Canadian Theme Unit
Newfoundland's Vikings

Newfoundland's Vikings
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.48

     challenging words:    longboats, made-where, need-everything, raiders, whetstone, archeologists, northerly, mead, colonize, burning, northwest, status, social, presence, successful, murder
     content words:    Leif Eriksson, Bjarni Herjulfesson, Now Leif, Baffin Island, United States, Helge Ingstad, New World

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Newfoundland's Vikings
By Mary Lynn Bushong

1     What do you think of when you hear the name Viking? Do you think of longboats and raiders with horned helmets? Maybe the smell of wood smoke from a burning village and the screams of terrified villagers fill your imagination. Perhaps you think of the great hall where stories were told and legends were made—where smoke curls up from wood fires and mugs of mead were passed around.
2     The lives of Vikings had many facets. They loved their stories, feasts, and raids. Life was often hard. Their own lands were nearly filled, and new generations had to make their own way.
3     Some accomplished this by going on raids. The loot was divided up between the raiders. That share was their income and part of their social status.
4     Then the Vikings began looking for new lands to colonize. An exiled murderer named Thorvald moved to Iceland. His son, Eric the Red, was also exiled for murder. He explored the north Atlantic for a few years and found Greenland. He returned home to Iceland to get others to come to the new colony.
5     Leif Eriksson was one of the sons of Eric the Red. He heard the stories of Bjarni Herjulfesson who had been caught in a storm and blown off course. He had ended up near an unfamiliar shore but did not explore it. Now Leif wanted to check it out.

Paragraphs 6 to 15:
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