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Skiing the Slopes



Skiing the Slopes
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.43

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    rightly, original, popularity, literally, slalom, snowshoe, wearers, military, endure, camps, sledge, snowboarding, downhill, mining, title, equipment
     content words:    In Sweden, Old Norse, Sondre Norheim, Pete Dennison, Sierra Nevada, United States, Carson City, Thompson Alpine Club, Olympic Games


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Skiing the Slopes
By Jane Runyon
  

1     In Norway, there is a picture that was drawn on a rock almost 5,000 years ago. This picture is of a man wearing skis and carrying a stick. In Sweden, the remains of skis almost 4,500 years old have been preserved in the bogs found in the area. Obviously, people have been skiing for a very long time. The word ski itself comes from Old Norse. It literally means a stick of wood.
 
2     People in Scandinavian countries needed to find a way to get around during the long, cold, snowy winters they had to endure. It was found that these snowshoes kept the person wearing them on top of the deep snow instead of falling into it. The usefulness of the snowshoes soon gave way to the need for speed over the frozen land. Pieces of wood were fashioned thinner than the snowshoes. The pieces of wood were laced to the wearers' feet with strips of hide and twisted green twigs. Scandinavians learned to maneuver the pieces of wood and get from one place to another in much quicker and much safer time.
 
3     Early snowshoes came in several shapes and sizes. The pedal snowshoe was an oval board sometimes covered with fur. The fur shoe was created to be worn with the pedal snowshoe. The sledge runner was much shorter than today's ski but looked much the same.

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