Songkran Reading Comprehension

Songkran is the name for Thai New Year and it’s celebrated between the 13th and 15th of April each year. English Teacher Online is proud to present our Songkran Reading Comprehension to help you build vocabulary and talk about this fun Thai water festival.

Directions: Read the story, “Ploy’s Songkran,” and answer the questions below.

Ploy’s Songkran (by Teacher Steve)

“Bang, bang, bang!” I woke to the sound of firecrackers, driving away the evils spirits in our village.

Full of excitement, I took a quick shower and put on my most flowery shirt, ran downstairs and said good morning to all the family. A pot of hot rice porridge was bubbling away on the gas fire in the kitchen so I quickly grabbed myself a bowl.

“Happy New Year,” everyone exclaimed. The kitchen was buzzing with anticipation.

After breakfast, we got in the car and Dad drove us to the temple. I filled a small silver bowl with scented water and carefully poured it over the Buddha statue’s hand and legs.

Grandma and Mum headed into the temple with home cooked food they had brought in ornate food containers. Mum placed them down in front of the monks and everyone put their hands together. I closed my eyes as the monks started chanting and I felt myself fall into some kind of deep trance.

Suddenly, I felt water splashing over my head and I realized that a monk was blessing me with lucky water. That’s when I remembered it was Songkran, nearly time for the biggest water party of the year!

When we got home we all rushed off to filled up our water guns.

Reading Comprehension
  1. What sound woke Ploy up?
  2. What shirt did she wear?
  3. What did Ploy eat for breakfast?
  4. What did she do with the small silver bowl?
  5. What broke her trance in the temple?
  6. What did you do this Songkran holiday?

Please write your answers in the comment section or send them to Steve@EnglishTeacherOnline.Org


Planning Your Songkran Essay

Do you know the 6 ‘W’ question words? (one of them ends in W!)

Can you remember what information they ask for?

They make the questions you need to ask yourself when writing a diary entry, a story or any good descriptive essay.

In week 1, English Teacher Online will help you plan a piece of writing about your 2 month Songkran holiday. We will also play some ice-breaker games using the 6 ‘W’ question words.

So, did you get all 6 ‘W’ question words?

The 6 ‘W’ Question Words Are…

What? The topic, activity or story you want to write about.

When? The time, day, month or year something happened.

Where? Where the topic takes place or where something happens in your story.

Who? The main people or characters in the story. Who you did the activity with.

Why? Reasons why something happened, the because in the story that gives it meaning.

How? The way something happened, including your feelings and emotions. I felt…. It sounded like…. It looked like….  It smelt like…. It tasted like…..

When you plan to answers these 6 questions, your writing will suddenly become more detailed and interesting to the reader. Planning is a good way to get better grades too!

Week 1: Planning Your Songkran Essay

When we plan any piece of writing, it is important to ask the 6 ‘W’ questions.

Your topic (what) usually goes in the middle – then we need to ask the 6 questions again.

As the bubble plan expands, we must keep asking ourselves more and more questions until we see some interesting paths to write our story about.

The bigger your plan the more choices you will have to write a better story.

Look at the mini-plan for Owen (a person).

You can make a mini plan for almost anything you want to write about. Try to make a plan like Owen, for an interesting person, place and event in your Songkran story.

The Plan Helps The Story

Once you have finished your plan, you will need to decide which parts are interesting. Throw away the boring bits and do some more planning to make the best bits even better. Soon you will be ready to start writing your story about the long Songkran holiday.

You may choose to write about all the things that happened during your 2 month holiday – including the best or worst events – however, it is better to write about each activity in great detail.

In our writing lesson on Friday, you will learn how to describe a single activity. Try to tell the story from the outside (what was happening) and from the inside (how you were feeling). You will learn how to use dialogue (words spoken at the time) or thoughts to add impact and make your story more real.

If you can’t describe a single event in great detail, then please do your best and write about your Songkran holiday as a whole.

Remember to write your story in the past tense – except the dialogue, which should be written as it was spoken at the time!

“I understand what to do,” he thought as he finished reading his plan.

Songkran Holiday (Opening Lines)

This long Songkran holiday I did lots of fun things. In March I went …….

In April, I got ready for the Songkran Water Festival and bought a water gun.

You could use these sentences to get you started. Then add details such as, where, what, who how and why to create fun descriptive writing.

Games Using Question Words

In week one, you will play lots of games using the 6 ‘W’ question words to prepare you for writing about your holiday.

The games will help us get to know each other.

Get ready to have fun! But also remember that we only play games to help you learn English.

If you have any questions about your Songkran essay, you can post them in the comment section or email: Steve@EnglishTeacherOnline.Org