St. Lawrence Explorers
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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 3 to 4
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||malo, quartz, navigator, explorer, staying, compass, settlement, partner, stayed, hometown, prisoner, nearby, return, coast, when, amount
||New World, Lawrence Bay, Anticosti Island, Huron Indian, Lawrence River, Nova Scotia
Spanish: Los Exploradores de San Lorenzo
St. Lawrence Explorers
By Mary Lynn Bushong
1 When you think of explorers in the New World, who comes to mind? You might think of the English and Spanish. You would also think of the French. Two of the most well known French explorers were Cartier and Champlain.
2 Cartier was born in 1491. That is one year before Columbus sailed to the New World. He was born in a coastal town and learned to be a navigator. A navigator is someone who can read a map and make sure the ship gets to the right place. They could use the stars and a compass to find their position on the ocean.
3 When the king of France was looking for an explorer, he thought of Cartier. In 1534, Cartier made his first trip to the New World.
4 Cartier explored the coast of eastern Canada. He drew maps of St. Lawrence Bay, Anticosti Island, and Gaspe. They met the natives living there and learned more about the land. They did not find gold, spices, or silk, but they did make maps. When they went back to France, they also took two young Huron Indian men.
5 The king was pleased with Cartier. He sent the explorer back again the next year. The two Indians returned with him and showed him the St. Lawrence River. Cartier spent the rest of the summer and fall exploring it.
6 Cartier and his men stayed all winter. They were not ready for the cold. Sickness killed some of them. Some of the Indians helped them by brewing a tea from the white cedar tree. This cured their illness, and they were soon healthy again.
7 Cartier's men did not like the long, cold winter. They were soon bored and made trouble with the Iroquois who lived nearby. Things got so bad, Cartier was afraid they would be attacked and killed. As soon as the ice left the river, they loaded the ships and went back to France.
8 The explorer was not able to return to Canada the next year. France was at war with Spain and could not spare the ships. After six years, Cartier was finally able to leave.
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