Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Reading Comprehension Worksheets
Ancient China
Chinese Inventions - Compass & Gunpowder

Ancient China
Ancient China

Chinese Inventions - Compass & Gunpowder
Print Chinese Inventions - Compass & Gunpowder Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.95

     challenging words:    aligned, rockets, envoy, saltpeter, diplomatic, dynasty, sulfur, concoction, firework, spiritual, compound, shortly, nuclear, discovery, charcoal, prolong
     content words:    Leo Szilard, Though Leo Szilard, World War II, Warring States Period, Northern Song, Zheng He, His Treasure Fleet, Christopher Columbus, When Europeans

Chinese Inventions - Compass & Gunpowder
By Vickie Chao

1     Have you ever had an idea that didn't quite turn out the way you intended? That "surprise" element is something inventors are very familiar with. A case in point is Leo Szilard (1898 - 1964), who patented the idea of a nuclear chain reaction in 1934. Though Leo Szilard came up with the idea and helped the U.S. government create the first atomic bomb, he was adamantly against using it on moral grounds. Despite his repeated pleas, the U.S. government dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945 and ended World War II.
2     Leo Szilard was certainly neither the first nor the last inventor whose product was used in a way different from its initial design. Looking back in history, there are two Chinese inventions that fit the bill. They are the compass and gunpowder.
3     The earliest-known compass dates from China during the Warring States Period (475 B.C. - 221 B.C.) At the time, people used an instrument called "sinan" for fortune telling and other spiritual applications. A sinan consisted of two components. The first, top part was a spoon made of loadstone. The second, bottom part was a square bronze plate with markings pointing to twenty-four different directions. Because loadstone aligned with the Earth's natural magnetic field, the spoon's handle would always point to south when placed on the plate. The ancient Chinese quickly realized the potential application of this direction-finding device. So they began to work on improving its stability. The compass of later days had a magnetized needle on a round plate. Its first recorded use as a navigation tool on ships was during the Northern Song dynasty (960 A.D. - 1127 A.D.)

Paragraphs 4 to 6:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

Weekly Reading Books

          Create Weekly Reading Books

Prepare for an entire week at once!

Feedback on Chinese Inventions - Compass & Gunpowder
Leave your feedback on Chinese Inventions - Compass & Gunpowder   (use this link if you found an error in the story)

Ancient China
             Ancient China

Social Studies
             Social Studies

    United States History and Theme Units  
    American Government  
    Ancient America  
    Ancient China  
    Ancient Egypt  
    Ancient Greece  
    Ancient India  
    Ancient Mesopotamia  
    Ancient Rome  
    Canadian Theme Unit  
    Country Theme Units  
    Crime and Terrorism  
    European History: 1600s-1800s  
    Famous Educators  
    Grades 2-3 Social Studies Wendy's World Series  
    History of Books and Writing  
    History of Mathematics  
    How Can I Help?  
    Inventors and Inventions  
    Middle Ages  
    World Religion  
    World War I  
    World War II  
    World Wonders  

Copyright © 2018 edHelper