LEAP 2025 ELA Grade 7 Chapter 3

LEAP 2025 ELA Grade 7 Chapter 3 Sample

Excerpt from Trifles by Susan Glaspell

SCENE: The kitchen is the now abandoned farmhouse of JOHN WRIGHT, a gloomy kitchen, and left without having been put in order, unwashed pans under the sink, a loaf of bread outside the bread-box, a dish-towel on the table, other signs of incomplete work. At the rear the outer door opens and the SHERIFF comes in followed by the COUNTY ATTORNEY and HALE. The SHERIFF and HALE are men in middle life, the COUNTY ATTORNEY is a young man; all are much bundled up and go at once to the stove. They are followed by the two women, the SHERIFF’s wife [MRS PETERS] first; she is a slight wiry woman, a thin nervous face. MRS HALE is larger and would ordinarily be called more comfortable looking, but she is disturbed now and looks fearfully about as she enters. The women have come in slowly, and stand close together near the door.

COUNTY ATTORNEY: (rubbing his hands) This feels good. Come up to the fire, ladies.

MRS PETERS: (after taking a step forward) I’m not cold.

SHERIFF: (unbuttoning his overcoat and stepping away from the stove as if to mark the beginning of official business) Now, Mr Hale, before we move things about, you explain to Mr Henderson just what you saw when you came here yesterday morning.

COUNTY ATTORNEY: By the way, has anything been moved? Are things just as you left them yesterday?

SHERIFF: (looking about) It’s just the same. When it dropped below zero last night I thought I’d better send Frank out this morning to make a fire for us, no use getting pneumonia with a big case on, but I told him not to touch anything except the stove and you know Frank.

1 pt

How do you know this drama takes place in a farmhouse?

The River Rafting Ordeal

1 We had been too busy laughing and telling tales to notice how far down the river we had floated. Jimmy had boasted about the superior construction job he had done on the raft. "Why, we could navigate this raft right down the Mississippi," he claimed.

2 I usually thought Jimmy was overly complimentary of himself, but I had to admit he had done a great job on the raft. Besides, if it wasn’t for this raft, I would have spent my day at home trying to convince my younger sister we didn’t need to return to the town carnival today.

3 Tyrone stood up and used his hands to form a telescope as if he was hanging from the bird’s nest on a pirate ship. "What time is it? Is anyone here wearing a watch?" he asked.

4Kate and Jimmy shrugged their shoulders and pointed at their naked wrists. I looked at the orange and red ball of fire that was slowly sinking from sight and groaned. "I promised that I would be home for dinner." I said. "I’m already late; we need to turn around before it gets any darker."

5 Each of us picked up a pole and began rowing upstream. Without a doubt, my parents would ground me for arriving home so late. I grunted as I dug my pole deeper into the river. Coming downstream, we had only needed the poles to keep the raft away from the boulders that jutted up from the floor of the river. Going upstream was an entirely different journey. We didn’t seem to be making any progress. The river was our master, and it alone would decide our destination.

6 "Stop rowing!" Tyrone shouted. "We aren’t working together. When I say ‘in’ everybody put your oars in the water. When I say ‘back’, everybody draw your oars back through the water. Ready?"

7 Soon, we were all chanting with Tyrone, but despite our teamwork, we were proving no match for the river’s current. My arms and back began to ache; each stroke felt like I was dragging a truck over a brick wall.

8 "Boulder!" Kate shouted, a split second before the raft rocked sharply backward. I felt my body tumbling but was powerless to stop it. I hit the river with a splash and banged repeatedly into the boulder as I was hurled past the raft.

9 "Nina!" my friends shouted in unison, as my head rose above the icy water for the third time. "Grab the pole," Tyrone said, pushing the last remaining oar in my direction.

10 I grabbed hold of the bamboo lifeline as my friends tried to pull me back aboard the raft. I lay across the raft shivering, bruised, and exhausted. Tyrone untied the jacket that hung from his waist and wrapped it around me. Kate patted my arm and whispered, "Don’t be afraid. You’re okay now."

11 Was I okay? Were any of us? I wasn’t finding Kate’s words reassuring. None of us had shared our plans with our parents. I swear I could hear my heart pounding against my chest. I lay there listening when a new sound caught my attention. Putt, putt. Putt, putt. Putt, putt. The sound was getting louder, and I raised myself onto my elbows and asked, "Does anyone else hear a motorboat?"

12 "There it is!" Kate cried, pointing at single lantern bobbing across the water.

13 "Help!" we shouted, waving our arms over our heads. The motorboat approached us, rocking our raft violently. The driver shut off the boat’s motor. After the water settled, the boy in the boat tossed a life preserver our way. Tyrone grabbed hold and hugged it to his chest. Then Tyrone had us all hook our elbows through the preserver and dig our heels into the raft. The boy and the man slowly pulled the rope and our raft towards them. Finally, we were close enough to climb on board the small motorboat.

14 "How did you find us out here?" Jimmy asked. "I didn’t think anyone would see us in the pitch dark; we could barely see each other."

15 The driver credited his son with our discovery. The child grinned and pointed at me, saying, "I saw your jewelry all the way from our campground. Is there a carnival somewhere nearby?"

16 I felt the plastic glow-in-the-dark necklace and bracelet my sister had given me that morning. She had won the trinkets last evening by tossing Ping-Pong balls through a wooden clown face. I owed that girl a huge hug when I got home, and if I wasn’t already grounded for life, another trip to the carnival.

1 pt

If "The River" were told by someone other than Nina, what would be different?

1 pt

Why is it important that the author used the words "Putt, putt. Putt, putt. Putt, putt" in paragraph 11?

1 pt

Read this sentence from paragraph 7.

"Soon, we were all chanting with Tyrone, but despite our teamwork, we were proving no match for the river’s current."

This sentence develops which part of the plot?

1 pt

Paragraph 11 establishes that the theme of this passage is