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Idaho: The Gem State


Idaho: The Gem State
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   10.38

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    diverse, gatherers, mines, prior, settling, camps, relocate, mining, religion, spain, fortune, friendship, especially, perilous, traveled, jobs
     content words:    North America, Native Americans, Native American, Atlantic Ocean, Mississippi River, Louisiana Territory, Rocky Mountains, United States, President Thomas Jefferson, Great Britain


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Idaho: The Gem State
By Marilyn Gatley
  

1     The first inhabitants of North America were called "Indians," or Native Americans. When explorers reached present day Idaho, there were six main Native American groups living in the area. Many of the tribes were hunters and gatherers and made tools from stone, wood, and bones. Even though the tribes were alike in some ways, their food, clothing, shelter, and language differed according to the area in which they lived.
 
2     Prior to 1803, America included the area from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. In 1803, France sold the Louisiana Territory, the land between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, to the United States. President Thomas Jefferson hoped to expand the United States from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans and commissioned the Corps of Discovery, led by Lewis and Clark, to explore the land west of the Rocky Mountains. Spain, Great Britain, and Russia were also interested in exploring and claiming the uncharted territory from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
 
3     The Lewis and Clark Expedition reached Idaho in 1805. News of their journey inspired other men to come to the Northwest. The quest for beaver fur brought about 600 trappers to the Rocky Mountains in the early 1800's. By 1840, trapping had depleted the supply of beaver, and the demand for fur hats had waned. Some of the trappers stayed and worked as guides for the wagon trains that later passed through Idaho on the Oregon Trail.

Paragraphs 4 to 7:
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