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Hula Hooping



Hula Hooping
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.77

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    banned, entertainment, hula, difficult, occasionally, totally, provided, thus, settled, needless, history, decade, familiar, seconds, become, early
     content words:    Ancient Greek, Richard Knerr, Arthur Melin, Wham-O Toy Company, United States


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Hula Hooping
By Jane Runyon
  

1     It would be difficult to write a history of the 1950's without including the most famous toy of the era. People from ages two to ninety-two tried their luck at keeping the hula hoop swirling around their hips. People who knew what they were doing made it look easy. Those who hadn't mastered it provided comic relief for those watching. Over one hundred million hula hoops were sold in just the last two years of the decade.
 
2     Although the hula hoop became the craze of the 50's, it was invented long before then. Hoops used as toys have been around for thousands of years. In early Egypt, hoops were made of grape vines. Children fashioned the vines into large circles and rolled them along the streets. They used sticks to keep the circles moving. Ancient Greek doctors told some of their weightier patients to chase the hoops as exercise to lose weight. Putting the hoops around their waists and twirling them was even better. In the 1300's, "hooping" was banned in some parts of England. Doctors decided that the sport was causing too many back problems and more than a few heart attacks.
 
3     Sailors visiting Hawaii in the 1700's noticed that the native dance in the islands looked familiar. The hula danced by the native women used the same hip motion that was used to keep a hoop twirling around the waist. The name hula hoop was created way back then.

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