Module D – Lessons 1 to 10

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Click here for Lesson 2
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Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 
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Lesson 1 – Part One

NEW WORDS: Francis, Midwest, Spencer, Spencer’s, Spencers, cupcake, glimpse, harvests, plastic, raced, rinsed

Mister Spencer and the Rabbits
Grace Spencer’s dad has a farm. Her dad is a farmer out in the Midwest, where the land is flat, and the soil is rich. In the spring, Mister Spencer plants corn next to the farmhouse. All summer long, he takes care of the corn. By the end of the summer, the corn is ripe. Then Mister Spencer harvests it and sells it. That is how he makes a living.

Mister Spencer has a garden, too. In his garden he plants eggplants, beets, sprouts, and peppers. Mister Spencer has had some problems with rabbits. They crawl under the fence, hop into his garden, and munch on his plants. When Mister Spencer sees the rabbits in his garden, he gets mad as a hornet. He shakes his fist and shouts at the rabbits.

Grace and her sister Jill like the rabbits. Grace says they are cute. She tells her dad to be nice, and let the rabbits be. But Mister Spencer can’t stand those rabbits, and the Spencers need the plants in the garden to feed them in the winter.

Last summer, Mister Spencer got a dog, to force the rabbits out of his garden. The dog’s name is Pepper. He is a black dog. He sleeps out in the barn. When Pepper came to the farm, he gave the rabbits quite a scare. They were in the garden, munching on sprouts. Then Pepper came charging out into the yard, barking. The rabbits took off! They raced back into their hole as fast as they could.

Pepper ran to the rabbit hole and went in as far as he could. He started digging with his paws. But it was no use. It was a deep hole, and he could not get down to where the rabbits were. Mister Spencer was sitting in the living room at the time. He could tell what Pepper was up to. He smiled. “Good dog!” he said. “Good dog! I bet those rabbits will munch on sprouts somewhere else next time!”


The Picnic by the River
Last summer, the Spencers had a picnic by the river. They had a picnic basket filled with food. It was stuffed with all sorts of good things: chicken wings, ham, grapes, chips, and cupcakes. Mister Spencer set the picnic basket down. Grace and Jill went for a swim in the river.

After their swim, the children raced back to the spot where the picnic basket was. When they got there, there were ants marching down the side of their picnic basket. The ants were marching off with some of the food! The Spencers had set their basket down next to the center of a big anthill!

“Yikes!” shouted Grace in a loud voice. “Who asked those ants to this picnic?” Mister Spencer picked up the picnic basket and brushed off the ants. Much of the food was in plastic bags, so it was safe from the ants. Grace and Jill rinsed off the grapes after they brushed off the rest of the ants.

The Spencers sat down and ate their picnic lunch. This time they sat far from the center of the anthill. After lunch, Mister Spencer asked, “Should we pack up our stuff and get back to the farm?”

“Not yet,” said Grace, and she glanced back at the anthill. She smiled and slipped some bits of cupcake and ham into her pocket. Then she ran to the anthill. She set the bits of cupcake and ham on the ground next to the anthill. “There!” she said. “That will be lunch for the ants. I think ants are cool, when they are not crawling on our basket!”


The next week, Grace came running home after class. “Mom!” she said as she raced into the kitchen. “We got an ant farm for our classroom! It’s made of plastic, so you can see into it. You can look inside and see what the ants are up to. You can see them when they take bits of food back to their nest. It is so cool, because you get a glimpse into the lives of ants.”

Her mom smiled and nodded. She was glad to see Grace filled with excitement. Grace went on, “Miss Francis says that ants are insects. All insects have six legs. Bees and termites are insects, too! But they are not as cool as ants! In fact, some ants can lift objects that are one hundred times bigger than them.”

“Cool! What else did Miss Francis tell you?” asked her mom.

“Ants have a queen, but not a king,” Grace said. “The queen is the top ant. She is the boss. The rest of the ants feed her and take good care of her.”

“I like the sound of that!” said her mom.

“But it’s a hard life for her,” said Grace. “She has to make lots of eggs. So she has to be deep in the center of the anthill all the time.” Grace stopped to inhale. Then she asked, “Mom, can I run out in the yard and look for ants?”

“Yes, you can,” said her mom. And out Grace ran.


Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

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Lesson 2 – Part Two

NEW WORDS: bandstand, belting, booms, coil, concert, drifting, knapsack, kneeling, rack, selfish, toots, trombone, winces

The Band
Grace and Jill are in a band. Grace toots on her trumpet. Jill toots on her slide trombone. When the children started out, they did not sound too good. Grace and her trombone sounded like a sick moose. Jill and her trumpet sounded like a flock of geese. The two of them made quite a racket.

It was so bad that Mister Spencer would yell, “I can’t take it!” Then he would run out of the house and hide in the barn. But, since then, the children have gotten a lot better, just as Mister Vance said they would. Mister Vance is the band master. He spends a lot of time with the children, helping them get better.

In the spring, there is a band concert in the park. Mister Vance gets up on the bandstand and waves his hands. The band starts belting out a jazz song. They sound good. Grace hits the notes on her trumpet. Jill’s trombone sounds good, too. The drummer is drumming up a storm. The band is knocking it out of the park.

Mister Vance has a big smile on his face. He is proud of Grace and Jill. Mister Spencer smiles, too. He has gotten tired of spending so much time in the barn.


The Yard Sale
Grace went to a yard sale. There were lots of things for sale at the yard sale. There were books and games and shells. There was a long coil of rope, a knapsack, and a lamp. There was a rack of pants and dresses. There was a bin filled with forks, spoons, and knives for the kitchen.

Grace spent some time looking at the books. She found one that she liked, and one that was perfect for Jill. There was just one problem. She did not have the cash she needed to get her book and the one for Jill. She would have to make a choice.

Grace saw that she would have to get just one of the books. But which one should she get? She looked at her book. Then she looked at the book for Jill. In the end, she dropped her book back in the box. Grace went to see the man who was having the yard sale. She said, “I would like to get this book.”

“Did I see you looking at two books?” said the man.

“Yes,” said Grace, “but I can’t get two with the cash I have. So I would like to just get this one for my sister.”

“Well,” said the man, “you are in luck! We are having a sale for sisters who are not selfish. That sort of sister gets two books for the price of one! So run back and grab that book that you liked!” Grace was thrilled. She ran back and got the book.


The Storm
There is a big storm on the farm. Dark clouds have blocked out the moon and stars. Thunder booms in the darkness. Gusts of wind sweep past the barn. Grace is in bed with the book she got at the yard sale. She is not scared of the thunder. In fact, she likes it. She sleeps better when there is a storm.

But Jill is not as brave as Grace. Just as Grace is drifting off to sleep, her sister yells in a scared voice. Grace jumps out of bed and runs into Jill’s room. Jill is sitting up in bed. She is weeping and grabbing her legs. She winces when the thunder booms. Her knees knock when the wind gusts.

“What’s the matter, Jill?” Grace asks, kneeling next to the bed.

“I’m scared!” says Jill.

Grace hugs her sister and sits next to her on the bed. “It’s just a summer storm. We will be safe inside the house.” Her big sister’s words make Jill feel better. The hug helps, too. But there is still one thing that has her scared.

“The ducks!” she says. “Will they be safe out in the storm?”

“Yes,” Grace says. “Those ducks are smart. When the thunder booms, they scamper off and take shelter. They will be just fine.”

Jill smiles and says, “I am glad the ducks have a safe place to run to in the storm. That makes me feel better!”



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Lesson 3 – Part Three

NEW WORDS: Knox, Pepper’s, cove, crashes, darts, fades, glances, hugging, napkins, sunscreen, whimpers, yelping

Dark Clouds and Wind
The next morning, when the Spencers wake up, the sun is out. Larks sing in the treetops. Socks and pants hang on the line. It seems like the perfect chance to have a picnic. The Spencers sit down next to the house and munch on their lunch. As they finish up, Mister Spencer glances up and sees dark clouds off to the west. The smile on his face fades.

“What’s the matter?” Jill asks.

“It looks like there’s a storm off to the west,” says Mister Spencer. The clouds get darker and the wind picks up. “I don’t like the look of it,” Mister Spencer says to his wife. “Let’s pack up and take the children down into the storm shelter, just to be safe.”

The Spencers pick up their picnic things. They stuff the food in the picnic basket. Grace grabs the cups and napkins. They take the basket down into the storm shelter. The storm shelter is like a basement. It is a safe place where the Spencers can take shelter in a storm. Once they are down in the shelter, Mister Spencer starts to lock up the shutters.

“No!” Grace shouts. “Not yet! Pepper’s still out there!” Mister Spencer darts out of the shelter to get the dog. Soon he is back. He is dripping wet, but he has Pepper in his arms.


In the Storm Shelter
The Spencers are down in their storm shelter. Outside the shelter, the storm has started. The wind gusts. Thunder cracks and crashes. Down in the shelter, the Spencers can’t tell how bad the storm is. But the Spencers will be safe down in their storm shelter. Their storm shelter can stand up to strong storms.

When the thunder booms, Jill grabs her mom’s arm. “I expect it,” she says. “But still, it scares me!” Her mom hugs her.

When it sounds like the storm is finished, Mister Spencer peeks out. “It’s safe,” he says. The Spencers step outside. Mister Spencer checks the barn. It is fine. Grace and Jill pick up some pots that were knocked off of the porch by the wind. “Things look to be in good shape,” says Mister Spencer.

“Good!” Mom says. “Let’s sit down and finish our picnic!”


The Visit
The Spencers are on a trip to visit their Gran. It’s a long car ride from the farm. Their dad drives in the morning. Then their mom drives after lunch. Grace and Jill feel like the trip will never end. At last, they get to Gran’s place. Grace and Jill run up to their Gran and hug her.

“It’s so nice to see you!” says Gran.

“Gran,” Jill says, “can we run down and swim?” After the long car ride, the children need some exercise. Gran smiles. She grabs her knapsack and points to the flip-flops on her feet and says, “I’m all set!”

Grace and Jill get dressed for swimming. They rub sunscreen on their arms and legs. Mister Spencer helps them rub the sunscreen on their backs. Once the sunscreen is on, Grace and Jill run down the path to the cove. When they get there, they wade in, yelping as the cool waves crash past them.

Grace and Jill splash and ride the waves. They dig for crabs and pick up shells. They toss a Frisbee back and forth. They munch on snacks and sit in the sun. It’s fun to visit with Gran.


The Soccer Game
Grace has a soccer game this weekend. It is a big game. If she and her pals win, they will be the state champs. At the game, Grace sees her pals Jane and Kim Knox and their dad, Mister Knox. “All set for the big game?” Mister Knox asks.

“Yup!” Grace says.

“Good!” says Mister Knox.

“We can win if we bring our ‘A’ game!” Grace and Mister Knox slap hands.

In the game, Grace starts off with a run of bad luck. She keeps missing the net, no matter how hard she kicks. One time she takes a shot but the keeper blocks it. One time she takes a shot, but the shot is off target. One time she shoots, but gets knocked down and skins her knee. “Arg!” Grace yells. She sits on the grass and pouts.

“Hang in there!” yells Mister Knox.

“Get back in the game!” yells her dad. “A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits!”

Grace whimpers for a bit, but then gets up and brushes herself off. She runs and makes a nice pass to Kim Knox, out on the left wing. Kim makes a pass back to Grace in the center. Grace has a shot! She swings her leg. Thwack! This time her shot is strong and on target. It shoots past the keeper and into the net.

“Yes!” shouts Mister Knox.

“Nice shot!” yells Mister Spencer.

Kim and Jane and the rest of her pals run up and hug her. Jane lifts her up. While they are hugging Grace and jumping up and down, the horn sounds. Time has run out! The game is finished. Grace and her pals are the state champs!



Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

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Lesson 4 – Part Four


NEW WORDS: clunk, frosting, hoist, honks, hopper, hose, lipstick, mime, mimes, ooo, performer, plops, roped, starter, whoops

Grace invites two of her pals from soccer to visit her house for supper. They are twin sisters. Their names are Kim and Jane Knox. Grace and her mom spend the morning cooking. They gather fresh greens from the garden. They cook two chickens in a big pan. They bake fresh corn muffins and a cake.

Grace gets to crack the eggs and mix the cake. Her mom lets her help whip up the frosting, too. And, best of all, she gets to lick the spoon when the frosting is finished!

At six, a car drives up and toots the horn. Mister Knox is at the wheel. “That’s them!” Grace shouts. She runs out to meet her classmates.
They sit down for dinner. Kim Knox cuts the chicken with her knife. “Yum!” she says. “This chicken is the best! It’s so much better than the stuff our dad makes!” Jane nods. She would tell Grace how good the chicken is, but her mouth is stuffed with chicken.

“Save room for cake!” Grace says. After supper, Grace brings in the cake that she and her mom made. She helps her mom slice up the cake.

Ooo!” says Kim. “What sort of cake is it!”

“Red velvet!” says Grace.

“Yum!” says Kim. “Can we visit next weekend, too?”


Grace the Performer
Grace jumps out of bed and gets dressed. She slips on striped knee socks, green pants, and a green top. Next, Grace gets out her make-up. She rubs some white make-up on her face. Then she gets out red lipstick for her lips. She slips on a wig and pins a hat to the wig. The last thing she adds is a big red nose.

Grace is getting dressed up to be a mime. There are lots of fun things to do at the park this week. Today Grace will perform for lots of children. Her job will be to make all the children in the tent at the park smile.

But she can’t tell jokes. Mimes do not tell jokes. In fact, mimes do not use words at all. They have to keep mute at all times. That is what makes the job a hard one. But that is what makes it fun, too.

Grace starts off with a bike trick. She stacks up a bunch of cups. Then she jumps them with her bike. The children cheer, and Grace honks her bike horn. Next, Grace grabs a rose and waves it at the children in the stands. Oops! It’s a trick rose with a hose in it. Some of the children get wet!

At the end of her act, Grace gets up on a rope. She takes three steps on the rope. Then she acts like she is slipping. Whoops! Grace slips and lands sitting on the ground with a clunk and a thump. But it is all part of the act. Grace has a big, soft pad roped to her back.

The children cheer. They like the mime and her act. Mom, Dad, and Jill are sitting in the stands, too. They clap and yell the loudest of all. Grace smiles and waves. She thinks it’s fun to be a mime and perform!


The Frog Jumping Contest
There is a frog jumping contest at the park this week, too. “Did you get a frog for the contest?” Ken asks. Grace nods. She sticks her hand in her bag and grabs her frog. The frog sits on her fingers.

“Cool!” Ken says. “What’s his name?”

“It’s a she!” says Grace. “Her name is Hopper.”

“I got one, too,” says Ken. “His name is Legs.” Legs has longer legs than Hopper.

Grace and Ken take their frogs to the starting line. They set the frogs down. The starter shouts, “On your mark! Get set! Hop!”

“Jump!” Ken yells. “Jump!” Legs hops off.

Hopper jumps, too, but she jumps off to the side. “No, Hopper!” Grace yells. She runs and grabs her frog. Then she sets her down with her face pointing at the finish line. Hopper hops off. This time she is lined up and on target.

Ken and Grace chase their frogs down the track. The frogs are fast. It is a close race. The two frogs cross the finish line at the same time.

“Did Legs win?” Ken asks.

“Did Hopper win?” Grace asks.

“We have two winners!” says the man at the finish line. “Hopper and Legs crossed the line at the same time. They will share the prize!”

The man hands Grace and Ken a cup for their prize. Grace plops Hopper in the cup. Ken adds Legs. Then they hoist the cup up and shout, “Here’s to the champs!”



Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

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Lesson 5 – Part Five

NEW WORDS: Buster, flank, gem, inspects, snickers, softest, teen, tosses, whizbang, whoo, whooshing

The Spinning Wheel
There are lots of fun rides and games at the park this week. Grace and Jill like to ride the Spinning Wheel. The Spinning Wheel is a ride with six arms. The arms spin round and round and lift up. It is fun to ride.

“Jill!” Grace yells as the wheel starts to spin, “I dare you to keep your hands up while you ride, like this!” Soon, they are whizzing and whooshing and shouting and yelling. Grace keeps her hands up till the ride ends. Jill keeps her hands up for a while, but not all the time.

Whoo-hoo!” shouts Grace.

“Look at me!” shouts Jill. Her cheeks are pink with excitement.

When they get off the Spinning Wheel, they run and check out the games. Grace shoots hoops while Jill tosses darts at a target. Jill wins a prize!

“Let’s have a snack!” says Grace. The sisters get a big tub of buttered popcorn. They share a corn dog and a drink, too. The food is good.

When they are finished, Jill asks, “Should we ride the Spinning Wheel one last time?”

“No,” Grace says. “After all that food, it would not be safe. I think I would get sick!”


Buster the Pig
There are contests at the park, too. Grace is at a livestock contest with her dad. When a livestock contest is held, farmers bring their best sheep and pigs and hope to win a prize. “Look at the size of that pink pig!” Grace says.

“His name is Buster,” says a teen in a white tank standing next to the pig. He is rubbing the pig’s flank with a rag. “And my name is Rod.”

“What are you doing to him?” Grace asks.

“I’m grooming him,” says Rod. “Buster needs to look his best, so he can win the top prize. Would you like to help?” When it’s time to take Buster out into the ring, Grace rubs him under his chin. Buster likes this so much, he oinks and whimpers.

There are lots of pigs in the ring, and they all look good. A man in a black hat inspects the pigs. His job is to pick which pig he thinks is best. That pig will be the winner.

“I hope Buster wins!” Grace says.

The man looks at the pigs one last time. Then he points a finger at Buster and hands the top prize to Rod. “Yippee!” says Grace. “Buster is number one!”


Grace and Jill like to visit the livestock contest. There are lots of fun things to do there. In one barn, they see a man cutting wool off a sheep. They feel the wool the man has cut from the sheep. It is soft. The man tells them that the wool can be used to knit hats and scarves and mittens.

Jill gets to milk a cow. She likes to see the milk shoot out of the udder and splash in the bucket. Grace picks up a rabbit. The rabbit is cute, with lots of fuzz.

Then Grace sees chicks that have just hatched out of their eggs! She picks one up and pets it. She thinks the chick is the softest thing she has ever petted. “Are the chicks for sale?” she asks.

“Yep,” says the man.

“Can I bring this one home?” Grace asks. She looks at her mom and dad.

“It’s fine with me,” says her dad. “But you have to take good care of her.”

“I will, I will!” says Grace.

Mister Spencer hands the man some cash. The man plops the chick in a box and hands Grace the box. In the car, Grace asks, “What should I name her?”

Snickers!” says Jill.

Whizbang!” says Mom.

Gem!” says Dad.

“No,” says Grace. “I will name her Whisper!”



Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

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Lesson 6 – Part Six

NEW WORDS: Cedric, Vincent’s, bends, bumping, dusts, fest, husks, marvel, relic, shard, spooked, tagged

The Harvest
Mister Spencer must harvest his corn when it is ripe. He can’t let it spoil. It’s a big job. Sometimes he has to hire helpers to help him bring in the harvest.

Grace likes two of the helpers her dad hires. Their names are Hank and Cedric. When they finish twelfth grade, they plan to be farmers like Mister Spencer.

Mister Spencer gets out his big combine and fills the tank with gas. Then he starts it up. It sends up a puff of black smoke. The combine is loud. But it is good at cutting down corn.

Mister Spencer drives the combine in the morning. After lunch, he lets Hank and Cedric drive. They drive the combine back and forth, until all of the corn is cut down. Grace rides with them part of the time.

When they are finished with the harvest, Hank spots what looks like a rock sticking up out of the ground. He bends down and grabs it.

“What is it?” Cedric asks.

“I think it’s a chunk of a pot,” says Hank. He dusts it off with his fingers and says, “It could be a relic from a long time back in the past!” Back at the house, Hank hands the pot shard to Grace. “Here,” he says. “This is for you. We can’t tell, but we think it could be a relic.”

“Thanks!” says Grace, with a smile. Then she runs to get Hank and Cedric some corn muffins. They sit on the steps and munch on the muffins.


The Harvest Marvel
After the harvest, the Spencers had a Harvest Fest on their farm. A bunch of children came. “Have fun!” Mister Spencer said to the children. “And look out for the Harvest Marvel!”

“What’s the Harvest Marvel?” one of the children asked.

“There is a legend that farmers have passed down for a long time. At the Harvest Fest, someone dresses as the Harvest Marvel to celebrate all of the crops and good food we harvest in the fall. It’s a tribute to thank the Harvest Marvel for the harvest. Looking out for the Harvest Marvel can be the best game at the Harvest Fest!” said Mister Spencer.

The children pondered this for a bit and then skipped off to get snacks and drinks. Time passed, and they had forgotten to look out for the Harvest Marvel — until something or someone stepped out of the darkness next to the barn. It was hard to tell what it was. Its arms and legs were wrapped in corn husks. It had a pumpkin on its face as a mask.

“Greetings!” shouted the Harvest Marvel, jumping up and down. The children did not recognize the voice of the Harvest Marvel, and could not tell who or what the Harvest Marvel was. They were spooked and started to run.

Grace started to run from the Harvest Marvel, too. But then she spotted a jacket on the Harvest Marvel, under the corn husks. She recognized that jacket.

Grace ran up to the Harvest Marvel and tagged it. By accident, she knocked the pumpkin mask off of the Harvest Marvel. “See!” Grace yelled. “It’s just Hank!” When the children saw that the Harvest Marvel was just Hank, they ran up and jumped on top of him. Hank and the children were all smiles.


The Jumping Fish
Today Grace and Jill are at the lake with their mom. They are bump-bump-bumping on top of the waves. Grace can feel the wind on her face. It is so strong, it makes her blink and squint.

“Look!” Grace says. She points at a big green fish that has jumped up next to them. The fish twists. Then it flops back into the lake, with a big splash.

“That was cool!” Jill says. But the fish is not finished. It jumps up and makes a big splash, once, twice, three times. “I think she likes us!” says Jill.

After a while, they steer back to the dock. Grace grabs a rope and tosses it onto one of the poles on the dock. Jill helps her tug on the rope. Then they jump out. The Spencers sit down on a blanket and have a picnic next to the lake.

“Mom,” Grace asks, “why do you think that fish was jumping next to us?”

“Well,” says their mom, “I think the fish was scared by the loud sound we made when we went past, and that’s why it jumped.”

“No!” says Jill. “That fish liked us! That’s why she jumped. She was jumping for us, so we would see what a good jumper she is!” Grace smiles. What her mom said makes sense to her, but she likes to think that the fish was jumping for her, and for Jill.


Grace is in Miss Vincent’s class. She has to make a speech on snakes. She takes out a picture of a snake. Then she starts her speech.

“Have you ever seen a snake at the zoo?” Grace asks. “Have you ever seen a snake in your backyard? Were you scared when you saw it? Well, snakes can scare you, but they are cool, too. Just do not get too close!”

“Snakes have fangs in their mouth and scales on their skin. Lots of snakes shed their skin from time to time. When they get too big for their outside skin, they twist out of it. Here is a snake skin I found in my backyard.”

“Snakes make their home in dark holes in the ground. But they like the sun, too. When the sun is out, snakes like to coil up on rocks and let the sun shine on them.”

“Snakes do not order a sandwich for lunch. They do not like sweets or nuts or chips. They are hunters. They hunt for mice and rats and frogs. If a snake catches a mouse, that will keep it fed for a long time. It will not need food for the rest of the week.”

“Snakes are fun, but if you see one, take care. It’s not safe to grab a snake, or to get too close to one. Snakes have sharp fangs, and they can bite you!”



Lesson 7 – Dale-Chall Vocab Builder

NEW WORDS: Biff, Greene, Maypole, Popeye, Saturn, Tami, abrasion, accused, anyhow, badge, banjo, bassoon, battleship, beautify, blaze, blindfold, buggy, burger, bushel, buttermilk, buttonhole, butts, cardboard, carefree, careless, carelessness, cashier, catsup, cellar, cheat, christen, cocoon, coffeepot, collapsed, compliant, condition, cough, creamy, cufflink, cupful, decorate, deserve, doorknob, dressmaker, drub, dwelt, eleventh, engines, fable, fabric, faith, fashion, fervent, fever, fife, filthy, firing, gallon, gasoline, glory, godmother, graduate, guidance, gunpowder, hacking, heater, iceberg, income, instant, intervene, invitations, ivory, kilts, laboratory, lawnmower, limb, lone, lonesome, mackerel, mailman, mamma, migraines, misspell, multiply, municipal, murder, mustard, newfangled, newspaper, otherwise, outstanding, overalls, overcoat, owing, pansy, peppermint, photograph, pigeon, plagued, platter, plaything, plead, pocketbook, poultice, poultry, powered, preacher, prince, pure, reader, remind, rubbish, sanitize, savings, schoolboy, screw, shaker, shear, shovel, sickness, slit, snowbank, snowflake, somehow, spinach, starve, statuette, stork, suffer, sunk, surmised, surname, swamp, sweltry, tablespoon, tangerine, thorn, timepiece, tourist, tricycle, trolley, trousers, tunnel, unfriendly, unhealthy, vessel, visitor, watchman, waterproof, weaken, wisecracks, workman, wrung, zoologist

Gramps worked for the railroad.

He was born December the eleventh.

You can take off the blindfold.

The cat plays in cardboard boxes.

That rose has a thorn.

Dab this poultice on your abrasion.

A ghost dwelt in the attic.

She had a carefree childhood.

Sing hymn number 352.

That report is pure rubbish.

Raise your hands.

They’re firing up their engines.

He hopes to discover a new planet.

Don’t misspell your words.

Blot up the spill.

Remind me of her surname.

The cookie will crumble in milk.

Screw this tightly.

Climb to the mountain peak.

Multiply two times two.

It was farther than we surmised.

I have faith in him.

His carelessness got him in trouble.


Dig up that clump of weeds.

Mamma, I got a cut!

Mom will weep at the wedding.

She plays the fife in the marching band.

That job pays a good income.

I got lonesome at camp.

That’s a pigeon on the statuette.

His fever is 102 degrees.

How much are we owing on the house?

Is she a visitor from Saturn?

That farmer wears overalls.

Grandpa gave me a hug.

The tunnel collapsed.

Put these trousers in the washer.

He just turned fourteen.

This is a newly dug grave.

Have you read the newspaper?

Oil the machinery.

Don’t be careless in the laboratory.

Yum, sausage gravy!

Yum, what a creamy milkshake!

A thief stole her pocketbook.

He’s got a hacking cough.

They live in a lone house in the woods.


I must drub this into your heads.

NOT resting will weaken your condition.

I’m thirsty for ice water.

Peel this tangerine.

His dad’s a banjo player.

These are woolen kilts.

Starve a fever, feed a cold.

I don’t fully understand.

Mrs. Greene is my godmother.

Slit the fabric here.

What a pretty bracelet!

The zoologist found an eagle nest.

No snowflake is like another.

Have you played the game Battleship?

Put in a tablespoon of salt.

The watchman saw enemy troops.

What’s the moral of this fable?

There are gators in that swamp!

My pants cuff got muddy.

He’s accused of murder.

My skirt is too tight.

The cattle graze all day.

The cop showed me his badge.

We can’t cure the common cold.


Get your butts in gear!

The Chinese invented gunpowder.

Don’t fret about that.

He’s the last passenger to board the train.

She’s a famous dressmaker.

We’ll christen the baby on Sunday.

My granddaughter plays the bassoon.

She’s an outstanding helper.

You must awaken at 5:00 A.M.

I’m thankful for your guidance.

Bathe that filthy dog.

The butterfly came out of its cocoon.

He’d wrung the rag dry.

Please forgive me.

Her wisecracks suggest a dry wit.

Chop this with your hatchet.

You used to get places in a horse and buggy.

I suffer from migraines.

He works as a cowboy on a ranch.

Let’s beautify our municipal parks.

Drill the hole here.

The trolley is popular with tourists.

That’s a bad habit!

I’ll intervene sometime soon.


I need a cupful of milk.

No, a stork doesn’t bring babies!

Shovel this snowbank.

Why are you following me?

That’s a becoming outfit!

Ivory comes from elephant tusks.

He swore to tell the truth.

Pick up that tree limb.

She snacks on sunflower seeds.

The telephone is ringing!

There’s a package in the mail.

I swallowed a watermelon seed.

That nice place is like heaven on Earth.

You can’t be barefoot in that store.

It’s time to shear the sheep.

Wrap up, otherwise you’ll catch cold!

Watch out, or he’ll cheat you!

My timepiece is waterproof.

Biff is riding his tricycle.

The firemen fought the blaze.

She has a great fashion sense.

The Prince addresses Parliament today.

The rock has sunk to the bottom.

The balloon popped.

Smoking tobacco is unhealthy.


Her plaything just broke.

What a soft cloth napkin!

That’s an American tourist.

The fireworks were loud.

He was a soldier in the war.

She’ll graduate at the end of the term.

Put the cufflink in your buttonhole.

The cashier gave her change.

Send invitations to the entire gang.

I plead “not guilty,” Your Honor!

Put on your overcoat.

I’m hopeful that I aced the test.

Sanitize this doorknob.

Their wealth came from the poultry industry.

It’s not as sweltry in the cellar.

Put catsup and mustard on my burger.

Hang your coat on that hook.

Crop the photograph here.

Buy a gallon of milk.

He was a compliant schoolboy.

Come here this instant!

You’re in a heap of trouble!

A sickness plagued their land.

Brew some peppermint tea.


Her favorite flower is a pansy.

Squeeze some lemon on my mackerel.

Decorate the Maypole!

Their vessel just missed the iceberg.

Try this newfangled toothbrush.

You know this better than me, anyhow.

They’ll pave the road soon.

The lawnmower is gasolinepowered.

The preacher gave glory to God.

I love blueberry pie.

Our rear tires are low.

She’s a fervent reader.

I spent my savings.

Warm the room with the space heater.

That new kid is unfriendly.

She’s bathing in the tub.

Somehow, you’ll figure it out.

The dog barked at the mailman.

Yum, buttermilk pancakes!

Drive slowly past that workman.

Pass the salt shaker.

The coffeepot is empty.

They picked a bushel of peaches.

I agree, you deserve better.

A prune is a dried plum.

She can weave a sweater.

She’s running for mayor.

Play indoors today.

The tide is rising.

That’s my elder sister, Tami.

Popeye loves spinach.

Bring a fruit and cheese platter.


Lesson 8 – Beatrix Potter

Two Tales: Tom Kitten; Timmy Tiptoes

NEW WORDS: Chippy, Goody’s, Hackee, Jemima, Moppet, Moppet’s, Rebecca, Timmy, Timmy’s, awkward, bagful, chipmunks, chirpy, combed, commotion, confesses, confined, damaging, diddlum, doubted, drake, dreadfully, emptied, fitted, forgetful, fortnight, innocent, journeys, manner, meantime, measles, nightcap, nutcrackers, paddle, padlock, passage, pecked, rattled, replying, ribs, shedding, silvertail, smears, specialty, thicket, tiptoes, twittered, unable, uncomfortable, unsteady, unwisely, ventured, woodpecker’s
The Tale Of Tom Kitten

Once upon a time, there were three little kittens. Their names were Mittens, Tom Kitten, and Moppet. They had dear little fur coats of their own. And they tumbled about the doorstep and played in the dust.

Their mother was Mrs. Tabitha Twitchit. One day, she expected friends to come over for tea. So, she fetched the kittens indoors. She wanted to wash and dress them before the fancy company arrived.

First, she scrubbed their faces. Then, she brushed their fur. Then, she combed their tails and whiskers. Tom was very naughty. He scratched his own mother!

Mrs. Tabitha dressed Moppet and Mittens in clean, colorful jumpers. Then she looked in the chest of drawers. She studied all sorts of elegant but uncomfortable clothes for Thomas. Tom Kitten was very fat. And he’d grown quite a bit. After he put on the clothes, several buttons burst off. His mother sewed them on again.

The three kittens were ready. But Mrs. Tabitha then unwisely let them out into the garden. Of course, she needed them out of the way. She would be preparing food. Her specialty was hot buttered toast.

“Now keep your outfits clean, children! You MUST walk on your hind legs. Keep away from the dirty ash-pit. Don’t visit Sally Henny Penny. Don’t go near the pigsty. And steer clear of the Puddle-ducks.”

Moppet and Mittens walked down the garden path. They were unsteady on just their hind legs. Soon, they walked on their dresses. Then, they fell on their noses. When they stood up, there were several green smears!


“Let’s climb up the rock garden. It’s best to just sit on the garden wall,” said Moppet. They went up with a skip and a jump. Moppet’s little white bonnet fell down into the road.

Tom Kitten tried walking on his hind legs. It was hard when wearing trousers. He was quite unable to jump at all. So, he came up the rock garden by degrees. He was damaging the ferns. And he was shedding buttons right and left. He was all in pieces when he reached the top of the wall. Moppet and Mittens tried to pull him together. But his hat fell off. And the rest of his buttons burst.

They were having all of this trouble. Then, they heard a, “Pit-pat! Paddle-pat!” Uh-oh! There were the three Puddle-ducks. They were coming along the hard high road. They were marching one behind the other. They were doing the awkward goose step. “Pit-pat! Paddle-pat! Pit-pat! Waddle-pat!”

They stopped and stood in a row. They stared up at the kittens. They had very small eyes. They looked surprised. Then the two duck-birds, Rebecca and Jemima Puddle-duck, did something funny. They picked up the hat and the bonnet. Then, they put them on!

Mittens laughed so hard that she fell off the wall. Moppet and Tom came down after her. The dresses and all the rest of Tom’s clothes came off on the way down.

“Come! Mr. Drake Puddle-duck,” said Moppet. “Come and help us to dress our brother! Come and button up Tom!”


Mr. Drake Puddle-duck advanced in a slow, sideways manner. Then, he picked up the various pieces of clothing. But he put them on HIMSELF! They fitted him even worse than Tom Kitten. “It’s a very fine morning!” said Mr. Drake Puddle-duck. And he and Jemima and Rebecca Puddle-duck set off up the road. They kept up their silly goose step. “Pit-pat! Paddle-pat! Pit-pat! Waddle-pat!”

Then Tabitha Twitchit came into the garden. Of course, she found her kittens on the wall with no clothes on! “Oh, my!” she shrieked. She was one mad mama cat! She pulled them off the wall. She gave them a loud lecture. Then, she took them back to the house.

“My friends will arrive in a minute. And you are not fit to be seen! I am furious with you!” said Mrs. Tabitha Twitchit. She sent them straight upstairs. And I am sorry to say she told her friends a white lie. She said that they were in bed with the measles.

Of course, this wasn’t true. Quite the contrary. They weren’t in bed at all. NOT in the least. During the tea, all the ladies could hear odd noises upstairs. This disturbed the mood of the tea party. It was not as peaceful and as dainty as Tabitha would have liked.

I think that some day I shall have to make another, larger book. This will be to tell you more about naughty Tom Kitten! As for the Puddle-ducks? They went into a pond. The clothes all came off quickly. Well, of course! There were no buttons. Mr. Drake Puddle-duck, and Jemima and Rebecca, have been looking for them ever since.


The Tale Of Timmy Tiptoes
Once upon a time, there was a little fat comfortable gray squirrel. He was called Timmy Tiptoes. He had a nest built of leaves in the top of a tall tree. He had a little squirrel wife called Goody.

Timmy Tiptoes sat out, enjoying the breeze. He whisked his tail and chuckled. “Little wife Goody, the nuts are ripe. We must collect a bunch to eat in winter and spring.”

Goody Tiptoes was busy pushing moss in between the leaves. She said, “The nest is so snug. We shall be sound asleep all winter.”

Timothy had lots of common sense. He replied, “Then we shall wake up all the thinner. And there will be nothing to eat in early spring-time.”

Timmy and Goody Tiptoes came to the nut thicket. They found other squirrels were there already. Timmy took off his jacket. He hung it on a twig. They worked away quietly by themselves.

Every day, they made several journeys. They picked large quantities of nuts. They carried them away in bags. They stored them in several hollow stumps. This was near the tree where they had built their nest.

After a while, these stumps were full. So, they began to empty the bags into a hole high up in a tree. But that tree had belonged to a woodpecker. All the holes he had pecked created tunnels. The nuts rattled down, down, down inside the tree trunk.


“How shall you ever get them out again? It is like a piggy bank!” said Goody.

“I shall be much thinner before springtime, my love,” said Timmy Tiptoes. He peeped into the hole and studied it for a bit.

They did collect lots of acorns, because they did not lose them! Some squirrels bury their nuts in the ground. They lose more than half of them! That’s because they can’t remember the place.

The most forgetful squirrel in the woods was called Silvertail. He would begin to dig, and he could not remember where. And then he would dig again. He’d find some nuts that didn’t belong to him. Then there would be a fight. Other squirrels would begin to dig, all at the same time. The whole forest was in commotion!

Unfortunately, just at this time a flock of little birds flew by. They were going from bush to bush. They were searching for green caterpillars and spiders. There were several sorts of little birds. They all twittered different songs.

The first one sang, “Who’s been digging up MY nuts? Who’s been digging up MY nuts?”

And another sang, “Little bit of bread and NO cheese! Little bit of bread and NO cheese!”

The squirrels followed and listened. The first little bird flew into Timmy’s and Goody’s bush. The Tiptoes were quietly tying up their bags. The bird sang, “Who’s been digging up MY nuts? Who’s been digging up MY nuts?”


Timmy Tiptoes went on with his work without replying. Indeed, the little bird didn’t expect an answer. It was only singing its natural song. And it really meant nothing at all.

But then the other squirrels heard that song. They rushed at Timmy Tiptoes and slapped and scratched him! Then they upset his bag of nuts. The innocent little bird who had caused all this mischief just flew away in a fright!

Timmy rolled over and over. He then turned tail and fled towards his nest. He was followed by the crowd of squirrels shouting, “Who’s been digging up MY nuts?”

They caught him and dragged him up the tree where there was the little round hole. Then, they pushed him in. The hole was much too small for Timmy Tiptoes’ figure. They squeezed him dreadfully. It was a wonder they didn’t break his ribs. “We will leave him here till he confesses,” said Silvertail Squirrel. He then shouted into the hole, “Who’s been digging up MY nuts?”

Timmy Tiptoes made no reply. He had tumbled down inside the tree. He was lying on a bunch of nuts that belonged to him. He lay quite stunned and still.

Goody Tiptoes picked up the nut bags and went home. She made a cup of tea for Timmy. But he didn’t come, and he didn’t come. Poor Goody had a lonely and unhappy night. Next morning, she ventured back to the nut bushes to look for him. But the other unkind squirrels drove her away. She wandered all over the woods. She called out, “Timmy Tiptoes! Timmy Tiptoes! Oh, where is my Timmy Tiptoes?”


In the meantime, Timmy Tiptoes came to his senses. He found himself tucked up in a little moss bed. He was very much in the dark. He was feeling quite sore. It seemed to him that he might be underground. Timmy coughed and groaned. His ribs really hurt. All of a sudden, there was a chirpy noise. A small striped Chipmunk appeared with a night light. He said he hoped Timmy was feeling better.

The Chipmunk was most kind to Timmy Tiptoes. He lent him his nightcap. And he offered Timmy as much to eat as he wanted. The Chipmunk explained that it had rained nuts through the top of the tree. “Besides, I found a few buried!” He laughed and chuckled when he heard Timmy’s story. While Timmy was confined to bed, the Chipmunk said he should eat a lot.

Timmy said, “But how shall I ever get out through that hole. I need to thin myself, and not get fatter. My wife will be anxious that I am missing!”

“Just another nut or two. Let me crack them for you,” said the Chipmunk. This happened over and over again. Timmy Tiptoes grew fatter and fatter!

Now, Goody Tiptoes had set to work again by herself. She didn’t put any more nuts into the woodpecker’s hole. She had always doubted how they could be gotten out again. Now, she hid them under a tree root. They rattled down, down, down. Once, Goody emptied an extra big bagful. She heard a decided squeak. And what happened the next time Goody brought another bagful? A little striped Chipmunk scrambled out in a hurry.


She said, “It is getting perfectly full-up downstairs. The sitting room is full. And acorns are rolling along the passage. My husband, Chippy Hackee, has run away and left me. What is the explanation for these showers of nuts?”

“I am sure I beg your pardon. I didn’t know that anybody lived here,” said Mrs. Goody Tiptoes. “But where is Chippy Hackee? My husband, Timmy Tiptoes, has run away, too.”

“I know where Chippy is. A little bird told me,” said Mrs. Chippy Hackee. She led the way to the woodpecker’s tree. They listened at the hole.

Down below there was a noise of nutcrackers. And a fat squirrel voice and a thin squirrel voice were singing together.

 “My little old man and I fell out,
  How shall we bring this matter about?
  Bring it about as well as you can,
  And get you gone, you little old man!”

“You could squeeze in. How about through that little round hole?” said Goody Tiptoes.

“Yes, I could,” said the Chipmunk. “But my husband, Chippy Hackee, bites!”

Down below, there was a noise of cracking nuts and nibbling. And then the fat squirrel voice and the thin squirrel voice sang.

 “For the diddlum day,
  Day diddle dum dye!
  Day diddle diddle dum day!”


Then Goody peeped in at the hole. She called down, “Timmy Tiptoes! Oh fie, Timmy Tiptoes!”

And Timmy replied, “Is that you, Goody Tiptoes?”

“Why, certainly, it is!” He came up and kissed Goody through the hole. But he was so fat that he couldn’t get out. Chippy Hackee was NOT too fat. But he didn’t WANT to come! He stayed down below and chuckled. And so it went on for a fortnight.

But one day, a big wind blew off the top of the tree. That opened up the hole. It let in the rain. Then Timmy Tiptoes came out, at last. He went home with an umbrella. But Chippy Hackee continued to camp out for another week. He stayed, even though it was uncomfortable.

At last, a large bear came walking through the woods. Perhaps he also was looking for nuts. He seemed to be sniffing around. Chippy Hackee went home in a hurry! Chippy Hackee got home. He found he had caught a cold in his head. Now he was more uncomfortable, still.

So, now Timmy and Goody Tiptoes keep their nut store fastened up with a little padlock. And whenever that little bird sees the Chipmunks, he sings. “Who’s been digging up MY nuts? Who’s been digging up MY nuts?” But nobody ever answers!


Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.)

Kings And Queens

Lesson 9 – Part One

NEW WORDS: Hassan, Morocco, Moulay, Richard, adorned, adults, advantages, alliance, allies, apprehend, arranged, articles, ascend, assemblage, attended, begot, belongings, blazons, ceremonial, commence, commented, constant, crowns, decisions, delectable, demanding, desired, disadvantages, discern, domain, duties, educated, education, emeralds, eminent, encounter, ensured, entitled, essential, establish, extraordinary, fanciful, filigree, finespun, flaunt, foremost, forged, governments, heir, heirs, impressive, influential, inhabited, inherit, inherits, interior, items, kingdom’s, kingdoms, lavish, luculent, luxurious, marriages, monarch’s, monarchies, nondescript, observant, occurred, occurrence, orb, palatial, partnership, partook, peerless, prepares, princesses, private, prosperity, receives, reflected, reign, relative, remainder, required, revered, role, royals, royalty, rubies, ruling, sapphires, scads, scepter, scrutiny, scurry, servants, sovereign, specific, splendid, status, sumptuous, superintend, surrounded, symbol, teenager, transfer, uncommon, unquestioned, utilized, weighty

Chapter One: What Are Kings And Queens
Look at this palatial building. Can you believe this? It was someone’s house! And not just any house. It’s a palace. It belonged to a French queen. What do you think its interior looks like? It must be luxurious if it were built for a queen. This palace has 440 rooms inside! Kings and queens were the leaders of their countries. So, they often had peerless homes. These were known as “palaces” or “castles.”

Kings and queens are called “monarchs.” Their governments are “monarchies.” You can’t vote for a king or queen! A monarch rules a specific domain of land. And they superintend the people who live there. Their land is a “kingdom.” There used to be lots of kingdoms in the world. Today, there aren’t as many. And there aren’t as many monarchs, either.

Look at this king. He was King Richard II. He ruled England. “It’s good to be king.” That’s an old saying. You can see why this saying holds true. Go back 300 years. What if you walked into an English palace? You’d encounter this person. You’d discern that he was king!

No one was more eminent and influential than the monarch. So, they got the foremost of everything. They inhabited the most impressive houses. They wore the most finespun clothes. They partook of the most delectable food. They did not have to say, “please” and “thank you.” They didn’t even have to dress themselves. Their servants did that for them. Things that a king or queen utilized, touched, or owned were called “royal.” The fluffy robes Richard wore were the royal robes. The cup he drank from was the royal cup. Who else could use something “royal?” No one! Only the monarchs and their close family could use them.


King Richard II is holding two items in this picture. In one hand, he’s holding the royal orb. In the other, he has the royal scepter. These were ceremonial articles. He wore or held these things to make a point. They would remind people who was in charge!

His hat is a “crown.” It’s no nondescript hat! Crowns were forged from some precious metal. They might be made of gold or silver. They were adorned with lavish jewels. They might flaunt rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. These jewels were called the “crown jewels.” The crown was like the scepter and the orb. It was a luculent symbol of the king’s power.

Here’s a close-up picture of a crown. It’s made of gold. It blazons an assemblage of fanciful pearls and jewels. Such a hat would not keep the sun out of your eyes. And it wouldn’t keep your head warm. So, why would you wear it? It sent a clear message. It meant that you were the sovereign of a kingdom!

Go back a few hundred years. Then, a monarch’s power was unquestioned. They made all the rules and laws. People had to follow those orders. But it would have been demanding work. Kings and queens had weighty responsibilities. Each day, people came to them to ask for money or advice. Each day they had to make important decisions.

There was a famous king named Charlemagne. He ruled in what is now France. He was revered. An artist made a stained-glass window with his image. Look at his fancy chair. The king’s chair was called a “throne.” Only the king could sit there. His throne was raised up on a platform. That way, he’d appear tall and important. He looked “grand,” even when he was seated. 

What’s that in his hand? He is holding a sword and an orb. That’s to remind people that he is the king. You’ll soon learn more about kingdoms, kings, and queens. You’ll learn a lot about the world of “royalty.”


Chapter Two: The Royal Family
Most monarchs begot scads of children. They ensured that those children were well-educated. It was required that they apprehend what it meant to be “a royal.” What was it like to be a prince or princess? Well, it had advantages and disadvantages.

This picture shows King George V of England. He’s with the queen and four of their sons. The sons lived in the palace. They had lots of space to scurry and play. Splendid furniture, art, and other beautiful filigree surrounded them. Look at their sumptuous clothes.

Monarchs’ children played a key role. But it wasn’t like raising a normal family. The children were the key to the kingdom’s prosperity and success. Why were they so essential?

Let’s say you became king or queen. You’d now rule for the remainder of your life. That period of time is a monarch’s “reign.” When that monarch died, their reign ended. Then, one of the royal family’s children became the new ruler. A new reign would commence.

Do you know the word “inherit?” Let’s say someone dies. They give you something that once belonged to them. They “pass it on” to you. That “gift” often comes from a family relative. The gift could be their property. It could be other things they own. It might include their belongings and money. This is what occurred in kingdoms. The ruler died. Their power was passed on to someone else in the family. That person would “ascend to the throne.” They’d now sit on the throne. They’d wear the crown. That’s why “royalsdesired children. They wanted their ruling power to stay in their family. What if there were no children? The power to rule the kingdom would transfer to a new family.


Someone who inherits things is called an “heir.” Princes and princesses were “heirs to the throne.” That’s because they would “inherit the throne.” There were rules for who would be chosen. There was a “first in line.” Then a “second in line.” It went on and on. The oldest son was likely to be the first in line. As “heir to the throne,” he’s entitled the “crown prince.” He’s the next person to wear the king’s crown. He’ll rule the kingdom. What if there’s no son? The oldest daughter is the heir. She’s called the “crown princess.” She’ll wear the crown and rule the kingdom. That crown is a symbol of power. Whoever wears it is in charge.

Look at this royal family photo. The eldest son is the crown prince. He’ll be the next king. The adults treat him with great respect. And he’s just a teenager! People hold doors for him. They bow to him. That’s because he has the status of being the next king. He has grown up having people serve him. And they’ve told him that he is important.

Here’s a palace in the country Morocco. Inside it lives a crown prince. He’s named Moulay Hassan. He lives with his father, mother, and sister. His father is the king of Morocco. Moulay was born in 2003. He’s the king’s oldest son. He’s first in line to succeed his father. Moulay will be the next king.


The crown prince or princess is an eminent member of the royal family. He or she receives an extraordinary education and uncommon care. That prepares them to someday rule the kingdom. But what happens to the other princes and princesses? Remember, they’re NOT heirs to the throne.

Monarchs often arranged marriages for their children. Princes and princesses did not get to choose their spouse. Their parents decided for them! Back then, marriage was “political.” It was a way to establish a partnership between two kingdoms. Two kingdoms would thus become “allies.”

Look at this picture. It’s a wedding between an English princess and a German prince. It was an important occurrence. Key people from both kingdoms attended the wedding. That was to show support for the alliance. It meant that those kingdoms were going to be friends in the future.

You’ve seen some advantages to being “a royal.” You got to live in palaces. You wore nice clothes. But it wasn’t all fun and games. You had lots of duties. You didn’t always get to do whatever you wanted. You might not even like who you had to marry! And your life wasn’t very private. You were under constant scrutiny. Anything you did was watched and commented on by others. Everything you did reflected on the kingdom and the royal family. You had to always be on your toes. You had to be observant about behaving in a royal manner at all times.


Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.)

Kings And Queens

Lesson 10 – Part Two


NEW WORDS: Marygold, Marygold’s, Midas, Midas’s, abruptly, affluent, altogether, amassed, anxiety, aphotic, avarice, bedchamber, bedcovers, boomed, bruised, captivated, categorically, cellarage, cherished, clutches, comely, compressed, considerate, contented, crackled, currency, dearly, delicate, deluge, departed, depths, despondent, disappeared, disappointed, disconsolate, disgorged, drenched, ebullient, ecstatic, enamored, encountered, engrossing, exceedingly, exhibited, fancied, forlorn, frock, glittering, handfuls, heaped, humph, inconsolable, instantaneously, jogged, kindhearted, lamenting, mattresses, morose, mounds, multitudes, museum, myriad, negative, nosegay, outsider, packets, painstakingly, palace’s, plenarily, plunge, poorest, predicament, request, satiated, satisfied, satisfy, sequester, son’s, sprinkled, sprinted, standards, stunning, talented, terrifying, transmuted, ugliest, urbane, vaulted, velveteen, verily, veritable, wed, wholly

Chapter Three: King Midas And The Golden Touch
It was once upon a time. There lived an exceedingly affluent king. His name was Midas. He was much like some folks today. He was enamored of gold. He loved gold more than anything else. He would gaze at the gold-colored clouds of a stunning sunset. He’d wish that the clouds were real gold!

Midas did have one other love. It was his little daughter. She was named Marygold. Marygold would run to him with a nosegay of buttercups. Midas would smile at her. He’d say, “Dear child! Alas! If only these flowers were as golden as they look. Then they’d be worth picking.”

Each day, King Midas would do the same thing. He’d sequester himself away. He’d spend hours confined in an aphotic room. It was in the depths of the palace’s cellarage. This was where he had amassed his treasures. He’d go there. He’d painstakingly lock the door behind him. Then he’d take out packets of gold currency. He’d pour the coins into mounds. He’d run his hands through them. He would whisper to himself. “Oh! Rich King Midas! What a contented man you are!” But then he’d have a negative thought. Maybe he COULD be happier. He was filled with avarice. It didn’t matter how much he had. He always fancied more.

One day, Midas was enjoying himself. He was in his treasure room. He looked up. There was a strange young man. He shone with a golden glow. Midas knew that he’d locked the door. No one could get into the room. Yet here stood this man! So, the king thought, “this outsider must have some magic power.” But he had a kindhearted smile. So, the king felt no anxiety.


He spoke to King Midas. “You’re rich, King Midas.”

“Yes. I have some gold,” said the king. “But it’s not enough.”

“What!” cried the stranger. “You’re not satisfied?” Midas shook his head. “What would satisfy you?” asked the stranger.

Midas imagined a gold mountain. Then he thought of gold mountains heaped on top of each other. Yet still it seemed not enough! Then a bright idea occurred to him. He said this to the shining stranger. “I wish that everything I touch may turn to gold.”

The stranger smiled. He said, “What an engrossing thought. A golden touch! Are you quite sure you would be satiated then?”

“Yes! I’d be altogether happy. I’d request nothing more,” said King Midas.

“Then it shall be as you wish,” said the stranger. “It will take place tomorrow, at sunrise. You’ll find yourself gifted with the Golden Touch.” Then abruptly, a great brightness filled the room. Midas had to squeeze his eyes shut. Then he reopened them. The stranger had departed!

The next morning came. The sun was barely peeping into his room. The king vaulted out of bed. He touched a chair. It turned to gold. He touched the bed and a table. They were changed to solid gold. He rushed to put on his shoes. They transmuted to gold in his clutches.

Midas was ebullient. He opened the door. He jogged outside to the garden. He saw lots of roses. They were in full bloom. He went from bush to bush. He touched each one. Each flower, each leaf, and each bud were changed to gold.


Now the king was hungry. He returned to the palace for his breakfast. He lifted his cup of coffee to sip it. But when the liquid touched his lips, it turned to gold. He tried to take a bite of a boiled egg. But it, too, turned to gold. “I don’t quite see how I am to get any breakfast!” he said. Just then, Midas heard crying. He turned to see Marygold enter the room. She was lamenting as if her heart would break. In her hand, she held one of the roses. It was one that her father had changed to gold.

“Why, my little lady!” said Midas. “Why does this golden rose cause you to cry?”

“Dear father,” Marygold answered. “It is not pretty! It is the ugliest flower that ever grew. I got dressed quickly this morning. I ran to the garden. I meant to gather roses for you. But what do you think has happened? The sweet-smelling roses have been spoiled!”

“My dear little girl,” said King Midas. He hated to see his daughter sad. “Please don’t cry.” Then he bent down. He kissed his child. “My dearly beloved Marygold!” he said. But she did not answer. She could not answer! Alas! What had he done? Midas’s lips had touched Marygold’s head!
Instantaneously, her sweet, rosy face had turned a glittering yellow color. Marygold was now a golden statue. King Midas cried out! He wailed! He wrung his hands. He now wished that he were the poorest man in the world. If only he could have his daughter back again!

Then he noticed something. Someone stood in the doorway. It was the young stranger. The stranger still shone with a soft glow. He smiled. He asked the king, “Well, King Midas. How do you like your Golden Touch?”


“I am disconsolate!” moaned King Midas.

Despondent, are you?” asked the stranger. “But don’t you have everything your heart desired?”

“No,” said the king. “Gold is not everything. And I have lost all that my heart verily cared for.”

Then the stranger asked a question. “Which of these two things is worth the most? Is it the Golden Touch, or your own cherished Marygold?”

“Oh! My child! My dear child!” cried poor King Midas. “I would not give one hair off of her head. Not a single hair. Even if I could change this whole big Earth into a compressed lump of gold!”

“You are wiser than you were, Midas,” said the stranger. “Go to the river that runs by your garden. Plunge into it. The water will take away the Golden Touch. Then fill this pitcher with water. Sprinkle each thing that you have touched.” Midas bowed low. He lifted his head. The shining stranger had disappeared.

Then the king ran as fast as he could. He jumped into the river. He filled the pitcher. He sprinted back to the palace. He sprinkled handfuls of water over the golden figure of Marygold.

The rosy color came back into her cheeks. She looked in surprise at her father. He was still throwing water on her! “Father! Please! Stop!” she cried. “See how you’ve drenched my frock!”

King Midas took Marygold in his arms. He hugged her. He kissed her. “Now I am truly happy,” he said. “My dear child! You mean more to me than all the gold in the world!”


Chapter Four: Old King Cole
Old King Cole was a merry old soul.
And a merry old soul was he.
He called for his pipe.
And he called for his bowl.
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Every fiddler had a very fine fiddle.
And a very fine fiddle had he.
Oh, there’s none so rare as can compare,
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.


Chapter Five: Sing A Song Of Sixpence
Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing.
Now wasn’t that a dainty dish,
To set before the king?
The king was in his counting house,
Counting out his money.
The queen was in the parlor,
Eating bread and honey.
The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes.
When down came a blackbird,
And pecked at her toes!


Chapter Six: The Princess And The Pea
It was once upon a time. There was a forlorn prince. He wanted to wed a princess. But he held high standards. He couldn’t be captivated with just any princess. He searched for a REAL princess. So, he traveled all over the world. He looked and he looked.

He went from kingdom to kingdom. He met a myriad of princesses. Many of them were, indeed, impressive! They were comely and talented. They were urbane and considerate. But none of them “felt perfect.” Something was missing. He did not meet a categorically, wholly, plenarily REAL princess. So, he was morose and disappointed. He returned home. He was inconsolable.

His mother was the queen. She welcomed him back at the castle. She asked him a question. “Did you find a princess?”

“Oh! I found multitudes of princesses,” he said. “But none of them seemed like a REAL princess.”

That night there was a terrifying deluge. Lightning crackled! Thunder boomed! The wind howled! The rain pounded down. In the middle of the storm, they heard something. There was a knock at the palace door.

The king opened the door. A young lady stood there. Could she be a princess? My, oh my! She was a veritable mess! What a predicament she was in! Her hair was dripping. Her clothes were torn and muddy. And water disgorged from her shoes.


 “Who are you?” asked the queen.

“I am a princess,” she said. “Really. A REAL princess.”

Humph!” said the queen. She thought a moment. “We’ll see about that!” The queen went into a bedchamber. She peeled all the velveteen bedcovers off of the bed. Then she put one tiny pea on the bed. On top of that she piled twenty mattresses. And on top of those, twenty feather-filled pads! “Sleep here tonight,” she said to the princess.

The next morning came. Everyone was seated at the breakfast table. The queen asked the princess, “Did you have a good night’s sleep?”

“No. Not at all,” said the princess. “I tossed and turned all night. Something in the bed was so hard and lumpy. Why, I’m bruised black and blue all over.”

So, she had felt the pea! She’d felt it through all of those mattresses and pads! The queen’s eyes met her son’s. They smiled at each other. Surely, only a real princess could be so delicate and sensitive!

He had, at last, encountered a REAL princess. He was ecstatic! So, the prince married her. And what about the pea? It was exhibited in a museum. It may still be seen there, if no one has taken it.

And that, children, is a real story!



Click on this link to move forward to Module D, Lessons 11 – 20


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