Reading Practice: Intermediate
Stories with Questions
1. This baby canary is about 5 weeks old. He has been living with his
sister in the nest up until today. Today he decided to try out the
world. He lives in a room with many other domestic birds. He has more
freedom than the average indoor bird, but that also means his world is
2. He has spent his entire life appealing to his parents for food. He appeals to them by making loud, annoying sounds that he continues to make until food is provided. He confirms
that he has eaten enough by becoming quiet and sometimes going to
sleep. Now that he has left the nest, he will appeal for food a while
longer, but he will also observe how his parents eat and drink. Soon,
he will eat and drink on his own.
3. Life in this bird room is mostly peaceful. There are small finches,
canaries and one diamond dove. Sometimes the finches get in fights with
each other to get the best nesting place, but this does not happen very
often. The birds sit on the windowsills and watch the robins and
sparrows that hop in the garden outside. Sometimes a neighborhood cat
comes and leaps at the window. All the birds fly wildly. Then they
remember that everything is all right, and they relax.
4. This baby is too young and inexperienced to know what to anticipate
from life. However, since life has been peaceful and carefree, he seems
happy even now. He has a lot to learn. He does not fly or land very
well yet. He does not know the difference between a landing place that
is solid and one that moves. That matters a lot when you are a bird. He
also has to learn about being social. He needs to know when to stand
his ground with other birds and when to fly away.
Answer the questions (answers are at the bottom of the page):
1. What is the main idea of this story?
A. The indoor baby bird does not know how to fly well yet.
B. The indoor baby bird has come out of the nest and begins to learn about life.
C. The indoor baby bird lives in a room with other birds like canaries, finches and a dove.
D. The indoor baby bird has to learn how to eat on its own.
2. What are three things the baby bird needs to learn?
A. how to escape from cats, how to eat on his own, how to fly well
B. how to eat on his own, how to fly well, how to land well
C. how to eat on his own, how to be social, how to fly very quickly
D. how to fly well, how to land well, how to sleep
3. How does the baby bird eat?
A. He appeals to his parents with loud, annoying noises.
B. He appeals to his parents with big eyes.
C. He appeals with clear chirps that show how important food is.
D. He sleeps until they feed him.
4. What is a FACT, not an inference, from the story?
A. This baby canary was happy when the picture was taken.
B. The baby canary will live in this room his whole life.
C. The baby canary will be hungry soon.
D. The baby canary has to learn many things.
5. Match the words with their definitions.
a. to do little things that bother another person
annoy b. to expect
anticipate c. to ask for very nicely
confirm d. to say that something is certain
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Answers: 1. b, 2. b, 3. a, 4. d, 5. appeal: c, annoy: a, anticipate: b, confirm: d