Comprehension Questions- I Survived The Attacks of September 11, 2001

I Survived The Attacks of September 11, 2001

by Lauren Tarshis

The only thing Lucas loves more than football is his Uncle Benny, his dad's best friend at the fire department where they both work. Benny taught Lucas everything about football. So when Lucas's parents decide the sport is too dangerous and he needs to quit, Lucas has to talk to his biggest fan.  So the next morning, Lucas takes the train to the city instead of the bus to school. It's a bright, beautiful day in New York. But just as Lucas arrives at his uncle's firehouse, everything changes — and nothing will ever be the same again.

Ages 7-10; Interest Level Grades 2 - 5; Grade Level Equivalent 3.5; Lexile 630L; DRA 40; GRL R

Comprehension Worksheets

Comprehension Questions

Chapter 1

  1. Tell me the setting of this story.  New York City, New York; Tuesday, September 11, 2001; 8:46 am; streets busy with taxis, cars & buses  p.1
  2. What's the definition of "careened"?  (verb)  to lean, sway, or tip to one side while in motion p.2
  3. Describe the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.  two silver and glass buildings next to each other; rose a quarter of a mile high in New York City

Chapter 2

  1. The author introduced this story by beginning in the first chapter with the events of September 11th unfolding in New York City. In the second chapter, the author shifted the sequence of the story by going back in time. Explain why you think the author used this style of writing.  To get the audience’s attention; interesting way to introduce Lucas and the events of September 11th.  p.4
  2. Why was Lucas the happiest when playing football with his team?  he felt he belonged  p.5
  3. How did Lucas feel about football when Uncle Benny took him to his first practice?  didn't like it; didn't feel like he could play  p. 9

Chapter 3

  1. What's a "concussion"?  (noun) injury to the brain or spinal cord due to jarring from a blow or fall  p.12
  2. What did Lucas' dad do for a living?  fire fighter  p. 15
  3. What are two consequences of Lucas' dad being burned in the warehouse fire?  arms that are still scarred; made him quiet; far away look in his eye   p.16

Chapter 4

  1. Why did Lucas’ mom take him to the doctor? To get him checked out before he could play football again  p.18
  2. The doctor showed Lucas pictures of football players. What did they all have in common? They all died from concussions  p.21
  3. Why did the doctor suggest that Lucas never play football again? 3 concussions in 2 years is too many for an 11 year old boy  p.22

Chapter 5

  1. How do you know the firefighters were fond of Lucas?  they hugged him; rubbed his head; said they missed him; said he was growing like a weed  p.30
  2. Who told Lucas' mom about Dr. Barrett?  Uncle Benny  p. 32
  3. What was flying overhead when Uncle Benny was talking to Lucas about quitting football?  an airplane  p. 33

Chapter 6

  1. What is the definition of "hypnotized"? (verb) being frightened or startled so that movement is impossible  p.37
  2. When the plane was flying low over the city, what did it crash into?  one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center  p.38
  3. How would you feel if you saw an airplane flying low in a city and crashing into a building? Sad; scared; panicked; terrified  p.38

Chapter 7

  1. How big was every floor of the Twin Towers?  About the size of a football field  p.42
  2. Why was it important for Lucas to call his mom and leave a message about where he was after the airplane hit the tower? She didn’t know where he was and would be worried p.45
  3. What did Uncle Benny’s words mean, “we’ll do what we always do”?  they’ll fight fires and save lives  p.45

Chapter 8

  1. Why did Benny feel like he needed a job after all of the fire fighters disappeared to the twin tower? He wanted to help   p.47
  2. What job did Benny choose to do to help? Clean up the breakfast dishes  p.47
  3. When Benny was washing dishes and watching the news in the firehouse, what made him drop the skillet into the sink, shattering plates and glasses? Another plane crashed into the second tower  p.49

Chapter 9

  1. Why couldn’t Lucas get a hold of his parents when he tried to call them? There were too many people using the phones and all of the circuits were busy  p.52
  2. Lucas didn’t want to be alone after the second airplane hit. Where did he go?  Down south to the crash site  p.56
  3. Who came out of the crowd and grabbed Lucas and held him tight? His dad  p.58

Chapter 10

  1. When Lucas’ dad said they weren’t going to be able to put out the fires, but that it was a rescue operation now, what did that mean? Save all of the people they can  p.60
  2. What do you think made the roaring noise, the ground tremble and felt like a boiling hot tornado hit in New York City? One of the buildings fell down  p.66
  3. Why did Lucas feel like the world had ended and that he was the only person left? There was silence and he couldn’t see anything when he opened his eyes  p.66

Chapter 11

  1. Describe how the dust felt that coated Lucas. Made it hard to breathe; it was everywhere- between his teeth, stuck to his tongue and the back of his throat; grains were jagged with bits of ground glass; cut into his skin as he tried to brush himself off  p.68
  2. When dad turned on his flashlight to gather everyone together in the convenience store, what did Lucas compare it to? The moon on a foggy night p.68
  3. What type of figurative language is this an example of? Simile  p.68
  4. What had happened to one of the towers? It had completely collapsed  p.72

Chapter 12

  1. What was Uncle Benny's outcome? He made it out carrying a man a minute before the second tower collapsed; he sought shelter under an engine truck  p.81
  2. Write a paragraph of 35 words or more- What was one good thing that Lucas had realized had come out of that day? How can going through a catastrophe help people and their relationships become stronger?