Answer key: Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck

Lesson Plan: Christmas Day in the Morning

Short Story: Christmas Day in the Morning

II. While Reading

Vocabulary Word Inference

  1. milking  | milk |  verb [with object] 1 draw milk from (a cow or other animal), either by hand or mechanically: two hours later he was up again to milk the cows | (as noun milking) : I had to start the milking.
  2. cling | kliNG | verb (past and past participle clung | kləNG | ) [no object] (cling to, cling onto) hold on tightly to: she clung to Joe’s arm | we sat clinging on to one another | sucker-like discs help them to cling on | they clung together | figurative : she clung on to life for 16 days.
  3. mag·ic | ˈmajik |noun• a quality that makes something seem removed from everyday life, especially in a way that gives delight: the magic of the theater.
  4. infinite  | ˈinfənət | adjective 1 limitless or endless in space, extent, or size; impossible to measure or calculate: the infinite mercy of God | the infinite number of stars in the universe.
  5.  mem·o·ry | ˈmem(ə)rē |noun (plural memories)  1 the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information: I’ve a great memory for faces | the brain regions responsible for memory | my grandmother is losing her memory.
  6.  trim | trim | verb (trims, trimming, trimmed) [with object]  2 decorate (something), typically with contrasting items or pieces of material: a pair of black leather gloves trimmed with fake fur.
  7. *light sleeper someone who wakes up easily.
  8. star·ry | ˈstärē | adjective (starrier, starriest) full of or lit by stars: a starry sky.
  9. dawn | dôn | noun 1 the first appearance of light in the sky before sunrise: the rose-pink light of dawn.
  10. o·ver·hear | ˌōvərˈhir | verb (past and past participle overheard) [with object] hear (someone or something) without meaning to or without the knowledge of the speaker: I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation.
  11. brisk | brisk | adjective active, fast, and energetic: a good brisk walk | business appeared to be brisk. sharp or abrupt: the brisk, dismissive nod of her head.
  12. grant·ed | ˈɡran(t)əd | adverb [sentence adverb] admittedly; it is true (used to introduce a factor which is opposed to the main line of argument but is not regarded as so strong as to invalidate it): granted, sitting around the house may not be your idea of the perfect retirement, but what’s your choice when inflation is eroding the value of your nest egg?
  13. stum·bling | ˈstəmb(ə)liNG | adjective tripping or losing one’s balance while walking; moving with difficulty: they began their stumbling walk home | I took a stumbling step backwards.
  14. gaze | ɡāz | verb [no object, with adverbial of direction] look steadily and intently, especially in admiration, surprise, or thought: he could only gaze at her in astonishment.
  15. creak·y | ˈkrēkē | adjective (creakier, creakiest) 1 (of an object, typically a wooden one) making or liable to make a harsh, high-pitched sound when being moved or when pressure or weight is applied: I climbed the creaky stairs.
  16. placidly plac·id | ˈplasəd |adjective (of a person or animal) not easily upset or excited: this horse has a placid nature.
  17. mince pie | ˌmins ˈpī | noun mainly British a small round pie or tart containing sweet mincemeat, typically eaten at Christmas.
  18. ac·qui·es·cent | ˌakwēˈes(ə)nt | adjective  ready to accept something without protest, or to do what someone else wants: the unions were acquiescent and there was no overt conflict.
  19. chore | CHôr | noun a routine task, especially a household one: the early risers were up and about, doing their unpleasant but necessary task: he sees interviews as a chore.
  20. queer | kwir | adjective 1 strange; odd: she had a queer feeling that they were being watched.
  21. hug | həɡ | verb (hugs, hugging, hugged) [with object] squeeze (someone) tightly in one’s arms, typically to express affection: he hugged her close to him | people kissed and hugged each other | [no object] : we hugged and kissed.
  22. burst | bərst feel a very strong or irrepressible emotion or impulse: he was bursting with joy and excitement | [with infinitive] : she was bursting to say something.
  23. hark | härk | verb [no object] literary listen: Hark! He knocks.
  24. gift | ɡift | noun 1 a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present: a Christmas gift | [as modifier] : a gift act of giving something as a present: his mother’s gift of a pen.
  25. fetch1 | feCH | verb [with object] 1 go for and then bring back (someone or something) for someone: he ran to fetch help.


New Oxford American Dictionary


Answers for Questions for  Comprehension

  1. In the beginning of the story what time does Rob wake up? Why? A.  It was four o’clock, the hour at which his father had always called him to get up and help with the milking.
  2. How long had Rob’s father been dead?  A.  His father had been dead for thirty years.
  3. How old was Rob at the time of the story?  A. Rob was 15 years old.
  4. Where does the story take place? A. He was still on his father’s farm as a young boy.
  5. Where did Rob sleep in the house? A. ” He looked out of his attic window, the stars were bright.”
  6. Why was Rob sad about his current Christmas? A.  He was old now and his children were all grown and had moved away from him and his wife.
  7. Why were his children staying at their own homes for the Christmas holiday?  A.  “…they had their own families, and though they would come in as usual toward the end of the day, they had explained with infinite gentleness that they wanted their children to build Christmas memories about their houses, not his.”
  8. Why didn’t his wife want to trim the tree right away?  A.“Let’s not trim the tree until tomorrow, Robert – just so it’s ready when the children come. I’m tired.”
  9. Why did Adam always wake Rob up so early in the mornings?  A.  He needed him to help with the farm chores.
  10. Why did Rob become happy after overhearing the conversation between his parents A.  It was proof that his father loved him.
  11. What gifts did Rob give his father in the past? A. “He wished, that Christmas when he was fifteen, he had a better present for his father.  As usual he had gone to the ten-cent store and bought a tie.” 
  12. Why did Rob  want to get up early to milk the cows by himself?  A.  He wanted to do something special for his father on Christmas Day.
  13. What time did Rob get up that morning to milk the cows for his dad?  A.  A quarter to three in the morning.
  14. What t gift did Rob give his father? A.  He milked the cows  by himself.
  15. What Christmas gift does Rob want to give his wife Alice? Why? A. This Christmas he wanted to write a card to his wife and tell her how much he loved her, it had been a long time since he had really told her

Answers Literary Analysis: Figurative Language

Directions: 1.  The following sentences are taken from the story. Next to each one write either:   S (Simile) M (Metaphor) A (Alliteration)  P (Personification)  F (Flashback)  R (Repetition) 

  1. he could give the gift again and again” Repetition 
  2. such a happy happy Christmas”  Repetition 
  3. Two strong streams rushing into the pail, frothing and fragrant”  Alliteration
  4. “His heart was bursting with love.” Metaphor
  5. “His dancing heart was ready to jump from his body.” Metaphor
  6. “…and how his heart had nearly burst again with shyness and pride…” Metaphor
  7. He slipped back in time, as he did so easily nowadays.” Flashback
  8. “the thought struck him like a silver dagger” Simile
  9. “The stars were bright, much brighter than he ever remembered seeing them, and one star in particular was so bright that he wondered if it were really the Star of Bethlehem.”  Symbolism (Christmas) 
  10. “…the shepherds and the Wise Men had come…” Symbolism (Christmas)

  What are some Themes in the story? Some themes in the story are love, the joy of  giving, the importance of family, parents, kindness, the satisfaction of hard work, sadness, the value of memories,