Diana learns to fly

Words: 501-600

Skills: Context Clues Story Elements Summary

Grades: K 1st 2nd

Topics: Science Fiction / Fantasy

Genres: Prose

Lexile Range:

Lexile Measure:

CCSS: Reading: Literature


Diana Learns to Fly

by Elizabeth Trach

When Diana helps her father do the laundry, she finds her old green balloon. Will she be able to blow it up and fly again? Students will read the story and answer follow-up questions about the story details, the plot, and the vocabulary. 

Reading Comprehension Passage

Diana Learns to Fly

by Elizabeth Trach

Saturday is laundry day at Diana's house. Diana was working on sorting socks by matching their colors and sizes. "What's this?" Dad asked. He was holding a small piece of green rubber.

Diana looked up. "That's my balloon from the circus!" Diana remembered her magical flight above the town square, but she didn't say anything. She was sure
Dad wouldn't believe her.

"You can keep it if you want, but please make sure to empty your pockets before laundry time. Toys could break the washing machine," Dad said.

Diana finished sorting the socks as fast as she could. She wanted to go outside to play.

It was a sunny day. Diana was alone in her back yard. She held the green balloon in her hand, but it was flat as a pancake. When she held the string, the balloon flopped on the ground.

Diana wanted to fly again, but she had to get air into the balloon. It was still tied in a tight knot with the string. Diana sat down and rubbed the string with her fingers to loosen the knot. She used her fingernails to pull the string apart.

Now Diana was ready to blow up the balloon. She took a deep breath and put the balloon up to her mouth. She blew hard, and the balloon began to expand. With each breath, the green balloon got bigger and bigger until it was full. Then Diana stopped to tie the string back around the end to hold the air in.

As soon as she finished the knot, Diana felt the balloon rise into the air. She was flying again! Soon she was peeking into her little brother Carl's bedroom window on the second floor. He was taking a nap.

Diana tried to control the balloon by pulling on the string, but it didn't work. She was higher than the trees now and felt afraid. "But I want to go down!" she cried.

As soon as she spoke, the green balloon gently lowered her toward the ground.

Could it hear her? "Up, balloon!" she called out.

Sure enough, the balloon began to rise.

"Diana! Lunch time!" called Dad from inside the house.

"Down, balloon," said Diana. The balloon floated gently to the ground. Diana smiled. Now that she knew how to fly the green balloon, she could go anywhere she wanted!

Passage Only

Reading Comprehension Questions

1. What does Diana's balloon look like?

2. According to the story, what does the word expand mean here: "She blew hard, and the balloon began to expand"?

3. How does Diana learn to control the green balloon?

4. Where would you ask the green balloon to take you?

Sight Words

This passage includes words that students should learn to recognize on sight. We've highlighted 12 of these words below, from the Dolch sight word list for Pre-K through 1st, 2nd and/or 3rd grade. Tip: Read through the passage once with your student. Read a second time, but pause on the sight word and ask your student to say the word.

Sight Word LIst

  1. play
  2. said
  3. but
  4. get
  5. know
  6. stop
  7. take
  8. pull
  9. wash
  10. keep
  11. small
  12. floor

Flash Cards

Print and cut-out the flash cards below. Show each sight word to your student and ask them to say the word.