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Michigan's First People


Michigan's First People
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.63

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    present-day, tribal, skilled, arrival, grounds, thus, death, general, tobacco, jewelry, acquire, roots, certain, area, however, people
     content words:    Bering Strait, Woodland Indians, Mound Builders


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Michigan's First People
By Marc G. Van Poperin
  

1     The first people in Michigan were Paleo-Indians, who appeared in the area about 14,000 years ago. Very little is known about these people, due to a lack of written history. Some people believe that they followed buffalo herds, coming from Asia. They may have crossed the Bering Strait, come through present-day Alaska and then come into what is now known as Michigan. It is known that they used chipped stones to hunt large game animals. They fished and gathered nuts, berries, and roots. They also knew how to make fire. The Paleo-Indians were believers in life after death, as they buried their deceased in a certain way and with food and tools.
 
2     Some 10,000 years after the Paleo-Indians, another group of people appeared in Michigan. They are called the Archaic people. Like the Paleo-Indians, the Archaic people hunted, fished, and gathered roots, berries, and nuts. The main difference between the two types of people, however, is that the Archaic people began spending a few months each year in one general area. Thus, the first villages were created in Michigan. Another difference was the Archaic's discovery of copper, which they used to make jewelry and tools. Often times they would bury their dead with these tools and jewelry, indicating a sense of life after death much like the Paleo-Indians.

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