What is a Story Theme Practice Exercises (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 29, 2011

Practice 2: Epaminondas

A Folk Tale Retold

Read the selection, and then answer the questions that follow.

(1) Epaminondas lived with his mama in a little house on a hill. He was a sweet boy, but as his mama always said, not the brightest bulb in the lamp! Most days, Epaminondas went to visit his auntie. She lived on the other side of the hill. He loved to walk through the forest and cross the stream to her house. Most days she gave him something to take home.
(2) One day Auntie gave Epaminondas half a cake. He grabbed it in his fists and carried it home. When he got there, it was smeared all over his hands. "What have you got there?" asked Mama.
(3) "Cake, Mama," said Epaminondas.
(4) "Epaminondas, that's no way to carry cake!" said Mama. "You wrap it in clean leaves and put it in your hat. Now will you remember that?"
(5) "Yes, Mama," said Epaminondas.
(6) The next week, Auntie gave Epaminondas some fresh, sweet butter. He wrapped it in leaves and put it in his hat. It was a hot day. The butter began to melt and when he got home, it was all over him. His mama cried, "That's no way to carry butter! You wrap it in leaves, cool it in the brook, and carry it home! Will you remember that?"
(7) By and by, Auntie gave Epaminondas a puppy. He wrapped it in leaves, cooled it in the brook, and carried it home. His mama rubbed the poor shivering pup with a soft towel and fed it warm soup. "That's no way to treat a puppy!" she said. "You tie a string around its neck, put it on the ground, and walk it home! Will you remember?"
(8) "Yes, Mama," said Epaminondas.
(9) Today, Auntie gave Epaminondas a freshly-baked loaf of bread. He tied a string around it, put it on the ground, and walked home! The birds loved it because there were enough crumbs on the ground to feed a flock for a week! But when he got home, all he had left was a small, sticky lump of bread stuck to the string!
(10) His mama shook her head and said, "No sense telling you any more, Epaminondas! Now I'm going to get more bread from Auntie. You see those pies cooling on the porch? They're for the bake sale. While I'm gone, you mind how you step in those pies!"
(11) Now we know she meant "be careful and don't step in the pies," but Epaminondas minded his mama. He stepped right in the middle of each pie! When his mama got home and saw the mess, she just laughed. "Oh, Epaminondas, you ain't got the brains you were born with … but I love you anyway!" Then she gave him a big hug … and a slice of fresh bread.
4. Which best states the theme of this folk tale?
a. Do things the right way the first time.
b. Give unconditional love and accept differences in people.
c. Always bring your own groceries home.
d. Volunteer to help children visit their relatives.
5. Which character in the story most clearly states the author's message?
a. Mama
b. Epaminondas
c. Auntie
d. none of the above
6. Which would most likely have been the theme if Auntie had given Epaminondas a bag of money and he had lost it on the way home?
a. You can't believe everything you hear!
b. It's better to be safe than sorry.
c. Slow and steady wins the race.
d. Money can't buy happiness.
7. The most likely theme, if Auntie gave Epaminondas milk and he dropped it, is
a. better late than never.
b. don't cry over spilled milk.
c. deeds speak louder than words.
d. everyone has some kind of talent.
8. Which other word describes the theme of the Epaminondas story?
a. compassion
b. loathing
c. panic
d. prosperity
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