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One Small Step
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.91

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    embarrassment, stuffy, teaching, spite, assignment, seat, crispy, schoolroom, barnyard, wiggly, homework, absolutely, glow, moment, excited, chilly
     content words:    Goal Setting Week, Mount Everest
One Small Step

By Colleen Messina
1     Darin squirmed in his seat. It was a chilly November morning, and he would much rather be outside playing than sitting in a stuffy schoolroom. His assignment was to write down a goal. Darin's goal at the moment was to survive the rest of the school day.
 
2     Darin looked out the window and saw crispy orange leaves dancing across the playground. How he wanted to jump on them and smell that fall smell as the leaves crushed under his sneakers and the cold wind blew through his hair. He could just imagine...
 
3     "Darin, have you thought of a goal for this week?" Ms. Brown, the third grade teacher, asked.
 
4     Darin didn't know what to say. He did not think that stomping on leaves was what his teacher had in mind. He looked down at his desk. He knew his cheeks were turning rosy with embarrassment. How he wished that he didn't blush so much.
 
5     "I can see you are still thinking," said Ms. Brown kindly.
 
6     Ms. Brown liked wiggly little boys in spite of the trouble they sometimes caused in her classroom. She had been teaching for a long time, and she understood little boys very well. Ms. Brown turned toward Samuel, who was also an active boy. Samuel had a quick mind to match, though, and could usually answer her questions. Ms. Brown hoped that Samuel might inspire his friend Darin.
 
7     "Samuel, have you thought of a goal for the week? Remember, this is Kids' Goal Setting Week, so I do want each of you to think of one goal to write about in your homework essay," said Ms. Brown.
 
8     "I want to climb Mount Everest!" said Samuel in an excited voice.
 
9     The class burst into loud giggles. They sounded like a barnyard of cackling chickens. This was a very big goal.

Paragraphs 10 to 18:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable





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