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Canadian Theme Unit
A Girl Named Shawnadithit



A Girl Named Shawnadithit
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.49

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Cormack, torment, slavers, gravely, raiders, teen, tragedy, province, shortly, death, caption, tuberculosis, hunger, result, desperate, tribe
     content words:    Sick Europeans


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A Girl Named Shawnadithit
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     Caption: A copy of one of Shawnadithit's drawings of a Beothuk woman in native clothing.
 
2     Have you ever wondered why some people are remembered in history while others are not? Great leaders and brave warriors are usually remembered as are those who do great deeds. The people whose evil taints their name are often remembered as well. But what about the average people? What makes average people be remembered? Sometimes it's because of goodness; sometimes it's a result of a tragedy. Both are reasons to remember a girl named Shawnadithit.
 
3     She was born into the Beothuk tribe in Newfoundland around 1800. Her people had lived in the province for more than 1,800 years, but now they were being destroyed. Explorers became slavers to make extra money. Sick Europeans gave their diseases to the native people.
 
4     As a young woman, Shawnadithit was familiar with hunger. Her family rarely had enough to eat. Once, her people could hunt and fish at will along the coast. The Europeans put a stop to that by often shooting her people on sight. That meant that the Beothuk people were forced to live in the middle of the island where there was less food to be found, because the trappers had over trapped many animals that had once lived there.
 
5     Shawnadithit was a young teen when her aunt, Demasduit, was captured by British raiders. Demasduit had just had a baby. Her husband tried to defend her, but he was killed, and her baby starved to death before she could make the British understand that she wanted her child. By then, Shawnadithit's aunt contracted tuberculosis and died soon after.

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