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Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking



Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.42

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    necessary, Creeking, kayaker, lifejacket, Milne, navigate, playboating, rowing, separately, subcategories, rafts, whitewater, slalom, extremely, kayakers, skilled
     content words:    John Fremont, Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, Platte River, John MacGregor, International Scale, River Difficulty, Grade VI, Little Instruction Book


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Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Water is necessary for life, but it is also gentle, strong, and lots of fun. Great ideas have sprung into people's minds by watching a river, and boating has been a favorite sport for centuries. For some people, rowing a boat "gently down the stream" is not exciting enough. They go on to more extreme sports, like whitewater rafting or kayaking.
 
2     Whitewater rafting is using a raft to go down a river that has rough, bubbling water. Whitewater gets its name because it has so many bubbles that it looks white. It has areas of fast moving water called rapids. The rafts for this sport are big inflatable boats made out of rubberized fabrics. These rafts have several air compartments. Each one is blown up separately. Some rafts have motors, but most are driven by regular paddles. Most rafts hold between 4 and 12 people.
 
3     The rubber raft was first invented in the 1840s by Lt. John Fremont. He was in the army and wanted to explore the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. In 1842, Fremont used a rubber raft to survey the Platte River in Wyoming. He made the raft out of India rubber and inflated it by using a bellows. Modern rafts have the same basic design as the raft used by this daring explorer. By the twentieth century, some people realized that this sport could be fun. In 1972, rafting became an Olympic sport.

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