The Mystery of the Shattered Ice: Story, Exercises, Answers

An Intermediate Level Lesson to Practice Winter Vocabulary

This lesson is for intermediate students (see our chart of English levels). It practices reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, essay writing, sentence structure, and role play.

Follow these steps:

  1. Before reading: go over the story's glossary. It contains winter words and other more advanced words.
  2. Reading: read the story. It has 3 parts: Part 1 (this page), Part 2, Part 3.
  3. After reading: do the exercises. The exercises section has several parts:
    vocabulary questions 1 (winter words)
    vocabulary questions 2 (non-winter words)
    grammar questions
    comprehension and essay writing
    sentence jumbles and role play
  4. Answers: check your answers using the answer key.

Download the Full Booklet (36 pages)

The Mystery of the Shattered Ice Cover


The Mystery of the Shattered Ice, Part 1

Winter street

Chief Roger McCollum sits in his police cruiser, feeling the heater warm his numb fingers. His gaze moves slowly from the frost forming on his windshield to his rearview mirror, revealing three young children sitting in the backseat.

"Please don't take us to jail," one of them says between giggles.

"I don't know," Roger replies. "How do I know you're not the bandits I'm looking for?"

This is Roger's favorite part of the job. The town of Northbury, Pennsylvania is so small it hardly ever has any crime. Roger gets to spend most of his time playing cops and robbers with the local kids, trying to slip in lessons about being good citizens when he can.

Suddenly a voice cracks over his radio. "Roger, the mayor is looking for you and she sounds angry."

Roger sighs as he gets out of the car and opens the back door. "You're lucky the mayor saved you this time." The kids smile and hug him as they jump out and run to play in the snow as flurries fall around them.

* * *

A few minutes later, Roger stands in front of Charlotte LeBlanc, the mayor of Northbury. "The ice is gone. Completely gone," she says. She is about a foot shorter than Roger, but her nervous energy makes him feel small. Roger follows her as she paces around the room, rubbing her hands together to warm them in the chilly air.

"What do you mean?" Roger asks. The roads were slippery from all the ice on his drive over.

"The ice for the competition. Someone smashed it to bits."

The Northbury Winter Festival starts tomorrow. The main attraction is always the ice sculpting competition. It draws hundreds of tourists each year.

"How is that even possible?" Roger says.

"That's your job to figure out. The ice was delivered yesterday and we kept it in the park, like we always do, but this morning it was smashed. This is even worse than the year we had a blizzard during the festival!"

* * *

Roger bends over and picks up a handful of ice. Charlotte was right. Where there should be six perfect blocks of ice, there are now six piles of ice chunks. Roger breathes in the frigid air and breathes out a puff of white mist.

"Who would do this?" he thinks. A few years ago, Roger suggested storing the ice somewhere more secure, but Charlotte laughed at him, reminding him the park is in the middle of the town. Everyone is always watching it.

Around him, the park looks like the perfect winter scene. A blanket of snow covers the ground, like thick frosting. Tiny icicles hang from tree branches and sparkle in the sun. Normally, the sky is overcast during the festival, but the weather reports say tomorrow is going to be nice and sunny.

Roger, remembering what the mayor said about everyone watching the ice, walks across the street to the diner...

End of Part 1. Click here to read Part 2.