“The Last Leaf” by O. Henry

“The Last Leaf” by O. Henry

Today teens spend more time on digital media less time on reading. But perhaps a precise motivation and an interesting story will engage them in reading. The following worksheet is designed for teenagers and can be suitable for Pre-intermediate level.  

Summary of the story

Johnsy and Sue live together in Greenwich Village. They are both young painters. But as winter comes, Johnsy gets pneumonia. She thinks that she is dying. Every day she looks out her window and counts the leaves falling from the vine growing. Johnsy is sure that she will die with the last leaf.

There is another painter named Behrman, who lives next to Johnsy and Sue. When he learns about Johnsy’s condition, he makes up his mind to help. He is a rude man and nobody cares for him. Although he hasn’t worked on his paintings for more than 40 years, he paints a vine with a leaf on it. Behrman puts it outside of Johnsy’s window so that she can see the leaf is still there. That night because of cold weather the old painter catches pneumonia and dies. But the leaf that he has painted becomes the reason of Johnsy’s recovery.

The main idea of the whole story is how we treat other people. We often judge people who we don’t know. So we must try to notice the ones who are lonely and need our attention.



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