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.

1) What kind of natural disaster did Diana and Pete experience?


2) Where were they when they realised there was a problem?


3) Where was Monica?


4) In which room did Monica and Diana hide?


5) Where did Pete hide?


6) How many people died in the disaster?



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

e were not as lucky

f 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

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