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Spanish American War (1898)
Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders



Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.27

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    bedroll, STREN, strenuous, weakling, refused, command, unit, life, boxing, leading, directly, uphill, brink, victory, lighter, lies
     content words:    Teddy Roosevelt, In April, Volunteer Cavalry, Leonard Wood, Weary Walkers, San Juan Hill, Colonel Wood, Rough Riders, Kettle Hill, Juan Hill


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Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     The rougher life was, the better Teddy Roosevelt liked it. He loved riding, even with a cranky horse and a squeaky saddle. He loved the feel of good, hard dirt under his bedroll. He loved hunting, exploring, and being a cowboy. A tough job was his cup of tea, as long as it was outdoors.
 
2     Theodore was Teddy's real name. As a young boy, he had been sick. As he got older, he was determined not to be a weakling. He worked at making his body and his mind strong. He took up boxing and other sports. He did anything that would make him tough. He said he wanted to live "the strenuous life." (The word is pronounced "STREN-you-us." It means vigorously active.)
 
3     In 1898, the U.S. was on the brink of war. A little island nation called Cuba was in trouble. It lies just south of Florida. At the time, it was a colony of Spain. The Spanish rulers weren't treating the Cubans very well. Newspapers in the U.S. told about terrible things being done to the Cuban people. Many people thought the U.S. should help Cuba.
 
4     Roosevelt had an important job at this time. He was one of the men in charge of the U.S. Navy. He felt strongly that the U.S. should chase Spain out of Cuba. Roosevelt made sure the navy was ready in case the U.S. went to war with Spain. In April of 1898, war broke out.
 
5     As the war got going, Teddy wasn't happy with sitting behind a desk. He felt he was missing his chance at adventure. He quit his job with the navy. He helped gather men to go to Cuba and fight. Teddy brought together all kinds of men. He signed up cowboys from the West. He brought in college athletes from the East.

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Spanish American War (1898)
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