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Ethel Merman
Print Ethel Merman Reading Comprehension with Fifth Grade Work

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Print Ethel Merman Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.69

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    gigs, marquee, pretentious, stenographer, performers, comedy, quirk, secretarial, stage, offstage, self-confidence, onstage, composer, twentieth, series, successful
     content words:    Ethel Merman, Ethel Zimmermann, New York, Young Ethel, Red Cross, Vinton Freedley, George Gershwin, Crazy Girl, Got Rhythm, Twenty-one-year-old Ethel
Ethel Merman

By Colleen Messina
1     Stage names are often used by performers. Ethel Merman, an exceptional singer of the twentieth century, used one. She was born Ethel Zimmermann but later shortened her last name. She explained why: "If you put Zimmermann up in lights, you'd die from the heat." Ethel may have made her name smaller, but this did not diminish her gigantic voice!
 
2     Ethel was born on January 16, 1908, in Astoria, New York. Ethel's family loved music. Her father, an accountant, kept track of numbers during the day but enjoyed playing the piano at night. Young Ethel liked to sing with her father. Ethel did her first singing performance at the young age of five at a Red Cross camp. Her musical childhood was the foundation for her amazing career.
 
3     Ethel wanted to become a star, but that was an uncertain dream. Under the practical guidance of her parents, Ethel had secretarial training in high school. This was a good step so she could have the skills to get a job easily when she grew up. It would also give her a backup job in case her singing career did not work out. Ethel used her secretarial training for the rest of her life. She always liked to take notes at meetings. She always wrote her own letters, too.

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
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