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100

Pen pals are friends who live far apart but write letters to each other. It’s exciting for pen pals to get letters in the mail from another city or country. More importantly, pen pals learn about each other’s lives. They may share ideas about their families, pets, and favorite foods. They also may tell each other about special places and events in their towns. Through words and pictures, pen pals make each other’s worlds a little bigger.

It is nice to have a pen pal

100

The earth's surface is constantly changing.  All over the world every day there are earthquakes, floods, and volcanoes that quickly change our world. Some changes are too small to see.  Others cause tremendous damage and cost millions of dollars to clean up.

The Earth's surface is always changing.

100

Did you know that giraffes are the tallest animals in the world? They are unique in other ways, too. For one thing, they sleep only about 20 minutes each day, and usually not more than five minutes at a time. (They have to remain alert for predators.) Also, every giraffe’s coat is unique, and varies in color from white to nearly black, depending on what they eat and where they live.

Giraffes are unique animals.

100

You learn about Science, Maths, Art and many other subject areas. The school has a lot of books for you to read. The teachers create fun activities to make learning fun. There are also a lot of other kids here, who you can become friends with to study together.

School is a great place to learn.

200

A female kangaroo has a special fold of skin that forms a pouch. The pouch is like a large pocket on its stomach. When a baby kangaroo, or joey, is born, it climbs into its mother’s pouch. At birth, a joey is only about one inch long. It needs to stay in the pouch so it can grow more. After several months, the joey has grown enough to leave the pouch for short periods of time. By the time the joey is ten months old, it is ready to leave the pouch for good.

A baby kangaroo stays in its mother's pouch until it's strong enough to live on its own.

200

Soccer players learn many skills when playing soccer. Soccer players learn how to dribble and pass the ball. They also learn how to control the ball so they can eventually score.  Most importantly, soccer players learn how to work together with their teammates.

Soccer players learn many skills when playing soccer.

200

Homemade pizza is delicious. First, make the dough from flour, water, and yeast. After that, begin making the tomato sauce. Next, add any vegetables you like. Then, bake it in the oven. After a short time, the kitchen begins to smell delicious. Soon, it’s ready to eat!

200

There are a variety of types of bird beaks. Each type of beak helps a bird obtain its food. A short, hooked beak is useful for birds of prey. A bird of prey is an animal that hunts its food. This type of beak is sharp and enables a bird to rip what it catches easily.

There are a variety of types of bird beaks.

300

Why should you exercise? When you exercise, you lower your chances of getting sick. For example, exercise makes your heart healthier and your body stronger. It improves your mood and can make you feel calm. Regular exercise helps you think more clearly, so you can get more done during the day. Exercise can even help you sleep better at night. Regular exercise can make your life better in so many ways!

Exercise helps people feel better in many ways.

300

It was backward day at school. The students had to do things backwards. Some of them wore their t-shirt backward. They took a test before they studied the lesson! Dessert was served first instead of last at lunch. They tried to walk home backward, but they kept bumping into each other and fell down.

300

Did you know that giraffes are the tallest animals in the world? They are unique in other ways, too. For one thing, they sleep only about 20 minutes each day, and usually not more than five minutes at a time.  Also, every giraffe’s coat is unique, and varies in color from white to nearly black, depending on what they eat and where they live.

What is the main idea of this passage?

Giraffes are unique animals.

300

Some rabbits change their fur with the seasons. In the summer, they have thinner coats with short fur. As the weather cools, their fur grows longer and thicker. Spring brings more changes to a rabbit's appearance. The warm coat is no longer needed and the animal molts. Rabbits shed their dense coats in the spring. It gathers on bushes and shrubs.

A rabbit’s fur can change across the seasons.

400

Bats sleep in many different places. You may have seen pictures of bats sleeping upside down in caves. Bats have other daytime resting places, too. They sleep in trees, in old buildings, and even under bridges. More than a million bats sleep under one bridge in Austin, Texas. This colony, or group, contains about as many bats as there are people in the city!

Bats sleep in many different kinds of places.

400

The rules for lining up are very clear. Wait until the teacher calls your group, then stand up and push in your chair. Walk to the door and stand in a straight, quiet line. Anyone not following the rules will be told by the teacher to please sit down. This can cause the class to be late for their transition.

The rules for lining up are very clear.

400

If you are feeling sad, you can make yourself feel better by doing a few simple things. You can take a walk (or get another form of exercise), you can talk to a friend, or you can write down your feelings. Writing down the good things in your life will help too. Doing something good for someone else will also help you feel better. If you still feel a little sad, act happy. It works like magic to make you feel better!

There are many ways to make yourself feel better

400

There are about 60 million cells in your body. There are several hundred types of cells, each with its own job. Nerve cells send signals through your body. Sensory cells help you see, hear, touch, taste, and smell the world around you. Blood cells carry oxygen and fight infections. Without these many cells, your body would not work.

The cells in your body have many different functions.

500

Gravity is the force that makes things fall to Earth. You can’t see it or touch it, but without gravity, life on Earth would be quite different. Everything would simply float away. If you jumped up, you would fly off into space. If you threw a baseball, it would never come down. Gravity is also the force that keeps the Earth orbiting around the sun. So, without gravity, the Earth might float away too.

Life would be different without gravity.

500

Sonny watches too much television. A toddler shouldn't spend hours sitting in front of a television screen. Worse yet, some of his wild behavior has been inspired by those awful cartoons he watches. His parents should spend more time reading or playing games with him and pull the plug on the TV! A baby needs more attention than just keeping them occupied and quiet.

Watching a lot of television is not good for toddlers.

500

Eric gripped the bat in his hands. His palms were sweaty but he took a deep breath as he stepped up to the plate. He had to score a run or his team would lose the game. When the pitcher threw a fastball, Eric’s reflexes took over and he heard the “Crack!” of the bat hitting the ball. His heart raced with excitement as he ran to first base. He was safe!

Eric was nervous playing baseball.

500

In 2011, 16 big food companies promised to make their food healthier. They made this promise to help decrease childhood obesity. The companies said they would make their food healthier by lowering the number of calories in it. A study showed that after the companies kept their promise, people started buying healthier, lower-calorie food.

Companies are making their food healthier.

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