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Marco Polo



Marco Polo
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.2

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    schooler, luxury, emperor, offering, communication, knowing, trade, palace, splendid, fiction, interesting, writing, finest, press, leader, soldier
     content words:    Marco Polo, Middle Ages, Kublai Khan, Mongol Empire, When Kublai Khan, Silk Road, Far East, So Marco, In English


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Marco Polo
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Marco Polo grew up during the Middle Ages in Venice. At the time, most people in Europe didn't know much about the rest of the world. Travel was much slower than it is today, and very few people traveled to other continents. The printing press had not yet been invented, so there were not many books available to read about faraway places. However, Marco Polo grew up knowing more about other parts of the world than most young men. Venice was a large trading center on the Mediterranean. His family was in the business of trading with other countries. Both his father and his uncle were merchants who had traveled to Asia.
 
2     Marco's father and his uncle had already traveled far into the continent of Asia, and they had gotten to know the great Asian leader of the time, Kublai Khan. He was the emperor of the Mongol Empire, which included what is now China. When Kublai Khan invited them back to continue their trading business, Marco Polo was allowed to go along. He was 17 years old at the time. The Polos traveled from Europe to China along the Silk Road. This was the road that merchants had been using for some time to trade with the Far East. They called it the Silk Road, because silk was one of the favorite products to buy in China. So Marco was not setting out to discover a new land, but he was taking a trip that only a few people of his time ever had the chance to take. Marco Polo, his father, and his uncle continued their journey until they had traveled farther into China than any of the other merchants.
 
3     Why did Marco Polo become famous, and not the other merchants who had traveled before him? Marco Polo became famous because he did something that almost every middle schooler does today. He wrote in a journal.

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
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