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Kwanzaa
Past Lessons (Grades 4-5)



Past Lessons (Grades 4-5)
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.66

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    herders, kinara, literate, wealthy, slavery, lint, founded, satisfaction, pointed, atlas, slave, whose, powerful, freedom, magician, anger
     content words:    Ashandra Cannon, Roman Empire, Sahara Desert


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Past Lessons
By Mary L. Bushong
  

1     Ashandra slouched in her chair. She picked at bits of lint on her sweater. She tried to ignore her mother as she began to decorate for Kwanzaa. Suddenly her father's loud voice made her sit up and pay attention.
 
2     "Ashandra Cannon! Please stop day dreaming and listen to me," he said sternly. "Your mother and I want you to take a more active role in celebrating Kwanzaa with us."
 
3     Ashandra groaned. "None of my friends celebrate it, Dad. Besides, what do we have to celebrate? Our family came mostly from slaves."
 
4     She became quiet as her father's brows drew together in anger.
 
5     "Did you know that before the people of Africa were sold into slavery, there were many great kingdoms there?" he asked her.
 
6     "No," she said as she shook her head. "I thought the people there just lived in villages and all. Can you tell me more about it?"
 
7     "Yes, I can," said her father. "I wanted to know, so I did some research. We cannot really understand the roles our ancestors played if we know nothing about them."
 
8     As Mrs. Cannon put out the Mkeka mat, Mr. Cannon pulled out an atlas from the bookshelf and turned the pages until he came to the pictures of the African continent.
 
9     "Find Ethiopia for me," he said, pushing the book toward Ashandra. She studied the map and pointed to the country just south of Egypt.

Paragraphs 10 to 16:
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