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Kites
Up, Up and Away!



Up, Up and Away!
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grade 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.8

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    cellular, kite-maker, Rokkaku, tubby, striking, priest, triangular, fortune, phoenix, traveled, lines, tingle, battle, stunt, appear, journey
     content words:    Mo Zi, Marco Polo, One Chinese, Pig General, Long Beach, Pacific Ocean


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Up, Up and Away!
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Kites have been around for a long time. The Chinese invented kites over 2,000 years ago. A determined man named Mo Zi had an idea as he watched hawks fly. He spent three years making a wooden hawk "kite." It broke after one flight!
 
2     Mo Zi and his Chinese friends did not give up. Soon they perfected the art of creating kites. Kites became part of many Chinese festivals. Pictures of kites were also on vases and in paintings. But kites were meant to fly in places other than China! Marco Polo visited China in the 13th century and brought kites back to Europe with him. Europeans loved them, and the art of kiting "took off!"
 
3     Many kites have stories behind them. One Chinese novel, called "Journey to the West," was written around 1400 AD. In the story, a priest traveled with three students. One student was a monkey. A second student was a man with pig ears, called the Pig General. He had a trembling, tubby tummy hanging over his pants, which were stuffed into big, black boots. The third student was a former sea monster. These characters often appear on Chinese kites.

Paragraphs 4 to 10:
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