Colonial America (1492-1765)
The Blacksmith's Shop

The Blacksmith's Shop
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 4
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.65

     challenging words:    anvil, cooper, decorative, forge, forges, ironwork, pewter, pewterer, racks, silversmith, soften, tinsmith, weld, colonial, building, blacksmith

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The Blacksmith's Shop
By Sharon Fabian

1     Look at that building. It has six chimneys! Let's go see what kind of building it is.
2     It isn't a house. Even though today is a hot day, smoke is coming out of the chimneys. It must be some kind of shop.
3     The door is wide open; let's look inside.
4     It looks like some kind of workshop. There are lots of people hard at work here. Some are working by the hot fireplaces, and some are working at small iron workbenches. I know what this is - it's the blacksmith's shop!
5     Those iron workbenches are called anvils. An anvil is small, but it is heavy.
6     It can weigh 200 pounds or more. A blacksmith uses an anvil to shape iron. He pounds iron on the flat surface of the anvil. This way he can bend it to any shape. An anvil might have attachments for pounding out round shapes too. You can hear the blacksmith's hammer ring out as he pounds the iron into shape.
7     The fireplaces in a blacksmith's shop are called forges. Each forge has a bellows. A bellows is made of leather. It pumps air. The blacksmith pulls a cord to pump air onto the fire. This makes the fire burn hotter.
8     A blacksmith needs a hot fire. He needs a fire hot enough to soften iron.
9     When a blacksmith wants to make something, he puts on his leather apron and chooses an iron bar. He puts the end of the iron bar into the fire. The fire starts to soften the iron. It turns the iron bright red, orange, or yellow.

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