Direct questions

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 January, 2007, 12:00am

Paper 1a14

Some questions will be ordinary questions you answer every day with no tables, bubbles, choices or clever formats. Read the passage carefully and then answer the questions. Try to reword and show understanding of things that are implied and not directly stated in the text.

An extract from a story

It was just like in a film. They had got lost, Mike's famous knowledge of geography not seeming to extend to map-reading. Now the sun was setting and the four of them had to find shelter as it would be dangerous to continue their walk without light; they might fall over a ledge. Harry could even see dark clouds moving in so there wouldn't be any moonlight and there might even be rain. He also wished he had been a bit less greedy at lunchtime as he was beginning to feel it was time for a snack and there was not much hope of his getting one.

'Look,' said Amy. 'There's a light over there.'

She was right. That was a bit odd. Although Harry was not sure exactly where they were he had walked all over this area and couldn't remember ever seeing a building nearby. Perhaps it was campers.

But no, it wasn't- there was an old temple standing among some rather twisted trees. Beside the temple was a small house with a light shining through the window. Harry watched as the light fast faded and strange black shadows like claws or ancient fingers seemed to crawl across the grass towards them.

'I don't like this place,' he said. 'Let's leave.'

Mike seemed inclined to agree. Amy hesitated. Katy simply walked past them. 'Don't be ridiculous. And stop staring at that old tree. I am going to knock on the door and see if we can get assistance or find a place to stay the night.'

She strode up to the door and raised her hand to knock, but before she could, the door burst open and there stood a smiling old man. Harry wondered how he had known someone was about to knock, but maybe they had been noisy.

'Guests? We have not had guests for a long time.' He peered through the dark.

'Three of them. How nice!' Harry looked round in surprise.


1. What does the first word (It) refer to?

2. What sort of film is Harry thinking of?

3. Why had they got lost?

4. What sort of countryside are they in?

5. Why does Harry regret being greedy at lunchtime?

6. Why did Harry think the light might come from campers?

7. What does faded mean?

8. What do you think Harry is looking at when he thinks of claws and fingers?

9. Who is the bravest among them? Why do you think this?

10. What does strode mean?

11. Complete the sentence. The old man may have come to the _______because he heard voices ___________.

12. Why was Harry surprised at the end?


1. It is not a word in the passage.

2. Lonely woods at night with storm coming.

3. Who had been leading them? What went wrong?

4. What are they afraid of? What sort of countryside is it dangerous to walk in at night?

5. What does he want? Why can't he have it?

6. What explanation did he not accept?

7. The sun has been setting during the passage.

8. What causes the shapes?

9. What do they all do when they see the house?

10. Think of her mood and then describe how she moves.

11. Where do we see the old man? What explanation does Harry think of?

12. What has the old man just said?

1. Unless asked to, avoid just copying from the text. The questions are there to test your understanding so try to show it.

2. Think like a filmmaker as you read a story and imagine what you would show on the screen. Visualise the passage.


1. The situation described - four people lost at night while out on a walk 2. Horror-ghost film 3. Mike had misread the map/lead them in the wrong direction 4. Mountains 5. He would like to eat something but has nothing left 6. He didn't think there were any buildings so it had to be people visiting 7. Grew weaker 8. Shadows of the trees branches 9. Katy - she has no doubts or fears about knocking on the door 10. Walked confidently 11. Door/outside 12. There were four of them