The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

In this lesson you'll find a reading passage from the book "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."


“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is a novel by L. Frank Baum published in 1900.

Learn FREE with videos and interactive exercises

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Plot

Dorothy is a young girl who lives with her Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and her dog, Toto, on a farm in Kansas, United States. One day, she and Toto are caught up in a cyclone that leaves them and the farmhouse in the magical Land of Oz in the Country of Munchkins. The falling house has killed the Wicked Witch of the East, the evil ruler of the Munchkins. The Good Witch of the North arrives with three grateful Munchkins and gives Dorothy a pair of magical silver shoes that once belonged to the Wicked Witch. The Good Witch tells Dorothy that the only way she can return home is to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City and ask the great and powerful Wizard of Oz to help her.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Passage

This is the beginning of Chapter 1.

Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife. Their house was small, for the lumber to build it had to be carried by wagon many miles. There were four walls, a floor and a roof, which made one room; and this room contained a rusty looking cooking stove, a cupboard for the dishes, a table, three or four chairs, and the beds. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em had a big bed in one corner, and Dorothy a little bed in another corner. There was no garret at all, and no cellar-except a small hole, dug in the ground, called a cyclone cellar, where the family could go in case one of those great whirlwinds arose, mighty enough to crush any building in its path. It was reached by a trap-door in the middle of the floor, from which a ladder led down into the small, dark hole.


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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Glossary

Here's some words you may not know:

  • Prairies: Praterie
  • Lumber: Legname
  • Rusty: Arrugginito
  • Corner: Angolo
  • Garret: Soffitto
  • Whirlwinds: Trombe d'aria
  • Path: Strada / Sentiero
  • Trap-door: Botola

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Open questions

Read the passage again and answer the following questions:

  • Does Dorothy live alone?
  • What happens to Dorothy's house?
  • Describe Dorothy's house.

Judy Garland as Dorothy

Judy Garland was an American actress, singer and dancer who played the role of Dorothy Gale in the movie "The Wizard of Oz".

In the movie, she sang a famous song: "Over the Rainbow."

Here's some of the lyrics:

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true