Diana Learns to Fly
Reading Comprehension Activity

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.

Topic(s): Science Fiction / Fantasy. Skill(s): Summary, Context Clues, Story Elements. Genre(s): Prose

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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!

Comprehension Questions

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