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Canadian Theme Unit
Attack on Vinland



Attack on Vinland
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.58

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Bjarni, bowmen, cairn, daring, deterrent, headlong, margin, palisade, pyre, red-painted, shaft, skraeling, skraelings, wattle, whoop, grimace


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Attack on Vinland
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     Erick stared out over the narrow, wattle palisade. It was not much of a deterrent. Hardly more than a chest high fence of woven sticks. Just out of range of any weapon, a small group of skraelings stood. Their red-painted skin and hair seemed to glow in the dawn's light.
 
2     The Viking guard shouted back over his shoulder to a man standing outside the door of the great hall. He in turn went into the hall and came back out a moment later. Behind him streamed the men from the hall.
 
3     Leading the men was Thorvald. He came and stood next to Erick as they watched the natives. The skraelings stood and watched the Vikings. They looked over their shoulders into the hollow behind them, then, they trotted back that way.
 
4     Moments later the thin ululating cry went up. The Vikings stood in electrified silence.
 
5     "Who stood guard over the sheep last night?" asked Thorvald as he rushed back to the hall.
 
6     "Bjarni," one of the men responded.
 
7     Quickly the men dressed for battle and rushed out the gate with their weapons. Up over the rise they ran. They paused for just a moment to survey the area and plunged headlong into the fray.
 
8     Bjarni was lying on the ground gasping his last breath while two arrows protruded from his chest. Several of the sheep from the small flock lay dead. The skraelings were in the process of gutting and skinning them.

Paragraphs 9 to 16:
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