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Reading Comprehension Worksheet

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day was probably imported into North America in the 19th century by British settlers. In the United States, the first mass-produced valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after 1847 by Esther Howland (1828-1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father operated a large book and stationery store, and she took her inspiration from an English valentine she had received. Since 2001, the Greeting Card Association has been giving an annual "Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary".

In the second half of the 20th century, the practice of exchanging cards was extended to all manners of gifts in the United States, usually from a man to a woman. Such gifts typically include roses and chocolates. In the 1980s, the diamond industry began to promote Valentine's Day as an occasion for giving jewelry.

In some North American elementary schools, students are asked to give a Valentine card or small gift to everyone in the class. The greeting cards of these students often mention what they appreciate about each other. Though this practice has been criticized for possibly being irrelevant or inappropriate, it has continued for decades.

1. Which country is credited for importing the Valentine's Day tradition to North America?

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2. In which time period did people start exchanging more than just greeting cards for Valentine's Day? (Circle one.)

1750 - 1800, 1801- 1850,

1851 - 1900, 1901 - 1950,

1951 - 2000, 2000 on

3. What gifts, besides cards, are commonly exchanged during Valentine's Day?

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4. What will you write on your greeting card to your best friend?

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