Jack and the Beanstalk

In this lesson you'll find a comprehension text taken from "Jack and the Beanstalk."


“Jack and the Beanstalk” is a traditional English fairy tell, probably originating in the 18th century. This version was adapted by John Jacobs in 1890.

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Jack and the Beanstalk - Plot

Jack, a poor country boy, trades the family cow for a handful of magic beans, which grow into an enormous beanstalk reaching up into the clouds. Jack climbs the beanstalk and finds himself in the castle of an unfriendly giant.

Jack and the Beanstalk - Passage

In this short passage, Jack wakes up and sees the beanstalk for the first time.


“When he woke up, the room looked so funny. The sun was shining into part of it, and yet all the rest was quite dark and shady. So Jack jumped up and dressed himself and went to the window. And what do you think he saw? Why, the beans his mother had thrown out of the window into the garden had sprung up into a big beanstalk which went up and up and up until it reached the sky. So the man spoke truth after all!

The beanstalk grew up quite close past Jack’s window, so all he had to do was to open it and give a jump on to the beanstalk which was made like a big ladder. So Jack climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed until at last he reached the sky. And when he got there he found a long broad road going as straight as a dart. So he walked along and he walked along and he walked along until he came to a great big tall house, and on the doorstep there was a great big tall woman.”


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Jack and the Beanstalk - Glossary

Here's the Italian translation of some words you may not know:

Shady: All'ombra

To jump up: Balzare in piedi

To spring up: Crescere (Usato per piante)

To reach: Raggiungere

To speak truth: Dire la verità

Close: Vicino

Ladder: Scala

To climb: Arrampicarsi

Doorstep: Soglia (di casa)

Jack and the Beanstalk - Open questions

Read the passage again and answer the following questions:

  • What is the weather like?
  • What does Jack see?
  • Who threw the beans out of the window?
  • Does Jack climb the beanstalk or not?
  • What does Jack see after climbing the beanstalk?