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May Day



May Day
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Print May Day Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.63

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    striking, workday, protest, killing, successful, unsafe, whatever, jobs, violence, better, fact, working, decent, situation, become, number
     content words:    May Day, McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, Haymarket Square, On May
May Day

By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman
1     Think about having a job. What kind of work would you like to do? Maybe you'd like to be an actor or perhaps a teacher. Whatever job you choose, you will have to spend hours and hours doing it. Some jobs require more hours than others. And in some different countries, workers work many more hours than others. In many Western countries, laws set the number of work hours. Why is this? You will understand this better if you learn about a holiday called International Workers' Day. It is celebrated in some countries on May 1 every year.
 
2     A little more than a hundred years ago, workers in many jobs were forced to work long hours. Workers were made to work all day with few or no breaks. Many workers were very tired of working so hard with little rest. So, many workers organized and agreed to change their situation.
 
3     In America, workers around the country agreed to begin a strike on May 1, 1886. What is a strike? It is when workers in a factory or other workplace stop working. They do this to protest something they don't like. In this case, the workers were protesting long hours and unsafe working conditions. Hundreds of workers at McCormick Harvesting Machine Company in Chicago stopped working.

Paragraphs 4 to 7:
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