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Chapter 1: Art

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Reading 1 The Artist in You / 11 Reading 2 Art and Artists / 13 Reading 3 Sculpture / 15

Reading 4 Leonardo da Vinci / 17 Reading 5 Cave Paintings / 19

Chapter 2: Money

/ 21 Reading 6 Allowances / 23 Reading 7 Marketing / 25 Reading 8 Currency / 27 Reading 9 Stocks / 29

Reading 10 Making Money / 31

Chapter 3: Communication

/ 33

Reading 11 Sending Messages / 35 Reading 12 The History of Telephones / 37 Reading 13 Body Language / 39

Reading 14 Communication and War / 41 Reading 15 Sign Language / 43

Chapter 4: Health

/ 45

Reading 16 We All Need Exercise / 47 Reading 17 The Secrets to a Long Life / 49 Reading 18 An Amazing Machine / 51 Reading 19 Sitting and Working Out / 53 Reading 20 Weight Lifting / 55

Chapter 5: Nature

/ 57 Reading 21 Nature for Kids / 59 Reading 22 Jewel of the Earth / 61 Reading 23 Light / 63

Reading 24 Earthquakes / 65 Reading 25 Islands in the Sky / 67

Chapter 6: People

/ 69 Reading 26 Walt Disney / 71 Reading 27 The Vikings / 73

Reading 28 Martin Luther King, Jr. / 75 Reading 29 The Amish / 77

Reading 30 Philo Farnsworth / 79

Chapter 7: Space

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Reading 31 Space Travel / 83 Reading 32 Falling Stars / 85 Reading 33 Space Garbage /87 Reading 34 Is Pluto a Planet? /89 Reading 35 The Space Race / 91

Chapter 8: Transportation

/ 93 Reading 36 Ways to Travel / 95 Reading 37 History of Flight / 97 Reading 38 Cars in America / 99 Reading 39 Flying Faster / 101 Reading 40 The Chunnel / 103

Table of Contents



Why is it good to read faster?

Most learners of English read very slowly, often less than 100 words per minute.

They can easily read much faster if they read passages at the right level, and if they have some practice in reading faster. These books will help you do this.

Why is it good to read faster? When you can read faster, you will find it easier to understand. You do not spend your time spelling out words, and so you can give more time to understanding. When you read faster, you can read more. Reading can be fun. It is more fun when you can do it easily at a good speed.

There are many kinds of reading: reading for study, reading for fun, reading to learn about the world (such as reading newspapers), and reading to follow instructions.

When you become faster at one kind of reading, you will also be faster at these other kinds of reading.

You may also be able to listen a bit faster because you are used to working with English at a faster speed.

This part of your English course is different from other parts. In the other parts of your English course, you meet new words and new pieces of grammar and learn them bit by bit. This part of your English course, however, tries to have almost no new things to learn. It tries to make you use what you already know and use it as well as you possibly can. This is called “becoming fluent.” When you are fluent in a language, you can use what you know well.

The goal of this book is to help you become a fluent reader at all levels of your learning.

The passages in these books

The passages in these reading books are written to help you read faster. Most learners of English read slowly, but with a little practice, they can read as fast as many native speakers.

Introduction 5


Most learners read slowly because they meet many unknown words in their reading.

The passages in these books have been prepared so that there will be very few unknown words in them. First, the passages are written in familiar useful vocabulary.

Second, the passages are about familiar things. Third, the passages are grouped into themes so that the five passages on the same theme will become easier as you read your way through them. The earlier passages will make the later ones more familiar. Fourth, difficult vocabulary is reviewed before you read the passages.

All of these things are done so that you can read the passages quickly without meeting unknown words. The purpose of these books is to help you read faster.

Using the books

You should follow these steps when you read the books. Your teacher can help you with this.

Step 1: Do the exercises and learn the vocabulary at the beginning of each set of passages. Make sure you know these words well before you begin reading the passages.

Step 2: Before reading each passage look at the time. If you are reading in class, the teacher will tell you when to begin.

Step 3: Read the passage as quickly as you can while trying to understand the passage.

Step 4: As soon as you finish reading, write down how many minutes and seconds it took you to read the passage.

Step 5: Turn the page and answer the questions. When you answer the questions, do not look back at the passage.

Step 6: Check your answers to the questions using the answer keys in the back of the book.


Step 7: Write your speed and question score in one of the graphs at the back of the book. Every passage in the book has almost exactly the same number of words, so your reading time can tell you your reading speed.

Step 8: Look at your reading speed. You should try to read at around 250 words per minute. You may have to read many passages before you can get to this speed, but this should be your goal. When you read the next passage, try to go faster.

Some things to think about

These books are written to help you read faster. Your goal is not to be the fastest reader in the world, but you should learn to read at a normal, comfortable reading speed. For most people this is around 250 words per minute, but some read faster.

Reading faster is only good if you also understand what you read. That is why there are questions after each story. If you get an answer wrong, that is not a problem. Your main goal is to read faster. However, the questions are easy so that you can read faster and get all or most of them correct.

You check your own questions and measure your own speed. It is easy to cheat if you want to. However, if you cheat, your teacher cannot give you the help you need to read faster. If you cheat, you know that your speed and question score is not really your score. Use these books honestly and properly and you will see your reading get better.

If you like the idea of reading faster, you can help yourself by doing other easy reading. It is not possible to read faster if you are always meeting unknown words.

You can add to the learning from these books by reading other, longer easy books as quickly as you can.

Introduction 7



1 Art

Write the words in the right boxes.

beads bottle bowl contact lens

helicopter jewelry museum tunnel

Things made a long time ago . . .

Things made recently . . .

1.________________ 2.________________

3._______________ 4.________________

5._______________ 6.________________


Match the word with the right definition.

1. simple ability not developed through practice 2. creativity areas of work or study

3. natural talent many different kinds

4. field not difficult

5. variety showing or using imagination

Work with a classmate. Think about things in a museum. Write two (2) things that are . . .


made of metal: _____________, _____________

made of clay: _____________, _____________

made of marble: _____________, _____________

made of wood: _____________, _____________

made of cloth: _____________, _____________

Read about each work of art. Then write the right artist’s name in each blank.

Picasso Mozart da Vinci Michelangelo

1._____________ 2._____________ 3._____________ 4._____________

10 Chapter 1: Art

Mona Lisa painting


David sculpture


The Magic Flute opera 1700s

Guernica mural 1900s


Art can be a great way to spend your free time. If you are good, you might even be able to sell your art and make some money. However, even if you do not paint like Picasso, that does not mean you cannot be an artist.

Anyone can create art. It just takes a little imagination and work.

There are many people who are artists and do not even realize it. So what, then, is an artist? Well, it is someone who makes something using creativity. There are many different kinds of art. There is painting or drawing. Taking photographs is a type of art. People who make movies are artists, and so are people who write books. Designing clothes, designing rooms inside of houses---these are all kinds of art.

If you think about it, there is probably some kind of art that you do. That makes you an artist. If you would like to be a serious artist in the future, here are some helpful ideas. The first thing you need to do is practice. Very few artists are born with natural talent. Most artists work very hard to become good at what they do. So, you really have to enjoy your art. That way, you will want to practice all the time.

The next thing to remember is this: Do not be shy. Show your work to other people. Ask them what they think. Look for ways to improve your ability.

If you know other artists who do the same kind of art that you do, ask them questions. You can learn a lot from other people.

Do not be afraid to try new things. Most of the great artists are remembered because they came up with a new way of creating art. So, be creative.







The Artist in You




Circle the right answer.

1. The reading is about:

a. famous artists

b. why children are good at art c. how to become a better artist

2. Which of the following is NOT mentioned as a type of art?

a. Acting in a theater b. Photography c. Making movies

3. The writer says that:

a. most people do some type of art b. most artists are born with great talent c. you are only an artist if you are good at art

4. The writer says that people should:

a. buy paint from a good art store b. show people their work

c. not talk to other artists about art

5. It is true that most artists are:

a. remembered because of how many works of art they created b. famous because they tried something new in art

c. famous because their works are very expensive


12 Chapter 1: Art




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