Lesson 1: City and Village

Sushma lived in the city. Each night, she fell asleep listening to different sounds. Loud music played outside her window. A train rumbled down the tracks. Sometimes a fire engine or a police car zoomed by.

One day, her family moved away from the city. That night, Sushma lay in bed. She didn’t hear loud music. She didn’t hear the cricket commentary on her neighbour’s radio. She didn’t hear the low rumble of the train. She heard no cars or fire engines.

“It’s too quiet,” Sushma thought to herself. “I can’t sleep.”

Then she listened again. Crickets chirped. An owl hooted. Frogs croaked. Sushma yawned. Soon she was asleep.

A) What do these verbs (action words) mean?

Rumble: to make a continuous, low sound.
Zoom: to move or travel quickly.
Chirp: (of a small bird or an insect) to make a short, sharp, high-pitched sound.
Croak: a deep, harsh sound made by a frog.
Hoot: a low, wavering musical call of an owl.

B) Fill in the blanks with the correct verb in the present tense: Rumble, zoom, chirp, croak or hoot?

  1. When the train ___ past, the nearby houses shake.
  2. Frogs ___ when it rains.
  3. In the still night, an owl ___.
  4. Thunder ___. A storm is coming.
  5. A red car___ past. A police car is chasing it.
  6. The birds are ___ in the bushes.
  7. I have a sore throat. I can’t speak. I can only ___.
  8. The sun is rising. The birds are ___ their ‘good mornings’ to each other. The flowers are still asleep.
  9. When Sunil says a joke to his friends, they ___ with laughter.

C) Choose one of the following verbs and use it in the past tense: rumble, zoom, chirp, croak, and hoot.  Hint: all these verbs form their past tense with the suffix ‘ed.’

Example: It’s late and I’m tired. I yawn. Last night, I yawned before I fell asleep.

  1. Thunder ____ and the rain poured down.
  2. At dawn the birds ___ happily.
  3. The motorcycle____ out of sight.
  4. As night fell, the crickets___ and the frogs___.
  5. The owl___ and woke me up.

D) Poem

Car horns hooting,
Motorbikes roaring,
Mobiles ringing,
Shoppers dashing,
Toddlers screeching,
Parents preaching,
Children whining,
Lost dogs pining,
First stars showing,
Bus queues growing,
Everyone going
Home.