Parade Surprise

Maria Gonzales finished her breakfast and stacked her dirty dishes in the sink. Today, her abuela, or grandmother, was taking her to the parade that was held downtown each year. Maria loved to see all the brightly colored floats that were decorated just for this event. She also enjoyed the singing and dancing groups as they sang and shuffled along the parade route. However, she did not think she would enjoy the marching band very much this year.

Maria’s Uncle Juan usually played his trombone in the marching band. Each year, as he passed Maria, he would turn her way and tip his trombone up and down as if to say “hello.” This year, however, would be different. Three months ago, Uncle Juan was offered a new job in a different town, so due to his move, he would not be able to march in this year’s parade. Although Maria understood why her uncle could not come to the parade, she was still disappointed.

Once Maria and her grandmother reached the street where the parade would occur, the first thing they did was find their seats. Maria’s grandmother took off her jacket and stretched it out over their seats to make sure that no one else would sit in them. It was a special jacket that Maria’s grandmother had made years ago. The bright blues, reds, greens, yellows, and purples in the jacket reminded Maria of the brightly colored parade decorations.

Around the parade route were different booths where people sold everything from food to T-shirts to homemade crafts. Maria wanted to explore all that the booths had to offer.

“Abuela, may I have a snack?” Maria asked.

“Yes, dear,” her grandmother answered, “but I don’t want you to eat too much. This food isn’t very healthy.”

Once Maria’s hunger was satisfied by a bag of caramel popcorn, she followed her grandmother around to look at the different craft booths. “Would you look at this? Isn’t it pretty?” her grandmother asked as she inspected a beaded necklace she found at one of the booths. “I bet I could make one something like this.”

Maria and her grandmother began walking back to their seats to get ready for the parade. As she looked down the street where their seats were, Maria’s grandmother noticed a man in a band uniform inspecting the jacket that she had put over her and Maria’s chairs. Her eyes narrowed a little to get a better look, and she quickly pulled Maria aside so she wouldn’t notice the man.

“Why don’t we go sit down, Abuela?” Maria asked.

“I want to look at just one more booth,” her grandmother explained as she turned Maria around and headed off in the opposite direction from their chairs.

As they walked down the street, Maria’s grandmother kept looking back over her shoulder to see if the man in the band uniform was still where she had left her colorful jacket. Once she was satisfied the man was gone, she turned around once again to lead Maria back to their seats.

“I thought you wanted to see one more booth,” Maria said, a little confused.

“Well, I thought I did,” her grandmother said, smiling. “But my feet are tired and I want to sit down now. Besides, the parade is about to start.”

Once the parade started, Maria did not use her seat. She stood so she could clearly see the singers and the dancers. She saw clowns and jugglers, floats and giant balloons. When she heard the marching band coming, however, she sat down.

“Why don’t you stand?” her grandmother asked.

“If Uncle Juan is not marching,” Maria explained, “I don’t think I want to see them.”

“But I want you to stand,” her grandmother said. “I think you will still like the band.”

Maria stood up, but she really did not want to see the marching band. As the band began to pass, Maria recognized one of the songs they were playing. “Uncle Juan loved to play this song,” she said.

First, the flutes passed by, then the saxophones and trumpets. The trombones would pass by next. Maria decided she would look to see who took Uncle Juan’s place in the trombone section. To her surprise, one of the trombone players turned her way and tipped his trombone up and down as if to say “hello.” It was Uncle Juan! Maria was so excited!

“Did you know about this?” she asked her grandmother.

“Ssshhh! Watch the parade,” her grandmother said jokingly as she winked and smiled at Maria.

After the parade, Maria and her grandmother found Uncle Juan.

“I looked for you before the parade started,” Uncle Juan explained. “I knew where your seats were because I recognized Abuela’s jacket.”

“I saw you, too,” Maria’s grandmother said. “I didn’t tell Maria because I wanted it to be a surprise when she saw you.”

“Were you surprised, Maria?” Uncle Juan asked.

“I sure was!” Maria exclaimed. “This was the best parade ever!”

This task has more than one (1) part. Read each part carefully and respond.

Part A

  1. What is the theme of the story “Parade Surprise”? Write your answer in a complete sentence.


Part B

2. How does Maria react to her disappointment that her uncle will not be in the marching band? Write a paragraph that identifies her reaction and explains how her reaction connects to the theme of the story.


3. How does Maria’s point of view in the story affect the way she watches the parade with her grandmother? Write your answer in a paragraph.

RL 5
4. What events from the story build suspense in the reader? Write a paragraph explaining how the events in the story build suspense.

5. Read this sentence from the story.

Once Maria’s hunger was satisfied by a bag of caramel popcorn, she followed her grandmother around to look at the different craft booths.

What is the meaning of the phrase Maria’s hunger was satisfied in the sentence above?

A) Maria is full from her snack.

B) Maria is content to eat while following her grandmother.

C) Maria enjoys the taste of the caramel popcorn.

D) Maria hopes to visit more food booths.