8543RB Reading for Me Level 6 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.


Random Acts of Kindness........... 2

Is it Better to be a Vegan?........ 4

The Curse of the Pharaohs......... 6

Movie Classics Are Better......... 8

10 Reasons to Visit the

Hermanus Whale Festival.......... 10

Long Live Sir David


Escape from the House

of Riddles..................................14

Don’t Miss the TV Event

of the Year!..............................16

The Voodoo Queen of

New Orleans..............................18

How Does a Fingerprint

Scanner Work?..........................20

Ten Thumbs Up..........................22

Neko and his Midnight


The Building Blocks

®............................................................. 26


Academy of Witches,

Warlocks and Werewolves.........28

The Social Network of Trees.....30

The Man NOT on the Moon.......32

Belling the Cat – An

Aesop’s Fable............................34

Don’t Be Alarmed—The Aliens

Are Here!..................................36

The Fishy Body Swap.................38

Appetising Eyeballs....................40

The Woman Who Fell

From the Sky.............................42

Electric Cars: Fiction or


Gus, the Great Winged Horse....46

I Like Your Old Stuff Better

Than Your New Stuff................48

From Prison Escape to

Marathon Race..........................50

Adversity is the

Greatest Teacher.......................52

The Man Who Ate Everything....54

The Found City of Atlantis........56

The Man Who Sold the

Eiffel Tower...............................58

My Un-bee-lievable Day............60

Real-life Race Around

the World.................................... 62

Ching Shih, the Pirate Queen....64

A Soundtrack to Your Life........66

Queen Dracula...........................68

Punish The Pigs – Medieval

Animal Court.............................70

King Henry III’s Pale,

White Bear................................72

When is Bad Weather Good?.....74

Behold the Unicorn....................76

Gangsta Granny,

David Walliams..........................78

London Bridge is Falling

Down......................................... 80

Mungo Man of Lake Mungo........82

Through the Wardrobe to


Getting to the Heart of It.........86

Enlightened Education –

Teacher for a Day......................88

Fractured Fairy Tales................90

Kudos to the Brother –

The Interesting Life of Jack

Butler Yeats..............................92

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Will

Computers Rule Over Humans

One Day?...................................94

Dotty Dashes and Stripes..........96

How the Echidna Got

Its Spikes..................................98

Fact or Fiction? Debunking

History’s Greatest Myths........ 100

Hinderance or Help:

Can Technology Help When it

Comes to Sport?..................... 102

Sister Act – The Diary of

Dorothy Wordsworth................ 104

Daring Deeds........................... 106

Chocolatey Goodness.............. 108

Food for Thought..................... 110

A Year in Bed......................... 112

Movies or Books?.................... 114

The Longest Fence in

the World................................ 116

Amari and the Night Brothers... 118

The Life of Nikola Tesla.......... 120

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

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 i


Random Acts of Kindness

Reporter: This is Narelle Bruno reporting

live from Windy City with some breaking

news! This time it is news of the good

variety, with a sudden wave of people

performing random acts of kindness for a


Reporter: This is Hannah, who was the

first recipient of a stranger’s generosity.

Well Hannah, it seems you have had a

surprising, yet uplifting, start to your


Hannah: I know, it almost seems

unbelievable! I was feeling a bit low on

energy this morning and dropped by my

regular cafe to get a coffee and muffin.

When I got to the counter the cashier

told me it was already paid for! She

wouldn’t tell me who it was, because the giver wanted to remain anonymous, but if you’re

out there watching—thank you! You really brightened my day!

Reporter: Something so simple, yet it brought so much joy. It seems the giver decided to

up the ante on the next act, as Gus, here, will explain.

Gus: This has been the most amazing day for me so far! I am really struggling with cash at

the moment but I needed a new pair of shoes for work, which aren’t cheap. So I went to

the sports shop and found a pair I really wanted and the sales assistant told me they were

mine. I didn’t understand what she meant at first, but she explained that someone had

already paid for them for me so they were all mine to take home!

Reporter: And again the giver remained anonymous, so you don’t know who actually

performed this kind act for you?

Gus: I wish I did so that I could thank them and tell them how much I really appreciate the


Reporter: Well if the giver is watching, I think they may have received your message Gus.

Reporter: What’s even more incredible is the acts of kindness that have followed, and ....

wait ... there seems to be a commotion near the bus stop, so let’s cross over to those

people and get the scoop.

Reporter: It’s been an interesting day here in the city this morning, so what’s all the

feverish shouting and excitement about?

Bus passenger: I think I may be hallucinating, but Jacob and I got off the bus and

somebody just handed me keys to a brand new car. I don’t know who it was or where they

have gone now, but I’m a little speechless.

Reporter: Who is this mystery giver sparking so much joy amongst the city? Well, it

seems whoever they are, they have started something contagious in the city because other

people are joining in and doing what they can. The cafe behind me has been inundated with

strangers paying for other people’s coffee. Let’s hope these random acts of kindness, no

matter how small they are, stay in the city for a while.

2 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Who were the first and second recipients of the random acts of kindness and

what did they receive?

2 Which was the largest act of kindness the mystery giver performed?

3 What kind of feelings do you think the acts of kindness have caused amongst

the people of Windy City?

4 Why would the giver want to remain anonymous?

5 What random act of kindness would you perform and why?

6 What does the term ‘up the ante’ mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 3


Is it Better to be a Vegan?

It seems more and more people are converting to veganism, but there

are a variety of reasons for this movement. Some people do it for

health reasons, some for environmental issues, and some do it for

ethical reasons. Many people are left wondering, ‘Should I join the



So, is there any scientific evidence to show veganism is better for your

body? A plant-based diet has been proven to result in a lower risk of

heart disease and lower blood pressure. Vegans also have lower rates

of diabetes and are generally less obese.

On the other hand, vegans are generally lacking in Vitamin B12, as it

is only found in animal products. This can only be remedied by taking


Also, just because you follow a vegan diet doesn’t mean you are eating

the right foods. You may choose plant-based meats and cheeses, but

these are still processed foods which are not good for your health.

As long as vegans are choosing fresh produce and wholegrain foods

then they can get most of their required nutrients.


But what about environmentally? Is it better to be vegan? The short

answer is yes. In general, animal production depletes natural resources

and this can’t be sustained.

The amount of water required to produce beef is about a hundred times

more than the amount of water required to produce grain protein. So

even at the very least, if you cut down on the amount of meat you

eat, you will have less of an impact on the environment.

Most of the world’s crops go towards feeding livestock, which would

be better off feeding people instead. Deforestation is also another

negative result of meat production as land is cleared to raise cattle.


The glaring reason is that less animals have to die if more people

choose to become vegan. Also, with less demand for meat, farming

could be less industrial which means the animals would be treated

better. So if you are concerned about the welfare of animals, veganism

is for you.


Yes, the evidence is clear that it is better for the environment and your

health to move towards more plant-based eating, but do you need to

be a vegan to do that? It also may not suit your body so it is always

advisable to speak to a doctor first before you decide to change your

diet. On an ethical level, you need to do what is right for you.

So, are you joining the movement?

4 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 For what three reasons do people choose to become vegan?

2 What are the disadvantages of veganism on your health?

3 Do you think all vegans are concerned about the welfare of animals? Why?

4 If someone didn’t care about the environment, would they still want to

become a vegan? Why?

5 Would you consider becoming a vegan, based on what you read? Why?

6 Does vegan mean the same thing as plant-based?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 5


The Curse of the Pharaohs

Reggie dusted off the last corner of the concrete surface of the ancient mummy’s tomb.

He reached for his crowbar and wedged it between the lid and the base. It was then he

noticed the inscription, ‘Beware those who break the seal of my tomb. I shall cast my fury

onto him.’

Reggie had heard many myths and legends about the unleashing of a deadly curse, but he

was a man of science, and knew this was not possible. They were just foolish superstitions

to ward of potential thieves. Reggie was no thief—he was a highly respected academic, so

none of the curses even applied to him.

Excited at the prospect of finally seeing an ancient mummy, Reggie continued to dislodge

the lid of the tomb. Just as he broke the seal, a gust of stale wind blew around and threw

the lid and Reggie across the room. ‘Must be the pressure that had built up over the years

inside the tomb,’ Reggie thought to himself. He dusted himself off and finally peered into

the tomb, but was met with the green-eyed gaze of a hissing cobra.

‘Wow, these snakes sure do move fast,’ Reggie said to himself. It must have been

disturbed by the wind and high-tailed it into the tomb for safety, he concluded. He had

come across a snake or two in his time as an archaeologist, so he knew how to handle

them. This one was letting out a high-pitched scream which he thought was a bit odd, but

he seized the snake like a professional and secured it in a large hessian bag.

Now he could get back to the great treasure that he was so excited to uncover and

study. He carefully climbed into the tomb to get a better viewing position, and to take

several photographs before he moved the mummy. He felt a sudden gust of wind again and

a thunderous roar similar to the sound of a slab of concrete being dragged across the

floor. Suddenly, Reggie was plunged into darkness and couldn’t stand up. The tomb lid had

somehow made its way back and sealed the tomb shut.

‘Well, I can’t explain that one ... yet,’ Reggie said aloud, slightly puzzled but undefeated.

6 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why did Reggie not believe in the deadly curse?

2 What did Reggie think caused the snake to appear?

3 Do you think Reggie was scared at all? Why?

4 Which scenario below would be one Reggie would be likely to use to explain

the tomb being re-sealed? Circle your choice.

(a) The ghost of the mummy returned the lid to its rightful position.

(b) The snake used super strength to move the lid across the floor and slam

it back on top of the tomb.

(c) One of Reggie’s arch nemeses had entered the room and waited for the

right moment to trap Reggie in the tomb and demand he hand over the

treasure in return for his life.

5 Describe a book or movie that involves a similar curse.

6 How does the prefix dis- change the meaning of the word lodge?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 7


Movie Classics Are Better

There’s no denying that classic children’s movies are by far better than any current movie.

They are so good that people are re-making them as current movies, just like Home Sweet

Home Alone. Trust me, the original Home Alone will always be better than any re-imagining.

The Wizard of Oz

The must-see list of classic movies starts all the way

back in 1939, when The Wizard of Oz was released. This

movie brought us the song ‘Over the Rainbow’, as well

as other musical gems. It was also groundbreaking in

its time as the movie starts in black and white and

transforms into colour. It is the most seen film in

movie history, so how can you argue with that?

The Sound of Music

Then the world was given another gift in the form of

The Sound of Music in 1965. It’s another musical movie,

set in Austria during World War II. The film focuses on

the von Trapp family with seven children and a nanny.

What better way to escape the Nazi regime than to

sing your way over the beautiful Austrian landscape?

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

The classic movie of the 1970s was Willy Wonka and

the Chocolate Factory. The music is catchy and there

is a kaleidoscope of bright colours to feast your eyes

on. There is also the genius that was Gene Wilder,

who played the original—and best—Willy Wonka.


Then there is the classic 1980s movie, Labyrinth, which

stars the unique talents of musician David Bowie. Not

only is it worth watching just for David Bowie and the

soundtrack, it also features quirky puppets from Jim



Another 1980s movie that is a definite must-watch is

the original version of Annie. The musical story of a

lovable, red-headed orphan with a sassy attitude is

the perfect mix of funny and sad. The memorable songs

‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’ and ‘Tomorrow’ are from this

movie, which add to its greatness. It is simply a movie

that will make you feel good, so how can that be bad?

The movies of today don’t evoke the same emotions

that the movies of yesterday do. Modern movies are

lost in special effects, while the classic movies focus

on the characters and relationships. The music just

adds to the entertainment, so what could be better?

8 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What are the must-see classic movies according to the author?

2 What two reasons does the author say make modern movies not as good as

classic movies?

3 What do you think the author would think of the 2014 remake of Annie?

4 Why do you think music is a key feature in classic children’s movies?

5 Which classic movie from the list have you seen, or would you like to see?

What appeals to you about it?

6 (a) Which word means ‘unusual in an interesting way’?

(b) Which word in the same paragraph has a similar meaning to (a)?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 9


10 Reasons to Visit the Hermanus

Whale Festival

10 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Where exactly is Hermanus located?

2 What type of whale are you likely to see in Hermanus?

3 Why do the whales swim by Hermanus?

4 How does having live music, good food, stalls and a vintage car show at the

festival help?

5 Why is it important for the public to be educated about endangered animals?

6 What is a synonym for the word endangered?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 11


Long Live Sir David


Who is this man with the alluring voice and obvious enthusiasm for animals and wildlife?

Many people know Sir David’s face and voice from the extensive educational television

series he has written, produced and presented. He has the superb ability to tell stories

which make generations want to care about the natural world. He has dominated natural

history documentaries for over 50 years, and still continues to captivate audiences. He is

an irreplaceable icon.

Born on 8 May 1926 in London, England, Sir David came from a well-to-do family and grew

up in Leicester. He collected fossils as a child and spent much time exploring the garden

for grass snakes and frogs. He decided early on that he wanted to be a naturalist. He

went on to study Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and graduated with a Masters

degree in 1947.

From there he joined the Royal Navy but left in 1949 to join a publishing company, where

he edited children’s science textbooks. He then left the boring world of books behind to

join the exciting new world of television.

In 1952, he joined the BBC and completed a training schedule to become a television

producer. He presented several series and began to make a name for himself. By 1965, he

was put in charge of BBC2 and then became the project director for the BBC from 1968 to

1972. He soon tired of the television executive lifestyle.

David returned to his love for making nature documentaries as a freelancer and produced

many popular shows. The most notable ones include Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet

(1984) and The Trials of Life (1990). Many more documentaries followed, each one as

successful as the last. His appeal

was undeniable, as the world trusted

his voice and appreciated his wit

and passion. In-between all of

these accomplishments he received

a knighthood in 1985 for his services

to television.

In 2001 and 2017, he lent his

famous voice to The Blue Planet

documentaries, about the world’s

oceans and marine environments. The

latest venture for Sir David is a fivepart

series about plant life called The

Green Planet, released in 2022.

This beloved man is still just as

passionate about nature as he was

as a child. He continues on his

mission to showcase the world’s

hidden natural beauty. More

importantly now, he reminds us that

we need to protect this beauty, or

it may not be around in the future.

12 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 List three documentaries that Sir David produced and presented.

2 Why was Sir David Attenborough knighted?

3 Do people like Sir David Attenborough? What makes you think that?

4 Why do you think Sir David makes nature documentaries?

5 What do you think of Sir David Attenborough?

6 What is the definition of a naturalist?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 13


Escape from the House

of Riddles

Hudson knew better than to enter the dilapidated house on the corner at the end of

his street. Apart from the fact that everyone said the house was haunted, it was also

in danger of falling down at any moment. But he wasn’t one to shy away from a dare,

especially not one suggested by the annoyingly perfect Mary Kate.

So he found himself inside the dark, creaky house one chilly evening, just to prove how

much of a chicken he wasn’t. He may have been little but he wanted people to know he

was fierce.

He turned on the torch on his mobile phone and went in search of something he could steal

and use as evidence to prove that he had been in the house. He also wanted to get the

perfect selfie from the spookiest spot inside, so he could post it online later for the world

to see.

Just as he laid his hands on an antique candelabra, the torch switched off, plunging him

into absolute darkness. Then he heard a loud clanging sound like the front door being

locked and a voice boomed through the house, ‘You who have entered uninvited, may not

leave until invited. Answer the riddles one, two, three, and only then will I let you be.’

A spotlight lit up the room and a small piece of paper dropped from above and landed at

Hudson’s feet. On it was written, ‘What has hands and a face, but can’t hold anything or


That’s easy, Hudson thought to himself, and answered, ‘Why, it’s a clock of course.

Haven’t you got anything harder?’

The house seemed angry and shot the next piece of paper at Hudson’s head. This one read,

‘I have keys but no locks, I have space but no room, You can enter but can’t go inside.

What am I?’

Hudson thought for a long while about this

riddle, and for a moment was worried he was

stumped. It suddenly came to him and he

answered ‘I’m pretty certain it’s a keyboard,

isn’t it?’

A third piece of paper fell onto the floor,

so Hudson assumed he got the second riddle

correct too. The last riddle read, ‘What can

run but never walks, has a mouth but never

talks, has a head but never weeps and has a

bed but never sleeps?’

‘Okay,’ Hudson said to the house, ‘this one

might take me longer to think about but I’ll

get the answer eventually.’ The house let out

a deep, thunderous laugh which made Hudson

extremely nervous.

14 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why did Hudson enter the house?

2 How was Hudson going to prove he had been in the house?

3 Why do you think the house was angry with Hudson?

4 What do you think happened to Hudson next?

5 How would you have felt about having to answer the riddles? Why?

6 (a) Which word has the Latin root word dilapidatus?

(b) What does it mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 15


Don’t Miss the TV Event

of the Year!

The event you have all been waiting for is finally arriving on your screens tonight!

Dreamworld, the multiple award-winning television series premieres this evening and you

don’t want to miss it. In a snapshot, it is a mesmerising science-fiction show set far in the

future in a post-apocolyptic world. Civilisation has collapsed, but there is hope in the form

of a new colony of teenagers who are rebuilding society as they want it to be.

There are five good reasons why this television series will become your next obsession and

reason to stay at home.

1. The cast are simply brilliant actors and come from all parts of the world. This adds

to the authenticity of the show, as it is not just another American production. There

are some stars in the making, and the next big thing is bound to come from this. Not

to mention a different high-profile actor makes a cameo appearance in each episode.

Tonight’s episode will feature Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as a crazed bounty hunter,

which needs to be seen.

2. The special effects are top-notch

quality and no expense was spared in

the production. This kind of quality

is usually reserved for blockbuster

movies, and it would be almost

rude not to watch it. It’s actually

impossible to determine which parts

are computer generated and which

parts are real.

3. Although the series is action-packed

and dramatic, there are many humorous

moments scattered throughout. It is a

genuinely funny script that is sure to

entertain everyone.

4. The design elements are out of this

world and realistically futuristic. The

famous Apple designer, Jony Ive, is

responsible for the design aesthetic.

Everything from the clothing to the

cars, computers, buildings, houses and

gadgets are clearly the work of Ive.

You won’t be able to see this many

items designed by him in one place

ever again.

5. If you don’t watch the show you will

be a social outcast, because all your friends will be watching! You will be the only one

not able to contribute to the conversation because Dreamworld will be the talk of the


16 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Where is the television series set?

2 List, using a few words for each, the main reasons to watch the show.

3 Who would this show appeal to? Why?

4 Why would it be more authentic that the show has actors from around the

world, not just from the United States of America?

5 Has the text convinced you to want to watch this new television series?


6 Which word means ‘concerned with beauty or how

something looks and feels’?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 17


The Voodoo Queen of

New Orleans

They called her Madame Laveau. By day, she was a very popular hairdresser in New

Orleans, filling her time with idle chit-chat and gossip. By night, she was the reigning

queen of voodoo, highly sought after for her potions and spiritual advice. She mingled

among the high society of Louisiana, which in the 1800s was the best way to become

popular. She offered a new religion that could cure them of their ills and protect them

from evil. She was said to possess powers not of this world.

Tonight, Madame Laveau was hosting her regular monthly spiritual ceremony in the woods

nearby. She was expecting a large crowd as usual, and she looked forward to the drumming,

dancing and singing that would take over her body. Tonight’s event would also be attended

by the commander’s wife, Marie, a very high-profile figure who was desperate for a cure.

She had been suffering from a mysterious illness that no doctor could fix, so tonight was

Madame Laveau’s turn.

Marie arrived at the woods, not

sure what to expect, but full of

hope. She brought with her gifts

for the spirits in the form of

fruit and wine. Madame Laveau

took the gifts and handed her

a cup to drink, which contained

a variety of healing herbs and

other secret ingredients. Marie

started to feel light-headed

and was guided to the centre

of a circle of people that had

formed. They were all pulsing

and wriggling to the drumming

beat and chanting something she

didn’t understand.

Madame Laveau let out an

almighty scream which felt like

it penetrated through to Marie’s

bones. Then something peculiar

happened—Marie felt a tingling

sensation in her body and her

lips seemed to move of their

own accord. She was talking

in another language and had

no control over what she was

saying. Her whole body joined in

the pulsing of the group and got

faster and faster, until suddenly

she dropped to the ground.

There was silence and darkness

and the smell of burning herbs.

18 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What did people seek Madame Laveau’s help for?

2 Why did Marie seek Madame Laveau’s help?

3 Why do you think Madame Laveau worked as a hairdresser during the day?

4 What do you think will happen to Marie after the ceremony?

5 What would you add to this story to give you a clearer understanding of

what voodoo is?

6 Write a list of words that could replace


R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 19


How Does a Fingerprint

Scanner Work?

Gone are the days when fingerprint scanning technology was reserved for spies. These

days, scanners can be found in many places, particularly on smartphones. So how does the

scanner on your parent’s phone actually work?

Every human being has a unique set of fingerprints, which is like our very own secret code.

If you look closely you will see a pattern of swirls and ridges, which are unlike anyone

else’s. A fingerprint scanner works by capturing an image of these swirls and ridges and

then processing the data. It then compares this data to the fingerprint image on file and, if

it matches, allows access to the device. The method of capturing the fingerprint data can

be done in one of three ways.

Optical scanners

This type of scanner detects the patterns and ridges of the fingerprint by illuminating it. It

is like a digital photocopy. The image is compared to the original photo stored in the phone

or laptop.

Some say it is not the safest way as someone could use a prosthetic fingertip with

someone else’s fingerprints on it to gain access to the phone.

Capacitive sensor

A more secure and common way to scan the fingerprint uses electrical currents instead

of light. When your finger touches the surface, the ridges make contact while the gaps

between the ridges do not. A picture is built up based on the different distances between

the surface and the ridges and hollows on your fingerprint.

Ultrasonic sensor

This is the least commonly used as it is the newest and undergoing testing. Some of the

newer mobile phones are being designed with this technology. It is based on using sound

waves to create a 3-D map of the ridges and patterns of a fingerprint. The sound waves

bounce back at different distances and show whether there is a gap or a ridge.

20 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What features make fingerprints unique?

2 What are the main differences between the three types of sensor?

3 What devices do you think would benefit from having a fingerprint scanner?

4 Which type of sensor do you think will be used more in the future? Why?

5 When have you had to use a fingerprint scanner? Did you think it was safe?

6 Write what capacitive means.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 21


Ten Thumbs Up

Have you ever heard the expression ‘You’re all thumbs’? Usually people say this as an

insult, implying that you are clumsy or awkward, but having all thumbs would technically be

quite the opposite.

Let’s think about monkeys for a second, as they have the rare opposable thumb like

humans. This makes us so much more dexterous and able to do more than our other animal

counterparts. We can grasp food, climb things, hold tools, smash things, and pick at the

finer details of objects.

Therefore, having a handful of thumbs would be an amazing asset. Fingers only flex in one

direction, unlike the thumb, which can rotate wherever it wants to help pick up objects.

Imagine how many objects you could pick up and hold with five thumbs. Not only that,

there are many more tools that you could operate, so workplace efficiency would hit an

all-time high.

Then there is the koala, who provides further proof that more thumbs are beneficial. They

have two thumbs on each paw, and one thumb on each foot, making them the animal with

the most thumbs in the world. They can climb and grasp trees with ease, even while asleep

or with a joey clinging to their back. Apply this to humans and imagine how unstoppable

we would be with five thumbs. It would almost be like possessing a superpower and walking

could be a thing of the past.

The other advantage is that it would offer a more accurate rating system than the

traditional thumbs up or thumbs down. If you really liked something you could give it five

or ten thumbs up! If you really hated something you could give it ten thumbs down. If

something is just average then one thumb up would be a low rating of approval.

It would also make people better gardeners, as they would have 10 ‘green thumbs’. They

could handle the chlorophyll-filled plants with ease and be far more efficient.

Babies would also find this adaptation an advantage, as they would have the option of

10 thumbs to suck. Dummies are always getting lost but this wouldn’t be a problem with

10 thumbs available for sucking.

No matter which way you look at it, having a hand full of thumbs is a clear winner.

22 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How would workplace efficiency increase with more thumbs?

2 What does a monkey use its thumbs for?

3 How would the meaning of the saying ‘I give it two thumbs up’ change if we

had all thumbs and no fingers?

4 Why would having all thumbs make us clumsy?

5 Do you agree or disagree that it would be better if humans had ten thumbs?


6 Match each word to its meaning.

(a) chlorophyll

(b) opposable

a person/thing that has the same function as

another person/thing

green pigment found in plants that allows

photosynthesis to occur

(c) counterpart able to be placed against one or more other digits

of a hand or foot

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 23


Neko and his Midnight Adventure

Neko awoke suddenly, alert to the noises coming from above his warm fur bed. He had been

contentedly dreaming about chasing butterflies in the green field behind his house when

a sudden sneezing sound awoke him. Hearing the sound for a second time, he decided to

wander outside and look for its source.

Blinking twice to adjust his eyesight, Neko

prowled out onto the wooden veranda,

turning his head left and right to try and

hear the sound again. Almost instantly, he

heard it coming from the giant eucalyptus

tree that abutted his front porch. He

strolled towards it, peering quizzically into

the night sky to see if he could catch sight

of the animal that might make such an

uncommon noise.

As he turned his head to the left for a

second time, he caught a rustling in the

tree’s branches. Using his sternest, most

strident voice he called out sharply, ‘Meow!

Who goes there?’ A tiny pitter-patter of

soft feet followed his enquiry and velvety

brown eyes peered out at him from the leaves.

‘I ... I ... I’m sorry,’ wheezed a small, scared possum, ‘I’m looking for my mum. I’ve been

using my special signal to let her know she’s needed, but she still hasn’t come.’ Raising his

little paws to his mouth he said, ‘If you don’t mind, let me call her again,’ and he made the

sneezing sound one more time, hoping with all his might that his mother might hear.

‘Bless you,’ Neko said automatically and then added with great curiosity, ‘Why has your

mother left you? I bet you feel lonely and bored.’ Neko’s human mother often left him when

she had to go to work and sometimes he got so fed up at home on his own that he liked

to have a little fun. His favourite game was seeing how far he could drag the little roll of

paper out of the room the humans called a ‘toilet’. Once, he had made it all the way along

the hall, out the front door, and down the front stairs before the roll ran out.

‘My mother has gone hunting for food,’ the little possum explained. ‘She saw some juicy

pink apples on the tree near the green field and she’s gone to get them for our supper.’

‘But it’s the middle of the night,’ Neko said, surprised. ‘You sure eat late!’

‘We possums are nocturnal,’ his new friend explained. ‘We sleep during the day and do our

activities at night. Would you like to join us for supper when my mum arrives?’

‘Thank you,’ Neko said politely, ‘That wou-’, but before he could utter another word, the

light on the front porch turned on and Neko’s mother poked her sleep-tousled head out.

‘Neko,’ she said crossly, ‘stop making such a racket and get back to bed!’ Neko stood

quickly and, looking over his shoulder, gave one last friendly ‘yowl’ to his little possum


‘See you little possum. Enjoy your late-night supper.’ And with that, he curled up back on

his warm fur bed, smiling happily at the thought of his new friend and what he had learned

about possums.

24 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why is the possum making the unusual sound?

2 What is Neko’s midnight adventure?

3 How was the possum feeling when he called his mother?

4 How is Neko’s human mother feeling when she orders Neko back inside?

5 Suggest three things that might have happened and caused the possum’s

mother to be late.

6 What does tousled mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 25


The Building Blocks

of LEGO ®

Did you know that the LEGO ® brand has been established for approximately 90 years?

LEGO ® ’s history began

in 1932, when Ole Kirk

Kristiansen set up his

humble woodworking shop

in Denmark. The carpenter

specialised in wooden

furniture and stepladders,

but then the Great

Depression hit. He was

forced to turn his hand to an

alternative industry and put

the leftover wood to another

use. He began to design and

make handcrafted wooden

toys instead.

Ole’s wooden toys were

special in that he made

sure each one was of the

highest quality. It is a trait

that hasn’t been forgotten in the modern LEGO ® blocks. In fact, the LEGO ® manufacturing

process is so accurate that only 18 out of one million LEGO ® bricks are faulty.

In 1949, LEGO ® turned its attention to the new material of plastic. They introduced the

first plastic brick, with a design that allowed the bricks to lock together. They further

perfected the system and by 1958 the blocks had the tubes and hollows that are still seen

today. Any LEGO ® block from 1958 onwards is compatible with more modern blocks.

Ole’s son, Godtfred, led the company to its success after Ole had gone, so the Kristiansen

spirit lived on. Even today, the company is lead by Ole’s grandson, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen.

The name LEGO ® itself is a contraction of ‘leg godt’ in Danish, which means ‘play well’.

It concisely states the ideal of the company. It also refers to the Latin word for ‘I put

together’, which is equally appropriate.

Today, the home town of LEGO ® , Billund in Denmark, is host to LEGO ® land Park. It has

received more than 50 million visitors since it opened in 1968. LEGO ® ’s popularity persists

and, every second, seven LEGO ® sets are sold somewhere in the world.

Fun facts!

LEGO ® produces more rubber wheels than actual car wheel manufacturers like Goodyear

and Bridgestone.

No LEGO ® sets have ever been made with a war or military theme.

The number of LEGO ® bricks sold in one year can loop around Earth five times.

26 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Which family members have worked for LEGO ® ?

2 Why did Ole become a toymaker?

3 Why do you think there are no LEGO ® sets with a war theme?

4 Why do you think LEGO ® has remained popular?

5 How has this text made you feel about LEGO ® ?

6 (a) What is the definition of humble?

(b) Write two more words that are synonyms and could be used instead of


R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 27


Academy of Witches,

Warlocks and Werewolves

Reviewed by Professor Incantus

This academy is highly regarded amongst employers and peers alike. It has been known

to produce some well-known and successful witches and warlocks, as well as powerful

werewolves. After attending an open day at the campus, these were my unbiased


The classrooms and resources are of a high standard and always fully stocked. There are

ample urns, herbs, pestles and wands, to be able to conjure any spell required. Although

the rooms are old, after all the academy has been around since the 1700s, they are full of

modern equipment. Even the wi-fi works wonderfully well in each room and hallway.

The teachers and principal are second-to-none. The teaching methods are admirable and

the children obviously adore and respect their educators. They are very supportive towards

the children, and not once did I see a child upset or unable to complete the task set

before them. The children seemed resilient and proud of their achievements, even if they


The content of the courses also seemed to be very current and relevant. Units included

‘Surviving an epidemic amongst mortals’, ‘Conjuring renewable energy’ and ‘Vegan potions’.

There were also different ways to access the course content, such as in person, online or

in study groups. There is even a virtual assistant in the form of a hologram, that appears

when you need help.

As for the campus itself, the grounds are the most breathtaking I have seen, with endless

rolling green hills in the background, and centuries old stone walls that make up the

building. There is a canteen available with an extensive array of foods that cater for

all diets. The dormitories are offered in a variety of combinations to allow for different

personality types. Some may prefer the quiet single quarters, or the double dormitory to

share with a friend. More social types can also opt for the four-bed dormitory which offers

the largest space to allow room to move.

The one thing I did not

like, which may seem

like a trivial issue, is

the uniforms that are

required. They could do

with an update and a

more cheerful look to

match the attitude of

the children. They can

only be described as

drab and uninteresting,

with black material

that hangs loosely.

They closely resemble a

modest monk’s robe.

28 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What did the reviewer like about the campus?

2 Which features of the school are modern and current?

3 Why would the uniforms be a trivial issue?

4 Draw how you imagine the uniforms


5 Is there any other information you

would have liked to have read, to

help decide whether the academy

is the right place for you?

6 What is a hologram? Explain it using

the root words holos and gramma.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 29


The Social Network of Trees

At first it may seem that a tree is a solitary creature, but scientists have proof that

trees communicate with each other through fungus. Forests are operating an underground

social network. This network has been dubbed the ‘wood wide web’ and gives a completely

opposite picture to what was once thought.

Scientists have finally been able to map the network like an MRI and understand how it

works. The network shows that plants swap information and food including sugar, nitrogen

and phosphorus.

What is extraordinary is that the network shows that trees have the ability to work as

a community to distribute resources to those in need. For example, a dying tree may give

itself up to the community, to use its resources amongst the remaining trees. Stronger

neighbouring trees might also support a young sapling by directing extra nutrients to it.

Even more extraordinary is the way that trees communicate with each other to send

warnings if they are under attack from an insect or disease. This allows the other trees to

put up their defences before they are attacked.

Never before have scientists been able to get such a clear view of how the global

ecosystem works. According to the research, 60% of trees around the world are connected

to each other by the same type of fungi. This fungi and the trees associated with it will

decline if temperature rises. This shows how vulnerable forests are to climate change and

how we can track the effects.

Amazingly, there is also a dark side to the social network of trees. There are certain

species that hack into the system and release toxins to surrounding, competing trees.

This seems eerily similar to the dangers of social media.

Maybe next time you go for a walk in the park you will have a new-found appreciation

of the social network of trees. They too are sharing information and resources, and are

looking after the vulnerable. It is up to humans to ensure climate change doesn’t damage

this important system.

30 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What is the ‘wood wide web’?

2 Name two extraordinary things about the network, according to the text.

3 How damaging is climate change to the social network of trees? Why?

4 What do you think the dangers of social media are?

5 What else would you like to know about the social network of trees?

6 (a) What is an MRI?

(b) MRI is an acronym. Write two more acronyms you know.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 31


The Man NOT on the Moon

Space travel certainly sounds unreal and us Earthlings may never be able to verify the

truth with our own eyes. In actual fact, all signs point to the belief that it’s never

actually happened!

Let’s focus on the moon landing as an example of supposed extra-terrestrial travel. It was

a well-documented event that allegedly occurred in 1969. This was a time when technology

was limited and, therefore, so was the evidence.

Firstly, many photographs were taken of the Apollo 11 landing with Neil Armstrong, but

upon closer inspection the photographs are missing an important feature—there are no

stars! It is simply not possible in deep, dark space, for the stars to not be visible. The

photographs must be fakes.

Secondly, in 1969 the space program in the United States of America was barely

functioning, so they could not have suddenly developed the technology to fly to the moon.

It is more likely that the USA was just trying to hype up their space program to the

Russians and thought of this idea to fly to the moon. They must have filmed the entire

moon landing in a television studio because they could not have executed the real thing.

Area 51 is a well-known mysterious location owned by the US government, so it was likely

the location of the elaborate moon landing hoax.

Thirdly, the images that show the apparent moon landing do not have a blast crater

underneath the landing spot of the space module. It almost appears to have been placed

on the surface rather

than have blasted in from

Earth. Not to mention

the way that the shadows

fall in the images, which

is inconsistent with the

direction of the light. The

images are clearly posed

on a purpose-built set.

Lastly, why is it that

no one has stepped foot

on the moon since the

last supposed visit in

1972? Because we never

actually went to begin

with and no one can be

bothered repeating the

stunt. It seems the event

was only ever devised

as a great political

distraction. It was, after

all, the time of the

Vietnam War and people

certainly wanted to be

distracted from that.

32 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What was wrong with the images taken on the moon?

2 Where does this person suggest the moon landing was filmed and why?

3 Why would the government want to distract people from a war?

4 What other possible reason would there be for the stars not being visible on

the photographs from the moon landing?

5 How likely is it that the moon landing did not occur as this person suggests?


6 Suggest a replacement word for the following from the text.

(a) elaborate

(b) crater

(c) devised

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 33


Belling the Cat – An

Aesop’s Fable

‘Order! Order!’ cried the stern little brown mouse, banging his gavel ruthlessly on the bench

and glaring at the crowd before him. ‘This meeting will now come to order.’ He waited for

silence. ‘Thank you all for attending. We gather tonight to discuss a very important matter:

what we can do to outwit our common enemy … the c-a-t.’ The little mouse’s voice dropped

to a hushed whisper as he spelled out the name of their foe. Young mice in the crowd

whimpered at the letters and mothers clutched them to their sides.

‘For many months now,’ his voice again dropped to a whisper, ‘the c-a-t has persistently

terrorised our community.’ Here, his voice rose again. ‘Only last week, old Bobby Jenkins

disappeared on his daily walk and yesterday, Minnie DeSouta was lucky to escape with

only a hurt tail as she travelled home from the market.’ The assembled mice nodded their

heads, their mouths wrinkled in horror and disgust. ‘We must do

something to stop this ghastly beast, or we’ll all vanish!’

A large, grey rodent with a rather enormous, lumpy

head lumbered to his feet. ‘It’s not so much

that we can’t outrun the beast when we hear

it a-coming,’ he cried in a thick northern accent,

‘It’s just that we can never hear it a-coming.’

Vibrations from the stamping of feet could be

felt as the assembled mice made known their

agreement. ‘So,’ the grey mouse continued, ‘I

think the question is: How do we make it so we

know that the c-a-t is near?’

All movement abruptly ceased and the room went

deathly silent as the mice considered how such a

deed could be conducted. A young lavender mouse tentatively

raised her hand, unsure of her idea. ‘Mrs Lavender,’ the adjudicator acknowledged. ‘Well,’

Mrs Lavender began in a hesitant, squeaky voice, ‘what if we post lookouts on every street

corner and as soon as someone sees the ca-,’ she caught and corrected herself, ‘as soon

as someone sees the animal, they can run and ring the fire alarm and everyone will know to

hide.’ This idea was met with a few ‘mmms’ of agreement; however, the arbitrator raised his

paw for silence. ‘Well Mrs Lavender, wouldn’t the animal know we have seen it and use the

opportunity to pounce?’ A murmur of agreement met this query, and Mrs Lavender looked

down, a little shamefaced. ‘Oh, I know,’ cried a young, handsome mouse with dark, silky fur,

‘We could just tie a bell around the creature’s neck and that way we will hear it coming.

And,’ he continued, ‘it won’t know we can hear it because it will become accustomed to the

bell. It’s a brilliant suggestion,’ he finished rather smugly. Chatter filled with excitement

rose through the room, and soon the assembled mice were giving the idea a standing ovation.

Once silence was regained, a grizzled old mouse with shrivelled whiskers and a missing

eye slowly and painfully climbed to his feet. A hush immediately descended, for this was

Lieutenant Stilton, an experienced military mouse who was well respected within the

community. He cleared his throat and began to speak. ‘Friends,’ he croaked in a high, thin

voice, ‘we have heard a number of suggestions here tonight as to how to end our plight and

one idea, in particular, seems popular,’ he nodded at the silky dark mouse before continuing.

‘However, let me pose this small quandry before we adopt this seemingly brilliant idea. Who,’

and here he stopped to eyeball each of the mice in turn, ‘who,’ he repeated, ‘volunteers to

put the bell on the cat?’ When no one came forward, he continued in his thin voice. ‘It’s

very easy to say what should be done, but it’s another thing entirely to do it.’

34 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What is the problem that the mice are meeting to discuss?

2 How many solutions are proposed throughout the meeting?

3 How would Lieutenant Stilton’s military experience have helped him when

listening to the young mouse’s proposal?

4 Why do you think the young, silky mouse was smug about his idea?

5 What message is Aesop giving here about people who propose ideas?

6 Which two words both mean ‘someone appointed to settle a dispute’?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 35


Don’t Be Alarmed—The

Aliens Are Here!

Would it be so surprising to learn that aliens are already co-existing among us? There has

to be a legitimate reason why 12 million Americans believe this very idea, so here are the

five most likely.

1. Scientists have discovered there are at least seven habitable planets in space, so it is

almost guaranteed that intelligent life exists on one of these. They are all located in

the Goldilocks Zone, an area within the solar system that is considered not too hot

and not too cold, therefore able to sustain life. The odds are high that not only does

extraterrestrial life exist, but that it has made its way to our planet.

2. The prominent Israeli general and professor, Haim Eshed, announced in December 2020

that Israel and the USA have been in contact with aliens for years! He was also head

of Israel’s space security program for over 30 years so he knows what he is talking

about. He claims it had to be kept secret otherwise it would cause mass hysteria

because people would not understand. He also states that aliens and humans are

working together on a project in an underground station on Mars. Clearly, aliens and

humans have previously interacted so there must be some living on Earth already.

3. Governments in countries such as the USA have set up authorities and agencies to

search for extraterrestrial life. They simply would not do this if they did not believe

that aliens existed. They have put millions of dollars into this field and have top

scientists dedicated to research projects such as Roswell. The USA even has a

dedicated location for all of its Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO) investigations, called

Area 51.

4. Landmarks like the pyramids in Egypt

are construction marvels and it is

nearly impossible to fathom that an

ancient civilisation was able to build

them—unless, of course, they had

assistance from a superior life form

that was living on Earth.

5. The sheer volume of people who claim

to have been abducted is a very

convincing reason to believe that aliens

are among us. There are numerous

well-documented accounts dating

back to the 1900s. One of the most

credible cases involved a woman in New

York in 1989, who was taken from her

apartment building with two CIA agents

witnessing the abduction. A United

Nations diplomat also witnessed the

event, lending even more credibility to

the case.

Armed with these reasons, it is impossible

to deny that aliens exist and live among us.

36 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why does the discovery of seven habitable planets help suggest aliens exist?

2 How do the pyramids help suggest that aliens exist?

3 Why does the text mention an announcement from an Israeli general and

professor, and a United Nations diplomat?

4 Why would someone claim to be abducted by aliens if it weren’t true?

5 Does this text make you think that aliens are here on Earth? Why?

6 What are the origins of the following words?

(a) extraterrestrial

(b) abduction

(c) hysteria

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 37


The Fishy Body Swap

Yet again my parents

had stopped me from

attending a late-night

party at one of my best

friend’s house. I was

starting to become a

social pariah doomed

to have no fantastic

tales to tell when I was


I sunk into my bed

and stared glumly at

Tootsie, my pet guppy.

She didn’t have anyone

telling her what to do

and when to do it. I’d

never envied anyone

more than her in that

moment. Suddenly,

lightning and thunder

cracked outside my

window, somehow

echoing my growing

anger that a fish was

freer than me.

I must have cried myself to sleep because I woke up the next morning feeling like I was

sleeping in a puddle. My arms also felt funny, like they were a little shorter, and my legs

felt like they had fused together. When I opened my eyes, it was like I was looking through

water. I could see my bed and someone who looked like me laying in it. I felt sudden panic

and stopped to think it through, but found myself going in circles, around and around inside

a fishbowl. I had somehow become Tootsie, and was now sporting a tail and fins!

Then I heard the sound of my own voice, coming from my real body that was lying in my

bed. I tried to shout after myself but instead I blew some furious large bubbles from my

pouty new lips. Something fishy was going on indeed, and I had to figure out how to save

myself because my options were limited—I couldn’t talk, walk or even survive out of water

for longer than two minutes.

Through tightly clenched eyes, I unashamedly cried harder than I ever have, for what

seemed like an eternity. I felt completely helpless and immensely sad, and I was sure I was

the first fish to ever shed tears. Then my dad appeared in my room to check on me because

he had heard me sobbing all the way downstairs. I threw my arms around his neck before I

realised that I actually had arms once again and I was no longer in a fishbowl.

Words poured out of my mouth, I was so grateful that I was myself and that I could be

heard again. ‘Dad, I think we need to reassess Tootsie’s living situation because she needs

a larger fish tank and probably some toys and maybe even a friend or two. I’m going to be

very busy setting that up, Dad, so I won’t have time for parties anyway.’

38 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why was the child feeling sad in the beginning of the story?

2 Why was the child feeling sad in the middle of the story?

3 Do you think there really was a body swap? What other explanation could

there be?

4 Why would the child have been the first fish to cry?

5 What type of pet would you have wished to swap places with? Why?

6 Write synonyms for the following words in the text.







R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 39


Appetising Eyeballs

When it comes to celebrating Halloween, there’s no better way to creep your friends out

than with a bowl of delicious eyeballs!

They are simple to make but are so effective they’ll be mistaken for the real thing.


• 1 can of lychees

• 1 punnet of blueberries

• 2 tablespoons of any red jam

• toothpicks


1. Strain the lychees and rinse off if necessary. If they were canned in syrup, lay them to

dry for approximately 30 minutes.

2. Rinse the blueberries and remove any stalks. Select the best-sized blueberries that will

easily fit into the lychees.

3. Carefully fill the lychees with some jam, through the existing hole in each lychee. Using

a small, flat utensil would be best for this task so you can keep the flesh intact.

4. Insert an appropriately-sized blueberry into the opening of the lychee. It is alright if the

jam oozes out of the sides as this adds to the creepy, realistic effect. Be careful not

to push the blueberry too far into the lychee otherwise it will split.

5. Use a toothpick to press the jam into the lychee to create a veiny effect. Add more

jam if required to achieve the desired result.

6. The eyeballs can be presented in a number of ways, depending on what type of party

you are having. They could be put into several small bowls and placed on a table.

Another idea is to place a toothpick or small skewer through the eyeball and balance it

on a cup or glass to serve drinks in.

40 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How is the jam and toothpick used to give the eyeballs a realistic look?

2 Why is it acceptable for the jam to ooze everywhere?

3 List the types of jam that could be used.

4 What kind of utensil would you use for Step 3 and why?

5 Would you say the recipe was healthy or not? Why?

6 Which word means ‘to remain whole and not damaged’?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 41


The Woman Who Fell

From the Sky

My name is Anna and I remember clearly the day I literally fell from the sky. I was on

board Flight 508, making my way from Lima to Panguana, a scientific research station in

the Amazon rainforest that my family lived on. I was 17 years old and had just graduated

from the high school that I attended in Lima, Peru. It was Christmas Eve 1971 when my life

changed in the blink of an eye.

My mother and I boarded the plane, eager to get home to my father for Christmas. It was

a stormy night and the wind was blowing fiercely, throwing the plane around like it was a

toy. My mother looked at me and said, ‘It will be okay,’ just as we saw lightning strike the

right wing of the plane. Then I felt the wind in my hair and on my face, and that was the

last thing I remember.

I awoke in shock, still strapped in my chair and attached to a row of empty seats. I was

surrounded by lush jungle trees and it seemed like I was perched in a tree like a foreign

bird in a new habitat. I frantically searched with my eyes but there was no sign of my

mother, let alone anyone else. I sat in disbelief until I finally became lucid and noticed the

searing pain in my right shoulder. I went into survival mode and called on every trick I had

learnt during my time in the Amazon with my parents. I was determined to get home to my

father, who must have been worried sick by now.

My first challenge was to get out of my seat and get down from the tree with my

inconvenient injuries. I made a temporary sling from the loose seatbelt next to me, to help

keep my arm and shoulder in a stationary position. Grimacing through the pain, I somehow

made my way down to the ground just like the monkeys I had observed so many times


Next, I knew I needed water and

in the distance I could hear the

rush of the great Amazon River.

I headed towards it and knew

that not only would this water

sustain me but it would also

lead me to safety if I followed

it to the closest town.

I waded desperately through

the water until I finally saw

a group of tree loggers

working along the riverside.

I don’t know who was more

shocked when we laid eyes

on each other—I relayed

my incredulous story to

them and they were in

awe that I fell from the

sky and survived to tell

the tale.

42 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why was Anna on the plane?

2 How did Anna save herself?

3 Why do you think Anna survived the impact of the fall?

4 How important to Anna’s survival was her knowledge of the jungle?

5 What would you think if someone came up to you and told you this story?

6 Draw lines to match the following words to their meanings.

(a) incredulous

(b) lucid

(c) grimacing

a facial expression with a twisted mouth and face

that shows pain

not able to believe something

the ability to think clearly

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 43


Electric Cars: Fiction or Future?

44 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why did electric cars disappear by the 1930s?

2 Which car manufacturers will soon make only electric vehicles?

3 Why do you think there are only 14 countries listed in the table?

4 How will electric vehicles help with climate change issues?

5 What other information about electric cars would you have liked the text to

include to make it more interesting?

6 Define the following words.

(a) internal

(b) combustion

(c) ICE vehicle

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 45


Gus, the Great Winged


Gus found it hard to believe that he was the only one of his kind—a pegasus. He hardly

remembered his past, but he did recall that he was a young foal drinking from a spring

when he was captured by a man named Bellerophon. Over time he was tamed by this man,

who he learned was a hero, warrior and monster slayer.

Together, they conquered many monsters but today was going to be a particularly tough

battle. Gus could sense that Bellerophon was tense and anxious about the impending


This monster was one neither of them had ever faced before. Known as a chimera, it was

a fire-breathing lion with an additional head of a goat and a snake head for a tail. The

monster was causing trouble in the village and slaying the local cattle, so Bellerophon had

been ordered by the king to slay it.

Gus knelt down and allowed Bellerophon, clutching his spear, to climb onto his back. Off

they flew in search of this great creature that needed to be destroyed. Gus spotted the

chimera below, prowling the open land, approaching a field full of grazing cows.

Bellerophon gave Gus a soft nudge in the ribs with his feet, which Gus knew meant that

Bellerophon was ready to attack. Down Gus plunged, swerving left and right, dodging

the fire coming out of the chimera’s mouth. There was no way Bellerophon could kill this

monster on his own—he needed Gus. The only chance of victory was if they attacked from

above. Bellerophon poised with his spear, waiting for the perfect moment to cast it down

to Earth. He knew he only had one chance to get it right.

Gus did his best to get

Bellerophon as close as possible,

and just as the tip of his right

wing was singed, Bellerophon

threw his spear with all his

might, aiming for the heart of

the beast. The spear landed as

intended and the great creature

collapsed to the ground, panting.

Bellerophon dismounted and

stood next to the beast until it

had taken its last breath.

They returned to the king and

Bellerophon proceeded to boast

about his glorious victory, while

Gus stood silent and proud. The

king was secretly displeased and

would have to devise a more

challenging task next time, as

this one was not as deadly as he


46 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Who was Bellerophon?

2 What task did the king set for Bellerophon and why?

3 How do you think Gus felt about being a captive pegasus?

4 How do you think the king felt about Bellerophon? Why?

5 What other stories have you read that featured a mythical creature? How

does the creature compare to Gus?

6 What is the definition of the following words?

(a) singed

(b) impending

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 47


I Like Your Old Stuff Better

Than Your New Stuff

Music from the past is clearly much better than the current music topping the charts.

In fact, you’ll probably find that most of the current songs or music styles are based

on music from the past. This is because the original version was so good and they want

to cash in on the past success. The music that results is a watered-down version of

something that was once great—just look at what’s happened to hip-hop over the years.

If you haven’t heard of Elvis Presley, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac or Nirvana, then chances

are you have seen or heard some reincarnation of their image or music. They all offered

something new and fresh at the time and will always be remembered in music history. The

same can’t be said about the music and artists of today.

Today’s musicians freely admit that old music has influenced theirs. Justin Bieber admits

he is heavily influenced by original artists like Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and The

Beatles. Clearly, old music is more original and worthy of imitation in a way that new

music will never be.

Old music brings people together, in a way that new music can’t. Everyone can sing along

to a familiar song that’s been around for generations. There’s no sweeter sound than a

group of people singing in unison to songs like ‘Yellow Submarine’ or ‘Sweet Caroline’. The

same feeling can’t be achieved by singing along to Lil Nas X’s latest offering—if you can

sing along.

The overall quality and authenticity of today’s music seems trashy and lazy. Everything from

the lyrics to the outfits just serves to cheapen the quality of music, especially where female

artists are concerned. Old music did not need to stoop to these levels to achieve success.

Today’s music is part of the culture of instant gratification and artists wanting overnight

success. The struggle that some past musicians experienced added to their music and

songwriting. New music just doesn’t have that same grit behind it.

It seems that most people are aware that old music is better as proven by a report

released in early 2022. It showed that 70% of the music that Americans listened to,

streamed and purchased, was old—that is, released more than 18 months ago.

Today’s music just isn’t going to change the world like old music did, and still does.

48 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Name four old musicians or bands mentioned in the text.

2 Briefly list three reasons the writer says old music is better.

3 Why wouldn’t a group of people be able to sing along to Lil Nas X?

4 In what ways could music help change the world?

5 What do you think of old music? Do you want to listen to it more or less

after reading this text?

6 What does the term instant gratification mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 49


From Prison Escape to

Marathon Race

The annual Barkley Marathons is an ultra marathon trail race held in Frozen Head State

Park in Tennessee. The race was inspired by the 1977 escape of James Earl Ray from a

nearby prison. After a massive manhunt, he was caught and returned to prison. He had only

managed to make it 13 km through the hills and woods after 54 hours.

The creator of the race, Larry ‘Lazarus Lake’ Cantrell, was uninspired by Ray’s efforts and

thought he could get much further than that. Thus the unusual race was born and had its

first running in 1986.

This race has been dubbed ‘the craziest race in the world’ and ‘the race that eats its


The race statistics

The full course covers 160 km, consisting of five 32 km loops through the wild, hilly

Tennessee terrain. The elevation is extreme and roughly equivalent to climbing Mount

Everest twice.

There is also the ‘fun-run’ option which covers around 100 km, or three 32 km loops.

The race must be completed in under 60 hours.

Each loop has 13 checkpoints, where a book is hidden somewhere nearby. At each

checkpoint, runners remove a page from a book that corresponds to their bib number. All

13 pages must be collected in order to proceed on the next loop.

How to enter

The Barkley Marathons is limited to

40 runners, and registration fills up quickly.

Applicants do not need to be accomplished

runners but it helps if they have a certain

level of fitness.

Although the application process is

generally a secret, some details are wellknown.

This includes a $1.60 application

fee and the submission of a written essay

on why the applicant should be considered.

If selected, there is an entry fee which

changes each year, and sometimes includes

obscure requests for items like socks and

shirts. Runners must also bring a licence

plate from their home town so Larry can

display it at the camp.

The prize

There have only been 15 finishers in over

30 years of the race, so to actually finish

the race is the only prize. After 60 hours

running non-stop, with no sleep, the runners are rewarded with no more running.

50 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How did the race originate?

2 How do you apply to enter?

3 Why would there be an application fee of only $1.60?

4 Why would the creator of the race have nominated the race be completed in

under 60 hours?

5 Have you ever run a race or completed something very challenging? How did

it make you feel?

6 (a) In terms of the text, what does the phrase ‘eats its young’ mean?

(b) Where is the phrase derived from?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 51


Adversity is the

Greatest Teacher

Adversity, challenge, hardship, an

obstacle or whatever you want to call

it, is something that cannot be avoided

in life. Some people try hard to protect

themselves and their close ones from

adversity but it actually serves a purpose

and teaches you something that can’t be

learned from books or studying. Imagine if

all of humanity avoided tough situations!

We would have missed valuable learning

experiences and never have advanced as

people. The following reasons will explain

why adversity is, in fact, the greatest

teacher you will ever have.

1. You will learn more when challenged

When you are in cruise mode, your brain relaxes and you are comfortable doing the same

thing and not opening yourself up to anything new. When adversity strikes, it forces you

to change the way you think and how you behave. You need to dig deep and really stretch

yourself, but the result is a deeper level of learning.

2. You will learn to become the teacher

It is often difficult to make sense of things when something bad happens. In time, you

will be able to make your hardship mean something and share with others what you have

learned. You could help ease their pain just by connecting to someone who might be going

through the same thing.

3. It increases self-efficacy

When you face a challenge and get through it, there is no better feeling than knowing you

are a capable human being. If you can get through a tough challenge, the next time you are

faced with an obstacle you will feel confident in your ability to overcome it once again.

4. It increases empathy

Going through tough experiences is almost like being part of an exclusive club. Only the

members know what emotions you are experiencing and the particulars of the situation.

Once you join the club, you are a member for life and can relate to other members easily.

You will understand how bad they feel and the doubts they are facing so you will have

more empathy towards them. You won’t be quick to dismiss their sadness like non-members


5. You will see the good around you

In times of need, you will see the support available to you. Good friends will be there for

you and family will support you however they can. People close to you want to see you

succeed and get through the hardship.

It is clear to see that adversity is an absolute necessity in order to become a better

person. Yes it hurts, but with the right attitude you will learn the greatest lessons of your


52 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How does adversity make you learn more?

2 How is empathy like an exclusive club?

3 Why would people want to avoid adversity?

4 How would having the right attitude help you when faced with adversity?

5 What is the greatest challenge you have faced and what do you think you


6 (a) Write as many synonyms for adversity as you can.

(b) Find a word in the text that you do not know the meaning of and write

the definition.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 53


The Man Who Ate


It is one thing to be able to eat everything, but a whole other thing to be cursed with

eternal hunger. Charlie, unfortunately, had suffered with this curse for as long as he could

remember. His appetite was insatiable and he could not get enough food. As a child, his

mother would feed him copious amounts of meat, bread and cheese but he would never be

satisfied. He was from a poor family and his mother could not sustain his unusual appetite,

so Charlie turned to whatever object he could find. He would devour paper, clothing,

insects and even live animals!

His ‘talent’ came to the attention of the owner of a travelling circus that was passing

through town. Mr Bloom invited Charlie to meet with him and discuss a possible career

in the circus, where he would be able to supply him with endless amounts of whatever he

wanted to eat.

Charlie’s mother urged him to take the job, so Charlie became a travelling circus man and

a very popular attraction.

People flocked from near and far to see this man consume vast quantities of food as

well as weird objects. Charlie did not object to eating anything because he could not get

enough and never felt full. He ate paper clips, mice, cockroaches, liver, snails, cats, fistfuls

of garbage and whatever the circus audience chanted.

Each town and city they travelled to was equally fascinated by Charlie’s ability, but to

Charlie he was just trying to quell his hunger. He was almost not even aware of his actions

because his desire to keep eating took over his whole body.

One night, there was a medical professor present in the audience watching with awe and

horror as Charlie proceeded to eat the innards of various animals. The doctor recalled a

very odd condition he had researched, that would cause such an insane appetite. He was

revolted but also excited to study this phenomenon further and waited for the chance to

speak to Charlie after the show.

As the professor

spoke, tears began

to well in Charlie’s

eyes. He was

exhausted from never

feeling satisfied,

and his health was

suffering. He needed

help, but did not

know it was available

until he met the

doctor. Charlie dared

to hope ... could this

be the beginning of a

whole new life?

54 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why did Charlie join the circus?

2 Why did Charlie eat everything?

3 Why is the word ‘talent’ in quotation marks?

4 What do you think happened next to Charlie?

5 The text is based on a true story. Knowing this, how do you feel about it

now compared to when you were reading the text?

6 Draw lines to match the definition of each word.

(a) quell

(b) insatiable

(c) copious

(d) phenomenon

something unusual or interesting that can be


to put an end to

impossible to satisfy

a plentiful supply

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 55


The Found City of Atlantis

It seems the Emerald Isle could also be

known as the Blue Isle, considering the

claims made by Swedish geographer Dr

Ulf Erlingsson. He states that Ireland

is the lost city of Atlantis that Greek

philosopher Plato once described, and

many have searched for. There are

obvious clues that lead to the truth

about Ireland, including the following

important pieces of information.

The geography of the island matches

perfectly the description provided by

Plato. Of all the islands that exist, only

Ireland matches the description of having

a central plain surrounded by mountains.

It is also about 480 km long, 320 km wide

and is narrower at the top and bottom

with the widest point across the middle.

Then there is the belief that Atlantis

sunk. This is based on an actual

tsunami that occurred in 6100 BC that

devastated Ireland. It hit the area of

Dogger Bank, a shoal in the North Sea,

and it sunk below the surface, much like

the legend of Atlantis. It is likely that

this actual event was intertwined with

the myth about Atlantis.

There are many monuments and ancient structures that match the description of various

Atlantic temples. The Hill of Tara is famous in Irish lore as the place where the High Kings

of Ireland would be inaugurated. This matches Plato’s description of the Atlantis capital

where kings would meet. The neolithic tomb in Newgrange fits the exact specifications of

the famous temple of Atlantis. This means it is the oldest temple on Earth.

There is also the fact that Irish DNA can be found throughout the world, including in

ancient mummies. This just proves that Irish civilisation is the most ancient in the world,

which coincides with the age of the ancient Atlantic civilisation.

The most obvious of clues is the well-known magical feeling that Ireland emanates. It is

a beautiful place with even more beautiful people which make it a magical place to visit.

Not to mention Irish mythology such as leprechauns and fairies. Ireland is as magical as the

land of Atlantis because it is one and the same!

56 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What proof suggests that Ireland is the most ancient civilisation?

2 How did Ireland ‘sink’ like Atlantis?

3 Why would the term ‘Blue Isle’ be suitable for Ireland?

4 Why would Atlantis be considered magical like Ireland?

5 Is it reasonable to think that Plato was talking about Ireland when he

described Atlantis? Why or why not?

6 Find out who Plato was and what Atlantis means.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 57


The Man Who Sold the

Eiffel Tower

Before the days of online scams, many great cons were conducted throughout history. One

of the most legendary con men was Victor Lustig, a man who sold the Eiffel Tower twice!

In the early 1900s, Victor began his career as a scammer and con artist aboard luxurious

cruise ships. He had an endless supply of wealthy travellers to sweet talk. He would pose

as a producer of Broadway musicals and swindle investors for his imaginary productions.

Other times, he would sell them a money box that he claimed could print more money.

By 1925, he was wanted by law enforcement agencies around the world for his various

scams. This did not stop this charming criminal and he stepped it up a notch with his

greatest plan ever. He arrived in Paris in 1925 and noticed an

article in the newspaper about the growing conflict over the

Eiffel Tower. It was never meant to be standing for so long

after it was built in 1889 for a Paris festival. Many people

wanted it torn down and thought it was a rusting eyesore. It

was also costing the taxpayers a lot of money to maintain.

Victor saw an opportunity to capitalise on this controversy.

First, he made himself appear to be a government official

and had stationery printed with official government emblems.

He then used this stationery to write letters to the largest

scrap metal dealers in France. In the letters he would ask

them to attend a meeting, but to be discrete about the

potential offer. Then he hired a room at one of the fanciest

hotels in Paris, where he conducted these meetings. He

discussed how the government was taking bids for the

right to demolish the Eiffel Tower and buy the 7000

tonnes of scrap metal.

Soon, he found a target and honed in on the man who

would be his victim. Ultimately, the businessman

paid Victor 70,000 francs, which Victor swiftly

took, then departed for Austria. Victor waited

for news of the scam to reach Austria but it

never did, as he imagined the man was too

embarrassed to speak of the incident.

This meant that Victor could return to

Paris and conduct the exact same scam

by contacting different scrap metal

dealers. He was successful yet

again, but this time his victim went

to the police and the story made the

headlines. Victor fled to the United

States of America, where he would

conduct more smooth scams that

eventually led to his capture and

imprisonment on Alcatraz.

58 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What scams did Victor run before the Eiffel Tower scam?

2 How did Victor convince the scrap metal businessmen to offer bids?

3 Why would the businessman who bought the Eiffel Tower have been too

embarrassed to report the crime?

4 Why would Victor’s targets be referred to as victims?

5 What would it be like today if the Eiffel Tower was actually sold and knocked

down for scrap metal?

6 True or False?

(a) An eyesore is something beautiful to look at.

(b) A synonym for capitalise is ‘take advantage of’.

(c) The origin of the word controversy are the Latin words controversus

or controversia.

What does it mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 59


My Un-bee-lievable


Most of the time, being the son of an entomological scientist is

somewhat mundane and uneventful. My mum spends her days and

nights studying all species of bugs, from beetles to mantids to

dragonflies, which are her favourite. I think she is in the company

of bugs more than humans.

My day started like any other but it was about to get weird.

I walked home from school like I did every day, as we live one

street away from the local primary school and my mum considered

me responsible enough to navigate my way home safely. As I

went in the front door I called out to tell Mum I was home,

but there was no response. That was not unusual as she would

normally have her head buried in research or be concentrating

her gaze down the lens of a microscope. She was definitely the

stereotypical absent-minded professor and was accident-prone

because she never paid attention to her surroundings.

I went searching for her in the basement, which she had converted

into a state-of-the-art home laboratory, but she was nowhere to

be found. I noticed she had added a new piece of equipment to

her already abundant supply, but this one was a little larger than

the other pieces. It looked like some kind of weird mini-cannon

with a glowing coiled metal end like a nozzle. I turned it around

to get a closer look, when a bright, lightning-like spark shot out

and zapped me in the face. I must have passed out because when I

opened my eyes I had no idea where I was.

I surveyed the room but it felt familiar in an unfamiliar way.

To the right of me was what looked like mum’s lab chair,

but it was at least 100 times the size. Everywhere I looked

seemed like it had been transformed into gigantic proportions,

until it dawned on me that perhaps it was me who had

changed size. I must have zapped myself with a shrink ray and

now I was the size of an insect! Why didn’t my mum warn me

about her newest invention, and where could she possibly be?

I finally heard her voice calling my name from a distance, and then

I was in her arms—her tiny, little bug-sized arms. It seems she was

also playing around with her new piece of equipment and, she being

who she was, accidentally zapped herself into the size of a bug.

‘Hey, what’s bugging you?’ she greeted me with. Trust my mum

to have her bug jokes at the ready in a situation like this.

‘Maybe we need to call in a SWAT team to help us,’ I replied.

I was my mother’s son after all.

‘Well, I don’t want to be a buzzkill, but we better get

ourselves back to normal because being this small is making me

feel antsy,’ Mum said half-jokingly.

60 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Explain what the boy’s mother did for a living.

2 What happened to the boy and his mum?

3 Why do you think professors are sometimes called absent-minded?

4 What do you imagine the zapper looked like? Draw it.

5 (a) What would be a happy ending to the story?

(b) What would be a sad ending to the story?

6 (a) List at least five insect-related words you can think of.

(b) Write two puns using some of the words.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 61


Real-life Race Around the


When the Jules Verne novel Around the World in 80 Days

came out in 1873, no one had tested the theory that

a person could actually travel around the world in 80

days like the character Phileas Fogg. That is until Nellie

Bly, an investigative journalist for New York World, came

along in 1889.

After reading the novel, Bly pitched the idea to her

editor that she could trump 80 days and promised to

do it in 76. At first he refused her seemingly impossible

proposal. He thought because she was a woman she

would need protection and wouldn’t be able to carry

her excess luggage around. Bly was quick to retort that

she would happily complete the stunt for a competitor

newspaper. Her editor relented and she began her

journey, with just one suitcase in tow.

Having never travelled before, her first trip was on

board a ship from New Jersey, bound for England on

14 November 1889. It would take eight days to reach

her destination, during which time she was terribly sick.

Nonetheless, she made it to Southampton and was

greeted with some exciting news. Jules Verne had heard

of her quest and wanted to meet her at his home town

in France! Bly, although conscious of her race timing,

couldn’t refuse, so she worked it into her itinerary. She

departed on 23 November after only 24 hours in France.

Bly then continued on her planned route to Italy, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Singapore,

China and Japan. Bly trekked around by whatever means possible, via train, ship, fishing

boat, rickshaw, horse and donkey.

While in Hong Kong, Nellie learned about another female writer that a rival publication had

sent to beat her. She had left New York at the same time, but in the opposite direction.

She had passed through Hong Kong a few days earlier, which alarmed Bly, but she did

not wish to see it as a race against another competitor. The only race she was concerned

about was with Phileas Fogg.

The penultimate leg of her journey was a boat from Japan to San Francisco. To Bly’s

relief, it arrived ahead of schedule on 21 January 1890. Then, finally, Bly was homeward

bound to New York by train, but snowstorms were disrupting rail travel. This made Bly

nervous about her competitor possibly taking the lead. However, she needn’t have worried

because her competitor had travel problems of her own.

On 25 January 1890, Nellie Bly made it back to New York on a private train. She had

completed her race in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds. She was seven days

earlier then the fictional Phileas Fogg. Her race competitor made it back five days after

her, triumphant over Fogg but not Bly.

62 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why did Nellie Bly embark on an around-the-world adventure?

2 Why did the editor think it would be impossible for a woman to travel around

the world?

3 Why do you think the editor relented after Bly suggested she would go to a

competitor publication?

4 Why did Bly’s editor think that way about women?

5 What do you think it would be like now to race around the world in 80 days?

6 What do the following words mean?







R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 63


Ching Shih, the Pirate Queen

Born in 1775, Ching Shih was a notorious female pirate who became one of the most

powerful pirates of her time. She even managed to escape punishment once her reign

ended, and died peacefully at home at the age of 69. To this day, she is remembered for

her success and fierceness at a time when it was not common for women to possess such


Early life

She was born in the humble town of Guangzhou, Guangdong province in South China. As

a young woman she was known for her beauty as well as her intelligence and her ability to

influence others. She grew to become a savvy businesswoman and soon attracted attention

from men around the world.

Cheng I, a pirate commander of the Red Flag Fleet, became infatuated with Ching Shih.

He asked her to marry him in 1801. She agreed on the condition that he give her half of

his profits and partial control of his fleet of pirate ships. This was the beginning of her

lucrative career as a pirate and a prime example of her business acumen.


At the time of their marriage, Cheng I and Ching Shih owned 200 pirate ships, and within

a few months this grew to 1800 ships. Other pirate lords formed an alliance with Cheng I,

fortifying the Red Flag Fleet and consolidating its vast power.

A pivotal event occurred in 1807. Cheng I lost his life during a deadly storm off the

Vietnamese coast, leaving Ching Shih in charge of his vast fleet. Under her reign, she

commanded over 800 large ships, 1000 smaller boats and over 70,000 pirate crew.

She also brought about reforms for the treatment of

prisoners, especially women, as well as for her pirate


The Chinese dynasty sensed her power and wanted

to bring an end to her reign so they sent the navy

to attack. They failed miserably, and the men joined

forces with Ching Shih instead.

Her reign was finally over when she surrendered to

the Portuguese navy, as they attacked with superior

weaponry and ships.

The emperor allowed Ching Shih to keep the loot she

had collected over the years. With it, she was able

to live out the remainder of her life comfortably.

Did you know?

Ching Shih means ‘widow of Cheng’, but

she was also known as the ‘Terror of

South China’.

She is the inspiration behind the pirate

lord ‘Mistress Cheng’ in Disney’s Pirates

of the Caribbean movies.

64 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How did Ching Shih end up in charge of a pirate fleet?

2 How did her reign end?

3 Why do you think she was called the ‘Terror of South China’?

4 Do you think there were any other female pirates like Ching Shih? Why?

5 How does Ching Shih compare to other pirates you have read about or seen

in movies?

6 Write the words from the text that match the definitions.

(a) providing a great deal of money or profit

(b) a keen ability to make good judgements

(c) only in part, not complete

(d) making something stronger to protect it

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 65


A Soundtrack to Your Life

Whenever you have a significant life event there is a song that can echo exactly what you

are thinking and feeling at the time. You turn to it to comfort you, pump you up, wallow in

it or calm you down. You feel so connected to this song that you will remember it forever

and it will serve as one of the many songs that will feature on the soundtrack of your life.

Upon hearing it you are instantly transported back to that time and how you were feeling.

Nothing else has the ability to do that, and psychological research proves that powerful

neural connections exist between memory and music.

What if your memory is impaired for some reason? Can the power of music be used to

your advantage? Research has been done to support the idea that music can be used

therapeutically for different types of patients. The following information summarises just

some of the research that has been done in this field.

Study One

A 2019 study by

Leggieri looked at

all the research done

about the effect of

music on patients with

Alzheimer’s disease

and dementia.

When listening to

familiar music, the

patients were able

to unlock memories

they would otherwise

struggle to recall.

This study was

important because it

showed that any kind

of music intervention

is a useful tool to

provide therapy.

Study Two

A 2013 study by Amee Baird and

Séverine Samson, from the University

of Newcastle in Australia, studied

the effect of music on brain-injured


They tested the patients’ ability to

recall memories by playing them popular

music from the Top 100 charts.

The results showed that certain songs

evoked positive memories in the majority

of patients.

This is the same result as in the

healthy population, which shows that

music is powerful enough to have the

same effect on those with brain injuries.

This study was important because it

suggested that music could be used to

help treat those with brain injuries.

Study Three

A 2009 study by Petr

Janata, from the

University of California,

mapped the brain while

people listened to


The study found that

the areas of the brain

linked to memories

and emotions were

activated when familiar

music was played.

This was important

because it provided

evidence of the

connection between

music and memories.

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1 What is the importance of Study Two?

2 What did Study Three find?

3 What is likely to happen to a patient that has Alzheimer’s when a familiar

song is played to them?

4 Why does the writer use research to make their point?

5 What effect does a familiar song have on you? Does it make you think of a

certain event or feeling? Describe it.

6 What do the following words mean?

(a) neural

(b) wallow



(d) dementia



R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 67


Queen Dracula

What would you say if I told you that Dracula and Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of the

United Kingdom, were related? Would you think I was crazy? It would not be unreasonable

if you did; how can a fictional character and a real person be related? It’s an excellent

question and one we can answer if we look how the story of Dracula came about.

In 1897, an Irish writer by the name of Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker wrote an epistolary novel—

that is a novel that is a series of letters, diary entries and newspaper articles. This novel

was a horror story and was about a young lawyer who took a business trip to stay with

a duke in Transylvania. Whilst away, the lawyer soon learns that his host is a vampire

and becomes trapped in the home. The vampire escapes to London where he begins to

terrorise its people. The lawyer eventually flees the duke’s home and returns to London

where he helps a professor track down and destroy the vampire. The story was considered

quite terrifying when released but, despite this, it quickly became popular. The legend of a

vampire called Dracula was born.

So, how is this fictional story connected to the British royal family? Well, some believe

that Stoker based the vampire character on a historical figure, widely known for his cruel

deeds, called Vlad III. He was Voivode (similar to Duke) of Romania three times in the

1400s and was well known for impaling people on stakes as a method of torture. This led to

the Duke later becoming known as Vlad Dracula as well as Vlad the Impaler for his horrific


Bram Stoker was an interesting man himself. Before writing Dracula, he spent eight years

researching European folklore and stories of vampires, which is where it was believed that

he read the stories of Vlad Dracula and used these as inspiration for his writing.

When looking at the family tree of the English monarchy, we see that it stretches across

many different countries and royal families. In times past, it was not uncommon for royalty

to marry royalty from other countries, and this is how the English and Romanian royal

families came to be connected. In 1893, Princess Mary of Teck (a state in Germany) married

Prince George, Duke of York. When Edward VII died in 1910, George became King George

V, the grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II. Princess Mary of Teck was the 14th greatgrandchild

of ‘Vlad the Monk’, half-brother to Vlad the Impaler. It is through Mary’s

marriage to George V that the British royal family and the fictional character Dracula are


Isn’t that the craziest thing?

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1 Through whom is Queen Elizabeth II related to Vlad the Impaler?

2 What relationship is the Princess to Queen Elizabeth II?

3 Why would Dracula have been considered terrifying when it was first


4 Why was it not uncommon for royalty to marry royalty?

5 What type of person do you think Vlad the Impaler was?

6 Which word means to ‘pierce with a sharp instrument’?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 69


Punish The Pigs –

Medieval Animal Court

During the Middle Ages,

which were from the 13th

to 16th centuries, court

trials were held in Europe

to hold animals, and their

owners, accountable for

their crimes.

The earliest documented

trial took place in 1266

in Fontenay-aux-Roses,

not far from Paris. A

pig was suspected of

having eaten a baby and

was put on trial. In the

Middle Ages, courts were

often ruled over by the

church (as well as local

authorities) and this trial

was supervised by the monks of St Genevieve. To everyone’s delight, the pig was found

guilty and sentenced to death.

The reasons the courts and the church often conducted trials against animals were:

Medieval citizens believed that all order was created by God. This meant the church

was chosen by God to decide on crimes.

Medieval people believed that animals knew the difference between right and wrong and

therefore were entitled to a trial if behaving poorly.

• Some medieval people identified closely with animals. They read many stories and fables

about animals acting like humans, wearing clothing and living in houses. This helped their

belief that animals knew right from wrong.

• Animals lived closely with humans in medieval times. Animals were not always penned in

paddocks as they are now and were often part of the household. This meant that they

fell under the same law as humans.

• Owners of the animals on trial could also be made to pay for their animal’s crimes. For

example, if your cow wandered into your neighbour’s crop and ate or damaged it, you

could be held responsible for the price of the crop. This was a way of ensuring that law

and order was kept and that justice was served.

There is still evidence of ‘animal trials’ being held around the world today. In Macedonia

in 2008, a bear was convicted of having stolen honey from a beekeeper and the local parks

service was ordered to pay the beekeeper approximately US$3500 in compensation. How


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1 When were the Middle Ages?

2 Who could conduct a trial during these times?

3 Why would the citizens of Fontenay-aux-Roses have been happy the pig was

found guilty?

4 Why was the local parks service in Macedonia ordered to pay compensation?

5 Do you agree it was fair for owners to be held responsible for their animals’

actions? Why?

6 Which word means to ‘pay money in

recognition of loss, injury or damage’?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 71



King Henry III’s Pale,

White Bear

From King Henry III

Tower of London

Great Britain

To: King Haakon IV


My dear friend

I wish to thank you most kindly for your extraordinary gift of the pale, white bear

that you presented to my court. I can only imagine that your expansion into Iceland

and Greenland has led you to such marvels and I am delighted you have chosen to

send one to me for my modest menagerie.

I have instructed my sheriffs to make sure that the bear is able to fend for itself; it

must not become reliant on human hands to feed it. They are to make a stout muzzle

attached to a chain so that the handler you sent with the bear can control it as he leads

it to the River Thames. Once there, he will attach a long rope to the animal so he can

control it as it swims, washes and fishes for itself.

In recognition of such a difficult job, I have provided the handler with warm clothing

so that the bear will never miss a day when it can swim, fish and roam free.

I must commend you on your choice of handler. It seems that the beast and he have

an excellent understanding. The bear duly submits when the handler puts its muzzle

on. To date, there have been only minor injuries.

Once again, I thank you warmly and ask that when you are next on your travels,

you kindly pay a visit so that you may join the spectators and see your bear.


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1 Who presented King Henry III with the bear?

2 From which countries was he likely to have taken the bear?

3 What type of bear did King Haakon IV most likely gift King Henry III?

4 What did King Henry III do with the bear?

5 How would the people of London view such a gift?

6 Which word means ‘a collection of wild animals kept for exhibition’?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 73


When is Bad Weather Good?

The Scandinavians have a well-known saying: ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only

bad clothes’. Usually this is said by parents who want their children to go outdoors and

play; however, there is a lot of truth in this familiar saying.

Bad weather usually occurs in the colder months of the year. Endless drizzle and rain,

chilly biting wind and even sleet and snow can cause us to want to huddle in front of the

fire and lock ourselves indoors, but did you know that bad weather can actually be good?

Getting outdoors, even in bad weather, can make us feel happier and less stressed. When

we feel anxious, tense or tired our body produces the hormone cortisol. This hormone

can have a negative effect on our sleep, mood and even our weight. Going outdoors and

spending time in nature lowers our cortisol levels, creating a happier, calmer mood. Being

outdoors when it is windy or even spattering with rain can create new experiences for our

body to notice. The feel of the wind on our face, watching the colours of the leaves as

they swirl or even the smell of rain as it hits the ground are moments in nature that may

distract us from our worries, helping to lower cortisol levels.

Another example of when bad weather is actually good is after a long, dry, hot spell when

rain finally begins to fall. Not only does it cool the high temperatures that usually come

with dry weather, but it adds moisture back into the earth so nature can regenerate.

Rivers and lakes that have begun to dry up start to flow again, and cracked, barren earth

is soon littered with green shoots as grasses, flowers, bushes and shrubs push their way

through. Small animals and birds return to the area now that they can find food again and

farms begin to flourish.

Finally, getting out in the cold weather is actually good for your brain. A study from 2017

found that people think better when its colder. They make better decisions and are able to

stay calmer. So, next time you have an important decision to make, take a walk outside in

the cold air—your brain will thank you for it.

74 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 From what region does the famous quote originate?

2 What research was conducted into cold weather in 2017?

3 What is the problem this article discusses?

4 How do you think the author feels about nature?

5 Why might scientists be interested in conducting research into the effect of

weather on humans?

6 What is the difference between the words affect and effect?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 75


Behold the Unicorn

Since medieval times, the unicorn has symbolised purity and innocence as well as

masculinity and power. These qualities have led it to become a creature of interest and

mystery. Whilst it is mythological, the qualities it represents are ideals many people, as

well as countries, strive to achieve. This association makes the unicorn a perfect symbol

for these beliefs.

Unicorns first appeared in western literature in around 400 BCE when the Greek historian,

Ctesias, wrote of the beast; however, modern historians believe he was actually writing

about a rhinoceros! For many years, Europeans believed that unicorns could, and did, exist

in remote places of the world and this is how they took on their mystical appeal.

In Greek literature, unicorns were said to draw the chariot of Artemis, the goddess of wild

animals and hunting. As a result of this legend, unicorns became associated with not only

power and royalty, but purity and bravery as well.

Fast forward to Scotland in the 12th century. King William I was looking for a symbol to

represent his reign. Knowing the principles and values associated with the unicorn, he had

its image emblazoned on his coat of arms, an image that was then minted on gold coins in

the 15th century by King James III.

Legend has it that unicorns are the natural enemy of the lion, the long-standing symbol

of England. Some scholars believe that this is why Scotland adopted the unicorn as its

national animal. Prior to King James VI and I uniting the two countries in 1603, Scotland

and England had a long history of battle. When King James VI and I took power, the

Scottish coat of arms had two unicorns holding up a shield. He then changed the shield to

one unicorn and one lion to show that the two countries were truly united.

The unicorn on the Scottish coat of arms is always depicted bound by a gold chain. Here,

the power of the Scottish kings to capture and tame a unicorn is suggested, showing just

how powerful Scottish royalty could be.

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1 For how many years has western culture known about unicorns?

2 Where could you find the unicorn displayed in Scotland?

3 What makes the unicorn a mythical creature?

4 Why would royalty want to be associated with unicorns?

5 Do you think the unicorn is an effective national animal for Scotland?

6 Which word in the following sentence is a synonym for displayed?

‘… he had its image emblazoned on his coat of arms …’

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 77


Gangsta Granny,

David Walliams

Have you ever wondered what it is your granny gets up to when you leave her alone? Do

you imagine her sitting, drinking endless cups of tea, and knitting tea cosies for your boiled

eggs whilst watching re-runs of her favourite TV show? Or maybe you picture your grandma

endlessly napping in her chair, only waking to shift position so she can doze off again? If

this is how you picture your parent’s parent, then David Walliams is here to ask you to

think again.

Ben believes his granny is like the description above. Much

to his disgust, his parents dump him every Friday night

at his granny’s house so they can go ballroom dancing.

At first Ben thinks his granny is rather boring, but

soon discovers a secret stash of jewels in her

biscuit barrel. He quickly learns that his dear old

gran was ‘The Black Cat’, one of the world’s

best international jewel thieves. The best part

is she’d never been caught! This leads to a

hilarious tale of the pair creating a plan and

trying to steal the Crown Jewels. They meet

lots of obstacles along the way.

The bond that grows between Ben and

his gran is what is most remarkable about

this story. Conditioned to believe that

his grandma stinks (both literally and

figuratively) by his parents, Ben soon

discovers for himself that his gran is really

a vivacious, lively woman with a wealth of

stories and experience and someone who

genuinely wants to connect with him, unlike

his parents. Ben and Gran soon develop an

unbreakable bond that continues even after

the unimaginable happens.

David Walliams’ writing style is touching and

funny. It is packed full of jokes that primaryaged

children will love. He explores many big

ideas in the text: the generation gap that

exists between parents and their children, as

well as grandparents and grandchildren, and

just how rewarding these relationships can be if

you work to overcome them. More importantly,

Walliams gently deals with the idea of grief and

loss and the beauty that remains in relationships,

even after they have ended.

If you love to laugh, love a good joke about kebabs

and love your granny (or not), this book is for you.

78 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Which word in the title is used to describe Ben’s granny?

2 What other name is Ben’s gran known by?

3 How do you think Ben’s parents view his grandmother?

4 To what genre does this book belong?

5 Why do you think the author wrote a story about a boy who develops a

relationship with his grandmother?

6 What is the definition of a gangster?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 79


London Bridge is Falling Down

London Bridge is falling down,

Falling down, falling down.

London Bridge is falling down,

My fair lady.

Since the mid-1700s, children all over the world have heard and learned the nursery rhyme

‘London Bridge is Falling Down’, but did you know that the rhyme is even older? It is

believed that the verse may actually date back to the Middle Ages and is a reference to a

Viking attack that took place around 1014. Olaf II of Norway attacked and destroyed the

bridge, documented by the 13th-century Icelandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson.

Another popular belief is the rhyme is about the Great Fires of London that damaged the

bridge’s structure. The first fire took place in 1633 and caused the initial damage, which

was then compounded by the Great Fire of London in 1666, impacting the bridge’s arches

and foundations.

In the 1820s, a new bridge was built on a site that was further north than the old one.

It was opened in 1831; however, it was pulled down in the 1960s and transported to the

United States of America. It was then rebuilt across Lake Havasu in Arizona.

Given the damage that happened to the bridge over its many years, the line ‘My fair lady’

is believed to be in reference to two women who were responsible for keeping the bridge

sturdy. The first belief is that it was Mathilde of Scotland who was married to King Henry

I. She had several bridges built in the early 12th century so was in charge of their upkeep.

The second belief is that it is a reference to Eleanor of Provence, queen to King Henry

III. She was in charge of the toll money that was taken from the bridge in the late 13th

century, and rumour has it that she was not good at keeping the bridge in good repair. This

could be the source of the amusing lyrics that suggest repairing the bridge with items such

as ‘sticks and stones’ and ‘needles and pins’, as these were cheap repairs that would not

have cost a lot of money.

80 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 How was Olaf II of Norway connected to London Bridge?

2 Which historical events and people are referenced in the nursery rhyme?

3 Why was the damage to the bridge made worse by the Great Fire of London

in 1666?

4 How do you think Eleanor of Provence was viewed by her people?

5 Why would Eleanor of Provence not have wanted to spend much money on

the upkeep of the bridge?

6 What does the phrase ‘in reference to’ mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 81


Mungo Man of Lake Mungo

In 1974, in an outback town in western New South Wales, Australia, an important scientific

discovery was made. This discovery was so significant that it changed what scientists had

believed for hundreds of years. It proved that humans had been in Australia for tens of

thousands of years longer than was first thought.

A number of skeletons were discovered. ‘Mungo Man’ was an almost complete human

skeleton found in the sand dunes of Lake Mungo. Many fossil footprints had already been

found in the area. Carbon dating proved the skeleton to be approximately 42,000 years old.

This helped to show First Nations Australians as the oldest continuous civilisation in the

world. Mungo Man was about 50 years old, a great age for an early human. When he died,

his family carefully buried him on his back. They folded his arms in his lap. His body was

sprinkled with red ochre, which is the oldest known example of this ritual being performed.

What an amazing discovery for science!

Mungo Man was finally returned to First Nations Australians of the Willandra Lakes area

after 40 years. He is to be reburied according to custom, but this has not yet happened.

Some believe the skeleton should be kept in an education centre at Lake Mungo due to its


The arguments for keeping the skeletons in an education centre include:

• They can be used to help broaden our understanding of history and science.

• Only two of the skeletons have been properly documented, so the others should be

examined before reburying.

• As technology improves, the skeletons may reveal more about early humans.

• The area for reburial is a world heritage site and could cause environmental damage.

Arguments for reburial include:

• Mungo Man was originally removed without the permission of First Nations Australians

in the area, causing great hurt.

• First Nations Australians believe removing the skeletons from the burial ground removed

them from their spirit.

• Reburying the skeletons will reconnect them to their spirit, people and their Country.

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1 Where is Lake Mungo located?

2 What kind of landscape can be found there?

3 Why could Mungo Man have been given the honour of being sprinkled with

red ochre?

4 How do think many First Nations Australians feel about Mungo Man’s

skeleton being taken?

5 What type of man do you think Mungo Man may have been?

6 What does the word custom mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 83


Through the Wardrobe to


‘Opening the door to the wardrobe, I felt a fine chill seep through my clothes that aroused

my curiosity. Taking a step forward, I pushed my way through the warm fur overcoats that

hung like soldiers in straight rows. With my next step, I gasped at the scene before me.

Icicles hung on tree needles, sprinkled in random falls like confetti, and a thick blanket

of snow lay on the ground like a

magnificent carpet laid ready for a

ball. Before leaving the wardrobe

I slipped my arms into a velvety

coat, laying my cheek briefly against

the silky softness of the fur, and

proceeded into the landscape before

me. On the horizon, I could see the

shadows of craggy hills looming

menacingly in their darkness. Pointy

spires jutted from the top of the

mountains, indicating that in the right

light, I would be able to see evidence

of civilisation through its buildings.

Closer to my position a yellow light

glowed invitingly from a street lamp.

It bathed the snow around it in a

faintly golden hue making it seems as

if a spotlight had opened up on the

carpeted ballroom, just for me. Taking

my cue, I took three more tentative

steps into the light and curtsied to

my imaginary audience. Rising, I once

again marvelled at the majesty of the

world before me. This time I noticed

the faint ripples of water cascading

along the distant hills. I wasn’t sure

what world I had stumbled upon, but I

knew that I wasn’t in London anymore

and I certainly wasn’t in my uncle’s

manor. Here, time felt as if it stood

still, holding its breath in a similar

manner to mine just waiting for

something to occur.’

Above is what could be a description of Lucy’s first adventure into the land of Narnia,

the setting of C S Lewis’ story, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. To find out what

happens next, be sure to grab a copy of this book.

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1 What is the name of the land described?

2 What is the name of the young girl on this adventure?

3 What do you think happens next?

4 What do you think Lucy is feeling as she enters the land? How do you know?

5 What words could you use to describe the character of Lucy?

6 Write two synonyms for the word hue.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 85


Getting to the Heart of It

There are many marvellous things our bodies can do. We can repair torn and broken skin,

rejuvenate our intestinal tracts every 3–4 days and we even grow a new skeleton every

8–10 years! Yet, one of the things our bodies can’t do is grow new organs once they are

damaged. This is where advancements in modern medicine have led the way.

On 3 December 1967, a courageous South African surgeon by the name of Christiaan

Barnard performed the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant. The recipient he

gave the heart to was gravely ill. Without the transplant, he was not going to survive.

Dr Barnard was a skilled surgeon who had previous experience with a kidney transplant,

but this was the first time anyone had managed to effectively perform a heart transplant.

As a young boy, Dr Barnard had a brother who sadly died from heart disease when he was

only five years old. This influenced both him and another of his brothers, Marius, to become

doctors. Remarkably, it was Marius who assisted Dr Barnard in the ground-breaking surgery

by operating on the donor to retrieve the heart whilst Barnard prepared the patient to

receive it.

Christiaan Barnard paved the way for heart transplants to become a treatment option for

critically ill patients. To this day, this first heart transplant remains the most publicised

medical event in history and has provided modern-day medicine with both the skills and

knowledge to develop further treatments in transplant care.

Retrato del Dr. Christiaan Barnard by Benito Prieto Coussent, licence CC BY-SA 3.0 ES

86 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why did Dr Barnard become a doctor?

2 How did the first heart transplant help modern transplant medicine?

3 Why do you think the text describes Dr Barnard as courageous?

4 Provide a possible reason Marius operated with Christiaan.

5 How do you think people responded to the surgery that Dr Barnard


6 What does the phrase ‘critically ill’ mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 87


Enlightened Education –

Teacher for a Day

In 2011, a university in India trialled a unique way to show their teachers that they

really valued them. On one Teacher Appreciation Day, students swapped roles with

them! This interesting idea was designed to help students understand the intricacies and

responsibilities of being a teacher.

Some students do not agree with this idea. They think that instead of them becoming

teachers, teachers should become students. This is because teachers sometimes forget

what it is like to be a young student. Other reasons students believe that teachers should

go back to the classroom include:

• to get a feel for how tiring it can be to sit still in a lesson;

• so they can see how easy or difficult their lessons are to understand;

• to learn how clear instructions need to be;

• to understand what it is like to have to learn right before break times; and

• so they can understand how hard it can be to get homework done when you have

responsibilities outside of school.

By becoming a teacher for a day, students may also come to understand:

• how difficult it can be working with a large group of people, all with different needs;

• how organised teachers need to be;

• how much preparation and time teachers put into organising lessons; and

• the other duties teachers must complete, such as break duty.

What do you think? Should teachers and students swap for a day?

88 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What is one idea students have about teachers?

2 What is one idea teachers have about students?

3 Why is it important for teachers to understand what it is like to learn right

before a break?

4 Why is it important for students to understand what other duties teachers


5 How would swapping roles for a day improve a classroom?

6 Which word in the opening paragraph would complexity be a synonym for?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 89


Fractured Fairy Tales

Who doesn’t love a good fairy tale? Those well-known and beloved stories from childhood

about magical lands and beings or folk tales and legends from times long gone, can have

a special place in our hearts. Folklore, the basis for fairy tales, has been around for

thousands of years; however, the first time the word ‘fairy tale’ was used to describe a

particular genre of stories was in France, around 1697. One hundred and fifteen years later,

the Brothers Grimm would start collecting well-known

German fairy tales and publish these in a small collection,

which is how we know the stories today.

What’s interesting about the Brothers Grimm publications

is that as society changed and became more civilised, the

brothers rewrote the endings of fairy tales to make them

suitable. Many of the original endings of stories that

we love were quite gruesome and grizzly, so one of the

reasons for changing the endings of these stories was to

make them kinder and more acceptable to children. Twohundred

years later, stories with more violent endings

changed again as movie companies such as Disney adapted

the stories to film.

Below is a table with two of our best-known fairy tales,

with the original ending in column three and the more

common ending that we know today in column two. Which

one surprises you most?

Little Red Riding Hood

Fairy Tale Modern-day Ending Original Ending

Cinderella – a young

stepdaughter is made to

act as a servant to her evil

stepmother and sisters. A

handsome prince, wanting to

find his perfect wife, holds a

magnificent ball. Cinderella’s

stepmother does not allow her

to go. With the help of her

fairy godmother, Cinderella is

able to get to the ball and

win the prince’s heart. There

is a catch—she must be home

before midnight!

Little Red Riding Hood – A

horribly wicked wolf tries to

trick a girl into believing he is

her grandmother. His real plan

is to eat her.

In the modern-day

adaptation, once

Cinderella leaves

her glass slipper at

the ball, the prince

searches through the

town until he finds

the lady whose foot

fits the slipper. He

then marries her as

the love of his life.

In the modern story,

Cinderella is helped by

a fairy godmother.

In the modern-day

ending, Little Red

Riding Hood is able

to recognise the wolf

and overcome him

before he has the

chance to gobble her

up. She saves her poor


In the original ending, it

is a white dove that helps

Cinderella get to the ball.

And shockingly, when the evil

stepsisters learn that the

prince is looking for the lady

to fit the slipper left behind,

they cut off their toes and one

cuts off her heel so that their

feet can fit the shoe. Luckily,

the white dove points out the

blood to the prince and he is

able to keep searching until he

finds Cinderella.

In the original ending,

Grandmother and Little Red

Riding Hood are tricked by the

wolf, but quickly saved by a

hunter who kills the wolf for

his skin.

90 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What country do the Brothers Grimm come from?

2 When was the first collection of fairy tales published by them?

3 How could the original ending to Cinderella have affected children if kept?

4 Why did fairy tale endings need to change as the genre became more focused

towards children?

5 Do you prefer the original or modern version of the endings? Why?

6 What is it called when two words such as fairy and tale are combined to

make a new word?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 91


Kudos to the Brother –

The Interesting Life of

Jack Butler Yeats

For many readers, the surname

Yeats would not be unfamiliar with

many having heard of the famous

Irish author and poet, William Butler

Yeats. This text, however, is about

his brother, Jack, who was not only

a magnificent painter, he was an

Olympian too!

Jack Butler Yeats was born on

29 August 1871. Whilst he was

born in London, he grew up at his

grandparents’ home in Sligo, Ireland.

He returned to his parents’ home at

the age of 16 and his first artistic

job outside of school was as an

illustrator for magazines and comic

strips. He even drew a character

that was a take-off of Sherlock

Holmes called ‘Chubb-Lock Holmes’;

a chubb-lock being a special type

of locking system for houses.

From pencil drawings, Jack soon

graduated to oil paintings, using a

particular style of work known as


Jack’s ability as a fantastic artist

won him a silver medal in the 1924

Olympics. Between 1910 and 1948,

art that was inspired by sport

was a category in the Olympic Games. Jack submitted two paintings, the first a painting

called The Liffey Swim (a famous Irish river race) and the second a colourful oil painting

of three jockeys before a race called Before the Start. It was for The Liffey Swim that he

won a silver medal. This iconic painting now hangs in the National Gallery of Ireland. How

wonderful for art to be recognised as a sport!

Jack Butler Yeats’ work showed the distinctive life and landscape of both London and,

particularly, Ireland. He was the first Irish artist to ever sell a painting for over one million

pounds, which shows just how important his works were, and still are today. Despite being

such an important and influential artist, he was a private man and never took a student,

nor did he ever let anyone watch him paint.

What a wonderfully unique life!

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1 How did Jack Butler Yeats win an Olympic medal?

2 Did Jack grow up in the same country as his parents? If not, where did he

grow up?

3 How does selling a painting for over one million pounds show how important

Yeats’ work was?

4 Why did Yeats never take a student?

5 What words do you think his family would have used to describe Jack Butler


6 What is the meaning of the word unique?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 93


Artificial Intelligence (AI)

– Will Computers Rule

Over Humans One Day?

We’ve all seen one; that happy-go-lucky action film where computers one day suddenly

become more intelligent than humans and start to rule the world. The choice the computers

have is whether to live happily with humans, to enslave them and make them their servants,

or destroy them and take over the world. The twist to the movie is that it usually comes

down to 1–2 humans to save the whole race by relying on both their intelligence and

speed. It’s an age-old science-fiction idea, but what makes the genre so entertaining is

that some people believe that one day in the near future, the possibility of being ruled by

computers is very, very real!

Many people would argue that the way society has become seemingly dependent on

computers and social media means we are already under their rule; however, it’s important

to understand that what propels computers is artificial intelligence. So the real question is

not will computers rule over humans one day, but will artificial intelligence be smarter than

humans in the near future?

The short answer to this question is, in some cases, it already is!

‘What do you mean it is?’ I hear you loudly cry. Well, artificial intelligence is the science

of making computers think like humans. Humans use many skills like logic, imagination,

awareness, values and emotion when making decisions and, so far, scientists have not come

anywhere near creating a computer that can match these human-like qualities. However,

they have been able to create computers that are better at problem-solving than humans

when it comes to rules-based games and difficult calculations. The world’s most powerful

supercomputer has the capacity to store ten times more information than a human brain

and processes that information four times faster. This means that when it comes to solving

a mathematical problem or playing a game like chess, supercomputers outperform humans.

But never fear! You’re not going to wake up any time soon and be under the rule of your

trusty laptop. Until computer scientists can work out how to make a computer think like a

human, we can all sleep safely.

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1 What do the initials AI stand for?

2 What skills in decision making do humans have that computers don’t?

3 Why might some people fear computers taking over?

4 Why are supercomputers better than humans at playing chess or completing

maths problems?

5 What types of skills do computer scientists need to have?

6 Write three similar words to capacity.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 95


Dotty Dashes and Stripes

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like 200 years ago, before telephones and

text messages were invented, to try and relay an urgent message? People relied on fast

horses and riders to take a paper message from point to point. These messages would often

change hands as horses and riders became tired. Sometimes messages had been passed so

many times, that when they arrived at the recipient, weeks had passed making them almost


In 1838, an American artist and inventor named Samuel Morse revolutionised the way

messages were sent. Using the telegraph wire system that had been invented only a

few years earlier, he created a series of dots, dashes and spaces to represent letters,

punctuation and numbers. These symbols were arranged to deliver a message.

The telegraph required an operator to tap out the message using a telegraph key. This

would send electrical pulses down a wire line which created a tapping sound at the other

end. An operator would then interpret these signals into a message.

One of the most well-known Morse code messages ever transmitted was the recently

adopted distress signal sent out by the RMS Titanic–the famous ‘unsinkable’ ship that

struck an iceberg in 1912. After hitting the ice and using the standard code at the time of

CQD (meaning ‘All Stations: Distress’) to request help, Morse code operator Jack Phillips

sent out a series of three dots, three dashes and three dots signalling SOS. This is one of

the earliest records of this code being used, as it had recently been adopted due to being

faster for operators to tap out with their fingers.

To learn Morse code, it is necessary to first remember the sounds each letter makes. A

dot sound is referred to as ‘di’ and a long sound as ‘dah’. Once these are memorised, you

can then apply the sounds to the letters of the word you wish to transmit. For example,

the word dog would be ‘dah di di, dah dah dah, dah dah di’. Take a look at the chart and

see if you can tap out your name.

96 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What is the common Morse code signal used during a distress call?

2 How were messages relayed before Morse code was invented?

3 How would SOS being faster to tap out help ships in distress?

4 How would having lots of people handle a message make it unreadable?

5 What could be a reason Jack Phillips switched from using CQD to SOS on

the Titanic?

6 What is meant by the word standard

in this text?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 97


How the Echidna Got

Its Spikes

A Dreaming Story using Moyjil language of the Gunditjmara people of south-western

Victoria, Australia

A long time ago during the dreaming, when the animals, trees, plants and landscape

were created by the spiritual ancestors, a beautiful sleek creature with dark fur named

‘Weelangkeel’ the echidna lived. Weelangkeel was magnificent, but he was also incredibly

lazy and when the community would get together to hold a feast, Weelangkeel would be

the first to begin eating and the last to leave the fire. This often made his community

furious as he rarely helped to gather the food, yet he always had a full stomach.

One day, Weelangkeel was asked to mind the children of the camp under the shade of a

‘Moothang’ or blackwood tree and was promised that he would be richly rewarded with

food if he kept the children safe. Weelangkeel was so lazy that he really did not like to

hunt, and he happily agreed to not accompany the adults. ‘Remember,’ they cried when

leaving the camp, ‘keep a very close eye on our babies. Wang–Wa the crow has been

seen flying around just waiting for a chance to take the children. It’s important you keep


Weelangkeel saw the industrious tribe members leave and then, having just eaten a big

meal, lay down in the cool shade and tightly closed his eyes. Recognising an opportunity,

Wang-Wa soared into camp and stole the babies away whilst Weelangkeel snored. This

is how the adults discovered Weelangkeel upon returning from their hunt and the children

nowhere in sight. KooKoon, Grandfather, found a black feather that belonged to the crow

and held it up crying, ‘Wang-Wa has snatched our family. Weelangkeel has broken our

trust and must be punished!’

Weelangkeel by this time had woken from his sleep and was lazily stretching. ‘Yana!

Yana! Go Away!’ they cried. ‘You have broken your word and you must now be punished.’

Fearing for his life, Weelangkeel leapt to his feet, sprinting from the camp. The men (maar)

of the camp grabbed their hunting spears and hurtled after him, throwing their weapons

at Weelangkeel’s retreating figure, where they lodged in his back, creating a spikey

appearance. Wanting to slow him down, they skittled rocks at his feet, injuring his legs so

he could only crawl. Realising the futility

of trying to run, Weelangkeel quickly

burrowed underground to flee the maar

where he stayed for a long time

until his legs healed. Even though

healed, Weelangkeel still could

not use legs like he once did

and despite several efforts, he

was never able to remove the

spears that were piercing

his body. These can still

be seen as echidna’s

crawl along today.

98 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 From what language does the word

Weelangkeel come?

2 What is the Moyjil word for ‘Go Away’?

3 What does it mean when Weelangkeel is

described as ‘the first to begin eating and

the last to leave the fire’?

4 What happens to Weelangkeel when he lies under the tree and closes his


5 Do you agree with the maar in the story that Weelangkeel needed to be

punished? Why?

6 What is meant by the word skittled?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 99


Fact or Fiction? Debunking

History’s Greatest Myths

If you’ve ever been taught that Marie Antoinette famously cried ‘Let them eat cake’, that

George Washington was responsible for chopping down a cherry tree or that Adolf Hitler

created the autobahns in Germany, then I’m afraid you’ve been the victim of bad teaching.

As time passes on, stories are often changed; however, below are three popular myths that

are completely untrue.

MYTH ONE – Adolf Hitler built Germany’s autobahns

The autobahns are responsible for lots of crazy, fast driving but it’s not true that Hitler

built them. Children have been taught that Hitler had the roads built as a way to help

Germany out of poverty after the depression of the 1920s; however, this is impossible as

construction on the roads actually began in the 1920s and Hitler did not become Chancellor

of Germany until 1933. Whilst Hitler’s government continued work on the highways, it

certainly wasn’t his idea. In any case, only 1 in 44 people in Germany had a car that could

drive on them!

MYTH TWO – Let them eat cake

Can you imagine a callous queen who didn’t really

care about her people? In fact, she was so nasty

that when she was told that her people were

starving and that there was no bread to feed them,

she suggested they eat the more expensive cake

instead! This was the gossip that followed Marie

Antoinette, wife to King Louis XVI of France,

for four years from 1789 to her eventual death

in 1793. In fact, the gossip made the people of

France so mad that they started a revolution and

cut off Marie Antoinette’s head! (Don’t worry, her

husband lost his too.) In reality, Marie Antoinette

cared about the poverty in France, and she

donated regularly to charities. The famous quote

was actually written in a book around 1760 when

Marie was only five. She was a little too young to

say it.

MYTH THREE – George Washington and the

cherry tree

A famous American tale about honesty may not

be all that honest! The story goes that when he

was six, a young George Washington received a

small axe for his birthday. Being super excited,

he went about his family's orchard testing his axe

and chopping everything in his path. When he tried his hatchet on a young cherry tree,

he damaged it so badly the tree could not survive. His father, seeing the damage, angrily

asked, ‘Who has done this?’ George, feeling guilty, immediately confessed that it was him

and his father was so pleased with his honesty that he forgave him on the spot. This story

has been held up as an example of honest behaviour to children of all ages. The problem is,

it was written ten years after Washington’s death by a man who never knew him!

100 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What are the autobahns in Germany?

2 What is the phrase Marie Antoinette is believed to have said when told

about the lack of food?

3 What did George Washington damage that made his father angry?

4 Why is the story about George Washington’s honesty not so honest?

5 Why do you think these myths are passed down through history?

6 This story describes the mythical Marie Antoinette as callous.

What does this mean?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 101


Hinderance or Help:

Can Technology Help When

it Comes to Sport?

Technology has had an impact on every aspect of life; from education to healthcare,

business and even the way we engage in a social setting. Some experts say that the impact

of technology on our health and sporting endeavours has been negative, arguing that as

people have become more reliant on technology for communication and play, they are less

likely to get outdoors and play sport; however, not all specialists agree. These authorities

suggest that technology has in fact enhanced our enjoyment of sport, resulting in more

people getting outdoors because technology is involved. Let’s look at five ways technology

has helped to improve sport.

1. The internet has meant more obscure sporting games that were originally only played

in particular countries are now accessible for the world to see. Games such as Jianzi,

which is known as Chinese hacky sack in English, has been gaining popularity in Europe

since the early 2000s and its World Championships are now even shown on YouTube !

2. The video gaming experience can be credited for introducing new fans all over the world

to sports that they have never known much about. For example, many young gamers say

that the reason they follow international football games is so they can learn more about

players who they can add to their online gaming teams.

3. Technology means that you can now participate in a sport from the comfort of your own

home, but still train with people all over the world. The company Zwift Inc. created an

app for bike riders and runners in 2014 that enables people to interact in a virtual world

where users can access famous bike and running circuits and train like they are really


4. Technology has also helped athletes find

out where they need to improve. Golfers,

cricketers, baseballers and tennis players can

all use swing analysis to help get better,

while sports that involve kicking or striking a

ball can use technology to improve accuracy.

5. Finally, instant replay now means that

sporting games no longer rely solely on the

human eye and can be considered fairer.

Where sports once required referees or

umpires to make split-second decisions, they

can now call on a third umpire to review

these decisions and make a more accurate


Whether you’re a fan of technology in sport or

not, it’s undeniable that its impact has been

positive and improved the game for both players

and viewers.

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1 What areas of our daily life does technology influence?

2 Who have been traditionally relied upon in games to make split-second


3 Why do umpires and referees sometimes refer difficult decisions to a third

umpire that uses technology?

4 How has having its World Championships shown on YouTube impacted the

game of Jianzi?

5 Do you think technology will continue to improve sport?

6 Write three synonyms for hinder.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 103


Sister Act – The Diary of

Dorothy Wordsworth

Dorothy Wordsworth was sister to William Wordsworth, one of Britain’s most well-known

and often-quoted poets. The Wordsworths lived around two hundred years ago in the Lake

District in England, where they shared a house with William’s wife and children. Dorothy

and her brother were very close and she never married. Instead, she lived with her brother

and his family her whole life.

Dorothy and William spent a lot of time together as they both enjoyed long walks and they

shared a love and joy of nature. Both were keen readers, and would often discuss what

they had read. They were also very creative, with William extensively publishing poetry and

even becoming poet laureate (an official poet of the royal household) in the latter half of

his career.

Whilst it was William who became quite famous, it was his sister who kept a journal of

their outings, detailing where they had walked, what they discussed and even what they

had seen. Imagine how elaborate and interesting her writing would have been, especially

given that the siblings would often walk up to 20 miles (approx. 32 km) in a day. It is

famously estimated that Wordsworth himself walked approximately 175 000 miles (approx.

282 000 km) in his lifetime—that’s nearly seven times around Earth!

The words in orange in the entry above are an actual selection from Dorothy’s journal.

She shared this entry with her brother, and he used it to write a poem commonly known

as ‘Daffodils’ but more formally known as ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’. Dorothy’s

description of the daffodils ‘dancing’ is exactly how the flowers appear in the poem.

Wasn’t he lucky to have his sister’s journal?

104 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What did Dorothy and William’s love and joy of nature lead them to often


2 Where were Dorothy and William walking when she wrote the diary entry

about the daffodils?

3 Why is the image of the daffodils in the wind one that Dorothy will remember


4 How would discussing what he was reading with his sister have helped

Wordsworth when writing poetry?

5 Do you agree with the writer’s belief that Wordsworth was lucky to have his

sister’s diary? Explain why or why not.

6 What is the language technique called when you describe

non-living objects with life-like qualities?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 105


Daring Deeds

Throughout history pets have been

steadfast and loyal friends, even

helping humankind in its efforts to

advance. Without the assistance,

determination and sheer strength

of animals, many frontier towns

would never have been built, and

some would not exist today.

However, it’s not just in times of

advancement that animals have

loyally served humans. Throughout

all wars in history, animals have

been right beside their human

counterparts and in many cases,

ensured their safety and saved

their lives. For this reason,

animals, including pets, should be

recognised as war heroes equal to

their handlers.

Take, for example, the story from

World War I of John Simpson

Kirkpatrick, an Australian soldier

working as a stretcher-bearer who

famously rescued injured soldiers

from the frontline in Gallipoli. This

was often at great personal risk.

Simpson used the aide of a nimble

little donkey known as ‘Duffy’ to

bring soldiers away from the firing

line. Without Duffy’s courageous help under fire, Simpson would not have had so much

success. Even after Simpson was killed during the war, stretcher-bearers continued to use

donkeys in their work, showing just how invaluable the creatures were.

In addition to donkeys, horses and mules have also been used in war. These hardy creatures

delivered soldiers and their supplies over landscapes destroyed by heavy bombing, as well

as materials needed on the front line. In the far east during World War II, elephants were

used to carry weapons and ammunition and their strength was invaluable when it came to

heavy lifting, like that needed in order to pave roads or build bridges. Elephants were also

used to clean up bomb wreckage during World War II and many were lost to unexploded or

hidden shells.

Communications continued throughout wars due to the aide of pigeons and dogs. These

animals were able to swiftly navigate battlefields, so they were trained to carry important

messages between field command. Many lives were saved because of pigeons and dogs

delivering important strategic information that could swing a battle.

A hero is admired for their courage, exceptional effort and achievements. I’d say animals

can be described this way, wouldn’t you?

106 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Where did Simpson and his donkey work to rescue soldiers?

2 Which animals were used to help with communication on the battlefield?

3 The animals in this story are described as ‘daring’ in the title. What makes

them daring?

4 Why were donkeys considered invaluable for stretcher-bearers?

5 The text states that a hero is admired for their courage, effort and

achievements. Who would you consider to be a hero?

6 What is a name for someone who carries


R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 107


Chocolatey Goodness

Who doesn’t love biting into a delicious, creamy chocolate bar and tasting the decadent

goodness as it floods your mouth with sweet, sugary flavours! Just the thought of it is

enough to make you want to grab a bar and let it melt in your mouth as you read on.

Whilst there aren’t many of us who are unfamiliar with the taste of chocolate, there are

lots of us who don’t really know how it’s made. Let’s look at the process below.

Step 1 – Cocoa farmers harvest the cocoa pods from a Theobroma cacao tree. These pods

are about 15–30 cm long and about 8–10 cm wide. When they are ripe, they go bright

yellow in colour, and once picked, the seeds inside the pods are taken out and fermented.

Interestingly, the name Theobroma is a Mayan word for ‘food of the gods’ which suggests

just how loved chocolate has been through the ages.

Step 2 – Once the fermenting process is done, the beans are dried, cracked to separate

the shell from the nib, and then roasted. Roasting will affect the final flavour of the bean

and can be light, medium or dark roast.

Step 3 – The nibs are ground to form a thick paste known as cocoa mass. Cocoa is

naturally about half fat (cocoa butter) which helps the grinding process. At this point, the

cocoa mass is quite bitter and acidic, so additives need to be included to make the taste

more appealing. Before this can be done, the cocoa paste is pressed to separate the cocoa

butter from the solid cocoa and the solids are ground to form the cocoa powder that some

of us are familiar with.

Step 4 – The cocoa powder and butter are mixed with milk and sugar to form a chocolate

liquid which is then whipped until it has the right flavour. Dark chocolate has less milk

and sugar than milk chocolate and usually contains about 70% cocoa liquid, whilst milk

chocolate has about 30%. This mixture is heated, cooled and then heated again—a

procedure known as tempering—so that the chocolate becomes breakable and glossy when

moulded into shapes.

Step 5 – Whilst warm, the chocolate is quite pliable so can be moulded into almost any

shape. This is also when any necessary fillings are added.

Step 6 – In the final step, the chocolate is cooled before being packaged and shipped off

for sale.

It is estimated that around the world in one year, 7.2 million tonnes of chocolate is eaten.

That’s enough chocolate to almost fill Wembley Stadium in the UK! Half of this chocolate

will be sold and eaten in Europe, with German, Swiss and British citizens eating around

24 pounds, or 10.8 kg, each year. Now that’s a sweet tooth!

125 g

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1 On which continent is the most

chocolate sold?

2 What does the word Theobroma mean

in the ancient Mayan language?

3 What would happen if the chocolate was not tempered as part of the


4 What taste would chocolate with 80% cocoa liquid have?

5 Which do you think is the most important ingredient in chocolate? Explain

your response.

6 What is meant by the word pliable?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 109


Food for Thought

Think carefully. What is your favourite food? Something you enjoy so much, that you

can’t wait to have it again. Do you buy it from your favourite restaurant? Is it something

made for you that you can only get when you visit someone special? Whatever it is, food

can often have a special place in our hearts. The taste and smell of it can unlock certain

memories about where and when we ate it, who made it and even how it was made. Think

about what makes this your favourite food. One way to explore these memories is through


Savoury Recollections

A rhythmic rotating of the handle spinning inner gears,

Its metallic teeth ravenous, biting into Nan’s offerings.

Feet clamped, tightly tucked either side of the table’s top,

‘Clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety,’ it spits its mouthful out, hungrily searching for more.

‘Pass me the carrot,’ Nan gently requests as she feeds the greedy mincer,

Its wide mouth open to receive as much as she would give.

My small, swollen tummy, only five summers old,

Grumbles merrily in anticipation as the minced vegetables fall onto the waiting plate.

Steam rises gently, floating in a halo above the golden orb,

‘Not yet, dear,’ she cautions, ‘they’re too hot.’

Gently taking my eager hand, she guides it back to my side

And cuts the pasty in half to release its pent up breath.

‘More, Nan?’ I giggle, expectantly raising my plate,

Rewarded by a weighty soft ‘thump’ as flaky pastry meets ceramic.

Happily, I resettle into the hard-backed chair,

And feast in the manner of kings.

110 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What cooking device is described in the

poem’s first two stanzas?

2 How old was the child in this memory?

3 Why does the child’s stomach ‘grumble

merrily in anticipation’?

4 What is happening when the child is ‘rewarded by a weighty soft “thump”’?

5 Are memories about food always positive? Explain your answer.

6 What is meant by the phrase ‘in the manner’?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 111


A Year in Bed

In 1986, a Russian doctor and astronaut wanted to find out what would happen to a

person’s body during long periods of weightlessness. He was curious as to how the body

coped without the pull of gravity on it. Would it keep the same weight or would it shrivel

and waste away? The doctor, Boris Morukov, faced a challenge: to truly conduct the

experiment he needed to be in outer space, which wasn’t possible. Instead, he devised a

way to replicate the same conditions on Earth, which required the experiment participants

to spend a whole year in bed!

Beginning in January 1986, 11 men aged between 27 and 42 spent the next 370 days laying

in a bed that was tilted back at an angle of six degrees. This was the closest Morukov

could get to weightlessness for the men. The men ate, slept, wrote letters and were

washed in this position, never getting up or sitting up. Sounds like the perfect job for a


Throughout the experiment, the men were given different workouts they could do and the

doctors then examined which workout would be the most effective to keep astronauts

physically fit in space. They lifted weights with their arms and legs, and some even had a

vertical treadmill placed at the end of their bed so they could ‘walk’ whilst lying down. At

the end of the experiment, the men were promised a car for participating. All men except

one finished the whole year and received their reward.

It took two months of rehabilitation for the men to regain their strength after spending

a year in bed, as they had to learn how to sit up again as well as how to walk. Their

contribution to science was invaluable and to this day, doctors still use the findings of this

experiment to help them with managing astronauts in space.

112 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Where was the experiment conducted?

2 What was the unique way devised to replicate weightlessness on Earth?

3 Why do you think Boris Morukov was interested in conducting this


4 What made the participants’ contribution to science invaluable?

5 Do you think this was an effective way for a science experiment to be carried

out? Explain your answer.

6 What is another word for experiment that this text could use?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 113


Movies or Books?

Is the original always better? That’s what people often ask when it comes to watching

films that are based on books. Some purists believe that it’s impossible to improve on the

original, but not all agree. A survey conducted by The King’s School, Chester in the UK,

found that 60% of teenagers said they preferred films over books; however, in a review of

1100 book-to-film adaptations conducted by review.org, it was found that 89% of the time

the book was rated higher than the movie. Sorry movie-goers! It seems that books really

are the more preferred.

There are a variety of reasons that book lovers argue that the written word is superior.

For one, books go into far more detail than films as films have to fit into a particular

time frame, therefore decisions about what to keep need to be made. Books don’t have

these restrictions and thus, rich word imagery can be used to add layers of detail to

the story. Another reason books are better is that they allow for creativity, letting the

reader imagine the setting, characters and story as they occur. Watching a film is another

person’s interpretation of what these should look like and does not allow for individual


On the other hand, movies are quite visually appealing and for many, this is what attracts

them to a story. Movies are often a whole sensual experience as not only can you see

what is happening on the screen, a soundtrack helps create emotional excitement and the

sound effects can add suspense, excitement, fear or joy.

Finally, sharing a movie with your family or friends and having the experience at the same

time isn’t something that can be replicated with a book. Whilst you can read a book

concurrently, the experience is individual to the reader whereas watching a movie is much

more social. Movies are also good for those who often struggle with reading as they can

share in the excitement of an excellent plot that they may not have encountered if they

were required to read the book.

While most agree that books are largely better than film, there are some advantages to

watching the movie. Which do you prefer?








114 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Why do purists argue that books are better?

2 How do movies create an emotional reaction in the viewer?

3 How do books create an emotional effect in the reader?

4 What makes books less of a social activity?

5 Which do you prefer: books or movies? Give at least three reasons for your


6 Which other word or phrase in the text has the same meaning as encounter?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 115


The Longest Fence in

the World

Australia is a vast frontier. Measuring almost 7.7 million km 2 , it is the planet’s sixth

largest country and boasts some of the world’s most unique, and deadly, animals and


One such animal is the Australian dingo, a powerful predator that came to Australia

approximately 5000 years ago. A member of the canine family, it is Australia’s largest meat

eater and, along with other introduced hunters, has helped to cause the mass extinction of

native fauna. Dingoes are powerful hunters.

Early colonists soon grew tired of losing their sheep to dingoes, so in 1880, after a farmer

lost 11 000 sheep in one year, the state governments decided to construct the dingo-proof

fence. The fence took approximately five years to build and was originally a fence built to

keep rabbits out. At first, it was a series of small fences on private property made from

posts and wire. As time went on, the fences soon became joined together, so that by 1940

there was one long stretch. Also known as ‘The Dog Fence’, it stretches all the way from

Jimbour in the Darling Downs, Queensland, to Nundroo, just above the Great Australian

Bite in South Australia. In total it stretches 5614 km or 3488 miles.

The dog fence is so long, it is the longest fence in the world and is so effective, you can

see its impact on the environment from space. On the side of the fence where there are no

dingoes, kangaroos flourish, meaning there is less vegetation as it becomes overgrazed. On

the side where the dingoes live, there are less kangaroos and the vegetation there is able

to blossom so much that, the colour differences can be seen in space.

116 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What are the two names the fence is known as?

2 Which animal was the fence originally built to keep out?

3 Why do you think it took five years for the fence to become one stretch?

4 Has the fence been good for Australia?

5 What other impacts, in addition to the environment, do you think the fence

may have had?

6 What is the meaning of ‘flora

and fauna’?

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 117


Amari and the Night


Amari Peters is a 13-year-old girl who attends

a posh private school on a scholarship. She’s

a bright, intelligent girl but she lives in a rundown

and potentially dangerous neighbourhood

so doesn’t quite fit in to her surroundings. The

girls she goes to school with all come from rich

elitist families, and they’ve been taunting Amari

because her older brother, Quinton, has been

missing for six months. Because her family is

from ‘the projects’, the police and her fellow

students imagine the worst about him, but

Amari is convinced that her brother was not

involved in anything illegal. Finally, Amari can’t

take it and shoves one of her tormentors, losing

her education scholarship in the process.

Amari’s single mother has to work and demands

Amari stay home while she’s at her job. That

afternoon, a strange courier comes to her door

and delivers a briefcase from her brother. When

Amari opens it, she discovers a world that she’s

tightly entrenched in, but one she didn’t know


Amari quickly learns that her brother works for

the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, and she’s

been invited to compete for a place to attend

their summer camp. The bureau is responsible

for managing the magical and supernatural

creatures that are hidden from the ‘real world’. Believing that the bureau will have answers

about Quinton, she jumps at the chance to join the competition. When she arrives, she

quickly learns that she will be competing against kids who have known about the magical

world their whole lives. At camp, each of the participants discovers their own supernatural

power and Amari learns that she is a magician; something feared in the supernatural world.

Amari is immediately treated as an outcast and must learn to navigate other people’s

perceptions of her before she has had a chance to prove herself. Luckily, she’s determined

to succeed, and this character strength helps her on her journey.

Amari and the Night Brothers, whilst initially similar to other children’s stories about

magical worlds, deals with lots of different issues such as resilience, prejudice, racism, and

struggling with self-doubt; however, at the heart of the story is the determination and love

that Amari has for her brother and it is this that triumphs overall.

If you love stories that are genuine, funny, surprising and real then you’ll love Amari and

the Night Brothers and will want to read the series as it continues. Oh, and watch out for

the talking elevators!

118 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 Amari lives in a neighbourhood known as ‘the projects’.

How is this described?

2 Why does Amari face criticism in the story?

3 Why do the police think that because Quinton lives in the projects, he is

involved in something illegal?

4 In what way is this book about prejudice?

5 Is it fair that the characters judge Amari before they get to know her?

6 Define the word resilience.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 119


The Life of Nikola Tesla

On 10 July, 1856, in the small

town of Smiljan in the Austrian

Empire (now Croatia), a baby

was born right on the stroke of

midnight. A summer storm raged

through the night and lightning

struck as the child entered the

world; perhaps an omen of what

was to come. He was born to an

orthodox priest, Milutin Tesla,

and his wife, Duka, who was

an amazing maker of tools and

mechanical appliances. This child

was the fourth child born in the

family and was affectionately

nicknamed ‘Child of the Light’

due to his exciting entry into the

world. The child’s given name was


Nikola was a gifted student and

entered a polytechnic-based

institution, a place that taught

applied arts and sciences rather

than academic subjects like

literature and law, on a military

scholarship. Even though Tesla

excelled in his subjects, he was

too late to enrol one year and

never actually received a degree.

This did not deter him though, and

Nikola Tesla circa 1890

even as he began his working life

he continued to experiment with electrical discharge and early X-ray imaging, and it is to

Nikola Tesla that we can credit this invention.

Perhaps it was the lightning strike on the night of his birth or just general curiosity, but

Tesla was fascinated with electricity. He spent many hours working on trying to invent

wireless lighting and worldwide wireless electric power distribution. These experiments were

conducted in New York, USA, after Tesla relocated there in 1884.

Nikola Tesla is considered one of the world’s greatest inventors, and had an amazing mind

and photographic memory, something he credited to his mother's genetics. He described his

inventions as ‘an image that at first is blurred and then becomes sharper and sharper until

it becomes reality’ and strongly believed that everything we need is around us at all times.

This philosophy influenced his experiments. Most famously, and what is still being

developed today, is the electric motor that he devised, which would go on to become the

basis for the engine used by electric cars, with one electric car company being named after

him. What an extraordinary man!

120 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing


1 What nickname did Tesla’s family give him?

2 What inventions can we credit to Nikola Tesla?

3 Why does the text suggest that Tesla was fascinated with electricity?

4 What makes Tesla an extraordinary man?

5 Do you agree with Tesla’s statement that ‘everything we need is around us

at all times’?

6 What is the meaning of discharge

in this story?

Nikola Tesla sitting in his Colorado Springs laboratory

next to his huge ‘magnifying transmitter’ Tesla coil

which is producing 22 foot bolts of electricity.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 121



Random Acts of Kindness

1. Hannah-coffee and muffin; Gusshoes.

2. A new car for two bus passengers.

3. Answers will vary, but could

include: gratitude, joy, excitement,

happiness, surprise and shock.

4. Answers will vary, but could

include: because the giver is shy,

because they don’t want the focus

to be on them, or they want the

news to be about the act not the


5. Teacher check

6. To ‘up the ante’ means to increase

what is at stake, so in this case to

increase the cost/size of the gift.

Is it Better to be a Vegan?

1. health, ethical and environmental

2. Vitamin B12 deficiency and

choosing processed vegan food.

3. Answers will vary. No, because

they may choose to be vegan for a

reason other than ethical.

4. Answers will vary. Yes, because

they may want to do it for their

health or they may be against poor

treatment of animals.

5. Teacher check

6. Vegan means excluding animals

and animal-products from your

diet. Plant-based means a diet

full of foods that are plants;

i.e. vegetables and fruit. Vegans

may also exclude animal products

from their clothes and lifestyle in

general, but plant-based doesn’t

extend to that.

The Curse of the Pharaohs

1. Reggie was a man of science

and didn’t believe in foolish

superstitions. He was an academic

not a thief, so they didn’t apply to

him anyway.

2. The wind had disturbed the snake

and it quickly got into the tomb to


3. Answers will vary. No, because

he didn’t believe in the curse and

could explain the incidents, so they

didn’t scare him.

4. (c)

5. Teacher check. Could include The

Mummy or Harry Potter books

featuring curses.

6. It gives it an opposite meaning.

Lodge means to firmly put

something in place and dislodge

means to remove something that is

firmly fixed in place.

Movie Classics Are Better

1. The Wizard of Oz, The Sound

of Music, Willy Wonka and the

Chocolate Factory, Labyrinth, Annie

2. They don’t evoke emotion, and they

are lost in special effects.

3. Answers will vary, but should

suggest that the author would not

like the remake.

4. Answers will vary, but should

suggest that music is an

entertaining way to tell a story

which is appealing to children.

5. Teacher check

6. (a) quirky (b) unique

122 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing

10 Reasons to Visit the Hermanus

Whale Festival

1. Southern coast of the Western

Cape province in South Africa.

2. southern right whale

3. They are on their way to warmer

waters near the equator.

4. They give extra reasons for people

to visit.

5. Answers will vary. May include

answers such as helping to protect

the environment and reversing

damage done.

6. Answers may include unsafe,

unprotected, exposed, and at risk

of extinction.

Long Live Sir David Attenborough

1. Life on Earth (1979), The Living

Planet (1984), The Trials of Life

(1990) or The Green Planet (2022).

2. For his services to television.

3. Answers will vary. Yes, because his

shows are so successful and the

writer uses words such as beloved

and irreplaceable icon. People are

captivated when watching him, and

his wit and passion for animals

appeals to people.

4. Answers will vary. He has loved

nature since he was a child and it

is what he is passionate about. He

wants to share it with others and

bring their attention to the beauty

of the natural world.

5. Teacher check

6. A naturalist is an expert in natural

history, which is the history of all

living things in nature.

Escape from the House of Riddles

1. He was dared by Mary Kate; he

wanted to show people he wasn’t

chicken and that even though he

was little he was still fierce.

2. He was going to steal something

from the house and he was going to

take a selfie in the house and post

it online.

3. Hudson was being a smarty pants

and taunted the house by saying,

‘Haven’t you got anything harder?’

4. Answers will vary. He probably

answered the riddle correctly and

got out of the house, as he seemed

quite clever and determined.

5. Teacher check

6. (a) dilapidated

(b) Dilapidated is used to describe

buildings and objects, and

means they are in a state of

disrepair or ruin as a result of

age or neglect.

Don’t Miss the TV Event of the


1. In the future, in a post-apocalyptic


2. The brilliant cast, excellent special

effects, funny script, the beautiful

designs, you’ll be left out.

3. Answers will vary, and may include

sci-fi viewers, teenagers, fans of

The Rock, people who like to stay

on trend, fans of post-apocalyptic

worlds and gamers.

4. If the world ended it wouldn’t just

be Americans that survive, it would

be people from various countries,

so it is more realistic to have them

represented in a television show.

5. Teacher check

6. aesthetic

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 123


The Voodoo Queen of New


1. potions, spiritual advice, cures

for their illnesses, protection

from evil

2. She suffered from an illness

that no doctor could cure.

3. Answers will vary, but could

include: To pay the bills so

she can do her voodoo work at

night; So she can get gossip and

use it in her voodoo work.

4.-5. Teacher check

6. Answers could include: beating,

vibrating, throbbing, pounding,

thumping and hammering.

How Does a Fingerprint Scanner


1. The patterns of swirls and ridges.

2. Optical uses light to detect the

ridges and hollows, capacitive uses

electrical currents and ultrasonic

uses sound waves.

3. Answers will vary, and may include

mobile phone, laptop, tablet

computer, car door, front door,

lockers etc.

4. Answers will vary. Probably

ultrasonic as it is the newest

technology and being tested, so it

should be ready for use in future


5. Teacher check

6. Capacitive refers to a touchscreen

that works by sensing when

something that conducts

electricity; for example, a fingertip

is in contact with the screen.

Ten Thumbs Up

1. People could pick up multiple

objects and operate many tools.

2. Grasp food, climb things, hold

tools, smash things, and pick at the

finer details of objects.

3. It wouldn’t mean as much because

two thumbs up out of 10 would be

quite low, compared to two thumbs

up out of two.

4. Answers will vary. It may be too

much to have five thumbs on each

hand, as the thumbs could get in

the way of each other, as they

can rotate in all directions. Also,

maybe you won’t be able to get a

good grip.

5. Teacher check

6. (a) Chlorophyll means the green

pigment found in plants that

allows photosynthesis to occur.

(b) Opposable means able to be

placed against one or more

other digits of a hand or foot.

(c) Counterpart means a person/

thing that has the same

function as another person/


Neko and his Midnight Adventure

1. It is a call made by baby possums

to find their parents.

2. Meeting a possum and learning

about its habits.

3. Worried, as she had been gone for

a while and she was not responding.

4. She feels cross, as he is making

a racket during the middle of the


5. Answers will vary.

6. Tousled means messy or untidy.

124 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing

The Building Blocks of LEGO ®

1. Ole Kirk Kristiansen, Godtfred

Kristiansen, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen

2. The Great Depression hit and there

was no longer any carpentry work,

so he used the wood to make toys.

3. Answers will vary. So war doesn’t

look appealing to children, or

because war is not a game; the

creators didn’t want to glamorise


4. Answers will vary. LEGO ® is wellmade,

simple to use, has endless

possibilities of what to make and is

a family business that cares about

the toys they make.

5. Teacher check

6. (a) Humble means having a

low estimate of your own


(b) Answers will vary: modest,

meek, unassertive, unassuming.

Academy of Witches, Warlocks

and Werewolves

1. breathtaking grounds, a canteen

for all diets, and a variety of dorm


The Social Network of Trees

1. The underground social network

between trees, using fungus.

2. Two answers from: Trees can

distribute resources if one is dying

or if a young sapling needs extra

nutrients, and trees can send

warnings to other trees about an


3. It could be very damaging as an

increasing temperature destroys the

fungus which destroys some tree

species and also could disconnect

trees from one another.

4. Answers will vary, but could

include bullying, identity theft,

invasion of privacy, offensive

content etc.

5. Teacher check

6. (a) Magnetic resonance imaging

that is used to generate a

detailed image of organs and

tissues in the body.

(b) Answers should be two

acronyms; for example, RIP,


2. The equipment, wi-fi, the course

content, access to the courses

online and a hologram assistant.

3. In the scheme of things, how

children are dressed isn’t an

indication of whether it is a good

school or not.

4. Teacher check. Anything black,

loose and robe-like.

5. Teacher check

6. A hologram is an image that

appears to be three-dimensional,

formed by laser beams. Holos means

whole and gramma means message,

so being 3-D it can be said to be a

whole/complete message.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 125


The Man NOT on the Moon

1. There is no blast crater underneath

the spacecraft, the shadows are

going in the wrong direction and

there are no stars.

2. In a television studio in Area 51

in the USA, because they couldn’t

have executed the real thing due to

lack of technology.

3. War is not a popular thing for

people to support, especially the

Vietnam War. They may have

wanted to distract people from the

destruction and death that war


4. Answers will vary. Maybe it was

daytime, or maybe the camera

equipment was not the best quality

considering they lacked technology.

5. Answers will vary.

6. (a) extravagant, complicated,


(b) hole, cavity

(c) came up with, thought of,

designed, conceived

Belling the Cat – An Aesop’s


1. They wish to outwit their common

enemy, the cat.

2. two

3. Answers will vary, but should

include something similar to

experience in warfare or against


4. Answers will vary, but may include

that he believed it to be a better

idea than Mrs Lavender’s.

5. Answers will vary, that they should

be well considered and actionable.

6. arbitrator and adjudicator

Don’t Be Alarmed—The Aliens Are


1. Those planets are able to sustain life

so extra-terrestrial life probably exists.

2. The pyramids were somehow built by an

ancient civilisation, but it is impossible

they were built without help from an

advanced civilisation.

3. Using important people makes the claim

more credible, as these people are less

likely to lie.

4. Answers will vary. Perhaps they want

attention, or maybe they have a mental

disorder, or maybe they just want other

people to believe in aliens like they do.

5. Answers will vary.

6. (a) Latin – extra and terrestris,

meaning outside Earth.

(b) Latin – led or taken away.

(c) Greek – hystera, meaning ‘womb’,

because it was once thought to be

a psychological condition related

to women.

The Fishy Body Swap

1. The child was not allowed to go to a

party and they hated being told what to


2. The child was in the body of their pet

fish which meant they couldn’t walk, talk

or leave the fishbowl.

3. It was more likely that it was a dream

because the child opened their eyes and

saw their dad.

4. Fish are not able to cry, only mammals

can cry.

5. Answers will vary.

6. (a) Pariah means outcast, outsider,

reject or castaway.

(b) Unashamedly means shameless,

unembarrassed, unapologetic or



Pouty means moody, sad, cranky,

irritable, mopey or sulky.

126 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing

Appetising Eyeballs

1. The sharp toothpick is used to push

the jam across the surface of the

eyeball, so the scratches look like


2. It will give a more realistic effect of


3. Any red jam, including strawberry,

raspberry, cherry, plum and red


4. Any small, flat tool such as the

back end of a teaspoon or a butter


5. Teacher check

6. intact

The Woman Who Fell From the Sky

1. Anna was returning home from Lima

where she attended her high school


2. She made a sling for her arm, got

out of her seat and down from the

tree, got to the river and drank the

water, then followed it to safety.

3. Answers will vary. She was very

lucky that her row of seats landed

on some lush trees which may have

cushioned her impact. She was also

still buckled in so that probably


4. Answers will vary. Very important

because she knew how to move

through the jungle, and that she

could drink the river water and

follow the river to find a town.

5. Teacher check

6. (a) Incredulous means not able to

believe something.

(b) Lucid means the ability to think


(c) Grimacing means a facial

expression with a twisted mouth

and face that shows pain.

Electric Cars: Fiction or Future?

1. Fuel-powered cars could travel

further and faster, and they were


2. Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Mazda,

Nissan and Honda

3. The other countries have not

agreed to phase out petrol cars

or haven’t agreed yet on a target


4. Electric vehicles do not emit any

gases which harm the environment

so they won’t contribute to global

warming and climate change.

5. Teacher check

6. (a) situated on the inside

(b) a chemical process that gives

off heat

(c) a vehicle powered by the

burning of fuel which pushes a


Gus, the Great Winged Horse

1. A hero, warrior and monster slayer

who captured Gus as a foal.

2. To slay the chimera because it was

attacking the cattle in the village.

3. Answers will vary. He may have

felt lonely; resentful that he was

captured as a foal; angry that he

was tamed; strong because he knew

he was one of a kind.

4. The king must not have liked

Bellerophon because he was

trying to get him killed by doing

dangerous tasks.

5. Teacher check

6. (a) Singed means slightly burned

on the edges.

(b) Impending means a threatening

event that is about to happen.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 127


I Like Your Old Stuff Better Than

Your New Stuff

1. Any four of: Elvis Presley, Pink

Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Nirvana,

Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder,

The Beatles.

2. Old music is original, fresh, new;

brings people together; the quality

was better and not as trashy and

lazy as today’s music.

3. It is mostly rap music/hip-hop

with a lot of lyrics that people

may not know, especially multiple


4. Answers will vary. Music can bring

people together and instill change

in people if the lyrics are written

with a purpose.

5. Teacher check

6. Instant gratification is the desire

to experience a reward without

waiting. Getting what you want,

when you want it.

From Prison Escape to Marathon


1. It was inspired by James Earl

Ray’s attempted prison escape in

1977, where he didn’t get far. The

creator of the race thought he

could do better.

2. Pay an application fee, write an

essay, then pay an entry fee,

complete obscure requests and

bring a licence plate.

5. Teacher check

6. (a) ‘Eats its young’ means

behaviour exhibited by

experienced people that bullies

or mocks newcomers to a


(b) It’s a zoological phenomenon

where some animals kill and

eat their young for food.

Adversity is the Greatest Teacher

1. It changes how you think and

behave. You have to stretch

yourself more and learn on a deeper


2. Only those who have been through

the adversity will understand each

other and know what emotions

and challenges they faced. The

experience stays with you for life.

3. Adversity doesn’t feel good and it

is hard work. It can be scary and it

can break some people.

4. The right attitude will allow you to

see adversity as a positive and help

you to keep going when things get

tough. With a bad attitude, you

will not learn the lesson that is

there for you.

5. Teacher check

6. (a) challenge, hardship, obstacle,

difficulty, sorrow, disaster,

trouble, heartbreak etc.

(b) Teacher check

3. Answers will vary. The creator of

the race probably isn’t doing it to

make money. It’s more about the


4. James Earl Ray was on the run for

54 hours, so the race is keeping the

timing similar to see how far the

runners get in that time.

128 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing

The Man Who Ate Everything

1. His family could not afford to feed

him and the circus offered to give

him an endless supply of whatever

he wanted to eat.

2. He couldn’t control himself as he

had an insatiable appetite that

made him eat. This was caused by

a medical condition.

3. It was a medical condition rather

than a talent, but people were

unaware of this and saw it as a

skill or talent.

4. He most likely got help for his

condition from the doctor and he

probably was able to cure him.

5. Teacher check

6. (a) quell something

unusual or

interesting that

can be observed

(b) insatiable to put an end to

(c) copious impossible to


(d) phenomenon a plentiful supply

The Found City of Atlantis

1. DNA can be found around the

world, including in ancient


2. A shoal called Dogger Bank sunk

after a tsunami hit.

3. If Ireland is Atlantis, then it is the

underwater city, so the colour blue

indicates that it is underwater,

rather than green like grass.

6. Plato was an ancient Greek

philosopher who described a utopian

place called Atlantis. The founders

were half god and half human.

Atlantis was filled with exotic

animals and riches.

The Man Who Sold the Eiffel


1. He would pose as a Broadway

producer looking for investors in

fake productions, and sell wealthy

people a money box that he claimed

would print more money.

2. He posed as a government official

and had stationery made which he

wrote letters on. He invited them

to a meeting at a fancy hotel so

it looked real, then told them that

the government wanted to sell the

Eiffel Tower to use as scrap metal.

3. Answers will vary. He would have

felt foolish for falling for a scam,

as he was a businessman who

should have known better.

4. Answers will vary. They had

suffered at the hands of Victor.

They were robbed by him even

though they weren’t aware of it at

the time.

5. Teacher check

6. (a) False

(b) True

(c) True. Turned against or in

opposite directions.

4. Atlantis is a mystical place only

described in books and no one

knows its true location.

5. Answers will vary.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 129


My Un-bee-lievable Day

1. She was an entomological scientist,

who studied all types of insects.

2. They were playing around with a

piece of equipment that was a

shrink ray, and accidentally zapped

themselves into the size of an


3. They are so immersed in their

scientifiic thinking that they lose

track of what is going on around

them. They appear to not be

present in reality.

4. Teacher check

5. Possible answers:

(a) They manage to return back to

their normal size and become

much closer due to the shared


(b) They remain the size of insects

and the boy gets captured by a

cat and eaten.

6. Possible answers:

(a) Bee, ant, butterfly, dragonfly,

beetle, mantid, buzz, moth, fly,

wasp, snail, larva etc.

(b) Snailed it!, Fine-ants expert,

account-ant, an urban moth,

take me to the waspital, I

larva you etc.

Real-life Race Around the World

1. To challenge herself to beat the

character from Around the World in

80 Days, as no-one had attempted

it yet.

2. Her editor thought she would

need security and a lot of luggage

so she wouldn’t be able to move

quickly to each destination.

3. If she succeeded then the

competitor newspaper would have

the story and be a more popular

publication. He may also have

known that if any woman could do

this it would be Nellie.

4. It was the 1800s and in that time

women were not seen as equal

to men and treated differently.

Women also did not have a high

level of education, hold high

positions in the workplace and

generally only performed household


5. Answers will vary. It would be very

different, especially for a woman.

It would also be a lot quicker with

aeroplanes, and high speed trains

and boats.

6. (a) second last

(b) too much of something

(c) a human-powered form of

transport that resembles a

bicycle with an open cart on

the back

130 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing

Ching Shih, the Pirate Queen

1. She married a pirate lord and

made him agree to give her partial

control of his fleet. When he died

she then received full control of

the fleet.

2. The Portuguese navy attacked her

fleet and their weapons and ships

were superior to her pirate fleet.

3. She was from South China and she

was probably a very fierce leader

who people feared.

4. Answers will vary. Probably not as

it was not common for a female to

be a pirate, especially not a leader.

She was very clever and not afraid

to get what she wanted, which was

not typically what women were like

in the 1700s. She seems one of a


5. Answers will vary.

6. (a) lucrative

(b) acumen

(c) partial

(d) fortifying

A Soundtrack to Your Life

1. It suggested that music could

be used to treat people with

brain injuries, by helping to recall


2. It found that certain areas of

the brain were activated when

familiar music was played, which

is the same area that is linked to

memories and emotions.

3. The patient is most likely to be

able to recall the song and the

event that it is associated with.

4. It gives definite proof to educate

others on the topic of music and

memories. It gives the information

credibility and it is not just an


5. Answers will vary.

6. (a) Neural relates to the nervous

system and the brain.

(b) Wallow means to be selfindulgent

or spend time

experiencing something

without wanting to change the


(c) Therapeutically means to have

healing powers, a medical

treatment of a condition.

(d) Dementia is a disorder that

has memory loss, personality

change and impaired reasoning

due to deterioration or injury

of the brain.

(e) Alzheimer’s is a progressive

mental deterioration that

destroys memory.

Queen Dracula

1. Princess Mary of Teck

2. grandmother

3.-5. Answers will vary.

6. impale{ing}

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 131


Punish The Pigs – Medieval Animal


1. 13th-16th centuries

2. members of the church and local


3. Answers will vary. Justice was served.

4. They were responsible for the bear

that ate the beekeeper’s honey.

5. Answers will vary.

6. compensation

King Henry III’s Pale, White Bear

1. King Haakon IV of Norway

2. Greenland or Iceland

3. polar bear

4. added it to his menagerie

5. They were fascinated and became

spectators to see the bear.

6. menagerie

When is Bad Weather Good?

1. Scandinavia

2. The effect of cold weather on your


3. Not enjoying bad weather.

4. Positively. Nature can benefit your

body and mood.

5. Teacher check

6. Affect is a verb and means to create

change; effect is a noun and means

the result of an action.

Behold the Unicorn

1. Since 400 BCE - 2422 years (in 2022).

2. on their national coat of arms

3. Unicorns do not exist.

4. They are seen as powerful, masculine,

pure and innocent just like the


Gangsta Granny, David Walliams

1. gangsta

2. The Black Cat

3. Answers will vary; they think she


4. narrative fiction

5. Answers will vary.

6. A gangster is a member of a gang;

a criminal.

London Bridge is Falling Down

1. He attacked and destroyed it in


2. King Olaf II of Norway, Snorri

Sturluson, Mathilde of Scotland,

King Henry I, Eleanor of Provence,

King Henry III, Great Fires of

London 1633 and 1666.

3. It further weakened (impacted) the

bridge’s arches and foundations.

4. Answers will vary.

5. Answers will vary, but will be

similar to wanting to keep the

money for herself or other works.

6. ‘In reference to’ means to mention

or refer to.

Mungo Man of Lake Mungo

1. western New South Wales,


2. outback, desert, sand dunes

3. It meant he was somebody of


4. It caused great hurt and sorrow.

5. Answers will vary.

6. A custom is a tradition or widely

accepted way of behaving.

5. Answers will vary.

6. emblazoned

132 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing

Through the Wardrobe to Narnia

1. Narnia

2. Lucy

3. Answers will vary, but may include

that Lucy continues on into the


4. Answers will vary, but should be

linked to the text. Excitement and

anticipation because she takes

‘tentative steps’ into the world

and anticipates as she ‘waits for

something to occur’.

5. Answers will vary, but could

include curious, adventurous,

tentative, playful and observant.

6. Answers will vary, but could

include colour, tone, shade, tinge

and tint.

Getting to the Heart of It

1. His younger brother died from heart

disease at five years old.

2. It provided skills and knowledge to

develop the field.

3. It was an unexplored field with a

surgery that had never successfully

been performed before. He required

courage to attempt the surgery.

4. Answers will vary, however may


(a) They were brothers and doctors,

and Christiaan trusted Marius.

(b) The brothers wanted to help

heart patients like their younger


Enlightened Education – Teacher

for a Day

1. Answers will vary. Any one of the

ideas from the list of reasons why

teachers should become students.

2. Answers will vary. Any one of the

ideas from the list of reasons why

students should become teachers.

3. Teachers can see how tiring and

distracting hunger and fatigue can


4. Students can see how demanding

a teacher’s job is and how pressed

they can be for time.

5. Answers will vary.

6. intricacies

Fractured Fairy Tales

1. Germany

2. 1812 (1697 + 115)

3. Answers will vary. The gruesome,

bloody ending may have scared

them. Also, it may have encouraged

them to be untruthful.

4. Answers will vary. The endings

were not always kind and needed

to be more reflective of the

behaviour that we expect from

young children. Also, some endings

were quite violent and may have

upset children.

5. Answers will vary.

6. compound noun/compound word

5. Answers will vary.

6. ‘Critically ill’ means severely ill or

extremely unwell.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 133


Kudos to the Brother – The

Interesting Life of Jack Butler


1. For his sports artwork depicting the

‘Liffey Swim’.

2. No, he lived with his grandparents

in Ireland until he was 16. His

parents lived in London.

3. Answers will vary. His painting was

the first by an Irish artist to sell

for over a million pounds. People

could relate to his work depicting

the life and landscapes of London

and Ireland.

4. He was a private man meaning that

he did not like to be watched or

judged whilst working. Maybe he

liked his own company.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Unique means being the only one of

its kind.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Will

Computers Rule Over Humans One


1. Artificial Intelligence

2. Logic, imagination, awareness,

values and emotions.

3. They worry it will be the end of

the human race.

4. They are rules-based activities

requiring lots of memory to process

data. They can store more data

than the human brain meaning it

can be processed faster.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Answers will vary and may

include: ability, power, potential,

competence, skill, experience,

intelligence, expertise and


Dotty Dashes and Stripes

1. SOS; … - - - …; di,di,di

dah,dah,dah, di,di,di

2. by messenger on horseback

3. The message would be typed

and sent quicker and help would

therefore arrive faster.

4. The paper would be damaged,

dirtied or ink rubbed away.

5. Answers will vary, but may be

similar to help was not arriving

quickly enough or he wanted more

ships to hear the signal.

6. Standard means established, normal,

usual, typical, common, customary,

conventional, expected, regular,

set, fixed and traditional.

How the Echidna Got Its Spikes

1. Moyjil

2. Yana

3. Weelangkeel is greedy, starts

eating first, and does not stop

eating until there is no food left.

4. He falls asleep.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Skittled means to knock over.

Fact or Fiction? Debunking

History’s Greatest Myths

1. The autobahns are Germany’s


2. ‘Let them eat cake.’

3. a cherry tree

4. The story is fictitious and not true.

5. Answers will vary.

6. A callous person is someone who

is uncaring, hardened and harsh in

their behaviour.

134 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing

Hinderance or Help: Can

Technology Help When it Comes

to Sport?

1. Every aspect of life; for example,

healthcare, education, business,

socialisation and sport.

2. umpires and referees

3. They do not want to make an

incorrect decision.

4. It has helped it to spread to other

countries and raised awareness of

it as a sport.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Hinder means obstruct, impede,

inhibit, hamper, slow down and hold


Sister Act – The Diary of

Dorothy Wordsworth

1. They regularly spent time walking


2. Ullswater in the Lake District in


3. It was beautiful and joyous.

4. He would have another opinion he

could use in his work.

5. Answers will vary.

6. personification

Daring Deeds

1. Gallipoli

2. pigeons and dogs

3. bravery, loyalty, trust in handler

4. They were courageous, nimble and

able to help carry injured soldiers

away from the firing line.

Chocolatey Goodness

1. Europe

2. food of the gods

3. It would not be glossy and it would

be harder to break.

4. bitter taste

5. Answers will vary.

6. Pliable means able to be moulded

or shaped.

Food for Thought

1. a mincer

2. 5 years old

3. The child is feeling hungry and is

looking forward to eating the pasty

as they believe it will taste good.

4. They are given another pasty.

5. Answers will vary.

6. wonderful food, fit for a king

A Year in Bed

1. Russia

2. To lie in a bed tilted backwards at

an angle of six degrees.

3. He was a doctor and an astronaut

so the outcome could affect him


4. This experiment continues to help

astronauts in space as doctors still

use the findings.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Answers will vary; for example,

investigation, examination or


5. Answers will vary.

6. Answers will vary; for example,

courier, messenger, communicator,

runner and dispatcher.

R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 135


Movies or Books?

1. You can’t improve on the original.

2. Films are more sensory and have a

soundtrack and sound effects.

3. Books allow for more creativity

and have better word imagery and


4. Books require the reader to work

through the text individually, which

can’t immediately be shared with a


5. Answers will vary.

6. experience

The Longest Fence in the World

1. The dingo fence or the dog fence.

2. rabbit

3. It was originally smaller fences on

private property so someone had

to come along and pay for it to be


4. Answers will vary. Yes, as it’s

helped farmers; no, as it’s impacted

the environment.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Flora and fauna are plants and


Amari and the Night Brothers

1. ‘The projects’ is run-down and

potentially dangerous.

2. Three reasons: because her brother

is missing, because she comes from

a poor and dangerous area, and

because she is a magician.

3. He is stereotyped as a criminal

because of where they live.

4. Amari is judged before people get

to know her based on where she

lives, her brother’s disappearance,

and what supernatural power she


5. Answers will vary.

6. Resilience is the ability to recover

quickly and to persevere.

The Life of Nikola Tesla

1. Child of the Light

2. X-ray imaging and electric motor

3. There was a lightning strike at the

moment of his birth.

4. His influential inventions and his

fantastic mind.

5. Answers will vary.

6. Discharge means to flow out.

136 Reading for Me Level 6 (Part A) 978-1-922843-65-4 R.I.C. Publications ® Prim-Ed Publishing

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