English Reading Exercises for A2 – Survival story

1. Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verbs below.

approach      head      land      reach      spin      take off

1 A snow storm was ________, so we went inside.

2 The plane ________ from London at 9 a.m. yesterday and ________ in Paris an hour later.

3 It was very late when we ________ Oxford.

4 The plane was ________ towards Australia when it disappeared.

5 The helicopter began to ________ out of control.

Show answers

1 approaching   2 took off, landed   3 reached

4 heading   5 spin

2. Read the text, ignoring the gaps. Answer the questions.

What kind of natural disaster did Diana and Pete experience?

 __________.

Where were they when they realised there was a problem?

 __________.

Where was Monica?

 __________.

In which room did Monica and Diana hide?

 __________.

Where did Pete hide?

 __________.

How many people died in the disaster?

     _________.

LUCKY ESCAPE

One Monday afternoon in May 2013, Diana Palmore was at home with her husband, Pete, when they heard loud sirens 1 ________ a tornado was approaching the town. Diana’s daughter Monica was at the local school and Diana decided to go and 2 ________ before the tornado reached the town. She ran as fast as she could to the school. In her classroom, Monica and her classmates were sitting under their desks, 3 ________ on their heads. Diana ran in and took Monica. But the tornado was much closer now and it was too dangerous 4 ________ . So they hid in a bathroom. When the tornado hit, it ripped the roof from the school. Monica and Diana looked up and saw cars and trees 5 ________ above the school. ‘It was very scary. The whole school was shaking,’ said Monica.

When the storm passed, Monica and her mum 6 ________, but it was in ruins. They couldn’t find Pete. But they could hear him shouting for help. Then they saw his hand and 7 ________ – in a cupboard under the stairs. He couldn’t breathe, so they had to get him out quickly. Moments after they pulled him out, the whole house collapsed. The family survived a terrifying experience with only small injuries. But other people in the town 8 ________ as the Palmores. Twenty-four people died in the tornado.

Show answers

1 a tornado   2 at home   3 at school   4 a bathroom

5 in a cupboard under the stairs   6 twenty-four

Reading Strategy

To help you decide which phrases fit which gaps, think about the grammar of each sentence. For example, is first word in the gap a verb? Or is a different kind of word needed?

3. Read the Reading Strategy. Then match the phrases (A-I) with gaps 1-8 in the text. Check that each phrase fits the grammar of the sentence. There is one extra phrase.

A spinning around in the air

B bring her home

C ran back to their house

D which warned them that

were not as lucky

without looking back

G holding their maths books

H realised where he was

I   to leave the school

Show answers

1 D   2 B   3 F   4 C