READING #1                                        Glimpses of Italy

    Italy is a country filled with history and cultur...
READING #2                                               American Samoa

     The seven islands that make up the territory...
Removing Graffiti from Historic Masonry
By: Martin E. Weaver, US National Park Service

Removing graffiti as soon as it ap...
READING #6                                     The Heart of Dr. Williams

 Every day, it seems, the news brings reports of...
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6th Grade Reading Handout 2010


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6th Grade Reading Handout 2010

  1. 1. READING #1 Glimpses of Italy Italy is a country filled with history and culture. It can be found in southern Europe on a long, narrow, boot-shaped peninsula that juts into the Mediterranean Sea. The peninsula reaches about 700 miles long and is 130 miles wide at its widest place. Italy is filled with hills and mountains, which add to its landscape. You may be familiar with some Italian cities. Its capital and largest city is Rome. Ancient temples still stand in this city. Rome was home to the 1960 Summer Olympic Games. The second largest city in Italy is Milan, home of La Scala, a world famous opera house. The third largest city is Naples. Rumor has it that a baker invented pizza here in the early 1700s. Another famous Italian city is Venice. It is built upon 120 tiny islands. Since there are no cars, many people travel by boat. Years ago flat-bottomed boats similar to canoes were a common boat used for transportation. These boats are still used today. They are called gondolas and are operated by gondoliers who often sing as they maneuver the boats through the city. Food is an important part of Italian daily life. It is hard to mention Italy without talking about its delicious food. Spaghetti, lasagna, olives, and pizza often are associated with Italy. Parmesan is probably its most famous cheese. Parmesan needs two to four years to develop its sharp, salty taste. Italians spend a lot of time preparing, presenting, and eating food. Italians generally start the day with a light breakfast, then have a large lunch, and finally a light dinner. Ice cream, gelato, is a favorite dessert. Sports are an important pastime in Italy. It is common to see excited, cheering crowds surrounding a sporting event. The country’s favorite sport is soccer. It is a professional sport there but is also enjoyed by nonprofessionals of all ages. Bicycling is also very popular. On weekends, the roads can be found filled with cyclists. Italian cyclists usually do very well at the Tour de France and other races. Italy has produced many skilled artists. Among these is Michelangelo, known for his paintings and sculptures. One of his greatest works is on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It took him four years to paint it. He lay on his back on a scaffold while he created brilliant pictures. Another talented artist from Italy is Leonardo da Vinci, who created the Mona Lisa. Italy’s culture is respected throughout the world and has inspired and taught us much. Its diverse people contribute to its richness and continue to make it an inviting country.
  2. 2. READING #2 American Samoa The seven islands that make up the territory known as American Samoa are located in the tropical belt of the South Pacific. American Samoa has a total area of around ninety square miles and is host to a variety of plants but little animal life. The animals include snakes, lizards, birds, and a fruit bat called the flying fox. The bat plays a key role in the islands' ecosystem by pollinating plants and scattering seeds. Some of the first Europeans to visit Samoa were pirates and whalers. Samoa would grow to become a major whaling port by the mid-1800s. In 1900, the United States Navy became the governing authority in American Samoa, agreeing to protect the island. Soon thereafter, the Samoan people were declared United States Nationals, and the territory was officially named American Samoa in 1905. As United States Nationals, Samoans have freedom of entry into the United States and may apply for citizenship. Many Samoans, however, choose not to leave their homes and still live in villages organized by tribe, as they have for centuries. Each Samoan village consists of extended family units headed by chiefs who sit on the village council. To this day, ninety percent of American Samoa is owned by the Samoan people and managed by its tribes. At election time, Samoans choose a representative to serve their interests in the United States Congress. The elected individual has the power to debate any issue but is not permitted to vote, except in committee hearings. Much of the population of American Samoa works for the federal government. In fact, a third of the work force is employed by government groups. Another third of Samoans are employed by the territory's booming tuna industry— canned tuna is its most important export. Aside from this most important food, local farmers also raise vegetables, yams, bananas, coconuts, pineapples, and papayas. Today roughly 63,000 people call American Samoa home, with ninety-five percent residing on the main island of Tutuila, where the territorial capital is located. Many have called the territory a Polynesian paradise because of its beautiful mountains and tropical waters. No matter what it is called, American Samoa is home to a very unique and colorful South Pacific culture. READING #3 The Father and Two Daughters (a fable) By: Aesop A man had two daughters. The first daughter was married to a gardener, and the second was married to a tile-maker. After a time, he went to the first daughter to inquire how she was and how all things went for her. She said, "All things are prospering with me, and I have only one wish. I wish that there may be a heavy fall of rain in order that the plants may be well watered." Not long after, he went to the second daughter who had married the tile-maker and likewise inquired of how she was and how all things went for her. She replied, "I want for nothing, but I have only one wish. I wish that the dry weather may continue with the sun shining hot and bright so that the bricks may be dried." He said to her, "If your sister wishes for rain and you for dry weather, with which of the two am I to join my wishes?"
  3. 3. Removing Graffiti from Historic Masonry By: Martin E. Weaver, US National Park Service Removing graffiti as soon as it appears is the key to its elimination--and recurrence. Thus, the intent of this Preservation Brief is to help owners and managers of historic masonry structures find the best way to remove exterior, surface-applied graffiti* quickly, effectively, and safely. The Brief will discuss the variety of materials used to apply graffiti, and offer guidance on how to remove graffiti from all types of historic masonry without harming either the surface or the substrate. Suggestions will also be given regarding the use of physical barriers to protect masonry surfaces from graffiti, and the application of barrier coatings to facilitate graffiti removal. Building managers and owners of historic properties will be advised on the importance of being prepared for rapid graffiti removal by testing different cleaning techniques in advance in order to select the most appropriate and sensitive cleaning technique. Health and safety and environmental concerns are addressed, as well as regulatory matters. Removing graffiti without causing damage to historic masonry is a job for trained maintenance crews, and in some cases, professional conservators, and generally should not be attempted by untrained workers, property owners or building managers. Although the focus of this Preservation Brief is on historic masonry, the same guidance may be applied equally to removing graffiti from non-historic masonry. Identifying the Graffiti and the Masonry Successful graffiti removal from historic masonry depends on achieving a balance between breaking the bond between the graffiti and the masonry surface without damaging the masonry. This generally requires knowledge both of the materials used to make the graffiti and the masonry on which the graffiti has been executed, as well as knowledge of cleaning methods and materials. Without this, masonry surfaces can be badly disfigured or damaged during graffiti removal. *The word graffito (graffiti, plural) -- is derived from the old Italian diminutive of graffio-to scratch, and the Latin graphire-to write. Graffiti in contemporary usage has come to mean an inscription, drawings, or markings. Except in very formal or technical applications, graffiti is generally considered a "mass" noun and paired with a singular verb. Summer Sun from Child's Garden of Verses By: Robert Louis Stevenson Great is the sun, and wide he goes Through empty heaven with repose; And in the blue and glowing days More thick than rain he showers his rays. 5 Though closer still the blinds we pull To keep the shady parlour cool, Yet he will find a chink or two To slip his golden fingers through. The dusty attic spider-clad 10 He, through the keyhole, maketh glad; And through the broken edge of tiles Into the laddered hay-loft smiles. Meantime his golden face around He bares to all the garden ground, 15 And sheds a warm and glittering look Among the ivy's inmost nook. Above the hills, along the blue, Round the bright air with footing true, To please the child, to paint the rose, 20 The gardener of the World, he goes.
  4. 4. READING #6 The Heart of Dr. Williams Every day, it seems, the news brings reports of amazing new discoveries in medicine. Doctors and researchers work hard to cure or prevent diseases. Their efforts provide hope that in the future our lives will be longer. Each new discovery is possible because of earlier work by other people. The amazing ships that explore outer space, for instance, would not exist if the Wright Brothers had not created the first airplane in 1903. It is the same in medicine. Each new procedure builds on the findings of others. Near the end of the 1800s, Daniel Hale Williams III also achieved a major feat that people continue to benefit from and improve upon today. Daniel was born in 1856. Many families like Daniel's at that time faced harsh obstacles and limited choices in society. Even though Daniel had hopes of going to college, his family thought it would be more realistic if he learned a skill that could provide him with a job. Very few people had the chance to receive a college education. To Daniel's parents, making and repairing shoes seemed like a good job choice for him. So, they arranged for Daniel to study with a local shoemaker. With Daniel's intelligence they were sure he'd be good at it. Daniel had other ideas. He worked very hard at school, and he read everything he could find. Instead of working as an apprentice to the shoemaker, Daniel worked with a doctor. After finishing that study, Daniel went to medical school at what is now Northwestern University. Again, his hard work and dedication earned him respect. He graduated in 1883. Dr. Williams worked in Chicago, where he established Provident Hospital. It was there that Dr. Williams' name became world famous. In 1893, he performed the first open-heart surgery. The surgery was so successful that the patient lived a long healthy life. No doctor before had ever been successful in operating on a living heart. Dr. Daniel Hale Williams III, an African- American and the son and grandson of barbers, was the first. His hard work and dedication to others saved the life of that patient so long ago. But his discoveries led others to save the lives of people the world over.