She Went to Sleep and Woke Up Forty Years Later

NOTE: For two excellent pre-reading activities to go with this worksheet, I recommend that you visit Boggle's World. These activities get the students interacting and speculating about the content of the story to come - far better than the brief introduction below. 

Before Reading
  1. For how many hours do you normally sleep each night?
  2. What is the longest you have ever slept?
  3. Who was Rip Van Winkle?
  4. What problems might a person have if they slept for decades?
The newspaper article
  1. Read quickly through the article to find the following details about the woman who slept for 30 years:
  2. Woman’s name






    Husband’s name


    Husband’s occupation




    Year when she went into a coma (+ her age)


    Year when she woke up (+ her age)


    Cause of coma



  3. What shocked Mrs Shapiro about herself when she woke up?

  5. What did she find shocking about her family?

  7. List four historical events that happened while Mrs Shapiro was asleep:
    1. __________________________________________________
    2. __________________________________________________
    3. __________________________________________________
    4. __________________________________________________


  8. Mention two health problems that Mrs Shapiro had while she was in the coma:
    1. __________________________________________________
    2. __________________________________________________


  9. What were Mrs Shapiro’s first words when she woke up?

  11. What surprised Mrs Shapiro about the television and phone in her room?

  13. Two questions:
    1. In what way does the story have a happy ending?
    2. __________________________________________________

    3. In what way does it have a sad ending?
    4. __________________________________________________



Find words in the article with the following meanings. (The first letter of the word has been provided.)

m like a miracle or magic
e came out of
a astonished, amazed 
P unable to move
t exercises to help someone to get better
f astonished, amazed
s astonished, amazed
r started again
v promises