Here to return to the previous page
Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas
for Semester 2 Reading Lessons...
Reading: Vocabulary and
A Suspense Story with a
To identify Adjectives (Describing Words) and to practice using a dictionary
to understand the vocabulary in a short story.
Instructions: Use a dictionary whilst reading
the story, read it in-depth finding out the meaning of each word. Then read
it again to understand the story. Look at the way Adjectives are used in the
Adjectives / Descriptive Words: They help the
reader see what you are sharing with them. They are often related to our
senses and emotions. Descriptive words fall under categories like: smell,
sight, sound, taste, touch, space, and emotions like anger, depression, joy,
Rod trotted into the kitchen as Janet was pouring syrup onto her stack of
scowled. "You don't have to drown them, Jan. Matter of fact, why don't
you try a little yogurt instead?"
my waffles? I don't think so." Defiantly, she stirred another teaspoon
of sugar into her coffee and added a dollop of thick cream.
hon, instead of waffles," her husband said in the gently chiding tone
she had come to despise. He braced his lean frame in the doorway and began a
series of stretches. "I just want you to be healthy, Jan."
bet, she thought. 'Healthy' meaning 'thin.' "Are you meeting Katherine
again this morning?"
shrugged, muscles rippling along his bare arms. "No definite
Janet took a huge, soggy bite and felt syrup dripping down her chin.
"You just happen to run into her at the park. Quite often. Every
morning this week, so far, right?"
a good jogging partner."
wrinkled her nose as Rod pulled his sack of trail mix from the pantry. He
mixed the disgusting mess himself and carried the large, zip-locked bag
everywhere he went. It reminded Janet of the stuff their neighbor's kid
scattered in the bottom of his hamster's cage. She couldn't even imagine
eating it, but her husband consumed it like candy.
crammed the bag into his back pack and paused to drop a kiss on the top of
Janet's head. "You're welcome to join us, you know."
sure." She had a sudden, vivid picture of herself, panting to keep
pace, her close-cropped curls dripping with sweat, while Katherine's long,
dark hair flowed behind her like a gossamer veil.
cast a resentful look at Rod's retreating back, then shoved herself away
from the table. The waffles gurgled their way through the garbage disposal,
and she imagined five years of marriage disappearing down the drain in their
trudged up the stairs to their bedroom and, suddenly exhausted, flung
herself across the bed. She'd always been-- well, plump. But so had Rod,
until recently. He'd dropped forty pounds in the past year, his fitness kick
oddly coinciding with the hiring of the lovely Katherine. Your secretary,
Rod? How cliché.
contemplated her favorite wedding picture, reposing in a silver frame on the
bedside table. Bride and groom, both round-faced and happy, their future
bright. Tears stung her eyes, and she wiped them hastily away. She was being
ridiculous. Rod would never even contemplate an affair. Would he?
you feeling okay?"
sat up, startled to discover that she had dozed off. Rod, back from his jog,
had already showered and was dressing for work.
fine," she lied. "Honey, can we talk?"
scowled at his watch. "Can't, I'm late."
be home on time, won't you? I'm cooking your favorites for dinner-- fried
chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy. Apple pie for dessert."
donned his suit coat and folded a handkerchief just so. "How about
broiling the chicken? Steamed vegetables would be healthier than mashed
potatoes, especially with all the butter you add. And forget about the
pie." He patted his non-existent stomach. "My weight's up half a
pound this week."
clenched her teeth. How could she compete with someone like Katherine?
Answer: she couldn't. Perfect health club buddy, perfect jogging partner,
perfect secretary. Perfect body.
quickly in a loose sweatsuit, she hurried to the car. The brunch she was
catering today started at eleven and her assistant, Chloe, was less than
Chloe excelled at anything, it was gossip. True to form, the woman chattered
like a magpie, paying little attention to the icing she was drizzling over
hot cinnamon rolls. "I saw that gorgeous husband of yours this
you?" Janet mumbled, beating eggs for a quiche.
and his secretary both. They were huddled over their coffee cups,
whispering." She frowned. "I couldn't make out a single
shot her assistant a sharp look. "What are you talking about?
know that little restaurant near the park? I had breakfast there with my
sister, and we saw them." She moved closer to Janet and lowered her
voice. "Tucked into a corner booth, real cozy."
jog together most mornings, Janet said calmly, though her hands shook as she
poured the quiche mixture into a pie shell. "Probably just stopped in
for a breather."
Chloe sighed, wiping her hands on a towel. "Jan, c'mon, you're not
stupid, you know what's going on. And I think it stinks. He's crazy to give
up someone like you for that little piece of fluff."
didn't know what to say. Luckily, the brunch crowd arrived, and Chloe went
out to serve tea.
night, she lay on her side, watching her husband sleep. He'd been late for
dinner again, pleading an overload of work. Katherine, naturally, had stayed
at the office with him, to help out. What a gem.
won't let you make a fool of me," she whispered fiercely. "I
she could change her mind, Janet crept out of bed and down the stairs. In
the kitchen, she opened Rod's bag of trail mix and grimaced at the
unappealing concoction of raisins, coconut, granola, and other
unidentifiable bits. The mixture was coated with a fine, white powder which
looked like powdered sugar but was probably ground tofu, or something
she'd hoped, the rat poison she dusted over the trail mix blended in
couldn't sleep afterwards, listening to Rod's steady breathing and thinking
how much she'd miss the sound keeping her company in the nights to come.
Well before dawn, she sneaked back to the kitchen and prepared an elaborate
breakfast. It would, after all, be his last meal.
of course, refused more than a piece of dry toast. He chatted with her as he
did his stretches, and she nodded, a smile painted on her face.
heart hammered as she watched him take the bag of trail mix and stuff it
into his pack. She almost called him back, almost snatched the deadly snack
away from him. Almost.
dressed carefully, rehearsing her reaction when the police showed up. Shock,
sorrow, tears. The tears would be genuine. Would Katherine cry? Or would she
just move on?
hour passed. Two. She cleaned the house, baked cookies, leafed through her
recipe files. What was going on? Surely someone had found his body by now.
it came; the knock at the door. Janet took a deep breath, turned the knob.
People poured into the house, none of them wearing blue uniforms.
birthday? Was it? It was. She'd had so much on her mind lately...
hugged her. "Are you surprised, honey?" She gazed up into his
clear blue eyes and admitted that she was. Surprised to see him still alive.
helped me plan this," he went on. "She neglected her fiancé so
much in the process that we invited him to the party. Jan, meet Frank."
trembled as she shook hands with the handsome man, who kept one possessive
arm around Katherine's tiny waist. What had she done? Almost done, she
reminded herself gratefully. Almost.
someone cheered, and Janet belatedly noticed a three layer beauty, ablaze
with candles, on the coffee table.
baked it this morning," Rod explained. "We all gathered at her
house, so we could arrive in a group."
doubt it's up to your standards, Mrs. Devlin," his secretary
apologized. "I'm a pretty bad cook."
looks wonderful," Janet stammered.
piece belongs to the birthday girl," Rod insisted. "Go ahead,
blew out the candles, her wish a hurried plea for forgiveness. How could she
have doubted Rod? His eyes were full of tenderness as he watched her. Maybe
she'd go on a diet, maybe even start jogging with him every morning, but she
knew now it didn't really matter. He loved her.
a slice of the cake, she slid it onto a plate, everyone watching expectantly
as she took a bite. It was truly awful; a white cake loaded with raisins and
coconut and... a funny aftertaste.
wanted to dress it up a little," Katherine said. "So I borrowed
Rod's bag of trail mix and added some to the batter at the last minute. Is
it okay? Mrs. Devlin?"
Rod asked anxiously as Janet's throat began to burn.