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Snakes Alive! Part 1



Snakes Alive! Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.26

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    disjointed, shipload, plea, colonial, superstition, rattler, illustrate, repay, political, government, cartoon, addition, rattlesnake, motivate, throughout, article
     content words:    Benjamin Franklin, Great Britain, Ben Franklin, Pennsylvania Gazette, New England, Indian War


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     Spanish: íSerpientes vivas! (primera parte)


Snakes Alive! Part 1
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Benjamin Franklin was never one to keep his opinions to himself. Great Britain was having trouble keeping all of its criminals in check. To avoid having to guard and feed them in England, the government began sending convicts to their new colonies. That's one way to get rid of the people they didn't really want. By the 1750's, Ben Franklin had had enough of this practice. He wrote an article for the Pennsylvania Gazette expressing his views. He maintained that the colonists should repay England for its "kindness" by sending a shipload of rattlesnakes to London. He said that they would make a very good addition to the parks and land owned by the noblemen.
 
2     In 1754, Franklin created the first political cartoon used in a colonial newspaper. His work had to be carved on a piece of wood that would be used as a printing block. The picture he carved was of a snake. This snake was cut into eight pieces. N. E. was carved above the head of the snake. That stood for New England. Each of the other segments of the snake had the name of a colony carved near it. The disjointed parts of the snake curved in much the same shape as the coast of the new land. The words "Join, or Die" appeared below the snake. This cut up snake was making a plea for unity in the colonies. At that time they were engaged in the French and Indian War. Franklin felt that the colonies needed to join together to fight in this war, or the whole new country might be lost.

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