Subskill: Reading Comprehension
Grade Level: Middle Elementary
– Since the title of the story is “The Stonecutter, can you guess what this story is about?
Clink! Clink! A man was working by the roadside cutting stones. Clink! Clink! The Emperor walked by dressed in very nice clothes. “I have been poor all my life,” the man thought to himself. “I wish I could be the Emperor. I want to be rich and powerful.”
Poof! The man became an emperor dressed in beautiful clothes. The townspeople carried him through the town in a fancy chair. The man felt so happy.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, dark clouds rolled in and covered up the sun. Then it began to rain all over the man and his new fancy clothes. “What was I thinking?” the man said. “It is the cloud that is more powerful. I want to be a cloud.”
– Here’s another questions: What do you think happens next?
Poof! The man became a cloud.
He sent rain down to the earth. He was so happy. But then it became very windy. The man could feel the wind blowing him around. “What was I thinking?” he said. “It is the wind that is more powerful. I wish I was the wind.”
Poof! He became the wind.
He blew the trees and the leaves around. The man was so happy. Then he saw a huge mountain. The mountain did not move with the wind. “What was I thinking?” he said. “It is the mountain that is more powerful. I wish I was the mountain.”
Poof! He became the mountain and he felt strong. The wind could not move him. The man was so happy. “Nothing can be more powerful than me,” he said.
Suddenly he heard a noise at the bottom of the mountain. Clink! Clink! He looked down and saw a man. The man was cutting away at the mountain.
– Now try answering this question: How do you think the man feels when he looks down and sees a stonecutter chipping away at the mountain?
“Oh no! What have I done? I wish I could be myself again.”
Poof! He became himself again. Only now, he was the happiest stonecutter in Japan.
– Now that the story is over, what do you predict would happen if the story continued?