Year of the Dragon B1

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This is a free B1 intermediate level English reading lesson about the Year of the Dragon. It includes the reading and reading comprehension exercises in 4 different formats together with the answer keys and explanations.

  1. True/False questions
  2. Multiple choice questions
  3. Short answer questions
  4. Multiple choice cloze exercise

Year of the Dragon

Table of Contents

Year of the Dragon

Long ago, in a time filled with myth and magic, there was a cycle of animals. This cycle, known as the star signs, guided people in their lives. Each year was connected to one animal, influencing fortunes and festivities. Among these animals, the dragon stood out as the most powerful figure. 

The lunar calendar, which people used to measure time, marked every twelfth year as the year of the dragon. During this year, they held a grand festival. People filled the streets with colors and joy, celebrating the dragon’s might and lucky nature. 

According to tradition, those born in the dragon’s year were thought to be strong and wise. The dragon was not just an animal; it was a special symbol. It came from ancient mythology and was linked to the element of water, often bringing rain for crops. 

Everyone treated the year of the lucky animal with great respect because they believed it brought good luck and fortune. Families would gather together and share stories about lucky animals. They would talk about the past, when lucky animals soared through the skies and protected the land. 

Long tables were filled with special food, and everyone wished each other well. Children played with toys shaped like lucky animals and dreamed of adventures. As the year passed, the excitement of the lucky animal’s year remained in people’s hearts. They knew that the cycle would continue and the lucky animal would always be a part of their lives. 

When the festival ended, they started to look ahead with hope. They believed the next year in the cycle would also bring them luck, just like the lucky animal did. 

CEFR Level Card

General Level: B1.6
Vocabulary: B1.7
Verb Forms: B1.0
Sentences: B1.3

Vocabulary

dragon    NOUN    C2 

Definition (En):

  1. a creature of Teutonic mythology; usually represented as breathing fire and having a reptilian body and sometimes wings n. a fiercely vigilant and unpleasant woman n. any of several small tropical Asian lizards capable of gliding by spreading winglike membranes on each side of the body

 

lunar    ADJ    C1 

Definition (En):

  1. of or relating to or associated with the moon

 

mythology    NOUN    C1 

Definition (En):

  1. myths collectively; the body of stories associated with a culture or institution or person n. the study of myths

 

soar    VERB    C1 

Definition (En):

  1. the act of rising upward into the air v. rise rapidly v. fly upwards or high in the sky v. go or move upward

 

fortune    NOUN    B2 

Definition (En):

  1. a large amount of wealth or prosperity n. your overall circumstances or condition in life (including everything that happens to you)

 

myth    NOUN    B2 

Definition (En):

  1. a traditional story accepted as history; serves to explain the world view of a people

 

wise    ADJ    B2 

Definition (En):

  1. a way of doing or being n. United States Jewish leader (born in Hungary) (1874-1949) n. United States religious leader (born in Bohemia) who united reform Jewish organizations in the United States (1819-1900) a. having or prompted by wisdom or discernment

 

crop    NOUN    B1 

Definition (En):

  1. the yield from plants in a single growing season n. a cultivated plant that is grown commercially on a large scale n. a collection of people or things appearing together n. the output of something in a season

 

element    NOUN    B1 

Definition (En):

  1. the most favorable environment for a plant or animal n. one of four substances thought in ancient and medieval cosmology to constitute the physical universe n. the situation in which you are happiest and most effective n. a straight line that generates a cylinder or cone

Phrases

PHRASE 

COUNT 

SENTENCES 

according to (someone or something) 

1 

  • According to tradition, those born in the dragon’s year were thought to be strong and wise. 

dream of (someone or something) 

1 

  • Children played with toys shaped like lucky animals and dreamed of adventures. 

gather together 

1 

  • Families would gather together and share stories about lucky animals. 

good luck 

1 

  • Everyone treated the year of the lucky animal with great respect because they believed it brought good luck and fortune. 

in (one’s) heart 

1 

  • As the year passed, the excitement of the lucky animal’s year remained in people’s hearts. 

link to (someone or something) 

1 

  • It came from ancient mythology and was linked to the element of water, often bringing rain for crops. 

remain in (something or some place) 

1 

  • As the year passed, the excitement of the lucky animal’s year remained in people’s hearts. 

wish something well 

1 

  • Long tables were filled with special food, and everyone wished each other well. 

Reading Comprehension Exercises

True / False / Not Given

  1. The cycle of animals helped people understand what the future might hold for them.

 

  1. Every year is associated with a different animal in the cycle.

 

  1. The dragon was considered an ordinary animal among the others in the cycle.

 

  1. A large celebration occurred every 12 years to honor the dragon.

 

  1. The dragon was linked to the element of air.

 

  1. During the dragon year, families would often stay apart from each other.

 

  1. The toys that children played with were in the shape of dragons.

 

  1. Years not associated with the dragon aren’t considered lucky.

 

  1. The dragon brought good weather for growing crops.

Multiple Choice

1. Why did people celebrate the dragon’s year with a grand festival?
     A) Because the dragon was considered an unlucky symbol
     B) Because it was the most powerful and brought luck
     C) Because the dragon was connected to the element of fire
     D) Because they needed to obey the lunar calendar rules


2. What was the dragon a symbol of according to the text?
     A) Weakness
     B) Fire
     C) Wisdom and strength
     D) Bad luck


3. What did the families do during the year of the lucky animal?
     A) They traveled to meet the dragon
     B) They held races in honor of the dragon
     C) They shared stories about lucky animals
     D) They ignored the festivities


4. Why was the dragon linked to the element of water?
     A) Because it was the most powerful fire-breather
     B) Because it loved swimming
     C) Because people thought it brought rain for crops
     D) Because it was the color blue


5. What did children do to honor the lucky animal?
     A) They went to school to learn about it
     B) They played with toys shaped like lucky animals
     C) They drew pictures of unlucky animals
     D) They went to sleep early


6. What happened after the festival dedicated to the dragon ended?
     A) People felt sad and worried
     B) Everyone went home to sleep
     C) They looked ahead with hope for the next year
     D) They forgot about the lucky animals


7. Why did the lunar calendar mark every twelfth year as special?
     A) Because that was when they invented the calendar
     B) Because it was a leap year
     C) It was the year of the dragon, a powerful sign
     D) It was a random choice with no meaning


8. What did people wish each other during the dragon’s year festival?
     A) Bad luck
     B) Good harvest
     C) They didn’t speak to each other
     D) Well wishes

Short Answer

  1. What did the star signs influence in people’s lives?

 

  1. How often did the year of the dragon come around according to the lunar calendar?

 

  1. What was the dragon a symbol of?

 

  1. Why did families gather together during the year of the dragon?

 

  1. What did children play with during the festival?

 

  1. What remained in people’s hearts as the lucky animal’s year passed?

 

  1. What emotion did people feel when looking ahead after the festival?

 

  1. Why did people respect the year of the dragon so much?

Multiple Choice Cloze

Long ago, in a time filled with myth and magic, there was a cycle ___1___. This cycle, known as the star signs, guided people ___2___ their lives. Each year was connected to one animal, ___3___ fortunes and festivities. Among these animals, the dragon stood out as the most powerful figure. 

The lunar calendar, which people used to measure time, marked every twelfth year as the year of the dragon. During this year, they held a ___4___ festival. People filled the streets with colors and joy, celebrating the dragon’s might and lucky nature. 

According to tradition, those born in the dragon’s year were thought to be strong and wise. The dragon was not just an animal; it was a ___5___ symbol. It came from ancient mythology and was linked to the ___6___ of water, often bringing rain for crops. 

Everyone treated the year of the lucky animal with great ___7___ because they believed it brought good luck and fortune. Families would gather together and ___8___ stories about lucky animals. They would talk about the past, when lucky animals soared through the skies and protected the land. 

Long tables were filled with special food, and everyone wished each other well. Children played with toys shaped like lucky animals and dreamed of ___9___. As the year passed, the excitement of the lucky animal’s year remained in people’s hearts. They knew that the cycle would continue and the lucky animal would always be a part of their lives. 

When the festival ended, they started to look ahead with hope. They believed the next year in the cycle would also bring them luck, just like the lucky animal ___10___. 

 

1)  A. of animals    B. of plants    C. of stones    D. of stars    

 

2)  A. about    B. of    C. in    D. for    

 

3)  A. affecting    B. destroying    C. ignoring    D. building    

 

4)  A. tiny    B. sad    C. grand    D. silent    

 

5)  A. interesting    B. annoying    C. special    D. ordinary    

 

6)  A. element    B. color    C. flavor    D. sound    

 

7)  A. respect    B. anger    C. jealousy    D. surprise    

 

8)  A. write    B. ignore    C. erase    D. share    

 

9)  A. adventures    B. problems    C. homework    D. fear   


10)  A. did    B. was    C. is    D. done

Exercise Answers

True / False / Not Given Answers

  1. True

Explanation: The text suggests that the cycle of animals (star signs) provided guidance for people’s lives, implying it helped predict the future. 

(“This cycle, known as the star signs, guided people in their lives.”) 

  1. True

Explanation: The text states that each year was connected to an animal which affects people’s lives. 

(“Each year was connected to one animal, influencing fortunes and festivities.”) 

  1. False

Explanation: According to the text, the dragon was not ordinary; it was the most powerful figure. 

(“Among these animals, the dragon stood out as the most powerful figure.”) 

  1. True

Explanation: The text mentions a grand festival being held every twelfth year, which is the dragon’s year according to the lunar calendar. 

(“The lunar calendar, which people used to measure time, marked every twelfth year as the year of the dragon. During this year, they held a grand festival.”) 

  1. False

Explanation: The text specifically states that the dragon was connected to the element of water, not air. 

(“The dragon was not just an animal; it was a special symbol. It came from ancient mythology and was linked to the element of water, often bringing rain for crops.”) 

  1. False

Explanation: The text mentions families gathering together, which contradicts the statement that they would stay apart. 

(“Families would gather together and share stories about lucky animals.”) 

  1. Not Given

Explanation: The text mentions toys shaped like lucky animals, but it does not specify that they were dragons. 

(“N/A”) 

  1. False

Explanation: The text implies that people considered the following years lucky as well, not only the dragon year. 

(“When the festival ended, they started to look ahead with hope. They believed the next year in the cycle would also bring them luck, just like the lucky animal did.”) 

  1. True

Explanation: The text states that the dragon was associated with water and often brought rain which would be beneficial for crops. 

(“It came from ancient mythology and was linked to the element of water, often bringing rain for crops.”)

Multiple Choice Answers

  1. B

Explanation: People celebrated the dragon’s year with a grand festival because it was considered the most powerful and brought luck. 

(“During this year, they held a grand festival. People filled the streets with colors and joy, celebrating the dragon’s might and lucky nature.”) 

  1. C

Explanation: The dragon was considered a symbol of wisdom and strength according to the tradition mentioned. 

(“According to tradition, those born in the dragon’s year were thought to be strong and wise.”) 

  1. C

Explanation: During the year of the lucky animal, families shared stories about lucky animals. 

(“Families would gather together and share stories about lucky animals.”) 

  1. C

Explanation: The dragon was linked to the element of water because it was thought to bring rain for crops. 

(“It was linked to the element of water, often bringing rain for crops.”) 

  1. B

Explanation: Children played with toys shaped like lucky animals to honor it. 

(“Children played with toys shaped like lucky animals and dreamed of adventures.”) 

  1. C

Explanation: After the festival ended, people looked ahead with hope for the next year. 

(“When the festival ended, they started to look ahead with hope.”) 

  1. C

Explanation: The lunar calendar marked every twelfth year as the year of the dragon because it was a powerful sign. 

(“The lunar calendar, which people used to measure time, marked every twelfth year as the year of the dragon.”) 

  1. D

Explanation: During the dragon’s year festival, people wished each other well. 

(“Long tables were filled with special food, and everyone wished each other well.”) 

Short Answer Answers

  1. Fortunes and festivities.

Explanation: The text states that each year in the cycle was connected to an animal that influenced fortunes and festivities. 

(“Each year was connected to one animal, influencing fortunes and festivities.”) 

  1. Every twelfth year.

Explanation: The text says that the lunar calendar marks every twelfth year as the year of the dragon. 

(“The lunar calendar, which people used to measure time, marked every twelfth year as the year of the dragon.”) 

  1. Water and bringing rain for crops.

Explanation: The dragon is mentined as a special symbol for water and it is known for bringing rain necessary for crops. 

(“It was linked to the element of water, often bringing rain for crops.”) 

  1. To share stories about lucky animals.

Explanation: The text indicates that one of the activities during the year of the dragon was for families to gather and share stories about lucky animals. 

(“Families would gather together and share stories about lucky animals.”) 

  1. Toys shaped like lucky animals.

Explanation: The text says children played with toys shaped like lucky animals. 

(“Children played with toys shaped like lucky animals and dreamed of adventures.”) 

  1. The excitement of the lucky animal’s year.

Explanation: The text speaks about the excitement of the lucky animal’s year still being present in people’s hearts even as the year passed. 

(“As the year passed, the excitement of the lucky animal’s year remained in people’s hearts.”) 

  1. Hope.

Explanation: The text describes that once the festival ended, people looked ahead with hope. 

(“When the festival ended, they started to look ahead with hope.”) 

  1. Because it brought good luck and fortune.

Explanation: According to the text, people respected the year of the dragon because it was believed to bring good luck and fortune. 

(“Everyone treated the year of the lucky animal with great respect because they believed it brought good luck and fortune.”) 

Multiple Choice Cloze Answers

  1. A

Explanation: The text relates to a cycle of animals in myth and magic. 

  1. D

Explanation: People were guided ‘for’ their lives, indicating direction and purpose. 

  1. A

Explanation: Years were connected to animals, ‘affecting’ peoples’ lives. 

  1. C

Explanation: The festival was ‘grand’, indicating it was large and impressive. 

  1. C

Explanation: The dragon symbol was ‘special’, denoting its unique and significant role. 

  1. A

Explanation: The dragon was linked to the ‘element’ of water, as mentioned in the text. 

  1. A

Explanation: People treated the lucky animal’s year with ‘respect’ due to bringing good fortune. 

  1. D

Explanation: Families ‘share’ stories, meaning to tell and enjoy them together. 

  1. A

Explanation: Children dreamed of ‘adventures’, which fits the context of playing and dreaming. 

  1. A

Explanation: The lucky animal ‘did’ bring them luck, thereby aligning with the context. 

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