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  • GETSenPhaseLang display tagshide tags

    This module is included inLens: Siyavula: Languages (Gr. 7-9)
    By: SiyavulaAs a part of collection: "English Home Language Grade 9"

    Collection Review Status: In Review

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Reading and comprehension

Module by: Siyavula Uploaders. E-mail the author

ENGLISH HOME LANGUAGE

Grade 9

MONEY MATTERS

Module 7

READING AND COMPREHENSION

ACTIVITY 1:

Reading

[LO 3.2]

THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT

1. Della stood at the window of her shabby flat and looked out dully at a grey cat walking on a grey fence in a grey backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day and she had only one dollar 87 cents with which to buy a present for her husband, Jim. She had saved every cent she could for weeks, with this result. Twenty dollars a week does not go very far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. Only $1,87 to buy her Jim a present! She had planned for months to give him something fine and rare and sterling.

2. Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the mirror. Her eyes were shining brilliantly as an idea flashed into her mind.

3. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall into its full length. Now there were two possessions of the James Willingham Youngs in which they took a mighty pride. One was Jim’s gold watch which had been his father’s. The other was Della’s hair.

4. So now Della’s beautiful hair fell about her, rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. Then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

5. On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with a brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out of the door and down the stairs to the street. Where she

stopped, the sign read: “Mme Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds” and Della entered.

6. “Will you buy my hair?” asked Della.

7. “I buy hair,” said Madame. “Take your hat off and let’s see it.” Down rippled the beautiful brown cascade. “Twenty dollars,” said Madame, lifting the mass with practised hands.

8. “Give it to me quickly,” said Della.

9. The next two hours tripped by on rosy wings as she ransacked the stores for Jim’s present. She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. It was a platinum fob chain – worthy of The Watch. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents.

...

10. At seven o’ clock everything was ready. Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. When she heard his step on the stairs she turned white for just a moment and sent up a silent prayer: “Please God, make him think I am still pretty.”

11. The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. His eyes were fixed upon Della - there was a peculiar expression on his face. Della wriggled off the table and went to him.

12. “Jim, darling,” she cried, “don’t look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold it because I couldn’t have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. You don’t know what a beautiful gift I’ve got for you.”

13. “You’ve cut off your hair?” asked Jim. “You say your hair is gone?”

14. “It’s sold, I tell you, but it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered, but nobody could ever count my love for you.”

15. Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He hugged his Della. Then he took a package from his pocket and threw it upon the table.

16. “Don’t make any mistake, Dell,” he said.” I don’t think there is anything in the way of haircut or a shave that could make me like my girl any less. But, if you unwrap that package you may see why I was so fierce at first.”

17. White fingers tore at the string and paper. Then an ecstatic scream of joy was followed by hysterical tears, for there lay The Combs – the set of combs that Della had worshipped for so long in a shop window. Beautiful, expensive combs that she had longed for. Now they were hers, but the beautiful hair was gone. She hugged them to her. After a while she managed to smile and say, “My hair grows so fast, Jim!”

18. Eagerly she held out his beautiful present on her open palm. “Isn’t it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it.”

19. Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch, put his hands behind his head and smiled. “Dell,” said he, “let’s put our Christmas presents away and keep ‘em awhile. They’re too good to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. So…let’s have supper.

(Adapted fromThe Gift of the Magi” by O Henry.)

  • Prepare to do a dramatic reading of the story. Make sure to pay attention to pace and phrasing. Also consider how you can make the characters come alive for your readers by reading the dialogue section with different voices.

ACTIVITY 2:

Comprehension

[LO 3.4]

  • The questions that follow are set on THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT and will help you to see whether you have really understood what you have read.

TAKE NOTE OF THESE TIPS TO HELP YOU COME OUT TOPS!

Read the story again carefully so that you have a good idea of what it is all about.

Run through the main points in your mind after each paragraph.

Read the questions and skim through the passage again.

Ready to begin?

  • Read each question carefully and make sure that you answer what it is asking.
  • Who? Where? Why? When? questions must be answered in full sentences.
  • Leave a line open between each answer.
  • Use quotation marks when asked to quote.
  • Quote only the required number of words.
  • Answer in your own words unless you are instructed to quote.
  • If you do not know the meaning of a word, try to work it out in the context of the passage.

1. In your own words, explain the problem Della had at the start of the story.

2. How did she solve her problem?

3. Why do you think the word grey is used three times in the first paragraph?

4. Quote one word from paragraph 2 which shows that Della is feeling depressed.

5. How much money does Della have to spend each week?

6. Write out Jim’s official first names and surname in full.

7. How do we know that it is very difficult for Della to cut and sell her hair?

8. What makes her go ahead and have it cut?

  • True or False questions: Say whether the following statements are True or False and give a reason for your answer.
  • Read the statement carefully and think about it.
  • Refer back to the passage.
  • Do not forget to say whether it is True or False before giving your reason.

9. Della’s haircut upset Jim because he did not like it.

10. Della had never seen the comb before opening the package.

  • Multiple Choice questions: Write down only the letter of the correct answer.
  • Read all the answers and think about them carefully.
  • Circle the one you think is most fitting.

11. Madame Sofronie lifted the mass of hair “with practised hands”. “Practised hands” tells us that Madame Sofronie was…

A. jealous.

B. very fit.

C. experienced.

D. cheating.

12. “When she heard his step on the stairs Della turned white for just a moment” because she…

A. was afraid of Jim.

B. was excited.

C. felt embarrassed.

D. feared Jim’s reaction.

  • Free-response answers: Give your own opinion or idea in a full sentence.
  • Think carefully about how you would feel/react if you were in the same situation.
  • You are free to respond and construct the answer you feel is most suitable.
  • Explain why you feel this way/why you would react in this way.

13. In the end, Jim smiles and turns his thoughts to their supper. What would you have done in a similar situation? Give a reason for your answer.

14. Extracting and summarisingWrite a numbered point-form summary of all the actions that Della took before “everything was ready” at seven o’clock. Refer to paragraphs 1-9 for your answer.

  • Write in short full sentences.
  • Number your sentences and leave a line open between points.
  • Leave out all unnecessary words and descriptions. Focus only on what she did.
  • Use your own words. Do not simply lift sections from the text.
  • LET US DO THE BEST WORK WE CAN BY EDITING OUR ANSWERS!
Table 1
CHECKLIST SELF PEER
I have used full sentences where necessary.    
I have used quotation marks where required.    
I have checked the language, spelling and punctuation.    
I have answered the questions in my own words.    
This is the best work I can do.    

Assessment

Table 2
Learning outcomes(LOs)
 
LO 3 Reading and Viewing
The learner will be able to read and view for information and enjoyment, and respond critically to the aesthetic, cultural and emotional values in texts.
We know this when the learner:
3.2 reads independently, both aloud and silently, for a variety of purposes, consolidating the appropriate reading strategies developed in earlier grades;
3.4 shows understanding of a wide range of information texts.

Memorandum

ACTIVITY 1: READING

Provide guidance for reading aloud. Also use whatever literature book you are using at the moment for prepared, dramatic reading.

ACTIVITY 2: COMPREHENSION

This short story could even form part of your literature study. Learners could look at the characters in the story. We learn about characters by looking at:

  • What they say
  • What they do
  • What others say about them.

Make sure they follow instructions.

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