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Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) - Flowchart Questions

In this article, we will be learning about flowchart questions in comprehension passages. Let’s first understand what are flowchart questions.

 

What are Flowchart Questions?

  1. The structure of the text reflects the main stages in the narrative. Complete the flow chart, by choosing one phrase from the box to summarize the main focus of a certain stage of the narrative. There are some extra phrases in the box that you do not need to use.
  2. Flowchart questions are usually 4-mark questions and appear at the end of Paper 2 Section B.
  3. Helping words/ phrases are given
  4. Main focus/ Main idea/ Writer’s or Character’s thoughts/ feelings/ emotions

 

The texts in the questions below are from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

 

Example:

 

Question 1: 

The room in which the boys were fed was a large stone hall, with a huge pot at one end. Out of this, the master, assisted by one or two women, served out the soup at mealtimes. Each boy had one small bowl, and nothing more - except on public holidays, when he had a small piece of bread as well. The bowls never needed washing. The boys polished them with their spoons till they shone again, and when they had performed this operation, they would sit staring eagerly at the huge pot, as if they could have eaten that too.

 

Which phrase summarizes the main focus of the paragraph above?

 

Getting more food for Oliver | 

Becoming enraged with Oliver | 

Feeling shocked at Oliver’s audacity | 

Plotting revenge | 

Coping with insufficient food | 

Getting more food for the tall boy |

Going on a hunger strike |

        

Answer:

Coping with insufficient food

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is “Coping with insufficient food”. The clue is in the last line of the comprehension passage. It means that the boys finished whatever soup or food there was in the bowl until there was nothing left. The bowl was so clean that it didn’t need any washing. “They would sit staring eagerly at the huge pot” shows how hungry they were as they were not given enough food.

 

Practice Questions

 

Question 1: 

Oliver Twist and his companions suffered terrible hunger in silence for three months; in the end, they became so desperate that one boy, who was tall for his age, told the others that unless he had another bowl of soup every day, he was afraid he might eat the boy who slept next to him. A council was held; votes were cast, and it fell to Oliver Twist to walk up to the master after supper that evening and ask for more.

 

The evening arrived; the boys took their places. The master, in his cook’s uniform, stood beside the huge pot with his two assistants behind him; the soup was served out. It quickly disappeared; the boys whispered to each other and made signs to Oliver. He rose from the table and, advancing to the master, bowl in hand, said, “Please, sir, I want some more.”

 

Which phrase summarizes the main focus of the paragraphs above?

 

  1. Plotting revenge
  2. Coping with insufficient food
  3. Getting more food for the tall boy
  4. Going on a hunger strike

 

Answer:

(3) - Getting more food for the tall boy

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (3) - “Getting more food for the tall boy”. The clue is in the first sentence - “one boy, who was tall for his age, told the others that unless he had another bowl of soup every day, he was afraid he might eat the boy who slept next to him.”. This is what led to the chain of events like the council to discuss the food. 


 

Question 2:

The master was a fat, healthy man, but he turned very pale. He stared with horror and amazement at the small boy for some seconds. “What!” he said finally in a faint voice.

 

“Please, sir,” replied Oliver, “I want some more.”

 

The master aimed a blow at Oliver’s head with his big spoon; seized him tightly in his arms, and shouted for Mr Bumble.

 

Mr Bumble, hearing the cry and learning the cause of it, rushed into the room where members of the board were meeting and, addressing the gentleman at the head of the table, said, “Mr Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir. Oliver Twist has asked for more.”

 

Which phrase summarizes the main focus of the paragraphs above?

 

  1. Becoming enraged with Oliver
  2. Feeling shocked at Oliver’s audacity
  3. Plotting revenge
  4. Coping with insufficient food

 

Answer:

(2) - Feeling shocked at Oliver’s audacity

Explanation: 

The correct answer to this question is option (2) - “Feeling shocked at Oliver’s audacity”. The clue is in: “The master was a fat, healthy man, but he turned very pale. He stared with horror and amazement at the small boy for some seconds. “What!” he said finally in a faint voice.” which shows that he was shocked. Turning pale means shocked. The master didn’t expect that Oliver or any of the other boys would ask for more food, which is the reason for the word “Audacity”.


 

Question 3:

It cannot be expected that this system of bringing up the children would produce any very strong or healthy specimens. On his ninth birthday, Oliver Twist was a pale, weak child, very thin and rather below average height. But the child was full of spirit.

 

Identify a phrase from the extract above that reflects that the children were being brought up as though they were merely factory goods.

 

  1. ‘this system of bringing up the children’
  2. ‘was a pale, weak child’
  3. ‘very thin and rather below average height’
  4. ‘produce any very strong or healthy specimens’

 

Answer:

(4) - produce any very strong or healthy specimens

Explanation: 

The correct answer to this question is option (4) - “produce any very strong or healthy specimens”. The focus in the question is on factory goods and not on human beings. We need to choose information from the extract which shows that the children were being treated as if they were not humans but factory goods.

 

Question 4:

He was spending his ninth birthday in the coal cellar with two other children; they had, all three, been beaten by Mrs Mann and then locked up for daring to say they were hungry. Suddenly, Mrs Mann was surprised by the appearance of Mr Bumble, a workhouse official; a fat man, full of a sense of his own importance. The purpose of his visit was to take Oliver back to the large workhouse, for he was now too old to remain with Mrs Mann.

 

What does ‘full of a sense of his own importance’ suggest about Mr. Bumble?

 

  1. He is an essential person.
  2. He is arrogant.
  3. He is an unsympathetic person.
  4. He does not care about other people.

 

Answer:

(2) - He is arrogant

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (2) - “He is arrogant”. Arrogant means an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance. Also, “importance” also appears in the question itself, which makes this the most precise answer.


 

The texts in the following questions are from Burnt Sugar by Agni Doshi. All the questions are flowchart questions.


 

Question 5: 

Headmistress Maria Theresa had another name given to her by the students - she was known as The Terror, and on my second day at Saint Agatha I learnt why. While the other students were studying History, Science, English and Maths, I was to be locked in a small office with her. Behind her dark wooden desk, below a large, austere crucifix, was a picture of a young woman whose body had been stuffed into a stocking of a dress. The Terror and this woman looked alike, yet not alike enough to be related. I looked at the picture on my first day in that room and wanted to ask the nun who the girl was, but decided to wait a while until we built a friendly rapport. Later, I would wish that I had taken the opportunity at the start.

 

Which word reflects the writer’s feelings in the paragraph above?

 

  1. Curious
  2. Frightened
  3. Brave
  4. Worried

 

Answer:

(1) - curious

Explanation: 

The correct answer to this question is option (1) - “curious”. The clue is in the line which tells us that the writer wanted to ask the nun about the girl in the picture in that room. This shows that the writer was curious to know more about the girl. The last line also supports this as she regrets not asking and her curiosity even continued later.

 

Question 6:

‘I’m not sure how a girl can become a big, hulking thing of your size and not know how to read,’ Headmistress Theresa said. I opened my mouth but my tongue felt like it. She continued, ‘Never mind. I can guess what the answer is. Open your book of letters and stories.’

 

I fumbled through the small pile and found the book. Before I could fully open it, she slammed her hand on top of mine. My heart jolted. The book had been covered in paper, but the job was shoddy. On the first page of the textbook were letters, scribbled in pencil, forming what must have been a sentence. She reached out and pinched my cheek, twisting the skin between her fingers. I felt her nail pierce through.

 

Which word reflects the writer’s feelings in the paragraph above?

 

  1. Frightened
  2. Brave
  3. Worried
  4. Comfortable

 

Answer:

(1) - frightened

Explanation: The correct answer to this question is option (1) - “frightened”. The clue in the passage is that her tongue felt like felt, which means her mouth was dry, and she fumbled later on as well. It also states that her heart also jolted which shows that the writer was frightened.

 

 

Question 7:

I began turning the pages, quickly but gently, so she would know I respected the book and its binding. She left the office, letting the door crash behind her. I stared at the book. Some of the edges were turned, curled in. There were scribbles in every corner. Rubbing my burning cheek, I opened to a page of swathes of green and blue, grass and sky. Reading the picture was easy. I moved my finger over the black letters that ran along the bottom. Some of them were familiar, but they could have said anything. In the corner of the picture was a dark mark. I ran the eraser over it and it began to fade, taking some of the sky away with it. I didn’t understand that mark. It seemed senseless.

 

Which word reflects the writer’s feelings in the paragraph above?

 

  1. Curious
  2. Shocked
  3. Frightened
  4. Perplexed

 

Answer:

(4) - perplexed

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (4) - “perplexed”. Perplexed means confused. The clue in the passage is that “they could have said anything” and the writer “didn’t understand that mark” and “it seemed senseless”. This reflects the writer’s confusion, in other words, it shows that the writer was perplexed.

 

Test Your Concepts

 

Answer the following questions based on the concepts we’ve covered in this article. If you get stuck, revisit the relevant section to revise the concepts.

 

Question 1:

There was a general alarm. Horror showed on every face. “For more!” said Mr Limbkins. “Be calm, Bumble, and answer me clearly. Do you mean to say that he had asked for more, after he had eaten the supper given by the board?”

 

“He did, sir,” replied Mr Bumble.

 

Which phrase summarises the main focus of the paragraphs above?

 

  1. Getting more food for Oliver
  2. Becoming enraged with Oliver
  3. Feeling shocked at Oliver’s audacity
  4. Plotting revenge 

 

Continue Learning
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Comprehension Skills (Inferential Questions)
Continuous Writing: Personal Recount Continuous Writing - Expository
Comprehension Skills (IYOW Questions) Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) - Dialogue Questions
Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) - Summary Writing Skills Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) - Flowchart Questions
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Unusual & Effective Questions Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) Direct Questions
Editing Comprehension Skills - Referencing Questions
Comprehension Skills - Direct Recall Of Relevant Material, Paraphrasing Text 2 Skills: Literacy Devices
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Literary Devices Irony
Summary Writing Situational Writing - Formal Letter of Complaint
Comprehension Skills - Language Arts Comprehension Skills - Vocabulary-based Questions
Comprehension Skills - Identifying Relevant Linguistic Expression Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Technique-Based Questions
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Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text)
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Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) - Summary Writing Skills
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) - Flowchart Questions
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Unusual & Effective Questions
Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) Direct Questions
Editing
Comprehension Skills - Referencing Questions
Comprehension Skills - Direct Recall Of Relevant Material, Paraphrasing
Text 2 Skills: Literacy Devices
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Literary Devices
Irony
Summary Writing
Situational Writing - Formal Letter of Complaint
Comprehension Skills - Language Arts
Comprehension Skills - Vocabulary-based Questions
Comprehension Skills - Identifying Relevant Linguistic Expression
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