Year of the Dragon B2

This is a free B2 upper-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 zodiac, 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 auspicious 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 sacred 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 dragon with great respect because they believed it brought good luck and fortune. Families would gather together and share stories about dragons. They would talk about the past, when dragons 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 dragons and dreamed of adventures. As the year passed, the excitement of the dragon’s year remained in people’s hearts. They knew that the cycle would continue and the dragon 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 dragon did. 

CEFR Level Card

General Level: B2.1 
Vocabulary: B2.5 
Verb Forms: B1.0 
Sentences: B1.2 

Vocabulary

accord VERB C2 1 

Definition (En): 

  1. concurrence of opinion
  2. sympathetic compatibility
  3. allow to have

 

auspicious ADJ C2 1 

Definition (En): 

  1. auguring favorable circumstances and good luck

 

dragon NOUN C2 12 

Definition (En): 

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

 

festivity NOUN C1 1 

Definition (En): 

  1. any joyous diversion

 

fortune NOUN B2 2 

Definition (En): 

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

 

grand ADJ B2 1 

Definition (En): 

  1. large and impressive in physical size or extent
  2. the most important and magnificent in adornment

 

lunar ADJ C1 1 

Definition (En): 

  1. of or relating to or associated with the moon

 

myth NOUN B2 1 

Definition (En): 

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

 

mythology NOUN C1 1 

Definition (En): 

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

 

sacred ADJ C1 1 

Definition (En): 

  1. concerned with religion or religious purposes
  2. worthy of respect or dedication
  3. (often followed by `to’) devoted exclusively to a single use or purpose or person

 

soar VERB C1 1 

Definition (En): 

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

 

wise ADJ B2 1 

Definition (En): 

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

 

zodiac NOUN C1 1 

Definition (En): 

  1. a belt-shaped region in the heavens on either side to the ecliptic; divided into 12 constellations or signs for astrological purposes
  2. (astrology) a circular diagram representing the 12 zodiacal constellations and showing their signs

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 dragons and dreamed of adventures. 

gather together 

1 

  • Families would gather together and share stories about dragons. 

good luck 

1 

  • Everyone treated the year of the dragon 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 dragon’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 dragon’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 zodiac cycle played a crucial role in influencing people’s daily activities.

 

  1. The dragon is celebrated more often than other animals in the cycle because it has a year dedicated to it every twelve months.

 

  1. People who were born in the year of the dragon are usually considered fortunate and intelligent.

 

  1. The dragon represents a creature tied to the earth rather than any other elements.

 

  1. Families would often share mythical tales during the dragon year celebrations.

 

  1. The dragon’s year is connected with special food and communal well-wishes.

 

  1. It is commonly believed that the year following the dragon will bring misfortune.

 

  1. Children created tales of their own dragon-related adventures during the festivities.

 

  1. According to tradition, the dragon was a symbol of fear and danger.

 

  1. The excitement during the dragon’s year was short-lived and quickly forgotten.

Multiple Choice

1. What role did the dragon play in the cycle of animals?

     A) It was considered the weakest animal

     B) It was thought to symbolize bad fortune

     C) It was the most powerful figure

     D) It was responsible for causing disasters

 

2. How often did the year of the dragon occur according to the lunar calendar?

     A) Every year

     B) Every five years

     C) Every ten years

     D) Every twelfth year

 

3. Why was the dragon’s year treated with respect?

     A) It was associated with misfortune

     B) It represented weakness

     C) People believed it brought good luck and fortune

     D) It marked the end of festivities

 

4. What was a common activity during the year of the dragon?

     A) People avoided the festival

     B) Children played with toys shaped like dragons

     C) Families stayed apart

     D) The dragon was ignored

 

5. How did people perceive those born in the dragon’s year?

     A) As lazy and foolish

     B) As unlucky and cursed

     C) As strong and wise

     D) As ignored and insignificant

 

6. What did the dragon symbolize?

     A) A sign of war

     B) A mythical creature bringing drought

     C) A sacred symbol

     D) A common animal with no special meaning

 

7. What was the dragon’s connection to nature?

     A) It was linked to the element of fire

     B) It was an enemy to all living things

     C) It often brought rain for crops

     D) It had no connection to nature whatsoever

 

8. What effect did the dragon’s year have on people’s emotions?

     A) It caused widespread sadness

     B) It brought boredom to the community

     C) It filled them with fear

     D) It remained in their hearts as excitement

 

9. What did families do during the festival?

     A) They competed against each other

     B) They went to sleep early

     C) They gathered and shared dragon stories

     D) They ignored the festivities

 

10. What did people look forward to after the festival ended?

     A) The end of the cycle

     B) An unfortunate year to follow

     C) A new beginning with hope for luck

     D) Ignoring any traditions

Short Answer

1. Why did people celebrate during the year of the dragon?

2. What was the dragon in the zodiac cycle considered to be

3. What did children do during the year of the dragon?

4. What influence did the dragon’s year have on those born in it, according to tradition?

5. How did the dragon contribute to agriculture, according to ancient mythology

6. What did people do at the end of the dragon’s festival?

7. Why did the dragon enjoy a special position among the zodiac animals?

8. How often was the lunar calendar’s year of the dragon?

9. What did families do together during the dragon’s year?

10. What did the people hope for the next year in the zodiac cycle?

Multiple Choice Cloze

Long ago, in a time filled with ___1___ and magic, there was a cycle of animals. This cycle, known as the ___2___, guided people in their lives. Each year was connected to one animal, influencing ___3___ and festivities. Among these animals, the dragon stood out as the most powerful figure. The lunar ___4___, 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 ___5___ nature. According to tradition, those born in the dragon’s year were thought to be strong and ___6___. The dragon was not just an animal; it was a ___7___ symbol. It came from ancient mythology and was ___8___ to the element of water, often bringing rain for crops. Everyone treated the year of the dragon with great respect because they believed it brought good luck and ___9___. Families would gather together and share stories about dragons. They would talk about the past, when dragons ___10___ 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 dragons and dreamed of adventures. As the year passed, the excitement of the dragon’s year remained in people’s hearts. They knew that the cycle would continue and the dragon 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 dragon did. 

 

1) A. myth B. story C. legend D. narrative  

2) A. circle B. cycle C. sphere D. ring  

3) A. joys B. sorrows C. fortunes D. events  

4) A. calendar B. diary C. schedule D. plan  

5) A. auspicious B. charming C. ominous D. delightful  

6) A. wise B. intelligent C. smart D. clever  

7) A. sacred B. holy C. blessed D. divine  

8) A. linked B. connected C. related D. associated  

9) A. fortune B. destiny C. success D. prosperity  

10) A. roamed B. wandered C. soared D. traveled 

Exercise Answers

True / False / Not Given Answers

  1. True

Explanation: The text states that the zodiac ‘guided people in their lives’, suggesting it had a significant impact on their daily activities. 

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

  1. False

Explanation: The text specifies that every twelfth year is the year of the dragon, not every twelve months. 

(“marked every twelfth year as the year of the dragon.”) 

  1. True

Explanation: The text says people born in the year of the dragon were thought to be ‘strong and wise’, which can be interpreted as fortunate and intelligent. 

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

  1. False

Explanation: The text indicates the dragon was linked to the element of water, not earth. 

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

  1. True

Explanation: The text mentions families gathering to share stories about dragons, which are considered mythical tales. 

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

  1. True

Explanation: The text describes long tables filled with special food and people wishing each other well during the dragon’s year. 

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

  1. False

Explanation: The text explicitly says that people believed the next year would also bring luck, not misfortune. 

(“They believed the next year in the cycle would also bring them luck, just like the dragon did.”) 

  1. Not Given

Explanation: The text does not provide information about whether children created their own dragon-related adventure tales during the festivities. 

(“N/A”) 

  1. False

Explanation: The text speaks of the dragon’s ‘auspicious nature’, indicating it was a symbol of good luck, not fear and danger. 

(“celebrating the dragon’s might and auspicious nature.”) 

  1. False

Explanation: The text states that the excitement remained in people’s hearts, suggesting it was not quickly forgotten but rather long-lasting. 

(“the excitement of the dragon’s year remained in people’s hearts.”) 

Multiple Choice Answers

  1. C

Explanation: The text states that among the animals of the zodiac, the dragon was the most powerful figure. 

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

  1. D

Explanation: The lunar calendar marked the year of the dragon as occurring every twelfth year. 

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

  1. C

Explanation: The text indicates that the year of the dragon was respected because it was believed to bring good fortune. 

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

  1. B

Explanation: The text mentions that children played with dragon-shaped toys as part of the festivities. 

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

  1. C

Explanation: According to the text, the tradition held that those born in the dragon’s year were considered strong and wise. 

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

  1. C

Explanation: The text explains that the dragon was not just an animal, emphasizing its status as a sacred symbol. 

(“The dragon was not just an animal; it was a sacred symbol.”) 

  1. C

Explanation: The text specifies that the dragon was linked to the element of water and was known to bring rain for crops. 

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

  1. D

Explanation: The text suggests that the excitement associated with the dragon’s year continued to live in the hearts of the people even as the year passed. 

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

  1. C

Explanation: The text states that families came together to share stories about dragons during the festival. 

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

  1. C

Explanation: After the festival, people looked forward with hope for the next year, believing it would also bring them luck. 

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

Short Answer Answers

1. They believed it brought good luck and fortune. 
Explanation: The text specifies that the celebration in the year of the dragon is due to the belief in its auspicious nature, which is associated with good luck and fortune. 
(“During this year, they held a grand festival…because they believed it brought good luck and fortune.”) 
 
2. A sacred symbol. 
Explanation: The text mentions that the dragon is not merely an animal but holds a sacred connotation in the context of the zodiac. 
(“The dragon was not just an animal; it was a sacred symbol.”) 
 
3. Played with toys shaped like dragons and dreamed of adventures. 
Explanation: The text describes the activities of children, specifically mentioning playing with dragon-shaped toys and dreaming about adventures. 
(“Children played with toys shaped like dragons and dreamed of adventures.”) 
 
4. They were thought to be strong and wise. 
Explanation: The passage indicates that traditional beliefs attribute strength and wisdom to individuals born in the year of the dragon. 
(“According to tradition, those born in the dragon’s year were thought to be strong and wise.”) 
 
5. It often brought rain for crops. 
Explanation: In the context of mythology mentioned in the text, the dragon has a link with water and is believed to bring rain, which is vital for agriculture. 
(“It was linked to the element of water, often bringing rain for crops.”) 
 
6. Started to look ahead with hope. 
Explanation: The text describes that after the festival’s culmination, people began to anticipate the future with a hopeful outlook. 
(“When the festival ended, they started to look ahead with hope.”) 
 
7. It was the most powerful figure. 
Explanation: The text clearly states that the dragon was considered the most powerful among the zodiac animals. 
(“Among these animals, the dragon stood out as the most powerful figure.”) 
 
8. Every twelfth year. 
Explanation: The text indicates that the lunar calendar designates every twelfth year specifically as the year of the dragon. 
(“The lunar calendar…marked every twelfth year as the year of the dragon.”) 
 
9. Gather together and share stories about dragons. 
Explanation: The text mentions that families would come together to share dragon tales, conveying a sense of community and tradition. 
(“Families would gather together and share stories about dragons.”) 
 
10. They believed it would also bring them luck. 
Explanation: The passage conveys the people’s optimism and belief that the following year in the cycle would continue to bring them luck, similar to the year of the dragon. 
(“They believed the next year in the cycle would also bring them luck, just like the dragon did.”) 

Multiple Choice Cloze Answers

1. A 
Explanation: The correct answer is ‘myth’, which refers to traditional stories, especially of unknown origin and often involving supernatural beings or events. 
 
2. B 
Explanation: ‘Cycle’ is the correct term for a series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order. 
 
3. C 
Explanation: ‘Fortunes’ is the right choice, referring to the chance happenings that affect people’s lives. 
 
4. A 
Explanation: A ‘calendar’ is a system by which the beginning, length, and divisions of the year are fixed, fitting the text. 
 
5. A 
Explanation: ‘Auspicious’ means showing or suggesting that future success is likely. 
 
6. A 
Explanation: ‘Wise’ is the most suitable term given the cultural context of respecting people born in the year of the dragon for having deep knowledge. 
 
7. A 
Explanation: ‘Sacred’ refers to something highly valued and important, often in a spiritual or religious sense. 
 
8. A 
Explanation: ‘Linked’ is the most appropriate term for having a relationship with something else. 
 
9. A 
Explanation: The term ‘fortune’ fits the context of luck, particularly a fortune brought by a symbol or sign. 
 
10. C 
Explanation: ‘Soared’ is most appropriate for describing the flight of dragons through the skies.  

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