Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Reading Comprehension Worksheets
Grand Gothic Architecture

Grand Gothic Architecture
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.3

     challenging words:    abbot, coordinate, hunchback, nerd-like, plague, thick-rimmed, unidentified, up-it, vaulted, entertainment, spitting, contrast, medieval, occasionally, somewhat, cathedral
     content words:    Middle Ages, Notre Dame, Saint Denis, Super Bowl, Old Testament, Western Europe, Even Scandinavian, Near East

Grand Gothic Architecture
By Colleen Messina

1     If you ever visit a Gothic church, you might have the eerie feeling that something or someone is watching you. The hairs on your neck prickle, and the air seems icy cold. Look up-it might be a gargoyle!
2     A gargoyle is a grotesquely carved face or figure projecting from a roof gutter. The word comes from a Latin word meaning throat. It doesn't sound inspiring, does it? Strangely enough, gargoyles were a common decoration on churches in the Middle Ages. They were a fantastic and strange addition to elegant Gothic architecture. We still see them today in movies about the hunchback of Notre Dame.
3     Gargoyles had a practical purpose. They acted as waterspouts for the enormous cathedral roofs. Since many people of that time could not read scriptures, the scary, leering gargoyles also symbolized ideas about good and evil. Some people believe they were used to ward off evil. Others think that architects put them on churches as an insurance policy against the collapse of the building. Still others think that the contrast of ugly gargoyles made the Gothic churches seem even more beautiful!
4     Gargoyles came in many shapes and positions. One long-haired creature with a furrowed brow was picking his nose with a huge, clumsy finger. Another nerd-like creature wore thick-rimmed glasses. When the rain poured down, some gargoyles looked like they were spitting or drooling. At the very least, gargoyles in a rain storm were a good form of medieval entertainment.

Paragraphs 5 to 11:
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