“The Way Up to Heaven” – Classroom Activities

These exercises were sent in by Jocelyn Allen, an Australian teaching English in Germany. They have been specially designed for non native English speakers. Thanks Jocelyn!

Vocabulary Work

1. List 10 words from the story which describe Mrs Foster as being either nervous or afraid.

2. Find one word in the story which means the same as:

a. unhappy, disappointed
b. very tired
c. find out about something
d. an odd habit or tendency
e. for a short time


1. Why is Mrs Foster upset with her husband at the beginning of the story?

2. How did her husband make her anxious the following morning?

3. What crucial decision did she finally make?

4. What were Mrs Foster’s feelings at the end of the story?

Discussion Points

1. Was Mrs Foster right to want to live in Paris? Should husbands and wives always go away together?

2. Do you sympathise or not with Mrs Foster? Do you think she should go to prison? Do you understand why she let her husband die?


1. Write a short letter (100 words) from Mrs Foster to her daughter in Paris. Describe what happened when she returned home and describe her plans for the future.


1. Is the ending to the story predictable or unpredictable? Give reasons.