The Blues: Music of Survival
Four men were walking across a field. They were carrying a body wrapped up in white cloth. Their strong, black hands and arms supported the body as they walked on. Other men, women, and children walked behind. And the tall green trees listened. They listened to the cries of... Read more
Story Power
Dorothy looked up into the sky. And she started to sing. Her soft voice rose up gently in the air. Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high There’s a land that I’ve heard of once in a lullaby. Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue And the dreams that... Read more
The Artful Geisha (Step 2)
ReadOasis Step 2 Geisha are traditional female entertainers from Japan. They are skilled at various Japanese arts, such as traditional music, dancing, and poetry. The word “geisha” comes from (GEI) meaning “art” and (SHA) meaning “person.” In this sense, a geisha is an artist. In the 1920’s, about 80,000... Read more
ET and Intelligent Life
ReadOasis Step 2 The film ET warmed the hearts of millions of children and adults. It was funny and exciting. And it told a hopeful story about love and friendship. In one scene, ET points his finger to the sky. And he says, "ET phone home." This simple phrase... Read more
Walt Disney’s Impossible Dream
ReadOasis Step 2 In 1934, Walt Disney began plans to make a movie. He wanted to create the first full-length animated film. But when people heard about his idea, they said it was a mistake. They thought it would destroy the Disney studio. Even Disney's brother and wife tried... Read more
James Watt and the Teapot
ReadOasis Step 2 (Part 1) A little boy was sitting in his grandmother's kitchen. He was watching the red fire in the wide open fireplace. He quietly thought about the causes of things. He was always thinking and always wanting to know how things worked. "Grandma," he asked, "what... Read more
The Boy who Became Buddha
ReadOasis Step 2 He was born in 1935 -- in a poor farmer's home in northeast Tibet. At age 2, he was recognized as the 14th Buddha of Compassion. Buddha's soul had again appeared in a child. And this boy was the Buddha. He was taken to a palace... Read more
W.C. Handy: Father of the Blues (Step 2)
By Maria Sonora ReadOasis Step 2 (Part 1) W.C. Handy at age 19 "Then I saw the beauty of primitive music." W.C. Handy, Father of the Blues W.C. Handy grew up in the southern part of the United States, in a small town in Alabama. His father was a... Read more
The First Lady of Song
ReadOasis Step 3 After her mother died, Ella had a lot of trouble. Her grades dropped at school. She couldn't find a good place to live. She became an orphan, a child whose parents are dead and gone. Eventually, she was sent to the New York Training School for... Read more
Are You Sleeping?
ReadOasis Step 2 The bells are ringing, but John is sleeping. It's time to wake up! This is the basic setting for the song "Are You Sleeping." In the English speaking world, many people know this song, and they can also sing the first lines in French. Frère Jacques,... Read more
On the Road Again (Step 2)
ReadOasis Step 2 Willie Nelson's Guitar "Trigger" Little Willie was born into hard times. On October 29, 1929, the American economy crashed. It was called Black Tuesday. Many people lost all their money. By Willie’s day of birth in 1933, around 25% of Americans had lost their jobs. People... Read more
The Best Guitarist: Jimi Hendrix
ReadOasis Step 2 It was the summer of 1967. About 200,000 people came to the small town of Monterey, California. It was time for the Monterey Pop Festival. Over 30 artists were playing 3 days of music. But today, people remember the last night of the show. It was... Read more
Sincerely, Thomas Edison
By Cana Short ReadOasis Step 2 (Part 1) An amazing thing happened this morning! I was walking down the street when I noticed a crowd gathered outside a local brokerage firm. People nearby told me that an important machine had broken down. The manager of the firm was in... Read more
Songs of Survival
ReadOasis Step 3 It was my twentieth birthday. I was sitting in the family piano room when my father opened the door. He had a big smile on his face, and he said, "Happy Birthday!" Then he handed me a big box. Inside was a new guitar. It was... Read more
The Guitar Hero
ReadOasis Step 2 Humans have played instruments like guitars for 5,000 years. The English word "guitar" originally may come from the Indian word, "sitar." Today guitars play a main part in jazz, blues, country, rock, and pop music. They are also used for solo classical music. In popular culture,... Read more
Crazy for Basketball
ReadOasis Step 2 Just 17 seconds remained on the clock. The noise was overpowering. 61,612 basketball fans packed the Louisiana Superdome. Georgetown University was playing the University of North Carolina. North Carolina was behind by just one point. The ball was passed to Michael Jordan. He jumped up and... Read more
The Biggest Band (Step 3)
ReadOasis Step 3 It was a hot August night in New York City, 1965. Two thousand policemen in charge of security watched anxiously as 55,000 fans filled Shea Stadium. But this was not for a baseball game; it was for the first ever stadium concert in the history of... Read more
Serious About Humor (Step 2)
ReadOasis Step 2 It's early in the morning. A funny looking man is getting ready for work. He looks up at the clock on the wall. Then his eyes pop wide open. He's running late! He hurries to the kitchen. He opens the coffee jar and fills his spoon... Read more
Machu Picchu: The Lost City
ReadOasis Step 2 Hiram Bingham was a real Indiana Jones. He taught at Yale University. And he was an explorer. On July 24, 1911, Bingham was in Peru again. He was searching for the lost city of the Incas. His guide was Melchor Arteaga, a local farmer. They walked... Read more
The Birth of Levi’s Jeans
ReadOasis Step 2 Rivets By Rohit Gowaikar (Creative Commons) Levi Strauss was born in Germany in 1829. At 18, he joined his brothers in America. They had a dry goods business in New York City. At that time, many people were moving to California in search of gold. Levi... Read more