, the popularity of the cube started to fade.

Many people believed the craze had passed.

A Rubik’s cube revival happened in the 2000s. It

became trendy to own a cube again. Speedcubing—a

race to see who could solve the cube first—became

very popular. Cubers also love to post videos online

to share their strategies.

Erno Rubic is now 77 years old. It takes him a minute

to solve the cube. A big improvement from one month!

He continues to design new puzzles to this day.

64 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Who invented the Rubik’s cube?

2 How many small cubes are there in a Rubik’s cube?

3 Why do people need books to explain how to solve the cube?

4 How do you think Erno felt when he solved his own cube for the

first time?

5 Why do you think the Rubik’s cube is so popular?

6 What is a revival?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 65


Battle of the Books

Have you tried reading a book on a phone, tablet or electronic reader

(e-reader)? Was it as good as everyone says it is? I am still on the fence.

Are electronic books (ebooks) better than printed books? Look at the

columns below and decide for yourself.



An e-reader is portable and easy to

travel with. On average, it weighs

180 grams. You can have access to

thousands of books on your e-reader at


Many classic novels are free to


Other people can’t see what you’re

reading because they can’t see the

cover of the book.

You can drink and read simultaneously.

You don’t have to work out how to

hold the book with one hand.

Visually impaired people can benefit

from e-readers because they can

change the font size.

Printed Books

You can keep books that you

love in your bookcase and be

reminded of them as you walk


A packed bookcase is a great

conversation starter.

Friends can swap books with

one another.

Studies have suggested that

reading from paper is better for

the memory than reading from a


Nothing beats the smell of a

brand-new book!

Illustrations look better printed.



It’s really hard to share ebooks

between friends.

You can’t read in the bathtub.

If you forget to charge your device you

won’t be able to read at all.

Printed Books

They can be heavy and difficult

to travel with.

Printed books tend to be more

expensive than ebooks.

66 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How do ebooks benefit someone who is visually impaired?

2 What is the average weight of an e-reader?

3 How can a packed bookcase be a conversation starter?

4 Why can’t you use an e-reader in the bath?

5 Do you prefer ebooks or printed books? Why?

6 What does simultaneously mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 67


VacMac 2000

My mum bought a new VacMac 2000 vacuum

cleaner. VacMac is a small, round, black disc.

Every morning at seven, VacMac leaves its docking

station and proceeds to vacuum the entire house.

At eight o’clock, it docks itself again to charge.

At first, everyone was very impressed with

VacMac, because it quietly vacuumed every last

crumb off the floor. A few weeks ago, I realised

that VacMac had started missing spots in my

room. Yesterday, I saw VacMac rolling right past

my room. ‘Hey,’ I shouted, ‘come here, silly, lazy vacuum!’ My football

boots had made a big mess and I was definitely not going to clean it. I

walked over to VacMac, picked it up and put it in my room. It paused for

a second and zoomed right out the door. I stormed after it and, knowing

that it is only a robot and can’t talk back, I still shouted, ‘What’s your


‘You are my problem,’ the answer came in a robotic voice, ‘You are a

disrespectful and unkind boy.’

What was happening? Talking was definitely not one of the 13 features of

the VacMac 2000. The vacuum hadn’t finished just yet and continued, ‘You

are rude to your parents. You are extremely untidy and ungrateful.’

‘Why are you talking to me?’ I asked the VacMac.

The VacMac spun around and zoomed back into my room. It emptied its

entire filter on my floor and zoomed back out. What a horrifying mess!

‘I’ll just tell my mum that you are broken and she’ll put you out with the

recycling!’ I screamed at the vacuum.

VacMac stopped dead in its tracks, turned around slowly and said, ‘I

wouldn’t do that if I were you.’

‘Why not?’ I asked.

‘I can disable the internet, the television, your computer and your phone,’

the robot voice answered. It continued, ‘You will respect your parents.

You will be kind to all. You will be clean. Otherwise ...’ The lights

flickered ominously. The VacMac zoomed back to its docking station.

I remained standing in my room, completely shellshocked, thinking that I

should probably go and fetch the broom to clean the mess on my floor.

68 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How long does it take VacMac to vacuum the house?

2 What will VacMac do if the boy keeps

being disrespectful?

3 Write a sentence from the text that shows that the boy is


4 Is the VacMac supposed to talk? Explain your answer.

5 Do you think the boy is going to listen to the VacMac? Why or

why not?

6 What does ominously mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 69


Headphones or Speakers?

My birthday is coming up in a few weeks. The time has come to start

preparing my parents for the magnificent gift they will get me. The only

problem is that I can’t decide! I know that I want a device that I can use

to listen to my music. Should I choose headphones or a speaker? I’ve made

a list of advantages and disadvantages of each below.




Headphones are

great for privacy.

No one will

complain about my

epic hip hop beats.

The sound quality on

headphones is superb.


Headphones isolate you from the

world around you. If something

exciting happens in the house, you

won’t even notice. (Note: this is

also an advantage, because you

won’t be able to hear your mum

call you to do your chores.)

Wireless headphones can fall off

your head. If you have buds, they

can fall in the basin or, even worse,

the toilet!

People tend to listen to their music

at 20%–50% higher volume than on

speakers. This is harmful to your


I will look completely ridiculous if

I’m dancing to the music with my

headphones on.


I can share my immaculate music

taste with the world.

Speakers are social.

You can host dance

parties. You can play

dramatic background

music while you are

crushing everyone in

your favourite board


Speakers can make you feel like

your favourite band is playing right

in your room.


Not everyone may appreciate your

fine taste in music. ‘Turn that noise

down!’ might be a phrase that you

will have to grow accustomed to.

When listening to music on

speakers, you will also hear noise

from around the house. Dad’s

lawnmower will be enough to ruin

any chorus.

The crispness of sound on speakers

might not be so clear, because it

bounces off the roof and the walls.

With headphones, the sounds go

directly into your head.

70 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How many disadvantages are listed for each?

2 Why can headphones be harmful to your hearing?

3 Why would the writer look ridiculous when dancing with

headphones on? Do you agree?

4 Who might say, ‘Turn that noise down!’?

5 Which of the two would you choose? Why?

6 What is the chorus of a song?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 71


Who Cut the Onions?

Can you remember the last time you cried? Was it out of pain, anger,

sadness or joy? Or maybe because your father cut onions in the kitchen?

Did you know that your eyes are producing tears at this very moment?

Tears are produced in a gland above your

eyeballs. They are released through tear

ducts on the inside corners of your eyes.

Tears are mostly water and a little bit of

salt. They also have some mucus, oil and

chemicals to flush away any germs.

lacrimal gland

upper punctum

lacrimal sack

There are three types of tears: basal,

reflex and emotional tears.

secretory ducts

Basal tears are tears that your eyes

produce to keep them moist. They also

wash out any debris. Your eyes need these

lower punctum

tear duct

tears to work properly. When you blink, the tears spread across your eyes.

Less than half a teaspoon of basal tears is produced per day. You don’t

notice the basal tears, but they are on duty all the time.

Reflex tears are produced when something irritates your eye. If a bug flies

into your eye, reflex tears flush it out. Cut onions release a gas that

irritates the eyes. The eyes respond by flushing the gas out with reflex

tears. Other examples of irritants are smoke, allergies, dust and wind.

The third type of tear is the emotional tear. Crying plays a big part in

expressing human emotion. When you experience intense emotions or pain,

a message is sent to your brain to switch on the ‘tear fountain’. The

eye can produce up to half a cup of tears in minutes! When there are

too many tears, they overflow out of the eye and through the nose. This

is why your nose starts running when you cry. Emotional tears contain

calming hormones and natural painkillers to help you feel better. This is

why having a good cry makes you feel better afterwards.

Humans are the only animals that shed emotional tears. Dogs, cats and

other animals also have basal and reflex tears, but they are not able to

cry when they are sad.

You will never run out of tears. As you get older, you may produce less

basal tears. Your body will always produce enough tears for a good cry.

If you ever feel like crying, let it out! It’s good for you!

72 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What are the three types of tears?

2 Why do our noses start to run when we cry?

3 What would happen if our eyes couldn’t produce basal tears?

4 True or false? Basal and reflex tears protect the eyes.

5 How do you think it would be if animals were able to cry

emotional tears?

6 Write a synonym for intense.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 73


Sweets or Chocolates?

If you are anything like me, you would

answer, ‘Sweets and chocolates!’ However,

many people have a favourite between the

two. Let’s have a look and see what the

main differences are between sugar sweets,

like gumdrops and lollipops, and chocolates.

Is one healthier than the other?

Sweets, also known as candies or lollies, are

mainly made from sugar. Chocolate’s main

ingredient is cacao seeds. Both of these

treats have been around for many years.

Cacao was first grown in the Americas in

1200 BCE. Sweets were ‘invented’ by cave

people. They started to wrap their fruit and

nuts in honeycomb for a treat.

These days, we know a lot more about the nutritional value of sweets

and chocolates. Sweets have a very high sugar content. This means they

are high in energy. Sweets can give your body short bursts of fuel. This is

great before doing physical activity. The high sugar content can also boost

your concentration for a short time.

Chocolate has a combination of sugar and fat. It also gives you energy,

but for a longer period of time.

Sweets and chocolates are both bad for your dental health. Is one worse

than the other? Apparently so. Jelly sweets tend to stick to your teeth.

The worst kind of sweet for your pearly whites is sour chewy sweets, like

sour worms. They have a high level of acidity. This can wear down tooth

enamel. Chocolate washes off more easily, making it the better choice for

dental health.

Chocolate is mostly brown and, let’s face it, all pretty much tastes the

same. Sure, you can add a few nuts and some caramel, but chocolate still

tastes like chocolate.

Sweets come in a variety of bright colours. Some are even rainbow.

Sweets also come in different flavours.

Sweets are definitely more exciting than chocolate. It seems that

chocolate, however, is the healthier option between the two.

Luckily, we don’t have to choose—we can just have both!

74 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why are sour worms bad for your teeth?

2 Are chocolates or sweets better for dental health? Why?

3 Would it be best to have some jelly sweets or chocolate before

running a marathon? Explain your answer.

4 Why does the writer say that sweets are more exciting than chocolate?

5 Which of the two do you prefer? Give a reason for your answer.

6 What is another word for ‘pearly whites’?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 75


Iqbal Masih’s Story

Iqbal Masih was only four years old

when his father sold him into slavery.

His parents took a loan to pay for

Iqbal’s brother’s wedding. Iqbal had to

work in the loan shark’s carpet factory

until the loan was paid off.

Little Iqbal worked for 12 hours a day.

He only had one 30-minute break. All

the children at the factory were tied

to chains to keep them from running

away. They were beaten, starved and

treated very badly. He was only paid

three cents per day. This was not nearly

enough to pay off his parents’ debt.

Iqbal ended up working at the factory

for six years.

Iqbal planned his first escape at the age of 10. He took a few other

children with him. They ran to the nearest police station. Unfortunately,

the police officer in charge was corrupt. He took them back to the carpet


Iqbal did not give up his dream of escaping the factory. He tried again

a few months later. He ran to members of the Bonded Labour Liberation

Front (BLLF). These people were activists against child labour. Iqbal risked

his own life to take members of the BLLF to the carpet factory. Together,

they rescued hundreds of children.

Iqbal joined the BLLF. He travelled all around the world to spread

awareness of forced child labour. Iqbal started studying and he completed

four years of school in only two years. People who have met him say that

he was extremely clever. He wanted to become a lawyer to continue the

fight to end child slavery.

Iqbal constantly received death threats from people who used cheap child

labour in their factories. One day, shortly after returning from a trip to

the United States of America, Iqbal was shot and killed by one such

person. He was only 12 years old at the time.

Iqbal’s life was undeniably too short. He helped more than 3000 children to

be liberated from child slavery. He truly is a hero.

76 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How long did Iqbal work at the carpet factory?

2 Why did his first escape attempt fail?

3 Why did Iqbal run to members of the Bonded Labour Liberation


4 Why would the people who exploited cheap labour want to harm


5 What is one lesson we can learn from Iqbal?

6 What is an activist?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 77


Serenading the Sunflowers

Every afternoon, my mother walks around

in the garden chatting away. She read

somewhere that plants grow better if

you talk to them. She tells them about

her work day and sometimes sings them

songs. I have to listen to the whole show,

because my bedroom window looks out on

the garden. Utterly dreadful. I’ve already

added earphones to my birthday list.

Is there any method in this madness?

Does talking to plants really help them to

grow better?

The Royal Horticultural Society did a

month-long study on just that. They

planted 12 tomato seedlings using the

same soil and care regiment. They asked

10 people to read to one of the seedlings each day. The remaining two

seedlings served as a control group, meaning that no-one read to them.

At the end of the month, the control group seedlings showed the least

growth. The seedlings with female readers grew just over 2.5 cm more than

those who had male readers. The study indicated that reading to plants

does help them grow better.

How do plants listen if they don’t have ears? Other studies have found

that plants are sensitive to vibrations. In nature, some plants only release

pollen when they feel the vibrations of bees nearby. Sound also produces

vibrations. Plants grow best when exposed to low levels of vibrations. This

is why yelling at your plant may not help it to grow at all. Talking in a

conversational tone is the best way to go.

Plants who are talked to, are also better cared for. When you are talking

to your plants, you are spending time with them. This will help you notice

if there’s anything wrong with them. You will be able to see what effect

the weather of the day had on the plant. You will see any damage from

snails or caterpillars. You will be a more attentive gardener.

I’m no scientist, but I know talking to your plants won’t keep them alive.

You have to water them too!

So, I guess my mother was on to something. Talking to plants really does

help them to grow. Be that as it may, I’m still counting the days to my


78 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why does the writer’s mother talk to her plants?

2 Will talking to plants keep them alive?

3 Why did the Royal Horticultural Society use the same soil for

the experiment?

4 Why was a control group needed for the experiment?

5 Will you talk to your plants? Why or why not?

6 Write another word for dreadful.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 79


Kahekili’s Leap

King Kahekili of Maui was not an ordinary man. He ruled Maui until 1794.

He was named after the Hawaiian god of thunder. This god was said to be

black on one side. Kahekili tattooed one side of his body from head to toe

to look like the god.

He was a fierce warrior. It is said that his house was built out of his

fallen enemies’ skeletons.

Kahekili was also famous for lele kawa. Translated to English, this means

‘leaping off cliffs and entering the water feet first without making a

splash’. Early each morning, he would climb up a rock ledge in Kaonolu

and jump 61 metres, feet first into the water below. It was a tricky jump,

because rocks extended at the base of the cliff. It also wasn’t very deep.

There were rocks on the ocean floor. This made it very dangerous. This

didn’t seem to bother Kahekili at all. He survived every jump. He became

a god-like figure among his people.

He decided to test the loyalty and bravery

of his warriors. He forced them to jump

off the cliff and judged their performances.

The smaller the splash, the greater the


Lele kawa evolved into a competition in

Hawaii in the years to follow. Judgement

was passed on the style of the dive and

the amount of splash on entry in the

water. It is seen as the oldest extreme

sport in the world. Eventually, the sport

spread to other parts of the world.

Cliff diving takes countless hours of

practice to perfect a dive in a specific

location. It is still considered to be a very

dangerous sport.

Today, Kahekili’s cliff is called Kahekili’s

Leap or Warrior Leap. It is used as a

venue in cliff diving competitions.

Only the most skilled athletes are allowed to take the leap.

King Kahekili will always be remembered for his conquests as a warrior.

He will also be remembered as the father of cliff diving.

80 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why did King Kahekili tattoo one side of his body?

2 What does lele kawa mean?

3 Why is Warrior Leap also a fitting name for Kahekili’s Leap?

4 Why is cliff jumping considered dangerous?

5 Would you attempt cliff diving? Why or why not?

6 What is a venue?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 81


The School Concert

Months of relentless preparation,

countless hours of sweat and dedication.

Finally, the hour has come:

lift the curtains, bang the drum!

My costume is a total vision,

one of a kind, a limited edition.

Exquisite brown corduroy trousers.

A top of green linen and colourful flowers.

I step on the stage, the audience applaud.

Maybe I should consider taking my talents abroad?

I take my place at stage right,

confident that I am a glorious sight.

Ballerinas and acrobats tiptoe past

with swirls and curls and skills so vast.

There are animals, birds and other creatures

dancing around with breathtaking features.

While other characters act their parts

I’m the one who steals the hearts.

I’m the tree in the concert, you see,

the most important role, I guarantee.

82 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What role does the writer have in the concert?

2 Name two other roles/characters in the concert.

3 Does the writer like their costume? Explain your answer.

4 Is the tree usually the most important role in a concert?

5 Write two sentences about your favourite concert.

6 What is a ‘limited edition’?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 83


Save the Rhino!

84 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How many rhinos were poached in the last decade?

2 Why are rhinos poached?

3 How can poachers be stopped? Think of one way and write it


4 How does creating awareness help the rhinos?

5 Would you be willing to give up your birthday presents to donate

to a cause? Why or why not?

6 What does the word contribution mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 85


A Catastrophic Adventure

My family recently emigrated from

South Africa to London. What an

adventure it was! Before leaving for

London, I had to stay at a cattery

for a few days. It was my first time

in a cattery, and, I must admit, the

service was not as great as I had


I had to take two aeroplanes to get

to London. I never knew that an

aeroplane is so loud. I am definitely

not a fan of flying.

My parents fetched me from the

airport and took me to our new house.

They did not want me to leave the

house for two whole weeks, because

they were scared that I would get

lost in our new city. The first week

of quarantine went well, but on the

ninth day, things got really tough. I

just wanted to feel free again!

Lucky for me, my mum forgot to close

the bathroom window. I reckoned

that since I am a well-trained and

intelligent feline and obviously also

highly underestimated, there was no

way I would get lost.

I slipped out of the window and took

a tour of the city. It was glorious!

The buildings were much older than

those from my home town. There

are also many trains and taxis going


attacked by a vicious dog! I got such

a fright that I jumped back out and

ran as far away as I could.

I couldn’t find my way back home

after that. For a month I tried to

hunt, but I was out of practice. I was

frozen and famished. I am ashamed

to say that I started begging people

for scraps. A nice lady put food out

for me on her porch every morning.

One day, she approached me and

picked me up. I stayed with her for

two days. It was nice to have a warm

place to sleep and food to eat, but I

missed my family. The nice lady took

me to the vet and they scanned my


After two months on the street, I

was finally reunited with my family!

I have never been so happy in my life!

Mum said that I’m not allowed to go

out of the house until spring. There is

no place that I would rather be than

right at home. Mum got me a fancy

new collar with her phone number

on, just in case I get lost again and

people don’t take me to the vet to be


I have the best family. I’m the

luckiest cat in the world!

When I got back to my street, I

realised all the houses in the row

look exactly the same. How would I

know which one is mine? I tried the

first one I saw that had an open

bathroom window and I nearly got

86 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why could the cat not find the right house after it explored the


2 How did the vet manage to get the parents’ phone number?

3 Did the cat enjoy the time in the cattery? Why or why not?

4 Why was the cat not allowed to leave the house until after


5 Would you pet and feed a stray dog or cat? Why or why not?

6 What does famished mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 87


Harald Bluetooth Gormsson

Bluetooth technology has been around for more than 20 years. Bluetooth

is a short-range radio link between two devices. When two devices

connect without cables, you are using Bluetooth. You have probably seen

many Bluetooth devices before. Headphones and speakers are very common

examples. We use Bluetooth every day.

Have you ever wondered where the name

Bluetooth comes from?

Bluetooth was named after a 10th century

Viking king. His name was Harald ‘Blåtand’

Gormsson. King Harald had a rotten tooth.

It was dark blue. Blåtand, directly translated

from Danish, means blue tooth. King

Bluetooth’s biggest accomplishment as ruler

was that he united Denmark and Norway.

But what does King Harald have to do with modern short-range radio link


In the 1990s, three major technological companies started developing

their own versions of this technology. They decided to work together

to standardise it. The codename for this project was Bluetooth. The

reasoning behind this was that, just as King Harald united Scandinavia,

this technology would unite different devices.

When they had to think of a proper name, all the other options were

already trademarked by someone else. They ran out of time. The only

option left was their code name: Bluetooth.

The logo is also interesting. The ‘B’ Bluetooth logo is in fact King

Harald’s initials in old Danish!

I bet you’re never going to look at that logo the same way again.

88 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What is Bluetooth?

2 What is the meaning behind the logo?

3 What is the one thing that Bluetooth and

King Harald have in common?

4 Was it the plan to name the technology Bluetooth from the

start? Explain your answer.

5 Do you think the world is better with Bluetooth? Explain your


6 What does trademark mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 89


How Stories Came to

Earth: An African Folk Tale

A long time ago in Africa, there

lived an old spider man called

Anansi, who could spin webs like

a spider. Throughout his whole

life, Anansi searched for stories,

but he couldn’t find any. He

heard that the sky god kept all

the stories locked in a box next

to his throne.

One day, Anansi spun a web up

to the sky god. He asked the sky god if

he could have the stories. The mighty

sky god laughed and replied, ‘Anansi,

old man, you can have the stories if you

bring me Osebo, the leopard with teeth

like spears; Mmoboro, the hornets that

sting like fire; and Mmoatia, the fairy

that no man has ever seen.’

Anansi bowed to the sky god and crept

back down his web. He immediately

went to Osebo. Osebo said, ‘Anansi,

old man, you are just in time to be my

lunch.’ Anansi replied, ‘That might be

so, Osebo, but before we do that, let’s

play a game.’ Anansi explained further,

‘This game is a tie-up game. First I will

tie you up with a creeper and then you

can tie me up.’ The leopard, who loved

games, agreed to play, thinking he would

eat Anansi after he tied him up. Anansi

tied the leopard’s legs together and

said, ‘Osebo, you are now ready to meet

the sun god.’

Then Anansi fetched a calabash and

filled it with water. On the way to

the hornets’ nest, he picked a banana

leaf. When he reached the nest, he hid

behind the banana leaf and poured the

water from his calabash over the nest.

He yelled, ‘It’s raining, come and

hide in the dry calabash!’ The

hornets all flew into the calabash

and Anansi closed the lid. He

said, ‘Mmoboro, you are now

ready to meet the sun god.’

Anansi carved a little doll,

covered it in gum and stuck a

creeper to the back of its head.

He placed the little doll and a

bowl of yam next to the river where

Mmoatia played. He quietly hid behind

a tree. Soon enough, the little fairy

noticed the bowl of yam. She asked

the little doll, ‘May I have some yam?’

Anansi tugged on the creeper and the

little doll nodded. Mmoatia ate the

yam and thanked the little doll. When

the little doll did not answer, the fairy

became angry and said, ‘Why don’t you

answer me?’ She slapped the little doll

and her hand stuck to it. Her attempts

to free her hand only made things worse

and soon her hands and feet were

stuck to the doll. A smirking Anansi

emerged from behind the tree and said,

‘Mmoatia, you are now ready to meet

the sun god.’

Anansi spun his three prisoners in a web

and hoisted them up to the sun god.

The mighty sun god was very pleased

and said, ‘Anansi, you’ve paid the price

for the stories and from now on, they

will be yours.’

Anansi was very pleased and took the

stories down to earth. As he opened the

box, the stories scattered magically to

all the corners of the world where we

can still find them today.

90 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why did Anansi take a banana leaf to the hornets’ nest?

2 What grabbed the attention of Mmoatia?

3 Is the following statement true or false? Explain your answer.

Anansi is a trickster.

4 Is the following statement true or false? Explain your answer.

Anansi does not like stories.

5 What would you do if you were able to spin webs?

6 Rewrite the following sentence using another word/words

for emerge.

Anansi emerged from behind the tree.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 91


Vegetables Should Be Banned

I am so tired of looking forward to

dinner, only to find a small piece

of meat with a tower of vegetables

on my plate. Heaven forbid I say

anything. Mum goes into a complete

frenzy if I moan even the slightest.

I think she loves broccoli more than

she loves me!

Can we just agree once and for all

that parents should stop forcing

their children to eat vegetables?

I don’t like sushi. Why? It tastes

like stale bamboo with rice on it.

Even though sushi is healthy, my

parents don’t force me to eat it

every night. They respect that I

don’t like it. Why do they force me

to eat vegetables? One day, I might

grow to like them, but for now, my

life is better without.

Did you know that humans can

survive on eating animal products

alone? We don’t need any plant

products to survive. Interestingly,

humans can’t survive on plant

products alone. They need to take

supplements to meet the daily

requirements. I think that just

about sums up that we don’t need


You know that feeling when you

are sitting in class and your tummy

is swollen and gassy? Blame the

vegetables from last night’s dinner.

Some vegetables, like broccoli,

cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and

asparagus, are known for causing

gas and bloating. I’d really like to

avoid a gassy classroom experience,

thank you very much.

My mum has tried to make

vegetables tastier by adding sauces

and cheese to them. That was

the closest I’ve come to enjoying

vegetables. Unfortunately, she found

out that adding things to vegetables

is actually pretty unhealthy. For

vegetables to provide the most

nutrients, they have to be served as

naturally as possible. My vegetable

tolerance was short lived.

Let’s talk about the hearty potato.

Recent developments in the health

world have now made Mr Potato

the enemy. For years, people

ate potatoes without a problem.

Suddenly, they are too high in

carbohydrates and have to be

replaced by cauliflower. Mashed

cauliflower does not taste the same

as mashed potato! Stop trying to

convince me! People believe that

vegetables are healthy until new

research shows they aren’t. Things

can change very quickly.

The time

has come

for parents

to stop



to eat


Don’t you


92 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why are potatoes not seen as healthy anymore?

2 How should vegetables be served to provide the most nutrients?

3 Write a sentence from the passage which shows many people

have told the writer that cauliflower is a good substitute for


4 Why did the writer’s mum try to make vegetables tastier?

5 If you have children one day, will you force them to eat

vegetables? Explain your answer.

6 If you are bloated, your tummy is .

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 93


How to Make Your Own Slime

Slime is great fun to play with. Here are three recipes to make your own

slime at home.

Basic Fluffy Slime


½ cup shampoo

¼ cup cornstarch

Food colouring

6 tablespoons water

1. Mix the shampoo and cornstarch in

a bowl.

2. Add three drops of food colouring.

3. Add the tablespoons of water,

stirring well after every addition.

4. Knead the slime for approximately

five minutes.

Stretchy Slime


½ cup white glue

Food colouring

½ cup baby powder

1. Mix the glue and food

colouring in a bowl.

2. Add the baby powder and mix

until you are happy with the


This slime can last for days

if you keep it in an airtight


If your slime is still too sticky after

five minutes of kneading, add more

cornstarch until you reach the desired

level of fluffiness.

Edible Slime


1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Food colouring

1. Pour the sweetened condensed milk

and cornstarch into a saucepan.

2. Put the stove on low heat and

stir continuously until it reaches a


3. Once the mixture has thickened,

you can mix in food colouring.

4. Let it cool and enjoy!

This slime will only be playable for

one day, due to the dairy ingredient.

94 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Which ingredient is in all three recipes?

2 What do you have to do if your basic fluffy slime is still sticky?

3 Why does the dairy ingredient cause the edible slime to only be

playable for one day?

4 For which recipe should you ask an adult for assistance? Why?

5 Which one of these recipes would you like to try the most? Why?

6 Draw a picture of what kneading looks like.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 95


The Magic of the Theatre

It’s fairly simple to find

entertainment these days. Streaming

services like Netflix and Amazon

Prime have hundreds of series

viewers can binge to their hearts’

content. We can live-stream

concerts and watch the latest movie

releases at the click of a button.

While this is nice and convenient,

I feel that too many people are

spending their Saturdays in front

of the television. They are missing

out on something truly magical: the

theatre! I think everybody should

regularly go to the theatre.

The theatre is a wonderful place.

You can watch a musical, a play

or classical concert happen right in

front of you.

The theatre unlocks creativity. It

teaches us how to create something

magical and beautiful from what we

have. Things we see on television

are often enhanced by computers

and special effects. Anything that

happens on the theatre stage is

done by real actors doing their own


There is a big difference between

watching a ballet dancer on

television and watching a ballet

dancer right in front of you. There

is often a real orchestra playing the

music. It is a wonderful experience.

are not used to sitting still and

focusing on one thing for 90 minutes

at a time. It helps us to realise that

entertainment does not have to be

fast-paced. We learn to sit quietly,

pay attention and appreciate the


Theatre is live. Things will go wrong.

It teaches us that everyone makes

mistakes. We can learn that the

show must go on, regardless of what

happens on stage.

What makes the theatre truly

magical, is that the performers and

the audience experience something

that is unique and funny together.

No two shows will be the same.

Going to the theatre is also good

for brain development. Having such

an immersive experience triggers

emotional intelligence and creative

thinking. Watching the characters

interact with each other also

enhances vocabulary and language


Find out what productions are

showing at your local theatre. Ask

your parents to take you. Going

to the theatre will be a wonderful

experience. You will never forget it!

The theatre teaches us patience.

Going to the theatre for the first

time can be a challenge for younger

children. Television shows are

mostly short and repetitive. Children

96 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Write three things you can watch at a theatre.

2 Why are children not used to focusing for 90 minutes

at a time?

3 What would happen if an actor forgot their words on stage?

4 Why is it important for children to experience entertainment that

is not enhanced with special effects?

5 Do you want to go to the theatre? Why or why not?

6 What does it mean to binge?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 97


Pieta’s Walk

My dog, Pieta, is fat. He is also old, which makes him old and fat. We

took him for his check-up at the veterinarian yesterday. She immediately

noticed that we don’t walk Pieta that often, because his nails are long

and, have I mentioned that he is possibly a tad overweight? She insisted

that we walk Pieta four times a week. The vet said that the extra weight

is putting too much pressure on his joints and he might be in pain because

of it.

Because I quit cricket last season, I am now the lucky winner of the Pieta

walks. Apparently, a growing child has to exercise. Sounds like a load of

rubbish to me.

The vet said we have to start small. The walks mustn’t be too far and

Pieta must be on his leash all the time. For our first walk, I took him to

the field up the road. Pieta was loving every minute. There was no one

else around, so I thought it would be easier if Pieta could run free and I

could sit on a tree stump and do absolutely nothing. Sounded like a winwin

to me! I know the vet said he had to be on leash all the time, but

exercise is exercise, right?

I set Pieta free and watched the glorious round creature waddle around

the field. His tongue was dragging on the ground. He was panting like a

tractor engine. When I called him back, he completely ignored me. In fact,

he looked at me and slowly started waddling in the opposite direction.

Seems like he enjoyed his walk too much!

I got up from my tree stump and called him again. This time he didn’t even

bother to look back. To my great despair, I now had to jog in an attempt

to catch Pieta, who was accumulating staggering speed. He crossed the

road without checking for traffic. He disappeared down a cross street. I

ran frantically to catch up with him, but he was gone.

I ran up and down the neighbourhood for 20 minutes before I decided to

return home. I was tired, miserable and disappointed. I’d made a complete

mess of everything.

As I approached the gate, I saw

a familiar round figure innocently

waiting for me. Guess who?

I think it is safe to say that it was

Pieta who took me for a walk, not

the other way round.

98 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why does Pieta need to lose weight?

2 Which order from the vet did the child ignore?

3 Why was the child disappointed after the walk?

4 Why are long nails an indication that a dog isn’t walked enough?

5 Do you think Pieta enjoyed his walk? Why or why not?

6 Write another word that could be used instead of despair in the

sentence below.

To my great despair, I now had to jog in an attempt to catch

Pieta, who was accumulating staggering speed.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 99


How Animals See the World

Have you ever wondered how the world

looks through your pet’s eyes? Scientific

research has made it possible to study

animals’ eyes. You might be surprised to

find out that animals and humans don’t

see the world in the same way at all.

Colour is detected by cones in the eye.

If an eye has cones, it will be able to

see some colour. Scientists can study an

animal’s eye and find out if it contains

any cones. They can find out what

colours these cones can detect. Cones function best in daytime, when

there is bright light.

Other cells in eyes, called rods, helps us see in low light. Humans can

only see shades of grey at night time.

The human eye has three cones. A dog’s eye has two cones. This means

that dogs can see various shades of blue, yellow and green. Dogs can’t

see red or orange. To a dog, red looks grey.

Cats’ eyes also have two cones. They are also unable to see red. They

have three times more rod cells than humans. This means that they can

see extremely well in the dark.

The magnificent Bengal tiger in India likes to hunt chital deer. You

would think that the chital would spot a huge, bright orange Bengal tiger

immediately. Interestingly, the chital also has only two cones. It can’t see

red or orange. Can you see how this makes it easy for the Bengal to hunt

the chital?

Bumblebees’ eyes also have three cones, but, unlike humans, their eyes

can detect ultraviolet. This guides them to nectar stores on plants like

lights on an airport runway. This is very handy for their survival.

Birds have four cones. They can see what we see, but they can also see

ultraviolet. Birds can see many colours that are invisible to the human

eye. A study has shown that some bird species actually have different

coloured males and females. To the human eye, they look the same.

It is difficult to imagine that the different species that live on Earth

don’t see it in the same way. Luckily, science helps us understand our


100 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What are the cells called that helps humans see in the dark?

2 What in the eye is responsible for detecting colour?

3 Why is the bumblebee’s ability to see ultraviolet nectar on

plants handy for its survival?

4 What makes it easy for the Bengal tiger to hunt the chital deer?

5 Do you think a dog’s life is very different from a human’s

because of its inability to see red? Explain your answer.

6 The word cone also has another meaning. Use it in a sentence.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 101


The Tygerberg Nature Reserve

The Tygerberg Nature Reserve lies

in the northern suburbs of Cape

Town. It is a must-see. Thousands

of years ago, the reserve’s hill was

scattered with Khoisan and their

cattle. Their view from the top was

open plains stretching out all the

way to Table Mountain. Through the

years, the plains made way for a

vast urban jungle. The view is still


The Tygerberg Nature Reserve

covers 309 hectares (roughly 4 km 2 ).

It is home to 24 different mammal

species. There are 137 bird species.

There are 22 different reptiles,

seven frog species and various

butterflies. The reserve is one of

the largest areas where you can find

the critically endangered Swartland

Shale Renosterveld vegetation.

There are 562 floral species found in

the reserve.

The entry fee to the reserve is

R20 per adult and R10 per child.

A few tortoises live in the area

around the gate. If you are lucky,

one might greet you when you

arrive. You can make your way to

the Kristo Pienaar Environmental

Education Centre. There are

beautiful displays to look at. The

guide will also share interesting

facts about nature in the area.

The highlight of your trip will

be your hiking route. There are

13 routes to choose from. The

difficulty ranges from easy to

intermediate. The gravel trails

leading down the hill are more

notorious for wildlife. Keep your

eyes peeled for Cape foxes,

caracals, badgers, porcupines and

various small antelope. Earlymorning

hikes are the best for

wildlife spotting as the animals go

to the waterholes.

The gravel trails up the hill are a

little steep at first, but not too

difficult for children. The Duiker

route leads you to a beautiful

dam with a picnic bench. The

Tortoise route takes you right up

the hill. The view from the top is

spectacular. It feels like you are on

top of the world. You can see Table

Mountain with a 360° view of Cape

Town and its suburbs. There is a

cannon at the top of the hill. It is

still fired on special occasions.

The reserve is wheelchair friendly.

There is a tar road that leads from

the entrance to the top of the

mountain. There is a stunning picnic

area overlooking Table Mountain

and the harbour. You can bring your

friends and host your birthday party

at the picnic spot.

The Tygerberg Nature Reserve is a

wonderful escape from city living. If

you are ever in the area, you have

to come!

102 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Who lived in the area thousands of years ago?

2 How much would it cost two adults and two children to enter

the reserve?

3 Why is early morning the best time to spot wildlife?

4 Give a reason why the Swartland Shale Renosterveld vegetation

in the area is critically endangered.

5 Would you like to have your birthday party at a nature reserve?

Why or why not?

6 What does ‘keep your eyes peeled’ mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 103


The Mountain Man

Dashrath Manjhi lived in Gehlaur,

India, with his wife, Falguni Devi.

They were very poor. The people from

Gehlaur had to travel 75 kilometres

up and down a treacherous mountain

for basic facilities, such as hospitals,

schools and water.

Dashrath worked for a landlord on

the mountain. Falguni brought him

lunch every afternoon. One day, she slipped and fell down the mountain.

Her injuries were very severe. Dashrath could not get her to hospital in

time and, sadly, she died.

Heartbroken and angry, Dashrath decided to take matters into his own

hands. He desperately wanted all to have access to amenities and not

suffer the same fate as his wife.

He sold the family’s three goats and bought a chisel, a hammer and

crowbars. He started to carve a road through the mountain. The

townspeople called him a madman and laughed at him. Dashrath kept

carving away. He continued his work for the landlord by day and carved

the mountain at night. He burned firewood on the mountain rocks and

splashed it with cold water. This made the rocks easier to crack. On most

days, he only ate leaves and drank dirty water.

Slowly but surely, Dashrath’s road began taking form. When the

townspeople saw that he was not giving up, some started to help him.

They brought him food and helped remove the mountain rubble.

Dashrath finally completed the road after 22 years of excruciating hard

work. His road through the mountain was 109 kilometres long. It not only

benefitted his townspeople, but also those from 60 surrounding towns. The

75-kilometre treacherous walk over the mountain was reduced to an easy

16-kilometre walk.

Dashrath died in 2007, at the age of 73, from gallbladder cancer. While

on his deathbed, Dashrath was approached by a filmmaker who wanted

to make a film about his life. The film, Manjhi – The Mountain Man, was

released in 2015.

Dashrath’s story is one of resilience and perseverance. His road changed

the lives of thousands and he will always be remembered for it.

104 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How did Falguni die?

2 How long did it take Dashrath to complete the road?

3 Why did the townspeople laugh at Dashrath

when they first saw him carving the mountain?

4 Why would someone want to make a movie about Dashrath?

5 What can we learn from Dashrath Manjhi?

6 What does excruciating mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 105


The Baby Olympics

www.countrychronicles.com Since 1989

Cream of the Crop News

Yesterday saw the opening day of

the Baby Olympics in Melbourne,

Australia. The criticism of social

media users worldwide did not

dampen the positive atmosphere.

The first day turned out to be a

great success.

The opening ceremony featured

50 excited babies playing in a huge

ball pit. A local choir sang ‘Wheels

on the Bus’ and ‘Baby Shark’. They

were accompanied by babies banging

on pots.

The first athletic event for the

Under 1s was drooling. Ginna

Warrington, from Wales, took

the gold. She filled one cup in

30 minutes. Unbelievable! What

makes it such an astonishing victory

is that her nearest competitor only

managed to provide 45 millilitres. It

was a complete landslide.

The next category for the Under 1s

was sleeping. The choir returned for

a haunting rendition of ‘Hush Little

Baby’. The competitors all slept

like true champions. The winner of

the gold was South African Andrew

Louw. The little guy slept for a

solid two hours and 13 minutes.

What a champ!

The first event for the Under 2s

was milk bottle lifting. Local girl,

Ashley Burton, proved that a firm

grip and upper arm strength is the

key to gold. The judges scored her

10s across the board.

The final event of the day was the

Under 2s 10-m crawling. This was

the one the crowd had been waiting

for. The mums and dads waited for

their little athletes at the finish line

with tubs filled with organic fruit

puree. Ben Wilson was first out of

the blocks. Halfway, he got sidetracked

by a balloon in the crowd.

Celeste Rabie took the lead. She

charged on all fours to win another

gold medal for the host country.

Spectators can look forward to

the cake smash, most ticklish toes

and stinkiest nappy categories

tomorrow. Bring a peg for your


106 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why did Ben Wilson not win the gold?

2 What song did the choir sing for the sleeping category?

3 How many medals did Australia win on the first day?

4 What could some of the criticism on social media about the

Baby Olympics have been?

5 At what age do you think children should start competing in

sports? Explain your answer.

6 What does organic mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 107


Communication Through

the Ages

Communicating with people has never been as easy as it is today. You can

video chat with family in another country. You can instantly send videos

and photos to friends. Things weren’t always so easy. Back in the day, it

was quite a challenge to send a message to someone far away.

The smoke signal is one of the oldest forms of communication. In ancient

China, soldiers on the Great Wall sent smoke signals to warn one another

of danger. The colour of the smoke communicated the size of the danger.

To this day, smoke is still a brilliant way to call for help. (Don’t try it at


The Ancient Romans used carrier pigeons to send long-distance messages.

The pigeon was sent in a small cage to a recipient, who would attach a

small parchment with a message to the pigeon’s foot. The pigeon would

then fly home. Pigeons have an internal compass. They can find their way

home from thousands of kilometres away. A response could then be tied to

the pigeon’s foot and it will make its way back home again.

Postal services have been around since mankind learned how to write.

Messages were delivered by dog sleds, balloons, submarines and donkeys.

Telegraph communication developed after Samuel Morse invented Morse

code in 1830. Morse code is a communication system. There is a Morse

code alphabet. The letters consist of long and short clicks. The telegraph

system sent electrical currents through long wire to deliver messages in

Morse code.

The first telephone call was made by

Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. The

telephone replaced the telegraph almost

immediately. It is still one of the most

reliable means of communication today.

The first text message in history was

sent by Neil Papworth in 1992. It simply

said, ‘Merry Christmas’. Text messages

are very popular today. More than six

billion text messages are sent daily.

Can you imagine having to send a pigeon with a message to your aunt

abroad? You’d have to wait weeks for her response. Typing and sending is

so much easier!

108 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Who invented Morse code?

2 How many text messages are sent daily?

3 Why should you not try sending smoke signals from home?

4 In which month do you think the first text message was sent?


5 What is your preferred form of communication with loved ones

far away? Describe it.

6 What is another word for overseas?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 109


Go to Sleep!

Have you ever argued with your parents over your bedtime? Many children

all around the globe attempt to convince their parents every night to

extend their awake time. Some are successful, some fail miserably. You

win some, you lose some, right?

Parents do have some method in their madness in putting you to bed

before nine o’clock. And no, it is not slavery or torture. There are some

valid reasons why children should go to bed early.

A 10-year-old child needs 10 to 12 hours of sleep every night. If you have

to wake up at six in the morning, you should be in bed no later than eight

at night.

During sleep, your brain restores resources that were used during the day.

It uses sleep to process events. It sorts and stores information. This is

very important to create long-term memories.

A child that consistently gets enough sleep can remember things better.

Well-rested children are also more creative, can concentrate better and

have more energy during the day.

Research has shown that people get their best sleep early at night.

Children who go to bed late will miss out on this very important

restorative sleep. They might wake up feeling tired and groggy.

Children who go to sleep later take

longer to fall asleep than those

hitting the sack earlier. They also

wake more during the night. This

results in even less sleep.

Don’t think that if you go to sleep an

hour earlier, you will wake up an hour

earlier. Researchers asked parents of

children aged 7 to 11 years to make

bedtime an hour earlier for five nights

in a row. On average, these children

slept 27 minutes more than before.

Your parents are right this time. It is really worth it to stick to your

bedtime. A well-rested brain is a happy brain. You will feel so much


110 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How many hours of sleep

does a 10-year-old child

need per night?

2 When do people get their

best sleep?

3 How does sleep help a well-rested brain to be a happy brain?

4 True or false? If you go to bed 27 minutes earlier, you will wake

up 27 minutes earlier the next morning.

5 How would you feel if you had to go to bed one hour earlier

from now on? Explain your answer.

6 What does ‘hitting the sack’ in this text mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 111


Say Cheese!

We all know what to do when we

are in a photo; slap on your widest

grin, show your pearly whites and say,


People were not always smiling in

photos. In the 1820s, only the rich

could afford to hire a professional

photographer. People believed that

they looked dignified when they stared

solemnly at the camera.

Most people only sat for one or two

photos in their lifetime. Cameras did

not capture people living their lives

as they do today. Back then, it was

almost only portrait photography. If

you only get one chance to immortalise

yourself in a photo, you have to look

as dignified as possible. A toothy grin

might just make you look very foolish.

Before the age of the camera, the only

way to have an image of yourself was

to be painted. Artists wanted their models to sit very still for a very long

time. Holding a smile for so long is difficult. People were used to sitting

solemnly when having their portrait done.

Another reason for the serious faces in old photos could be traced back

to dental health. People’s teeth were not as well looked after in the past.

Maybe they didn’t smile because they didn’t want to be remembered for

their rotten teeth.

The invention of the Kodak instant camera in the 1900s brought a change

to the world of photography. Kodak marketed the instant camera as a way

to remember happiness. People now had the opportunity to take their own

photos. They started taking spontaneous photos. They could experiment

with different poses and expressions.

Having your picture taken is no longer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Most people carry a camera with them wherever they go, as they are now

conveniently located in phones. We smile in photos because that is how

we want to be remembered: happy.

112 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why did people have their portrait painted in the olden days?

2 What invention brought a change in photography?

3 Why did people think that a toothy grin could make you look foolish?

4 Why did people start to take more photos from the 1900s and


5 Do you agree that looking serious in a photo makes you look

more dignified? Explain your answer.

6 What does solemnly mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 113


Radiant Rainbows

Rainbows are one of the most exquisite displays of nature. Have you ever

wondered how they are formed?

White light is made up of seven different colours: red, orange, yellow,

green, blue, indigo and violet.

Raindrops act as small prisms. A prism breaks a single beam of white light

into a band of seven colours.

When sunlight shines on a water droplet, the light bends slightly in

different angles. This creates different coloured light rays. These bent

light rays are the rainbow we see.

A rainbow can only appear when there is rain and sun at the same time.

A rainbow will look different from every angle, meaning that no two people

will see the rainbow in exactly the same way.

A rainbow is actually a full circle. Since we are on the ground, we only

see a semicircle. If you are in an aeroplane, you might be lucky enough to

see a rainbow in a full circle.

Rainbows can also be seen in mist, spray, waterfalls, fog and dew.

You can do this little experiment at home to make your own rainbow.

Fill a glass with water and put a mirror inside it at an angle. Make sure

that the room is completely dark. Take a torch and flash it towards the

mirror inside the glass. A rainbow will appear from the angle of the mirror.

Hold a piece of white paper to the reflection and see the different colours

of the rainbow appear.

114 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What are the colours of the rainbow?

2 What happens when sunlight enters a water droplet?

3 Why does there have to be sun for a rainbow to form?

4 Why might you be able to see a full-circle rainbow from an


5 Did you try the experiment? Why or why not? If you did, what


6 What is a reflection?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 115


The Immortal White Snake

– A Chinese Myth

Xu Xian, a young herbalist, was

excited to finally open his own

medicine shop. Just as the doors

opened, he realised that something

was very wrong. He had bought his

herbs from his old boss. The boss

didn’t want Xu Xian to succeed.

He had sold him rotten herbs.

Customers came in, desperately

seeking medicine to cure them from

a plague that had hit the village.

Xu Xian panicked. He could not sell

them rotten herbs.

Xu Xian’s wife, Bai Su Zhen, took

the rotten herbs. She used them

to make medicine. Xu Xian sold

it to his customers. They were

immediately cured from the disease.

Soon, the whole village wanted

some of Bai Su Zhen’s medicine.

A monk named Fa Hai approached

Xu Xian soon after. He told Xu

Xian that Bai Su Zhen was a

demon. Xu Xian laughed at the

monk. His wife was kind and

generous. She could not be a

demon. Fa Hai told him to serve his

wife realgar wine on the fifth day

of the fifth month. If she was not a

demon, nothing would happen.

Xu Xian wondered if he should

give the wine to Bai Su Zhen. He

decided to do it to prove to Fa Hai

that she was not a demon.

As soon as she drank the wine, Bai

Su Zhen started feeling unwell. She

went to bed. Xu Xian took her some

medicine. Nothing could prepare

him for what he

would find in the

bedroom. A giant

white serpent

was sitting on

the bed where

his wife was

supposed to be.

He instantly

collapsed and

died from shock.

Bai Su Zhen was

devastated. She never told Xu Xian

that she was an immortal snake with

magical powers. She tried to revive

him with her powers, but could not.

She had only one idea to save him.

On the highest mountain at the

South Pole, there was a magical

herb. This herb could bring the dead

back to life. The herb was kept by

the Old Man of the South Pole.

She flew there on the clouds.

The herb was guarded by two of

the Old Man’s guards. Bai Su Zhen

disguised herself as a monk. She

told the guards that she had come

to invite the old man to a gathering

of the gods. When they left to call

the Old Man, Bai Su Zhen took a

piece of the herb and ran away.

Bai Su Zhen returned home to

revive Xu Xian. He opened his eyes.

The terrified look on his face was

replaced by a loving smile. It didn’t

matter to him that his wife was a

demon. He was very happy to see


116 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why did Xu Xian’s old boss sell him rotten herbs?

2 How did Bai Su Zhen manage to fool the guards?

3 Why did Bai Su Zhen not feel well after she drank the wine?

4 Why did Xu Xian collapse and die?

5 What do you think went through Xu Xian’s head when he saw

the giant serpent on the bed?

6 What is another word for snake?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 117


Erik the Red

Erik the Red was a hot-tempered Viking, born in Norway in 950 CE.

He got his nickname from his red hair and beard. At the age of 10,

Erik left Norway with his father, who was banished after he killed a man.

I think that it is safe to say that Erik might have inherited his father’s

temper. Father and son settled in a new home in Iceland.

After Erik’s father died, Erik married a wealthy Icelandic woman named

Thorhild. He had a son, Leif, who became a famous explorer. Erik and his

family lived on a large plot of land he named after himself: Erikstad.

Sometime around 982 CE, Erik’s servants

accidentally caused a landslide that wrecked his

neighbour’s home. The neighbour was so angry he

killed the servants. Erik did not like this one bit.

A big row broke out between the two households.

Erik killed several people, including the neighbour’s

two sons. Erik was trialled and eventually banished

for three years. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Erik decided to put his time in exile to good use.

He went on a voyage in search of a new island.

He sailed westward and reached new land in

983 CE. He named this island Greenland. Greenland

is mostly covered in snow, but Erik wanted the

name to sound inviting so that people would want

to live there. Sneaky Erik! He spent the rest of his

banishment in Greenland, after which he returned to Iceland.

Erik told many people of the new island he had found. He convinced

numerous people to pack up their things and move to Greenland.

In 985 CE, Erik and the new colony set sail for Greenland. They took

35 ships. They also brought oxen, horses and cows on the journey.

Only 14 of the ships reached Greenland.

Upon arrival, the group divided into two colonies: a western and an

eastern settlement. Erik was selected to be the leader of the eastern


Erik’s love for exploring continued. He and Leif planned to visit a

land where they could find wood. Erik’s horse took a tumble before

departure and he decided not to go. It is said that he died shortly after

Leif’s return.

Erik will always be remembered and honoured for his discovery of Greenland.

118 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why did Erik and his father leave Norway?

2 Why did Erik leave Iceland?

3 Do you think that it was clever of Erik to name the island

Greenland? Explain your answer.

4 Why did the Greenland settlements need wood?

5 If you were a Viking, would you have joined Erik and the new

colony in Greenland? Why or why not?

6 Write one word for the phrase ‘took a tumble’.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 119


How Do Fitness Trackers


Fitness trackers are an extremely popular way to track your activity and

basic fitness levels. Do you have one? Everyone seems to be wearing them.

They help people achieve health goals and maintain healthy habits. Onehundred

and twenty million fitness trackers were sold in 2019. How do

these devices on our wrists know our step counts and heart rates?

Fitness trackers sense when and how you move. People move at different

speeds, in different directions and in different rotations. Every fitness

tracker has an accelerometer. An accelerometer can track movement

in every direction. A gyroscope measures the orientation and rotation.

Together, they can tell how you are moving. They can tell whether you are

moving back and forth, side to side, or up and down. This data is used to

calculate how fast you are moving and how many steps it takes you to get


Most fitness trackers can also measure your heart rate. Have you noticed

a green light on the underside of the face? This is a small LED light.

Together with a light sensor, it helps to measure and calculate your heart

rate. Your blood absorbs green light. The tracker measures how fast your

heart is pumping by analysing the changes in the light. The faster the

blood pumps, the higher your heart rate.

Fitness trackers can also measure how much you

sleep. They use your heart rate, movement and

breathing tempo to measure your sleep.

The tracker sends all the data to a

microprocessor. This is like the ‘brain’ of the

tracker. The tracker uses an algorithm to process

the data. It sends the relevant information to an

app on a phone or tablet. You can compare your

progress with your past data.

Some fitness trackers can play music, make phone

calls and even remind you of your appointments.

You can use the timer or the stopwatch at sport

practice. You can use the torch to find your way in the dark.

A fitness tracker is the ultimate sporting and fitness companion. It helps

us to track our progress and motivates us to do better.

120 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What does the tracker use to track movement in

every direction?

2 What do fitness trackers use to monitor your sleep?

3 How can a fitness tracker motivate you to be more active?

4 How can a stopwatch be useful at sport practice?

5 Would you want a fitness tracker? Why or why not?

6 What is another word for friend?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 121



My Humble Request

1. Nina wants more screen time.

2. two

3. She can’t join in her friends’

conversations when they talk

about games.

4.-5. Answers will vary.

6. completed

The First Rugby Practice

1. None, this is his first.

2. You have to do 50 burpees.

3. He wrongly tackled Jeff, talked

back to the ref and didn’t


4. He was very confident in his

ability at first. Later on, he

realised that rugby is exhausting

and difficult.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Answers will vary; for example,

extremely painful and agonising.

Interesting Facts You Probably

Didn’t Know About Your Body

1. As the day progresses, the

soft cartilage between your

bones squash and you become


2. True

3. Answers will vary (age x 4


4.-5. Answers will vary.

6. Lifespan means the length of

time something lives.

Life in the Ant Colony

1. They follow the scent left by

other ants.

2. dead

3. larvae

4. The queen, because she lays the


5. Answers will vary.

6. the jaw

Crazy Card Games

1. You can place the eight on any


2. You have to give one card to

the person who put the card in

the centre.

3. any seven or any spade

4. If they look at their cards, they

will be able to see when they

will place a jack.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Teacher check; a drawing of any

heart card.

A Family for Sprinkles

1. She was the only one of her

kind in the forest and wanted

to find other rabbits.

2. Their tails look the same.

3. She didn’t want to be alone


4. False

5. Answers will vary.

6. A group of rabbits is called a


122 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing

The Hockey Match

1. The boy hit the coach with his

stick and the paramedics were


2. A trick where you swing your

stick in front of you like a


3. No, he thinks that the coaches

just haven’t seen his skills yet.

4. Answers will vary, but should

be similar to: it’s unhygienic,

it’s gross.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Opposition means the team you

are playing against.

Molly the Mosquito

1. mosquito

2. hungry

3. She wants to bite it, to get a

few drops of blood for lunch.

4. Molly is bothering her and she

doesn’t want to be bitten.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Tame means to train wild

animals to live with humans.

Watchdog Available

1. the writer’s housemate, Arina

2. ten

3. No, he/she doesn’t like Neska.

He/she made a list of all the

things Neska does that bothers


4. No, the owner is unaware of the

advert and may be surprised, as

the writer hasn’t discussed it

with her.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Incessantly means constantly.

The Tree

1. He had always been too short.

2. The wind blew him off course.

3. Answers will vary. Example

answer: He thought the

chameleons wanted to eat him.

4. They saved him in the end.

5. Answers will vary.

6. A gust is a sudden, strong wind.

Public Speaking 101

1. False

2. Stop and gather your thoughts.

Then when you are back on

track, continue from where you


3. you

4. It’s less intimidating to only

speak in front of two or three

people than a room full of


5. Answers will vary.

6. Teacher check

Racheltjie de Beer

1. They were searching for a

missing calf.

2. She made a bed for him in an


3. They could not see the path

they had to take as it was dark

and covered in snow.

4. She froze to death.

5. Answers will vary.

6. empty

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 123


Old Hopgiant

1. twenty

2. He disappeared, stuck to Old

Hopgiant’s boot.

3. He was greedy.

4. Answers will vary but should be

similar to: relieved, happy etc.

5. Answers will vary.

6. vanished

The Dangers of Magnetic Balls

1. his father

2. His stomach started to ache

after he swallowed magnetic


3. She searched for what to

do when someone swallows

magnetic balls.

4. Toddlers put all sorts of things

in their mouths. They are

too young to understand the


5. Answers will vary.

6. It is stuck in your intestine.

Jamie’s Painting Review

1. Mona Lisa

2. Leonardo da Vinci

3. She thought that it was dull.

Answers will vary.

4.-5. Answers will vary.

6. A masterpiece is a work of

outstanding artistry.

Make Your Own Dessert

1. seven

2. 40 minutes

3. Mixing is a vigorous action and

folding is gently stirring.

4. It might burn if it stays in too


5. Answers will vary.

6. Batter is a mixture of flour and

other ingredients.

The Girl with the Rose-red


1. pirates

2. An eagle took the slipper and

dropped it on the pharaoh’s


3. She would have been a slave

if someone else bought her.

4.-5. Answers will vary.

6. A cavalry is a group of

soldiers who fight on


Tomorrow’s Home

1. It will order fresh milk from

the supermarket.

2. Three of the following:

Remind to take medication;

display a calendar and the

weather; be a make-up

assistant; and be a display

area for other medical


3. Probably yes, because

people will have better

access to their own medical


4.-5. Answers will vary.

6. (a)

124 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing

Royal Limericks

1. He is the king of Kentucky.

2. Yes

3. a fat quail

4. She saw her tomb where she

will be buried one day.

5. Answers will vary.

6. hound

Boring-coloured Cars Must Go!

1. You are out when a red car

comes by.

2. black

3.-5. Answers will vary.

6. Siblings are brothers and


Disaster on the River

1. by the riverbank

2. ice creams for everyone

3. Emily

4. three people in a two-seater


5. Answers will vary.

6. Answers might include:

monumental, great, mighty,

huge, immense, enormous or


A Perfect Past?

1. Without a refrigerator, they

could not keep food cold and


2. Cars did not have seat belts or


3. No, the phone was in a central

place in the house, so everyone

could hear your conversation.

4. A lot more people had a

television in 1959 than in 1950

and family dinners were centred

around it.

5. Answers will vary.

6. A rotary dial is the rotating

number selector on old phones.

The Best Game in the World

1. mastering the strokes

2. a tennis racquet and tennis


3.-5. Answers will vary.

6. Beneficial means helpful.

Building Towards a Better


1. An ecobrick is a plastic bottle

filled with single-use plastic.

2. It will be too soft to build a

solid structure.

3. Answers will vary; examples

may include that it is cheap and

people are encouraged to pick

up and use waste.

4. Answers will vary; examples

may include that the plastic

may be harmful to the soil over

time and it doesn’t always look


5. Answers will vary.

6. roughly

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 125


Should Musical Education be

Compulsory in Schools?

1. One of the following: It

makes you smart./It teaches

you to work hard./It builds


2. One of the following: It is

expensive./There are not

enough resources in schools.

3.-5. Answers will vary.

6. compulsory

Brutal Bugs

1. the ‘gross-metre’ section

2. One of the following: The

writer thinks a world map,

showing where all the bugs

originate from, is missing./The

writer thinks that there should

be better balance between

illustrations and photographs.

3. Answers will vary.

4. Answers will vary. Example

answer: Yes, he/she did. They

recommend that everybody

should read it.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Brutal means fierce or cruel.

The Castle of Good Hope

1. The Castle of Good Hope

2. 300

3. It was not a nice place to be.

4. The sundial did not work at


A Day in the Life of a Blind


1. They know exactly where they

should walk to avoid things like

pavements and corners.

2. a Brailler

3. It helps to see if you are on the

right track.

4. It’s less effort than to read in


5. Answers will vary.

6. A written language for blind


Spiders Deserve Better

1. mosquito

2. Antarctica

3. Many people still believe that

they will swallow eight spiders

in their lifetime. The people

believed her rumour.

4. The spiders will not be there to

catch them anymore.

5. Answers will vary.

6. venom

The Flying Cow

1. two claws on their wings

2. cows, goats and sheep

3. Answers will vary. (They are

not good flyers, because

their crop is too big.)

4.-5. Answers will vary.

6. lounging

5. Answers will vary.

6. A fort is a structure built to

defend something/someone.

126 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing

Are Dogs Really Man’s Best


1. wolf

2. its human family

3. You do exercise and get fresh

air when you walk with your

dog. Dogs make you feel happy.

4. You can train the dog to be


5. Answers will vary.

6. Domesticate means to train an

animal and keep it as a pet.

The Rubik’s Cube

1. Erno Rubik

2. 27

3. It is difficult to solve the

cube on your own.

4.-5. Answers will vary.

6. A revival is when something

becomes popular again.

Battle of the Books

1. You can enlarge the font.

2. 180 grams

3. Answers will vary.

4. E-readers are not waterproof,

so they will break when coming

into contact with water.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Simultaneously means at the

same time.

VacMac 2000

1. one hour

2. He will shut down the internet,

the television, the boy’s

computer and his phone.

3. ‘Hey,’ I shouted, ‘come here,

silly, lazy vacuum!’

4. No. Talking isn’t one of the

features listed on the box.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Ominously means suggesting

that something bad is going to


Headphones or Speakers?

1. Headphones – 4, Speakers – 3

2. People tend to have the volume

20%–50% higher on headphones.

This can damage your ears.

3. Answers will vary. Example

answer: No one else will hear

the music.

4. Answers will vary. Example

answer: parents.

5. Answers will vary.

6. The chorus is the part of the

song that repeats after each


Who Cut the Onions?

1. basal, reflex and emotional

2. Extra tears overflow to the


3. They will dry out.

4. True

5. Answers will vary.

6. Answers will vary; for example,

severe, extreme, strong and


R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 127


Sweets or Chocolates?

1. They are very acidic. They wear

down the enamel on your teeth.

2. Chocolate, because it washes

off more easily.

3. Chocolate, because it provides

energy for a longer period of


4. They come in different colours

and flavours.

5. Answers will vary.

6. teeth

Iqbal Masih’s Story

1. six years

2. The police officer at the police

station where he went to for

help was corrupt and took him

back to the carpet factory.

3. He knew that they would help

him as they were activists

against child labour.

4. He was making their lives

difficult and it was harder to

find cheap child labour.

5. Answers will vary.

6. An activist is someone who

fights for a cause.

Serenading the Sunflowers

1. She read somewhere that plants

grow better if you talk to them.

2. No, they also need basic care,

like water.

4. They needed to test the results

against plants who weren’t

talked to.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Answers will vary; for example,

terrible, horrible or awful.

Kahekili’s Leap

1. He wanted to look like his

namesake, the god of thunder.

2. Leaping off cliffs and entering

the water feet first without

making a splash.

3. King Kahekili forced his warriors

to jump off the cliff.

4. You can injure or kill yourself if

you hit rocks or hit the ocean


5. Answers will vary.

6. A venue is a place where

something happens.

The School Concert

1. They are a tree.

2. There are ballerinas, acrobats,

animals, birds and other


3. Yes, they think they look like a

total vision.

4. No

5. Answers will vary.

6. A limited edition is something

that is unique and one of a


3. For the experiment to be a

fair test, the plants need to

grow under the exact same


128 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing

Save the Rhino!

1. 9885

2. Some people believe that

medicine can be made from

their horns.

3.-5. Answers will vary.

6. Contribution means giving

something to help a person

or a cause.

A Catastrophic Adventure

1. All the houses in the row

looked the same.

2. The vet scanned the microchip

in the cat’s neck.

3. No, the cat thought the cattery

would be nicer.

4. The mum didn’t want the cat to

get lost in winter again.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Famished means extremely


Harald Bluetooth Gormsson

1. short-range radio link


2. It is King Harald’s initials in old


3. They united different things.

4. No, Bluetooth was only a code

name. All the other options

were already taken, so they had

no other options.

5. Answers will vary.

6. A trademark is a word or phrase

that identifies your service.

How Stories Came to Earth: An

African Folk Tale

1. He wanted to hide himself from

the hornets.

2. the bowl of yam

3. True, he tricked all of his


4. False, Anansi went through a

lot of trouble to get the stories

from the sky god and set them


5. Answers will vary.

6. Answers will vary; for example,

Anansi came out from behind

the tree.

Vegetables Should Be Banned

1. They are too high in


2. as naturally as possible

3. ‘Stop trying to convince me!’

4. Her child was complaining about

eating vegetables.

5. Answers will vary.

6. swollen

How to Make Your Own Slime

1. food colouring

2. Add more cornstarch.

3. The condensed milk can go off.

4. Edible slime, because you have

to use the stove.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Teacher check

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 129


The Magic of the Theatre

1. musical, play, classical


2. They are used to watching

shorter, repetitive shows on


3. The actors will work around

it on stage and the show will


4.-5. Answers will vary.

6. To binge means doing

something excessively, too

much at a time.

Pieta’s Walk

1. His extra weight is putting too

much pressure on his joints,

which may cause him to be in


2. He didn’t keep Pieta on a leash.

3. He lost Pieta.

4. When a dog walks often, the

nails are short because they

wear off against the ground.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Answers will vary; for example,

disappointment, stress or


How Animals See the World

1. rod cells

2. cones

3. Its food (nectar) is

illuminated, like lights on an

airport runway.

The Tygerberg Nature Reserve

1. the Khoisan people and their


2. R60

3. The animals go to waterholes to


4. Answers will vary; i.e. The

vegetation was removed to make

space for buildings in the area.

5. Answers will vary.

6. To ‘keep your eyes peeled’

means to look out for.

The Mountain Man

1. She fell down the mountain

and couldn’t get the medical

assistance she required.

2. 22 years

3. They thought that he was a


4. His life story is remarkable.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Excruciating means extremely


The Baby Olympics

1. He was side-tracked by a

balloon in the crowd.

2. ‘Hush Little Baby’

3. two

4.-5. Answers will vary.

6. Organic means food produced

without the use of chemicals.

4. The bright orange would

usually attract attention, but

the chital deer can’t see it.

5.-6. Answers will vary.

130 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing

Communication Through the


1. Samuel Morse

2. more than six billion

3. It is dangerous to play with fire

and smoke.

4. Probably December, because

Christmas is in December.

5. Answers will vary.

6. abroad

Go to Sleep!

1. 10–12 hours

2. early at night

3. The brain has important

functions to complete during

sleep. If you don’t sleep enough,

your brain can’t complete these


4. False

5. Answers will vary.

6. ‘Hitting the sack’ means going

to bed.

Say Cheese!

1. They wanted to be remembered

and cameras hadn’t been


2. the Kodak instant camera

3. Answers will vary.

4. They had access to their own


5. Answers will vary.

Radiant Rainbows

1. red, orange, yellow, green, blue,

indigo, violet

2. The light bends slightly in

different angles and forms

different coloured light rays.

3. Without sunlight, the droplets

will not bend into colours.

4. We are only able to see a

semi-circular rainbow shape

when we are on the ground,

because the ground blocks out

the rest. When in an aeroplane,

the ground will not block the

rest of the rainbow.

5. Answers will vary.

6. A reflection is the return of

light waves from a surface.

The Immortal White Snake – A

Chinese Myth

1. He did not want him to succeed

in his new business.

2. She disguised herself as a monk

and asked them to go and call

the Old Man.

3. She was a demon, just as Fa

Hai predicted.

4. He was shocked, as his wife

had turned into a giant white


5. Answers will vary.

6. serpent

6. Solemnly means formal and


R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 131


Erik the Red

1. Erik’s father was banished for

killing a man.

2. Erik was banished for killing

several men.

3. Answers will vary.

4. They probably needed a lot

of wood to build their new


5. Answers will vary.

6. Answers will vary; for example,

tripped or fell.

How Do Fitness Trackers Work?

1. accelerometer

2. heart rate, movement,

breathing tempo

3.-5. Answers will vary.

6. companion

132 Reading for Me Level 4 (Part A) 978-1-922843-63-0 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing

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