Kites

This passage talks about the many different uses for kites.

Lexile Level: 1090L

Categories: History Sports & Health


Kites have been used for many purposes since they appeared in China more than 3,000 years ago. The first kites had bamboo frames and silk sails. People heard the wind whistling through the kite's frame and thought the sound would scare away evil spirits. Ancient engineers attached lines to kites and flew them across rivers and streams to begin building bridges. Weather scientists have attached instruments to kites to measure wind, temperature, and humidity. Experiments with kites have shown why you should never use wire for kite strings, or fly kites in the rain or near electrical power lines. Benjamin Franklin flew a kite during a storm in 1752 and proved that lightning produces electricity. You could get electrocuted trying his experiment! Kites were used as targets during World War II to practice shooting down enemy aircraft. Today, kites are mostly flown for fun and sport all over the world. China even has a special holiday honoring kites. On Kites Day, people fly fancy kites shaped like dragons, birds, and butterflies.


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