ECS. Comprehension

Reading Comprehension

Choose The Story

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  • The Three Sisters
  • Echidna
  • The Legend of the Three Sisters (The Blue Mountains)
  • Read the text and answer the questions

    The Three Sisters

    Hop on, Hop off bus

    Aboriginal didgeridoo player


    A very long time ago in the Blue Mountains lived a medicine man called Tyawan and his three daughters, Meenhi, Wimlah and Gunnedoo.
    To keep his daughters happy Tyawan used to imitate noises of animals from the bush. People said that he also could turn himself into a lyre bird with a help of his magic shin-bone.
    When Tyawan used to go hunting the girls watched him until he passed the cave where the Bunyip, the monster, slept.
    One day when their father was in the valley, Meenhi threw a stone over the cliff. All of a sudden the earth stirred and a wide gap appeared behind the girls. It was too wide to jump across! Suddenly the Bunyip appeared.
    Tyawan heard the animals' cries and ran back to help his little daughters. He pointed the shin-bone at the girls and they turned into stone. The Bunyip raced after Tyawan who could not get inside the cave to hide from the Bunyip because the entrance was too narrow. Tyawan turned into a lyre bird and flew into the cave to hide just as the Bunyip crashed into the rock. When the Bunyip left, Tyawan tried to find the shinbone but it was gone! He couldn't change himself or the girls back into human from without it.
    Since that time the lyre-bird has been flying around the Three Sisters crying for help and looking for his magic shinbone

    Right click here and here if you want to see more pictures of the Blue Mountains

  • True or False?
    1. Tyawan was friends with many birds and animals. However if he was looking for help he would often turn to a lyrebird
    2. When their father went hunting the girls usually followed him as they were afraid to stay behind.
    3. The earth started to shake and Bunyip appeared after one of the girls had thrown a stone over the cliff.
    4. Tyawan turned his daughters into stone to protect them from an angry Bunyip.
    5. Tyawan is still alive.
  • Do you understand the meaning of the following words and phrase from the text?
  • 1. 'Medicine men' is
    a). a doctor
    b). a person who has a special powers of healing
    c). a pharmacist
    2. 'Imitate' means
    a). copy
    b). change
    c). imagine
    3. 'Race' means
    a). food
    b). run
    c). part of the body
    4. 'Point' means
    a).full stop
    b). aim
    c). ineffective
    5. 'Crash' means
    a). a small river
    b). to ask for
    c). to collapse, to fall

    The text is about the echidna, a strange mammal that can be found only in Australia and New Guinea.
    Before reading the text check the meaning of the words.
    range (in colour, size, etc.); sense (of humour, smell, etc.); cover; weigh; anteater; pouch; snout; breeding; mammal; locate; spine; disturb; jelly bean; termite

    The echidna is a strange animal that can be found only in Australia and New Guinea. It looks like a hedgehog because of sharp spines that cover the back of its body. The echidna range in colour from light brown to black. It has a long snout that helps it to search for food.
    The adult echidna may be from 35 to 53 cm long and weigh from 4.5 to 6 kg.
    The echidna is usually found among rocks, in hollow logs and in holes among tree roots. The echidna is a very shy animal and would rather hide than fight if disturbed. Echidnas have a fine sense of smell that helps them to locate one another during the breeding season.
    Termites are the preferred food of the echidna this is why it is often called 'spiny anteater" and it eats about 2 kg of termites in one meal.
    The echidna and platypus are the world's only egg laying mammals. The echidna lays a single egg and in ten days a baby-echidna is born. It weighs only 380 mg and is 1.45 cm long - the size of a jelly bean. The baby leaves the pouch only when it is several months old.

    Find the answers to the following questions:

    What does it look like?

    How big and heavy is the echidna?

    What does it eat?

    How does it reproduce?

    What does it have in common with the kangaroo?

    Acknowledgment of Source:
    The text is based on the information provided by
    NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

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