Christmas Reading Comprehension

Free Printable 3rd or 4th Grade Story with Interactive Review Questions. Read and test reading comprehension online or print and use offline.

Who is St. Nicholas?

The Santa Claus we know today is based on a real person.

Saint Nicholas was born in the year 280 in Patara. This small Roman town was in an area that is now part of Turkey.

Both of his parents died when Nicholas was young. They left him some money, which he used to help the poor and the sick. Like his parents, Nicholas was a religious Christian. He became a bishop and devoted his life to helping others.

There are many legends about St. Nicholas. It is said that he helped three sisters by secretly going to their house at night, leaving bags of money for them so that they could marry. He helped sailors, people who were wrongly sent to jail, and gave gifts to poor children.

St. Nicholas died on December 6 in the year 343. Since then, many countries celebrated the feast of St. Nicholas on December 6. It became an important holiday in The Netherlands where children would put out their shoes and expect St. Nicholas to leave gifts in them.

The Dutch referred to "Sint Nikolaas" as "Sinterklaas." Sound familiar? It was the Dutch who brought Sinterklaas to America in the 1700's. By the mid 1800's, Sinterklaas became Santa Claus, and the secret night-time gift-giving started by St. Nicholas seventeen hundred years before became part of the Christmas holiday.

In what year was St. Nicholas born?
280
343
1700
280 On what day did St. Nicholas die?
December 6
December 8
December 25
December 6 In what area was St. Nicholas born?
Spain
The Netherlands
Turkey
Turkey What did the Dutch people call St. Nicholas?
Father Christmas
Santa Claus
Sinterklaas
Sinterklaas When is the feast of St. Nicholas?
January 6
December 6
December 25
December 6 When did the name "Santa Claus" become commonly used in America?
300's
1700's
1800's
1800's What was St. Nicholas's job?
jail guard
mayor
bishop
bishop Who brought the custom of Santa Claus to America?
the British
explorers from the North Pole
the Dutch
the Dutch Where does St. Nicholas leave gifts for Dutch children on December 6?
under a tree
in their Christmas stocking
in their shoes
in their shoes Where did St. Nicholas get his money?
His parents left it to him.
He made and sold shoes.
He found it.
His parents left it to him. In what way is Santa Claus like St. Nicholas?
They are both Dutch.
They both give secret gifts and are good to children.
They are both tall.
They both give secret gifts and are good to children.

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