English Reading Practice

Moral Story Number 8:
Do Not Murder

1. Watch the video at the top of the page.

2. Read the story "Do Not Murder" just below it.

3. Do the exercises at the bottom of the page.

Here is the Do Not Murder video. You can watch it in your own language at The Way to Happiness Foundation. (Simply click the word "language" at the top right corner of that page.) 

The Way to Happiness is a common sense guide to better living which has been distributed to more than 100 million people in over 100 languages. It describes 21 principles to a better quality of life.

Principle number 8 is "Do Not Murder."

Now read the short story about this important principle.

Do Not Murder

Mr. Gregory is a high school teacher. One day, he tells his students that they will do a special activity. They will not need their books and they will not write anything down.

"As you know, we have seen some very sad stories on the news lately," Mr. Gregory says. "I want us all to think about some very important topics."

Mr. Gregory divides the class into two even groups. "Your group is your gang," the teacher explains to his class. "That means you are very close friends and you will do anything to protect each other."

The students in each group smile at each other. It is true that they are all very good friends.

"Now," Mr. Gregory continues, "there is a problem in your neighborhood, so you must meet the other gang. The other gang is your enemy."

The students laugh a little. It sounds silly because they all get along so well. But Mr. Gregory looks very serious, and he is a good teacher. The students all try to focus on the activity and play their roles well.

Mr. Gregory explains that the problem in the neighborhood causes the two gangs to get into a fight. Reaching behind his desk, he picks up a bag and tells each of the students to take a piece of paper from it.

Most of the pieces of paper are white, but there is one that is red. Erica, one of the students, looks at the red piece of paper in her hand. She smiles, wondering if maybe she has won a prize.

"Erica, please leave the classroom and close the door. Wait outside," Mr. Gregory instructs.

The students are very confused. Erica feels a little uncomfortable, but she leaves the room and closes the door behind her.

"Erica has been very unlucky," Mr. Gregory says to the class. "She has been killed in the gang violence. Please look around."

Without saying a word, the students all look at each other. Erica is missing, and they all feel strange without her there. She always says funny things and makes them laugh. The room feels too quiet.

"I want you to imagine how you would feel if you never saw Erica again, if she never ever came back to class," Mr. Gregory explains.

All the students are quiet. It feels so sudden and wrong. They understand their teacher's lesson: people must never murder each other. When the teacher brings Erica back into the room, all her classmates hug her and explain the end of the activity. What a relief that she is really okay! 

And now, practice:


Vocabulary Questions

1. What does "murder" mean?

a) the act of saying something very mean to someone

b) the act of hurting someone

c) the act of illegally killing someone

d) the act of making a person go live somewhere else

2. What does "gang" mean?

a) a group of young people who do illegal things together

b) a sports team

c) a group of friends who study together

d) a school group

3. What does "violence" mean?

a) actions that make things easier someone

b) physical force that hurts a person

c) conversations that are very difficult to have

d) doing something in a sad way

Grammar Questions

1. The room feels ________ quiet.

a) much

b) many

c) too

d) very much

2. The students all try to focus ________ the activity.

a) in

b) on

c) of

d) to

3. Erica feels ________ uncomfortable.

a) a little

b) little

c) some

d) bit

Comprehension Questions

1. How does the teacher show the students how tragic murder is?
2. What does the red paper mean?
3. In your opinion, why is it important not to murder?

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