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Oklahoma's Path to Statehood



Oklahoma's Path to Statehood
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.4

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    relocate, expansion, tragedy, various, homestead, provided, entire, material, ammunition, temples, pottery, beginning, journey, people, musical, however
     content words:    Native American, Mound Builders, Plains Indians, Francisco Coronado, Robert La Salle, Mississippi River, Louisiana Territory, King Louis, United States, Chickasaw Indian


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Oklahoma's Path to Statehood   

1     The first people who lived on the land that is now Oklahoma were a Native American group called the Mound Builders. They lived in settlements and were known for great mounds of earth they built. Some of these were used as religious temples; others were used as burial sites for their leaders. By digging up these mounds, scientists have learned many things about the early lives of these people. They used tools, lived in communities, and made cloth, pottery, and other handicrafts.
 
2     The Plains Indians were the next group of early Oklahomans. The Plains Indians did not have permanent homes. Instead, they roamed from place to place hunting and gathering food. They often hunted the buffalo which met many of their everyday needs. Buffalo meat was a great source of food, the skin provided shelter and clothing, and various other parts of the buffalo were used for items like tools, ropes, musical instruments, and even sewing needles.
 
3     In 1542 Francisco Coronado was the first white explorer to come to Oklahoma. He was looking for Cities of Gold, which, of course, he did not find. However, he did claim all the land he found for Spain. The land in Oklahoma was owned by Spain until 1682 when the explorer Robert La Salle sailed down the Mississippi River. He claimed the land west of the Mississippi River for France and named it the Louisiana Territory after King Louis the XIV of France. In 1803, France sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States. During the 1700's and early 1800's there were a few white settlers in Oklahoma. These people established trading posts where furs were traded with the Indians for items like guns, ammunition, material, and other items that the Indians found useful.

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