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Reading Comprehension I - Ned Kelly
external image quiz7.gifRead the passage and then complete the exercise that follows.
He has been described as 'one of the most romantic figures in Australian history' and as 'the father of our national courage'. Yet he was a criminal. He shot and killed policemen. He kept ordinary Australians hostage. He was a
2. Ned and Dan hid in the bush for 16 months
a. after killing a policeman
b. after attacking a policeman
c. and formed the Kelly gang
thief. Why was he considered a hero and why is he still revered today, more than 100 years after his death? It is a national mystery. He is and was a controversial figure.
His whole family was on the wrong side of the law. His parents were sent to Australia on a convict ship for committing petty crimes. Ned's criminal career began at a young age in country Victoria. In 1874 he was jailed for stealing a horse. Ellen Kelly, his mother, was jailed in 1878 for wounding a policeman.
Also in 1878 Ned and his younger brother Dan were falsely accused of attacking a wounded policeman. Both men fled to the bush where the 'Kelly Gang' was formed. For sixteen months they eluded police, committing robberies to survive. They killed three policemen, robbed a bank in Euroa and held the town of Jerilderie hostage.
In 1880 they took over the Glenrowan hotel and took many of the town's residents hostage. They made armour of thick steel to protect themselves from police bullets. Unfortunately the heavy armour made them clumsy. Ned was eventually captured and his brother Dan died in a fire when the Glenrowan hotel was burnt down.
He was a thief and a killer, so why was Ned Kelly widely loved? People admired his bravery and his defiance of the police. When it was declared that he was to be hung, 60,000 people signed a petition asking that he be spared. He was eventually hung at the Old Melbourne Jail on 11 November, 1880. Today we can still see a life size mask made immediately after his death. It is on display along with other Ned Kelly paraphernalia. He is remembered today in the popular expression, 'as game as Ned Kelly'.
Read the sentences below and then choose the best phrase to complete each sentence.
1. Ned Kelly's parents were
a. proud of him
b. sent to Australia on a convict ship
c. jailed in Australia

3. During 1878 Ned and Dan
a. falsely accused a policeman
b. committed a number of crimes
c. were finally caught
4. In 1880
a. Ned and Dan drank at the Glenrowan pub
b. Ned and Dan lived in Glenrowan
c. the police caught Ned
5. Ned wore armour ___ .
a. to protect himself from police bullets
b. to become clumsy
c. which he stole

6. The 'Kelly Gang' was probably
a. a group of criminals
b. a nice bunch of men
c. a bush band
7. Three of Ned's crimes were
a. horse theft, petty crimes and wounding a policeman in 1878
b. killing policemen, holding people hostage and bank robbery
c. killing policemen, being hung and horse theft
8. Ned Kelly is a controversial figure because
a. he committed so many crimes
b. some people think he is a hero and others think he is a criminal
c. he killed policemen
9. Many people loved Ned
a. but no-one knows why
b. because he was so brave and defiant
c. but 60,000 people wanted him hung
10. 'As game as Ned Kelly'
a. is a children's game
b. is still remembered
c. probably means, 'very brave'
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Quiz 1 About Australia
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Quiz 2 Australian animals
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Quiz 3 Australian slang
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Quiz 4 Phrasal Verbs - prepositions
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Quiz 5 Phrasal verbs - verbs
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Quiz 6 Phrasal verbs - tense
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Quiz 8 Reading - Dame Edna
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Quiz 9 Reading - Getting Connected

The Aborigines, like the Christians, had their own stories that explained the origin of the world, themselves and all that make up the world that provided Aboriginal people with a strong and close association with the land for thousands of years. These stories gave unity and purpose to Aboriginal societies in the past and are important today in maintaining their identity. Michael's works of art are his interpretation of these lovely Dreaming stories and he is able to combine modern art materials and techniques with traditional patterns, styles and subject matter.

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