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Maria Mitchell



Maria Mitchell, Astronomer
Print Maria Mitchell, Astronomer Reading Comprehension


Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.97

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    telescopic, co-founded, eclipse, emancipation, pointed, world-wide, astronomy, photography, mathematics, advocate, astronomer, faculty, telescope, injustice, despite, solar
     content words:    Maria Mitchell, One October, American Academy, Vassar Female College, Vassar College Observatory, Miss Mitchell, Civil War, American Association
Maria Mitchell, Astronomer

By Cindy Grigg
1     "Can I go with you, Father?" Maria Mitchell asked her father night after night. She loved to look through the telescope with him. Her father's answer was always, "Yes, Maria." Maria was a lucky girl because most people in the early 1800s thought that girls should only be taught sewing and cooking skills. The Mitchells were different because they believed that their daughters and sons should be educated equally. Maria was the third of ten children, and the Mitchell's ran a school in their home. They taught their girls, as well as their boys, science and mathematics. Maria's family always encouraged her to be whatever she wanted to be.
 
2     Maria learned to read at the age of four, and from an early age she shared her father's love of astronomy. When she was twelve, she helped her father record the timing of a solar eclipse. Maria and her father spent many hours together on their rooftop, "sweeping" the skies with their telescope. As a young woman, Maria worked as a librarian. She used the library's collection to learn more about science and math.
 
3     At night she continued to help her father with astronomy. Her father was generous with personal time for Maria to use the telescope alone. One October night in 1847, Maria was "sweeping the sky" when she noticed that a faint, fuzzy star wasn't a star at all. It was a comet!

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable


Reading Comprehension
     English Reading Comprehension: Maria Mitchell, Astronomer
     Spanish Reading Comprehension: María Mitchell, astrónoma




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