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Missouri's Journey to Statehood


Missouri's Journey to Statehood
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.56

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    gatherers, education, leadership, status, civilization, heading, tended, religion, setting, slave, gateway, traveled, tribe, journey, beaver, civilize
     content words:    Mississippi Valley, Ice Age, North America, Bering Strait, Native Americans, Mound Builders, Osage Native Americans, Father Jacques Marquette, Louis Jolliet, Father Marquette


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Missouri's Journey to Statehood
By Elaine Nick
  

1     The first people of Missouri are thought to have come about 12,000 years ago to the Mississippi Valley from Asia during the Ice Age. They crossed on a land bridge known as Beringia. Beringia is thought to have connected Asia to North America. That area is known today as the Bering Strait, a body of water about 56 miles wide. As the hunters and gatherers came across the ice land bridge, they spread out across North America.
 
2     Native Americans began to farm in the area about 7,000 years ago. One of the earliest groups built mounds, which are small piles of earth, about 2,000 years ago. The Mound Builders formed the first known civilization. A civilization has an organized system for government, religion, and education.
 
3     The Osage Native Americans arrived in Missouri about 300 years ago. Even though they were among the tallest of the Native Americans, they called themselves the "Little Ones." The leadership of the tribe was passed from father to son. Each family lived in their own lodge in the village. Osage women tended the crops, prepared food, and made clothes. Osage men would hunt the plains for deer, buffalo, elk, beaver, and bear. The Osage fought with the Sauk and Fox groups to keep them from hunting on their land. The fighting skills of the Osage earned them the respect of other groups. The Osage were the first group of Native Americans that the explorers met when they came in the 1600's.

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