The climb

Words: 301-400

Skills: Context Clues Story Elements Theme

Grades: 1st 2nd 3rd

Topics: Realistic Fiction

Genres: Prose

Lexile Range:

Lexile Measure:

CCSS: Reading: Literature

Themes:

The Climb


by Elizabeth Trach

Marco has wanted to climb the tall tree in his front yard for years, but he is feeling nervous about trying it on his own. Will he ever make it to the top? Students will read the passage and answer follow-up questions about the language, the plot, and the theme.

Reading Comprehension Passage

The Climb

by Elizabeth Trach

One sunny day, Marco went outside to play. He looked at the tall tree in his front yard. It was the tallest tree in the neighborhood. The tree was taller than Marco's parents. It was even taller than his house!

Marco tipped his head back to look at the top of the tree. There were many branches and bright green leaves. Marco wanted to climb his tree, but he felt afraid. What would happen if he got stuck?

The tall tree had one large branch that stuck out towards his front porch. Marco knew it was a very strong branch. If he stood on his toes, he could just reach his hands around the top.

Marco wasn't sure how to climb a tree. He had seen older kids do it, but they were much bigger. He knew he had to get his leg up over that branch. Marco grabbed the strong branch with his hands and tried to kick his feet over the top of the branch.

It was too high.

Next, Marco held the branch and tried to walk his feet up the main tree trunk. That worked better, and Marco quickly swung his leg over his strong branch. Now he was hanging upside down from the branch like a monkey!

Marco liked the way his house looked upside down, but his hands were tired. He unwrapped his legs from the tree. Then he let go with his hands and dropped down into the grass.

Now what?

Marco tried again, but this time he didn't hang like a monkey for long. He only put one leg onto the branch and wriggled his body until his belly was on top of the branch.

Marco was in the tree!

Marco held very tightly to the rough bark until he caught his breath. Then he carefully pushed his body up until he was sitting. The tree made a nice chair when he rested his back against the trunk and let his legs dangle over either side of the strong branch.

Marco looked down. He felt like he was very high in the sky. He looked up, and saw that there were still many branches to climb. These could wait until another day, though. For now, Marco just wanted to sit in the tree and feel proud. Marco climbed the tree!

Passage Only

Reading Comprehension Questions

1. How many times does Marco try to climb the tree before he succeeds?



2. What animal does Marco think he looks like as he practices climbing?



3. What does wriggled mean here: "He only put one leg onto the branch and wriggled his body until his belly was on top of the branch?



4. Do you think climbing a tree is easy or hard? Why?


Vocabulary List

Vocabulary List

Each of the vocabulary words below are used in the reading passage. As you read the passage, pay attention to context clues that suggest the word’s meaning.

  1. branch
  2. grabbed
  3. wriggled
  4. belly
  5. dangle

Context Clues

Context Clues

Using context clues from the sentences in the passage, underline the correct meaning of the word in boldface.

1. “The tall tree had one large branch that stuck out towards his front porch”

a. rope; cord      b. roof or cover     c. wooden ladder     d. limb of a tree

2. “Marco grabbed the strong branch with his hands”

a. shook or rattled     b. caught; grasped     c. patted or tapped     d. hit; smacked

3. “He only put one leg onto the branch and wriggled his body until his belly was on top of the branch.”

a. stopped; paused      b. giggled or laughed     c. wiggled; squirmed     d. lifted or raised

4. “He only put one leg onto the branch and wriggled his body until his belly was on top of the branch.”

a. lower leg     b. stomach     c. wrist; lower hand     d. back

5. “he rested his back against the trunk and let his legs dangle over either side of the strong branch”

a. hang or swing     b. work; struggle     c. hold or clutch     d. push; press