A New Nation

Robert Fulton and the Steamboat

Robert Fulton and the Steamboat
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.99

     challenging words:    demonstration, explanation, vision, regularly, version, further, upstream, hull, region, design, paddle, painter, development, powerful, traveled, goods
     content words:    Robert Fulton, Seine River, North River Steamboat, On August, New York City, New York, Mississippi River, Middle America, Gulf Coast

Print Robert Fulton and the Steamboat
     Print Robert Fulton and the Steamboat  (font options, pick words for additional puzzles, and more)

Quickly Print - PDF format
     Quickly Print: PDF (2 columns per page)

     Quickly Print: PDF (full page)

Quickly Print - HTML format
     Quickly Print: HTML

Proofreading Activity
     Print a proofreading activity

Feedback on Robert Fulton and the Steamboat
     Leave your feedback on Robert Fulton and the Steamboat  (use this link if you found an error in the story)

Robert Fulton and the Steamboat
By Jane Runyon

1     Robert Fulton was a man of vision. He became interested in the possibilities that a steamboat could create from a very early age. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1765. The story is told that he visited a family friend in 1777, and that is where his interest in steamboats began. He would have been only twelve years old. The Fulton's family friend had visited England. While he was there, he saw a demonstration of a new invention. It was a steam engine developed by a man named Watt. When he returned from England, he made his own version of the engine. His idea was to put it into a boat.
2     Why would anyone want to put a steam engine into a boat? Maybe this explanation will help. Can you whistle? What is it that makes the whistling sound? It is air being forced through your lips. Have you ever heard a tea kettle whistle? What makes that whistling sound? Boiling water has turned to steam and that steam is forcing its way through the top of the kettle. It has quite a force. It doesn't stop when it runs out of breath like your whistle does. As long as the water is boiling and steam is being produced, that energy will last. If you have ever tried to move an object upstream against a current of water, you know that it would take a lot of energy. Inventors reasoned that if they could invent a powerful enough steam engine, they would be able to move boats up the rivers against the current as well as down with the current.
3     Robert Fulton grew up to be a talented painter. He even went to Paris, France, to study art. He didn't forget his fascination with the steam engine. While studying in Europe, Fulton was able to see firsthand many of the experiments other inventors were doing with the steam engine. He developed their inventions even further by experimenting with submarines and torpedoes. This was back in 1783! His desire to create a boat powered by steam that could be used to carry goods against a river current completely overshadowed his interest in art. By 1803, he had successfully designed a steamboat that sailed up the Seine River in France against the current.

Paragraphs 4 to 6:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

Weekly Reading Books

          Create Weekly Reading Books

Prepare for an entire week at once!

A New Nation

             A New Nation

United States
             United States

    American Government  
    Black History and Blacks in U.S. History  
    Children in History  
    Government Careers  
    Hispanic Heritage  
    How Can I Help?  
    National Parks and Monuments  
    Native Americans  
    Presidents of the United States  
    Women's History  

United States History
    A Nation Divided
    A New Nation
    After the Civil War
    American Revolution  
    Cold War
    Colonial America (1492-1776)  
    Lewis and Clark
    Pearl Harbor  
    Spanish American War (1898)  
    The 1890's  
    The 1900's  
    The 1910's  
    The 1920's  
    The 1930's  
    The 1940's  
    The 1950's  
    The 1960's  
    The 1970's  
    The 1980's  
    The 1990's  
    The 2000's  
    The Civil War
    The Great Depression
    The United States Grows
    The War of 1812  
    Wild, Wild West  
    World War I
    World War II  

50 States

             Fifty States Theme Unit

Document Based Activities
      Document Based Activities

More Activities, Lesson Plans, and Worksheets

Back to School
Graphic Organizers
Alphabet Worksheets
Sight Words
Math Worksheets
50 States

Monthly Themes

Place Value
Time and Calendar
Earth Day
Solar System
Following Directions
Cursive Writing
Patterns and Sequencing
All About Me

First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Sixth Grade

Main Idea
Cause and Effect
Order of Operations
Community Helpers
Addition and Subtraction
Bulletin Board Ideas
Word Searches
Crossword Puzzles
Printable Puzzles

Reading Comprehension
Reading Skills
English Language Arts

Copyright © 2015 edHelper