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The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Grade 2)

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa

If you look at a picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you might think something is wrong with your eyes. You’d be wrong. There’s nothing wrong your eyes, but there is something wrong with the tower. As the name suggests, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is leaning.

Construction on the Leaning Tower of Pisa started in 1173. Its foundation was poured on soft subsoil. At first, the tower did not lean because it was not very heavy. The soil was able to support its weight. However, about five years after construction began, workers started to add the second story. This was too much weight for the soil. One side of the tower started to sink into the soil. This caused the tower to lean.

Instead of stopping the building process, the construction workers kept on building. They did not know what was causing the lean. The lean got worse as they kept building. However, after around 100 years of working on the tower, they stopped to fight a war. This allowed the tower to settle in the ground. If it had not had time to settle, it would have toppled over. Workers came back after the war and added more to the tower. After around 200 years, workers finished the tower. It still leaned.

In the 1800s, an Italian decided he wanted to show off the tower more. He had workers dig a pathway around the base of the tower. However, the workers struck water. This caused a flood. It made the tower lean even more.

In the 1930s, Benito Mussolini decided he didn’t want the tower to lean anymore. He thought it was an embarrassment to Italy. He had his workers drill holes into the foundation. They filled them with concrete. Instead of keeping the tower from leaning, the cement made it lean even more.

Around 1990, the Italian government decided the Leaning Tower of Pisa was not safe for visitors anymore. They closed the tower for construction. During the construction, they helped decrease the amount of the lean. In 2001, it was open for visitors again. In 2008, engineers examined the tower again. They had good news. The tower was still leaning, but the lean had not changed. That meant the tower was stable. Since the tower is stable, it will likely last a long time. However, it will always have its lean.
1. 
What is wrong with the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
  1. It took too long to build.
  2. It was not planned well.
  3. It started leaning during construction.
  4. It caused a lot of injuries to people.
2. 
What was the cause of the tower's leaning?
  1. poor design
  2. soft subsoil
  3. bad construction
  4. heavy rocks
3. 
What caused the construction on the tower to take too long?
  1. The construction was stopped by war.
  2. The construction was too detailed.
  3. The construction workers lost the plans.
  4. The construction workers were very slow.
4. 
Why was the tower closed by the government around 1990?
  1. It was not safe.
  2. It was going to be torn down.
  3. It was about to fall.
  4. It was not popular.
5. 
What was the most important effect of stopping construction on the tower?
  1. It caused the tower to take longer to build.
  2. It allowed the ground to settle.
  3. It made the tower lean even more.
  4. It caused the construction to cost more money.
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