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The Man Who Named America
Print The Man Who Named America Reading Comprehension


Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.16

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    cosmographer, mapmaker, cosmology, outcry, best, speculation, better, mapmakers, edition, woodcut, exploration, cartographers, unknown, uproar, coast, recognize
     content words:    Martin Waldseemuller, Freiburg University, Pacific Ocean, South America, Amerigo Vespucci, Terra Incognita, Unknown Land, New World, South American
The Man Who Named America

By Mary Lynn Bushong
1     Have you ever wondered how people knew where they were going when they set out to explore? Many times, they didn't know. Captains of exploring ships often kept detailed logs or journals of their journeys. When they returned home, they often shared this information with cartographers who used it to make new or better maps. One of the best known of these mapmakers was Martin Waldseemuller (Valt-zee-muel-ler).
 
2     Waldseemuller was not just a mapmaker, he was a cosmographer. That means that he studied both the sky and the Earth's geography and the relationships between the two.
 
3     Born near Freiburg, Germany, in 1470, Waldseemuller's early life is pretty much unknown. As a young man, he attended Freiburg University and studied cosmology. After he left the university, he moved to Basel, Switzerland, where he learned about printing with woodcut illustrations. These techniques would later help him in his work as a mapmaker.
 
4     Martin Waldseemuller soon became so good at his work that he was regarded as one of the best cartographers in Europe. This was obvious when he produced his globe of the Earth in 1507. Until this time, the west coast of the Americas was not drawn in.

Paragraphs 5 to 11:
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