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Reading Comprehension Worksheets
Colonial America (1492-1776)
Wigmaker and Barber

Colonial America (1492-1776)
Colonial America (1492-1776)

Wigmaker and Barber
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.7

     challenging words:    blockhead, cosmetology, full-bottomed, hairdressing, head-shaped, periwig, pomade, queue, wigmaker, wigmakers, hairdo, conservative, popularity, fashion-conscious, royalty, provided
     content words:    Colonial America

Wigmaker and Barber
By Sharon Fabian

1     Cosmetology is a popular subject in vocational high schools. In cosmetology classes, students learn to wash and cut hair. They learn to give perms and to color hair, too. They learn how to do a fancy hairstyle for a special occasion like a prom. They might learn to cut and style wigs as well as real hair. Cosmetology students often go on to work as hairdressers, styling hair for customers.
2     In Colonial times, there were also people who worked as hairdressers. Some people are surprised to learn that, because we often think of the colonists as hard working people who didn't have time for frivolous things like a fancy hairdo. However, there were many people in Colonial America who were very fashion conscious and who kept up with the latest styles in both clothing and hairstyles. This was especially true in the larger cities like Williamsburg, Virginia.
3     A city like Williamsburg had shops that catered to the fashion-conscious. Wigmakers and barbers there both provided hairdressing services. A barber might provide shaves and haircuts in addition to his other duties, such as performing surgery and pulling teeth! A wigmaker, of course, made wigs, and in the 1700s, wigs were the latest fashion!
4     The fashion of wearing wigs began with the royalty in France; it spread to England and then to America.
5     In Colonial times, the gentlemen, not the ladies, wore wigs. Colonial gentlemen also wore queues. A queue was like a ponytail wig that was tied on at the back of the head. Colonial women, although they did not wear full wigs, sometimes did wear curls or braids that they added on to their own hair.

Paragraphs 6 to 12:
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Colonial America (1492-1776)
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