A colorful drawing of a genie in a cloud of smoke above a horse and a water buffalo on a road

Source: Just So Stories, Joseph Gleason, Project Gutenberg

Maybe you’ve heard the expression “Work smart, not hard.” This lesson will teach you how to work smart when you come across unknown words when you read. To work hard, you need a big dictionary. Every time you come across a word you don’t know in text, you have to stop reading and start thumbing through the hundreds of pages of that thick book until you find the definition. If, however, you would rather work smart, you can learn to use the context, or the words around a challenging word, to help you arrive at its meaning.

“How the Camel Got His Hump” by Rudyard Kipling is the story of an animal that doesn’t want to work at all, neither hard nor smart. You will discover how a djinni, or genie, outsmarts this idle creature. You will use context to figure out the meaning of some unfamiliar words in an adaptation of Kipling’s familiar tale.