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Reading Comprehension Worksheets
A New Nation
(1776-1830)

Samuel Slater and the Spinning Machine

A New Nation<BR>(1776-1830)
A New Nation
(1776-1830)


Samuel Slater and the Spinning Machine
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Print Samuel Slater and the Spinning Machine Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.36

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    carding, loom, mercantile, prosperous, economic, banned, finding, textile, partnership, reproduce, colonial, natural, design, history, mills, supplies
     content words:    Samuel Slater, Rhode Island, New England


Samuel Slater and the Spinning Machine
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Take a step back into history. Winter is coming in 1770, and your mother wants to make sure your clothing will keep you warm during the cold months. When you try on your best shirt, you find that you have grown right out of it. You must have a new shirt. Where do you go to find it? Do you go to the nearest mall? Do you have a choice of color and style? Of course you don't. Shopping was different in those days.
 
2     Most towns had only one place to go for supplies. This shop was often called a mercantile. You could find anything from knives to seeds or flour to bonnets in this small store. Most of these supplies had been shipped to the colonies from Europe. British merchants bought the supplies in European countries and brought them to the colonies on their own ships. They sold the supplies to colonial merchants for a profit. The colonial merchant sold the goods to the colonists and made a small profit himself. All of these profits added to the cost of shipping the goods sometimes made the cost of the items hard to afford. To bring the cost down, many colonists decided to produce their own goods. Growing food and using natural resources, such as wood for carpentry items and ships, was fairly easy to do. One of the harder items to supply was cloth and textile products.
 
3     Do you know how a shirt was made in those days? Let's see what it would take to make a cotton shirt. A farmer would grow the cotton plants. The fibers from the mature plant would be picked, probably by a slave. The fibers would be cleaned and all the seeds taken out. Then the fibers would be placed on a block with spikes sticking out from one side. Another block that looked the same was used to comb the fibers straight. This step is called carding. These fibers were twisted together by a spinning wheel into a long thread. These threads were then used on a machine called a loom. They were woven into a large piece of fabric. This fabric was then cut into a pattern. The pieces of the pattern were sewn together to make a shirt. All of these steps were accomplished by a single person working with his or her hands. Each of these steps took a great deal of time. Families who did this kind of work were said to work in cottage industries.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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A New Nation
(1776-1830)

             A New Nation
(1776-1830)



United States
             United States


    American Government  
 
    Black History and Blacks in U.S. History  
 
    Children in History  
 
    Government Careers  
 
    Hispanic Heritage  
 
    How Can I Help?  
 
 
    Immigration  
 
    National Parks and Monuments  
 
    Native Americans  
 
    Presidents of the United States  
 
    Women's History  
 


United States History
    A Nation Divided
(1840-1861)
 
 
    A New Nation
(1776-1830)
 
 
    After the Civil War
(1865-1870)
 
 
    American Revolution  
 
    Cold War
(1947-1991)
 
 
    Colonial America (1492-1776)  
 
    Lewis and Clark
(1804-1806)
 
 
    Pearl Harbor  
 
    Spanish American War (1898)  
 
    The 1890's  
 
    The 1900's  
 
    The 1910's  
 
    The 1920's  
 
    The 1930's  
 
 
    The 1940's  
 
    The 1950's  
 
    The 1960's  
 
    The 1970's  
 
    The 1980's  
 
    The 1990's  
 
    The 2000's  
 
    The Civil War
(1861-1865)
 
 
    The Great Depression
(1929-1945)
 
 
    The United States Grows
(1865-1900)
 
 
    The War of 1812  
 
    Wild, Wild West  
 
    World War I
(1914-1918)
 
 
    World War II  
 


50 States

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