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Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources

The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island

The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.84

     challenging words:    hesitation, overland, present-day, resent, accompany, successful, refused, sponsor, immediately, privateer, knowing, unsuccessfully, original, contents, fond, vegetation
     content words:    Sir Walter Raleigh, New World, Queen Elizabeth, Ralph Lane, Native Americans, Roanoke Island, North Carolina, When Sir Francis Drake, Sir Drake, Walter Raleigh

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The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island
By Crystal Morton

1     In 1585, Sir Walter Raleigh had an idea. He believed he could sponsor an English colony in the New World and gain the favor of Queen Elizabeth. Raleigh set about to assemble a crew of men and secure ships for the undertaking. He appointed Ralph Lane to be governor of the colony, and he wished the party well. Manteo and Wanchese, two Native Americans who had come to England on a previous voyage, would accompany the settlers back to the New World and help them get settled.
2     When the men arrived on Roanoke Island (in present-day North Carolina), Manteo went south to his people to relate all he had seen and done in England. Wanchese returned to his people unhappy. He had not enjoyed his adventure and was not fond of the Europeans. After the Native Americans left, the men went about the business of erecting shelter and providing food. Being more soldiers than farmers, hunters, or carpenters, the men did not provide for themselves very well. They quickly ran out of the supplies they had brought from England and began to resent the nearby natives who appeared to have plenty of everything. Manteo's people did make an effort to teach Lane's men how to hunt and gather food, but the men still were not successful. Some stories tell that the men spent their time looking for gold.
3     The men from Lane's party were exhausted and hungry. When Sir Francis Drake, a famous English privateer, stopped by the island for a visit, he could see that the men would not make it through winter without help. Sir Drake gave the men two choices: they could keep his smaller supply ship and stay, or they could sail back to England with him. Without hesitation, the men joined Sir Drake on his return to England.
4     Dismayed but not discouraged, Sir Walter Raleigh sent another colony in 1587. This time, he gathered not only men, but also women and children. He chose John White as governor of the colony. White's daughter, Eleanor, and her husband, Ananias Dare, accompanied him on the trip. After conferring with Lane, Raleigh planned for this second group to settle along the Chesapeake Bay, north of Roanoke Island.

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