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Exploring America's Great Rivers



Exploring America's Great Rivers
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.5

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Hernando, expedition, interior, riches, northwest, transfer, eventually, route, quest, originally, somehow, continent, discover, opportunity, explorer, supplies
     content words:    Native Americans, South America, Jacques Cartier, Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, North America, Amazon River, Atlantic Ocean, Mississippi River, United States


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Exploring America's Great Rivers
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Explorers of America in the 1500s had to be tough! First they had to survive crossing the ocean to get to America, and then they had to land in the right place. At that time, neither of those things was easy to do, and many explorers didn't even make it to America.
 
2     Once they finally reached America, do you think things got easier? No! They got worse! An explorer couldn't just step off of his ship and transfer to a train or a car to travel across the land. There wasn't even a covered wagon to hitch a ride on. Once they landed, explorers traveled by foot, and not on roads or sidewalks, either! They couldn't stop at an inn for a good night's sleep and a hot meal. When they did have a chance to stop and rest at the invitation of a group of Native Americans, they may have slept with one eye open, remembering all the awful things that explorers before them had done to the Indians who lived there. Was it really safe to sleep among Indians who probably had good reasons to want to get rid of them?
 
3     Maybe those explorers were relieved when they had the chance to get back on their ships and explore by water instead of land. Explorers sailed up and down the great rivers of North and South America. Some were on a quest for riches. Some were still trying to find a passage to Asia. Some were hunting for food to keep themselves alive.

Paragraphs 4 to 7:
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