The Last Leaf
Reading Comprehension Activity

Three little leaves are clinging to a tree in autumn. Who will be the last to fall? Students will read the story and answer follow-up questions about the details and the story elements.

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

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During the warm summer, there were many leaves on the tall tree in the park. Some leaves were big. Some leaves were small. All the leaves were green. They liked to whisper together when the breeze blew. When the rain fell, the little leaves would get wet. They didn’t mind. They knew that the sun would come out again to dry them. Best of all, they were all together.

As time went on, the days began to get shorter. The sun set earlier. The air was colder too. By October, many of the leaves changed colors. Some were yellow. Some looked more orange. And some even had red around their edges. Each morning the leaves would wake up to see who had changed colors.

The first leaves to change colors began to fall off the tree. “Goodbye!” they called as they fluttered down to the ground. Sometimes the wind would blow and whisk them far away. “Whee!” they would laugh as they floated away.

One night a wind storm whipped through the park. By morning, there were only three little leaves left on the tree. One was yellow. One was golden brown. One was still green with just one yellow spot.

“Oh!” said the golden brown leaf. “I feel very light! One more breeze, and I’ll be ready to fly away.”

“Me too!” said the green leaf.

“No,” said the yellow leaf. “You need to change colors before you are ready to fall. You’re still green.”

A breeze stirred the branches, and the golden brown leaf fluttered. “This is it! Goodbye!” he called as he flew away.

The green leaf sighed. “I’ll never get to fly,” he pouted.

“Sure you will! All leaves fall off eventually,” said the yellow leaf.

The breeze blew again, and this time rain began to fall. “Here I go!” called the yellow leaf. “Goodbye!” And she floated to the ground.

The green leaf was about to cry. He felt lonely all by himself on the tree.

Just then, a small bird landed on the branch below the leaf. “I’m so glad I found you! Can I hide here until it stops raining? If I get wet, I will feel very cold,” said the bird.

“Sure!” said the green leaf. He wasn’t lonely anymore. He felt proud to be the last leaf on the tree to help the bird stay dry.

Comprehension Questions

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