The cup on the hill

Words: 601-700

Skills: Character Traits Compare and Contrast Figurative Language Summary

Grades: 4th 5th

Topics: Adventure / Thriller and Science Fiction / Fantasy

Genres: Prose

Lexile Range: 420L - 730L

Lexile Measure: 510L

CCSS: Reading: Literature


The Cup At The Top Of The Hill

Amanda and Robert always go hunting for treasure in the woods. One day, they found a gold cup sitting on top of a steep hill. The cup does some amazing things, and it teaches Amanda and Robert some valuable lessons. Students will read the passage and answer questions on the language used by the author and the differences in the characters.

Reading Comprehension Passage

The Cup At The Top Of The Hill

Amanda and her best friend Robert got some rope, canteens, and flashlights. They headed to the woods behind Amanda’s house.

“Hey, Amanda. What do you think we’ll find today?”

Amanda scratched her head. “We’re not going to find anything. We never do. Just some old rocks and branches. I don’t know why you always want to go hunting for stuff.”

Robert gave a big belly laugh. “Cause you never know, Amanda. You just never know.”

The two friends trudged up a steep, tall hill.

“I don’t remember this hill being here last time we came,” said Amanda as she tugged the rope higher on her shoulder.

“Me either,” said Robert. “But, look up at the top. Something’s glowing.”

The friends climbed as fast as they could and finally reached the peak. There they found a gold cup sitting upright on the ground. The cup was full of nickels.

Robert grabbed the cup and poured the nickels in his hand. “Whoa, this has got to be $10 or more.” He shoved the coins in his pockets. “We’ll divvy it up when we get home.”

Robert threw the cup on the ground and it landed upright. He looked at it closely. This time the cup was full of quarters. “WHOA! Do you see this? Now, it’s full of quarters. I’ll bet there’s around $30 or more.” He took the cup and poured quarters into his hand then shoved them into his pockets.

“Robert, I don’t know if that’s a good idea. Just leave it all alone.”

Robert shot Amanda a narrowed-eyed glare. “Are you crazy? I’m not leaving anything. Didn’t you ever hear of finders keepers?”

After the cup was empty again, Robert threw it back on the ground. One more time it fell upright. When Robert looked, it was full of dollar coins. “HOLY MOLY! This has got to be a magic cup. I’m . . . I mean we’re going to be rich!”

Again, Robert emptied the cup and stuffed his pockets. He was glad he wore a hunting vest and cargo pants. He had lots and lots of pockets.

The next time, the cup filled with gold nuggets. After that it filled with diamonds.

Amanda watched Robert. “There’s something with that cup. Be careful. You’re being greedy now.” Robert wouldn’t listen.

When every pocket he had was stuffed, Robert shoved the cup under his vest. “This cup is coming with me. It’s a goldmine.”

Just then the edge where the friends were standing caved in. Amanda and Robert went tumbling toward a lake at the bottom of the hill.

“AGGHHHHHH,” they screamed on their way down.


They went down, down, down.

Amanda swam up toward the surface. As she did, she saw Robert struggling to get his vest off. He was weighed down with all the coins and stones in his pockets.

Amanda jetted through the water. She took a deep breath and dove back down to Robert. She tugged at Robert’s vest and got it off. Then the two of them tore at his pants pockets.

They shot to the surface and gasped for air. Then they swam to the shore.

Robert turned to Amanda. “Thanks. I don’t know what happened to me. All I wanted was more and more.”

“No problem. Next time, don’t go crazy.”

The friends sat on the ground and looked at the lake. Just then the cup bobbed up from beneath the water. They looked at each other, jumped up, and ran home.

Passage Only

Reading Comprehension Questions

1. What happened to the cup each time Robert emptied it?

2. Compare how Robert acted when the cup filled up and how Amanda acted?

3. Explain what Robert meant when he called the cup a “goldmine?”

4. Why did Amanda and Robert run home when the cup surfaced in the water?

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. trudged
  2. divvy
  3. glare
  4. nuggets
  5. gasped

Context Clues

Context Clues

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

1) “The two friends trudged up a steep, tall hill”

a. rushed; galloped     b. wandered or strolled     c. plodded or hiked     d. rope climbed

2) "'We’ll divvy it up when we get home.'"

a. count or calculate     b. divide; share     c. use or spend     d. put; pack

3) “Robert shot Amanda a narrowed-eyed glare

a. frown or scowl     b. wink or twinkle     c. exploding flare     d. glance; glimpse

4) “The next time, the cup filled with gold nuggets

a. coins     b. candy     c. chunks; pieces     d. jewelry, especially rings

5) “They shot to the surface and gasped for air”

a. grabbed; clutched     b. inhaled slowly     c. begged or cried     d. breathed hard; panted