Are you looking for a highly effective way to boost your child’s performance in comprehension activities?
VIPERS is a really handy tool and is recommended in the latest government guidelines for education.
Read the opening chapter of this children’s book and answer the questions below.
The questions are designed to target specific reading comprehension skills including expanding vocabulary, identifying similes and techniques, as well as how to explain their effects on the reader. Completing this activity should be a fun, engaging way to equip your children with key reading skills; it will also develop their critical understanding, appreciation and boost their overall engagement with a text.
Dreaming the Bear by Mimi Thebo
Everything is quiet. I can hear my raspy breath,
getting rougher with every step of these stupid
snowshoes. Then I hear something—a bird, maybe.
But I can’t see where it is. All I see is pine trees, in
every direction. And snow, of course.
I wonder when I can go back; how long has it
been? But I don’t want to peel down my warm,
padded mitten to look at my watch. I hate the way
the cold air attacks any little weakness, like a bare
wrist. It’s like it’s trying to get at you. It’s like it’s
And anyway, it’s only been about five minutes
since the last time I looked.
I’m supposed to be out here for two to four hours
every day, to build up my lungs. The doctor said
cold won’t do me any harm, if I’m dressed for it. He
said I should take care not to get wet.
There’s a hill I haven’t been up. I’ve always taken
the ways that go around it. Today, I am so bored,
I’ll try to go uphill, and see if there’s anything
interesting up there. I know I shouldn’t go uphill,
but I do it anyway. If it really starts to hurt, I’ll
My dad spends all day out in the cold, and even
some nights. When he talks about his work, I don’t
listen. Evidently finding out about deer populations
with natural predators is so important that we had
to move to the middle of a giant wilderness. Nothing
is that important. It wasn’t worth it.
If I was home, I could walk to the library. I could
wander through town, looking in all the junk shops.
I could go swim—no, I couldn’t, because I’m not
supposed to get wet.
But if I was home, I could get wet, because I
wouldn’t have gotten pneumonia in the first place. I
wouldn’t have been in the hospital for three weeks.
I wouldn’t be all skinny and run-down and weak.
I’d be at a real school, with people who actually like
me. I’d be with my friends.
I wouldn’t be with idiots like Susan Hackmeyer,
who thinks she knows everything. She doesn’t. She
only knows stuff about being here. She couldn’t find
her way across London by tube. She couldn’t spot
the next big fashion. She’s still wearing last year’s
V – 1. Write down two words that tell us how the narrator is feeling at the start.
I – 2. Find and explain a quotation that highlights how the girl regards her father and his work?
P – 3. What do you predict will happen next in the narrative?
E – 4. What advice would you give to the girl and why?
R – 5. What imagery technique does the author use to describe the cold weather? Explain how this is both effective and vivid for the reader.
S – 6. Summarize the girl’s perspective on her past London life and her new life.