Module D – Lessons 21 to 30


Click here for Lesson 21
Click here for Lesson 22
Click here for Lesson 23
Click here for Lesson 24
Click here for Lesson 25
Click here for Lesson 26
Click here for Lesson 27
Click here for Lesson 28
Click here for Lesson 29
Click here for Lesson 30

Lesson 21 – Brown Corpus Vocab-Builder

NEW WORDS: Berlin, Biden, Britain, Christ, Communism, Congo, Dallas, Frank, Hanover, Jesus, Joseph, Jr., Kennedy, Khrushchev, Laos, Lewis, Louis, Martin, Mercer, Morgan, Rhode, Roman, Russia, Soviet, Wilson, Xmas, accepted, achieved, achievement, activity, affairs, agencies, anode, apparently, appearance, appears, applied, assignment, associated, association, attorney, audience, bankrupt, based, bastion, battery’s, battlefield, bonus, boosted, claims, collection, collided, combination, commercial, companies, complaints, completion, concerning, conducted, considered, continuing, convention, corporation, corps, declared, defective, demands, democratic, develops, directly, dissatisfaction, district’s, diva, editor, educational, effects, emotional, employees, equally, erecting, espionage, estimated, existing, experiments, expired, extended, facilities, failed, failure, financial, fiscal, forces, gospel, governor, grounds, heavily, historical, housing, humidity, imagination, improved, including, incompetence, increased, increases, increasing, indicated, individuals, industrial, informed, institutions, instructions, interests, investigation, island’s, judgment, karate, landmass, largely, leadership, limited, lunches, management, materials, measured, membership, methods, morale, nations, nominee, officers, officials, operating, operations, organizations, organized, paper’s, particularly, party’s, patient’s, performance, personal, persons, policies, preached, presented, prices, primarily, principles, procedures, processes, production, programs, projects, properties, proposed, providence, providing, purposes, radiation, reasonable, reasons, recently, reduced, reference, regarded, regulations, relations, relatively, reported, represented, requirements, rifle, rousing, scientific, sections, services, slightly, southeast, spiritual, stated, statements, stations, subjects, treasurer, trekking, understanding, understood, units, upgraded, values, vocational, workplace

That’s my sis, Morgan.

Providence is Rhode Island’s capital.

The Soviet Union was a bastion of Communism.

Banking institutions are under investigation.

He’s reported back to practice.

I got an “A” on my assignment.

There are four sections in today’s newspaper.

Why’s the production line stopped?

With what church are you associated?

The patient’s in the operating room.

He’s primarily interested in football.

They recently moved away.

My closet is organized.

Management announced a Xmas bonus!

I’m a relatively happy person.

We’re moving to Dallas, Texas.

I forgot the combination to my bicycle lock.

The U.S. Army demands much of its soldiers.

Russia is the world’s largest country by landmass.

Gas prices have dropped.

She stated her dissatisfaction with the team.

Biden is the Democratic Party’s nominee.


She has a huge stamp collection.

We went gorilla trekking in the Congo.

Construction is near the completion point.

I have a Wilson tennis racket.

This cereal is new and improved.

That’s a reasonable request.

You used good judgment on your choice.

I’m hooked on three TV programs.

I was born in Hanover, PA.

He fired his rifle into the air.

Where are last year’s bank statements?

They hired ten new employees.

That’s a funny TV commercial.

Look directly at the camera.

Apparently, you ignored my instructions.

Humidity has increased in the last two weeks.

The enemy is heavily armed.

She got her financial affairs in order.

They named him Ed, Jr.

He follows strong moral principles.

He’s doing dangerous experiments.

Jesus Christ preached about love.


I accepted their challenge.

Your membership has expired.

The Mayor made an appearance.

She’s regarded as an expert.

I want a combo meal including fries and a soft drink.

Her leadership skills boosted morale.

He’s worked in three government agencies.

He’s charged with industrial espionage.

The opera diva gave a stirring performance.

Mr. Louis is our music teacher.

Mr. Mercer is erecting a new housing development.

Keep me informed of your progress.

We got pay increases today.

You have a vivid imagination.

I work on insurance claims.

He gave a speech at the United Nations.

Khrushchev took us to the brink of World War Three.

It was an educational trip.

Give me three good reasons for doing that.

Connect this wire to the battery’s anode.

She represented our team’s interests well.

I’ll take a vocational track instead of going to college.


The effects of sunburn are painful.

The Treasurer practices good fiscal policy.

I measured my foot size.

She’s started two companies.

I’m an emotional wreck!

What is your complaint concerning?

The officials agreed that it was a touchdown.

I’ve got four projects going.

They’ve reduced prices on last year’s products.

The Doc performed two operations today.

It appears that they’ll lose the game.

Two police officers were at our school today.

Many in our family have joined the armed services.

Which of these subjects interests you?

Her temperature is increasing.

Man your stations!

I applied for a job there.

Radiation can kill you.

We’ve extended our trip for a few days.

She develops new properties.

That’s quite an achievement!

She’s the school paper’s editor.


Our district’s schools have good lunches.

He’s on the Board of two organizations.

Have you considered getting more exercise?

Will you be a job reference for me?

This table seats four persons.

I’m not particularly hungry.

We’re studying the Roman Empire.

Please read up about our workplace policies.

What are their grounds for these complaints?

Their farm processes dairy products.

I understood the instructions.

We have a limited supply of these.

The athlete failed to break the record.

Wales is part of Great Britain.

This game has four levels of difficulty.

To be frank with you, this doesn’t taste good.

The two parties have reached an understanding.

There are so many rules and procedures here!

What’s your theory based on?

I’m equally guilty of sneaking a cookie.

My attorney gave me good advice.

We estimated a crowd of seventy-five.


I’m going to a Trade Association convention.

Here are the proposed regulations.

These materials are defective.

You indicated that you’d like to meet about this?

She has strong moral values.

John F. Kennedy was the 2nd youngest U.S. President.

What are your personal interests?

Our facilities need to be upgraded.

I’ll come, providing you let me bring a dessert.

The new boss is named Joseph Lewis.

Do you have any existing health problems?

She made a scientific discovery.

Class, line up for our next activity.

He declared that the games may begin!

She conducted the orchestra well.

Here’s the list of job requirements.

Ten individuals showed up.

Count in units of ten.

For all practical purposes, he’s a lame duck.

This book is historical fiction.

Laos is in Southeast Asia.

She’s achieved Black Belt status in karate.


The two countries’ relations are at an all-time low.

He’s continuing to bully me!

We’re strict about sticking to scientific methods.

Their armed forces collided on the battlefield.

Their corporation went bankrupt.

She sang a rousing gospel spiritual.

I’m slightly confused.

She presented her paper to a large audience.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a U.S. national hero.

His failure was largely due to his incompetence.

The Governor signed the new law last night.

She just joined the Peace Corps.

There was much celebration when the Berlin Wall fell.

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.) 


Lesson 22 – Three World Religions

NEW WORDS: Allah, Arabia, Arabic, Bethlehem, Christianity, Christians, Egypt’s, Eid, Fitr, Gabriel, Galilee, Hashanah, Islam, Israel, Jesus’s, Jews, Judaea, Judaism, Kippur, Koran, Mecca, Medina, Miriam, Moses’s, Muslims, Nazareth, Ramadan, Rosh, Saudi, Torah, Yom, arrested, commandments, crescent, crowds, destroyed, disciples, established, exodus, firstborn, followers, forgiveness, linked, meaningful, merchant, messiah, mosque, navigate, originated, plagues, prophet, rescued, retell, riverbank, separated, spared, synagogue, teachings, worshipped

Chapter One: What Is Religion?
Religion is meaningful in many people’s lives. It can navigate us toward living and behaving well. For some, religion tells how the world originated. You’ll now learn about three religions. There are a lot more than three. But these have the most followers. They are: “Judaism,” “Christianity,” and “Islam.”

Long ago, there were people in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. They worshipped lots of gods. Let’s look between three and four thousand years ago. There was a small group of people. They were the Jewish people. They lived in the lands between Egypt and Mesopotamia. We now call these lands part of the Middle East.

The Jewish people had a new kind of religion. They believed in only one god. Today, that is a belief in all three religions that we’ll talk about. It’s the most important part of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.


Chapter Two: The History of Judaism: Moses and the Jewish People in Egypt
The “Torah” is the holy book for the Jewish people. It tells the story of their people who had gone to live in Egypt. At first, the Jews were happy there. They grew stronger as a group. But then an Egyptian pharaoh took notice of them. He saw how strong they had become. He did not like it. The pharaoh forced the Jewish people to become slaves. They had to work in the hot desert. They were forced to build Egyptian cities.

But the Jews were not defeated. They stayed strong during their slavery. The pharaoh grew angry. He decided to kill all the Jewish baby boys. He had them drowned in the Nile River. One Jewish woman fought back. She decided that the pharaoh would not kill her son. She made a basket. She placed her baby inside. She sent the basket floating down the river. She told the baby’s sister, Miriam, to follow it.

The basket went down the river. There were reeds that grew close to the riverbank. It became tangled in them. A lady was sitting on the riverbank. She saw the baby. She rescued him. Miriam had followed her brother’s journey. Now she had to be brave. Guess who the lady was who had rescued her brother? She was the pharaoh’s own daughter!


“What a beautiful baby!” Miriam cried out. She then ran toward the pharaoh’s daughter. “I know a Jewish slave woman who could care for him.” The woman Miriam spoke of was the baby’s real mother!

The Egyptian princess thought for a moment. Then, she said, “I will raise this baby as my own. His name will be Moses. He will be a prince of Egypt! Bring me the slave woman. She can help me!” And so, Moses’s real mother could care for him when he was a child.

Moses grew up as a royal prince in Egypt. One day he saw an Egyptian hurting a Jewish slave. Though Moses grew up as an Egyptian prince, he knew that he was Jewish. Moses was so angry that he killed the Egyptian. Moses was forced to run away. He escaped to the desert and became a shepherd.

Sometime later, Moses saw a strange thing. He saw that a bush was on fire. Yet it was not burning up! As he moved toward the bush, a voice spoke to him. “Moses,” the voice called out to him. “I am the God of the Jews. You must lead them out of Egypt. Go back to the pharaoh. Tell him to let my people go.”

Though Moses was afraid, he did as God asked. But the pharaoh still would not let the Jewish people go free. So, God would now punish the pharaoh and the Egyptians. God sent lots of terrible plagues upon them. Still, the pharaoh refused to free the Jews.


Chapter Three: The Flight from Egypt
Finally, Moses gave a serious warning to the pharaoh. He told him that God would kill the firstborn child in every Egyptian family. This would happen if he did not free the Jews. Once again, the pharaoh refused.

Then God gave Moses a command. Moses was to tell the Jewish people to mark their doors with blood. This way, the Angel of Death would know which homes to pass over. The Jewish people did this. Thus, their firstborn children were spared.

The pharaoh’s own son was killed by the Angel of Death. This was too much for Pharaoh. He finally let the Jewish people go.

Moses and the Jewish people escaped from Egypt. This is known as the “Exodus.” The Jewish people had no time to get ready for the journey. All they had to eat along the way was flat bread.

The pharaoh changed his mind yet again. The Jewish people had just reached Egypt’s border at the Red Sea. They saw Pharaoh’s soldiers chasing after them. Moses held up his staff, or stick. Then God separated the Red Sea into two giant walls of water! Moses led the Jewish people across the dry path in the middle.


The Jewish people were safe after they crossed. Then, the walls of water fell onto the pharaoh’s soldiers. They were all drowned.

At last, the Jewish people were free. They could begin their journey. They were headed to the land God had promised them. It was the land of “Israel.” Along the way, God spoke to Moses. God gave him the Ten Commandments. These were the laws that the Jewish people must follow. Sadly, Moses never reached the land of Israel.

Today, Jewish people practice their religion a number of ways. They pray. They go to a temple or synagogue. They read or listen to stories from the Torah. The Torah is part of the Jewish Bible. The Star of David is an important symbol of the Jewish faith.

There are a number of important Jewish holidays. There’s Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year. There’s Yom Kippur, or the Day of Forgiveness. And there is Passover. During Rosh Hashanah, people eat apples and honey. Passover is the celebration of freedom from slavery in Egypt. During Passover, Jewish people eat flat bread. And they retell the story of the Exodus.


Chapter Four: The History of Christianity
Christians also believe in one god. For Christians, their faith is linked to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. The Christian Bible is their holy book. It tells of Jesus’s life and teachings.

Jesus was born about two thousand years ago. He was born in Bethlehem, in Judaea. At the time, this was part of the Roman Empire. Jesus was Jewish. The Romans made life difficult for the Jews in Judaea.

Here’s the story of Jesus’s birth. It tells of a man named Joseph and his wife Mary. They were having a baby. Before the baby was born, Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem. They arrived there. But the only place they could stay was in a stable.

Mary gave birth to Jesus in that stable. There were shepherds and travelers known as wise men. They learned about the birth of Jesus. They visited the baby Jesus in the stable. They brought him gifts.

Jesus grew up. He traveled through the area known as Galilee. He was a teacher. Jesus said that all people were equal in the eyes of God. He said that they should treat each other with kindness. Crowds often gathered to hear him speak. Those who followed Jesus believed he was the “messiah.” A messiah is a person a people hope will save them.


The Romans arrested and killed Jesus. Much happened before he was arrested. Jesus’s first followers were twelve men. They were called “the disciples.” He asked them to eat a last Passover meal with him. Today, Christians call this meal the Last Supper. After Jesus died, his teachings were carried by his followers. These teachings went across the Roman Empire.

Here’s how Christians practice their faith. They pray. They go to church. They read the Bible. There are many Christian holidays, or celebrations. They are based on the life and teachings of Jesus. During the Christmas season, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus.

During Easter, Christians remember the last days of Jesus’s life. They remember his death on the cross. Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead. That is celebrated on Easter Sunday. The cross is an important Christian symbol.


Chapter Five: The History of Islam
Let’s move to six hundred years after Jesus lived. We’ll learn about Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. He was born in the city of Mecca. That’s in what’s now Saudi Arabia. Muhammad established a new religion. It is called Islam. People who practice it are called Muslims. Their holy book is the Koran.

Muhammad was a merchant. He bought and sold things for a living. Because of his work, he traveled and met many people.

The story of Muhammad tells us this. One day, he was in a cave. The angel Gabriel spoke to him. Muhammad left the cave and told his wife about the angel.

Sometime later, the angel spoke to Muhammad again. He began to tell others about the messages he received from the angel. The angel said that there was only one god. The Arabic word for God is “Allah.”


Some people were angry with Muhammad. That’s because they still worshipped many gods. And so Muhammad, along with his followers, left Mecca. They escaped to a city called Medina.

In Medina, people began following the teachings of Muhammad. Through these teachings, they came to believe in one god. Then in the year 630, Muhammad returned to Mecca. Many of his followers came with him. They destroyed the statues of gods the people there worshipped. Muhammad died two years after his return to Mecca. His followers carried his teachings across the Middle East and beyond.

Here’s how Muslims practice their faith. They read the Koran. They pray. Sometimes they go to a mosque, or place of worship.

The month of Ramadan is holy for Muslims. During that month they remember the words Muhammad received from the angel. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims enjoy a special feast. It’s called “Eid al-Fitr.” The star and crescent are important symbols of Islam.

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.) 
Columbus And The Pilgrims

Lesson 23 – Part One

NEW WORDS: Constantinople, Europe’s, Gino, Giovanni, Pinta’s, Portugal, Sofia, adjured, afresh, agitated, allay, ambush, anchor, anchored, appraise, assail, bandits, behalf, calculations, clinging, coastland, commandant, compacted, competed, conception, convinced, convincing, deterred, dined, discontented, doubts, enlivened, entice, enticing, espy, examining, excitedly, expectant, expedition, exultant, feasted, finer, flagpole, flagship, fleet, flotilla, formally, genuflected, greedily, headway, highwaymen, horrified, impatiently, incomparable, ineludibly, inklings, inspiriting, intrigued, leviathans, lifelessly, lighter, majesties, medial, navigators, obstructed, ocean’s, parley, passable, patronage, peregrinate, prattled, prosperous, proximity, reassure, recalled, repine, richer, secretly, seekers, sought, strangers, suggestions, thrones, trepidation, trolled, unaided, uncertainty, unembellished, unflinching, unsuccessful, vessels, via, victorious, who’ve

Chapter One: The Spice Seekers
Sofia! Sofia!” Giovanni called out. He was exultant. “Last night, Father gave me great news. He and Uncle Gino will take me with them. We’ll go to the Indies! We’re going to buy delicious, good-smelling spices. They’ll make our food taste better. And we’ll get spices to use in perfume. That will make people smell good. Guess what else is in the Indies? They have bright, beautiful cloth. We can make clothes much finer than ours. Father says that we can bring these things home. We can sell them for lots of money. We’ll be rich! We might even find gold there. Then we’d be even more prosperous!”

Sofia looked horrified. “But Giovanni! Everyone knows that is a long, dangerous journey. Sometimes it takes years to get there and back. You might not make it home at all. You must walk or ride on the backs of mules and horses. Bandits hide in mountain passes. They’re waiting to ambush travelers. They’d steal your money. And what if you get past the highwaymen? You still have to peregrinate wide, dry deserts. You might run out of water. You would die of thirst!”


“Sofia! Stop!” said Giovanni. He held up his hand. “Uncle knows folks who’ve made the trip. Don’t worry so much. They’ve told him all about it. We’ll make it. You’ll see! And I’ll bring you back some beautiful cloth. You’ll be able to make a gorgeous dress to wear.” Sofia was not convinced. But Giovanni seemed sure that he was right.

A few days passed. Then there was bad news. Giovanni sadly told his cousin the news. “We can’t go, after all. There’s only one way to get to the Indies. You must pass through the great city of Constantinople. Father has just learned bad news. Their people won’t let us through. They’ve decided not to let Europeans travel through their city anymore. They’ve obstructed our passage.”

Giovanni sadly went on. “They don’t want us to get our own gold, spices, and other things. They want to send their own people east. Their folks will buy these valuable items. Then they’ll sell them to us. They’ll charge a much higher price.” Giovanni was upset. But Sofia was secretly glad. Now he would not try to make the journey. He’d stay safe.


Giovanni and his family were not the only discontented folks. All over Europe, people were mad about this. They wanted things that they could get only from Asia. Asia was made up of the lands to the east. Some of these angry people were kings and queens. They thought, “We are rich and powerful. We could be even richer if we could buy Asian spices. We could sell them for higher prices in other parts of Europe. We’d do just what the people of Constantinople want to do with us. But how can we do this? We have people we could send. We have money to pay for their trip. But now the road is closed to them.”

European kings and queens had a new thought. “Maybe we could send ships. We’ll sail to the Indies. Our sailors could fill the ships with wonderful treasures. Think of it. Gold, cloth, spices, and more. They could sail back home with these treasures. But how can our ships reach the Indies? They’d have to sail south. They’d sail via the Atlantic Ocean. That’s far from the lands we know well. That’s going into waters that are new to us. They’d have to go all the way down the edge of Africa. They’d sail around the bottom. Then they’d sail up the other side. That’s how they’d have to get to the Indies.”


“No one’s ever done that. We don’t even know how big Africa is. We don’t know if the ocean goes all the way around it to the Indies. Maybe there are huge, hungry, sea leviathans. They could be waiting to assail our ships. They’d eat the sailors who fall into the water! Maybe there are evil strangers. They would not want our sailors to travel near their countries. They might try to stop them. Hmm, sailing to the Indies may be even harder than going by land. We’d best talk to the smartest people we know. Let’s see what they think, first. Then we’ll appraise what to do.”

So, the kings and queens began a search. They looked for people who could help them. They needed to find incomparable sailors. They needed brave explorers. They needed people who were ready for adventure.


Chapter Two: Ferdinand and Isabella
Now the LAND route to Asia was closed. So, Europe’s kings and queens were mad. They wanted the treasures of the East. Now they were being deterred. Now they’d look for the best SEA route to the East. They greedily sought to claim Asian spices. Those spices were rare and expensive. They wanted them for their own countries.

The race was on! It was the same in each European port. Young navigators competed to lead adventures to Asia. They were anxious to try out new, lighter sailing ships. They could sail faster and farther than ever before.

One of these navigators was Italian. His name was Christopher Columbus. He was like all the others. He was an experienced sailor. But one thing made him stand out. He had a new plan. His conception was not like the others. They wished to reach Asia by sailing EAST. They’d go around the coast of Africa.


Columbus wished to sail WEST. He’d sail across the Atlantic Ocean. That’s how he’d reach the Indies. He went to lots of kings in European countries. He asked for their help. He would lay out his map. He’d try to convince them that his plan was good. He kept at this for many years. But he was unsuccessful. He could not get European kings’ and queens’ patronage.

The king of Portugal refused him. So did the king of Italy. So did the king of England. Only the Spanish seemed intrigued with his plans to sail west. But they turned him down, too. That’s because Spain was at war. They had no time or money for Asian trade, then. Columbus knew that he could not make the trip unaided. He had to have their ships and money.

Seven years prior, Columbus first met Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. Now he’d try again. He hoped that his long wait was over. He rode down over the mountains. He recalled his first visit to the great Spanish city below. Spain had been at war, then.

Now the Spanish war was over. The Spanish king and queen had won. Now the royal couple were victorious. They were newly rich with treasures. They had taken them as spoils of war. Would they now have the time, money, and attention to help him? “At last,” he thought. “I might reach my goal. I might get to sail west to the Indies.”


A Spanish army officer met him. He led him to large, fancy tents. The king and queen still lived there. That was their army camp. They had yet to move back into the palace. Still, they were hardly suffering. Their tents contained thick, beautiful carpets. They had full-sized beds. The royal couple sat upon thrones. They had brought them from their palace. That was all the way from northern Spain. They dined off of silver plates. They feasted on fine foods. They drank fine wine. They had lots servants there to take care of them. Ferdinand and Isabella were happy and proud. They would not repine much about anything. They smiled as Columbus genuflected before them. They told him to rise to his feet. “And now, Christopher Columbus,” said the queen. “Let us parley of your plan to sail west. That might get us to the Indies!”

His heart leapt within him. The queen and the king must have talked it over. Now they were ready to help him. Now he could act out his long-held plans. Columbus was to search for Eastern riches. He would sail west! He would be the commandant in charge of a whole fleet of ships!


Chapter Three: 1492
The year was 1492. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella ruled Spain. They provided Christopher Columbus with three ships. They gave him money. This paid for their crews. This also paid for food and water. It would be a long voyage. Columbus would sail his flotilla westward. He would head to the Indies. There, he would trade European goods. They would return with rare spices and gold. And they might find other treasures. These are the things the king and queen desired.

Columbus’s three ships had names. The Nina. The Pinta. The Santa Maria. Can you find the smallest ship in the picture? That was the Nina. The medial-sized one was the Pinta. It was the fastest of the three. Columbus sailed on the largest ship. That was the 120-foot-long Santa Maria. (That’s “Saint Mary” in English). He was proud of all three vessels. And of course, he wanted his voyage to succeed. So, he was determined. He had to choose the best sailors that he could find. He trolled through all of Spain to find them.


Columbus was confident. He knew that he could attract the best men. And he knew that he could convince them to go on the voyage. True, he had to paint word pictures to entice them. He talked of warm, beautiful lands. He said there was gold. He said there were rare spices. He said they were common and easy to find. A person could hardly avoid tripping over them. He made suggestions without actually promising anything. He told his crew they would return to Spain very rich. They could all live in grand homes. They could all wear fine clothes. Another thing he told them WAS quite unembellished. Isabella had offered a huge cash reward. It would go to the first person who sighted the Indies. Perhaps it was this offer that was most convincing of all. One by one, Columbus found his men. They compacted to join his expedition.

At last, all was ready. It was August 3, 1492. The Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria set forth. They sailed out of their Spanish harbor. They were bound for a possible fortune in the Indies. The sailors were proud and enlivened.

But, soon they passed the last familiar lands. That was the Canary Islands. Now they found themselves in open sea. They were out of sight of any land. Their excitement turned to uncertainty. Then it turned to trepidation. Columbus tried to allay their fears.


Both Columbus and the crew were gradually feeling less safe. This got worse the longer they sailed in the open sea. Days passed. Then weeks. Columbus tried to reassure the crew. But that was no longer passable. They were becoming seriously agitated.

Days and days and long nights passed. The fleet had been sailing westward for weeks now. They had entered an odd part of the ocean. Now, long, thick seaweed covered the ocean’s surface. It was in every direction. It was as far as the eye could see. “This is a good sign,” Columbus thought. “It may mean we’re nearing land.”

But then the winds died down to nearly nothing. The sails hung lifelessly from the masts. The three ships barely crept forward. They sometimes stopped moving altogether. Each day was like the one before. Columbus and the sailors were concerned. “Will we ever get out of this seaweed? Will the wind ever change and come back to us?” At last, after days and days, the wind picked up afresh. They sailed free of the clinging seaweed. They were back into the open sea. Still, the sailors worried. And they no longer bothered to hide their doubts from Columbus. “When will we espy the lands you promised us?” they asked.

“Soon,” he told them. He tried to look unflinching. “Ineludibly, we will get there.” But as he said this, he too had his own doubts.


But the sailors were tired of sailing. They were losing hope. They came to Columbus one day. They begged him to turn the ships around. “Give me three more days,” he said. “If we have not seen land by then, we’ll turn back.”

But the days passed. There were no inklings of making headway. Then on the third day, a sailor called out. “There’s something floating in the water up ahead.”

“Fish it up out of the water,” Columbus ordered.

Some sailors tossed a net over the side. They drew up the object. “It’s a stick!” someone cried. “It looks as if someone has carved its sides with a knife.”

“That must mean there’s land ahead. Someone’s living there,” the others said excitedly.

The next day, several sailors saw more inspiriting indications. Branches with green leaves were floating on the water’s surface. Then the crews of all three ships saw a huge sign. There was a large flock of land birds flying overhead. “We must be in proximity of land!” The men cried out with great excitement.

The birds circled above. It was as if they were examining the three ships. They then turned back in the direction from which they’d come. “Follow them,” Columbus adjured. “The birds will lead us to land.”


Soon the salty sea breezes picked up. They began to carry a new scent their way. “Could we be smelling enticing Asian spices up ahead?” The sailors prattled with each other. They grew more expectant. But still, they saw no coastland.

It was the evening of Thursday, October 11. Columbus ordered the ships to drop anchor. They had not done this yet on the entire voyage. “What if we really are close to land?” he thought. “We might be carried by the current up against the shore. We’d be in the darkness. We’d never know until it’s too late.”

That night, he was walking the deck of his flagship. He saw a light in the distance. “It’s too far away to be coming from the Pinta,” he thought. He knew that the ship was anchored farther ahead of his own. “And the light is too low in the sky to be a star. It must be on a shore up ahead. It must be a fire set by some human being!”


A few hours passed. It was the early morning hours of October 12, 1492. Columbus heard a cannon sound. “It’s coming from the Pinta,” he thought. “They must have sighted land!” He waited impatiently. The early light of dawn increased. He stared intently ahead. Then, he saw what the sailors on board the Pinta had seen. He saw a long, low shore. The ocean waves were smoothly breaking there. The Pinta’s men were cheering. A moment later, cheering broke out aboard the other ships, too.

Columbus dressed formally for the occasion. He carried a long flag pole. It was bearing the flag of Spain. He and some of his men boarded a small boat. They rowed over the waves. They reached the shore of this new land. They stepped out into the water. Then, Columbus and the sailors stepped ashore. Columbus had made many calculations. He believed he had landed on the continent of Asia. He assumed that they were in the Indies. Then, he plunged the flagpole into the sandy shore. He said, “On behalf of their majesties, I, Christopher Columbus, claim this land, and all that is in it, for Spain.”

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.) 
Columbus And The Pilgrims

Lesson 24 – Part Two

NEW WORDS: Asia’s, Hispaniola, Vikings, applauded, assembled, assisted, awoke, bartered, claimed, communicated, congratulated, cruelly, descended, disagreed, disembarked, fathers, generously, gestured, gestures, greediness, hero’s, historians, husbands, insisted, islanders, lazily, logical, mistreated, mountainsides, movements, natives, nonetheless, overjoyed, parrots, relaxed, replacement, researched, retold, shattered, sinking, trading, updated, wooded, wrecked

Chapter Four: Not The Indies
Columbus and his crew were proud and excited. They’d reached land! They’d crossed the mighty Atlantic. They thought they’d found Asia. They hoped to find gold and rare spices. They thought that their treasures were within reach. They thought that the king and queen would reward them. They’d be considered courageous. And they’d have helped Spain. It would now be the most powerful nation in Europe. They talked with each other. “When we get back to Spain, we’ll be rich.” But they were in for a shock. This was about the people they would soon meet. Those people had never before seen Europeans! They were not really in the Indies.

Columbus’s men followed him. They walked onto the wooded island. They had heard descriptions of Asian people. But these islanders did not fit those descriptions! This was odd. But Columbus was convinced that they were in Asia. He assumed that they’d reached their intended destination. He declared, “We made it to the Indies.” He named these island people “Indians.”


But things did not work out as expected. The so-called Indians were wearing a little gold jewelry. But they did not seem to have much gold beyond that. Columbus gestured to them. He tried to learn where the gold came from. They pointed off into the distance. They pointed to other islands. So, they all did a little trading. They bartered objects from their ships. In return, they acquired some gold rings. Then the fleet prepared to sail onward. The natives were friendly. They helped them gather fresh fruit and clean water. Just before they left, Columbus named the island. He called it San Salvador.

The fleet went farther west. They sailed through the warm, blue-green waters. They found more islands. They passed many. They landed on a few. They lowered their sails once more. They were off the coast of a larger island. Columbus named it Hispaniola. There, Columbus updated his sailors. “We’ll explore more tomorrow. Right now, I’m weary. I’ll rest in my cabin. Wake me if there’s something I need to know.”

The sun was pleasant and warm. So, the sailors, too, were relaxed and sleepy. They fell asleep on deck. A breeze came up. The waves began to wash lazily against the Santa Maria. Then the waves became stronger. Slowly, they began to move the ship. Still, Columbus and his crew slept. Then, suddenly, there was a CRASH! The ship had struck huge, sharp rocks off the island’s coast!


Each man awoke in a hurry! They rushed to look. But they were too late. It was a disaster. They saw a large, gaping hole. It was in the side of the Santa Maria. Their ship was sinking!  All they could do was to signal the Pinta for help. They gathered everything together. They hoped to move to the other ship. Columbus’s flagship sank slowly. It descended into the calm, blue-green water that had seemed so safe and peaceful. Some friendly people from the island came to help. They paddled out in canoes. They generously assisted. They pitched in to move what could be saved from the ship. They brought these items to the shore.

Columbus had lost one of his ships. Still, he felt that he could return to a hero’s welcome. He just had to find gold. He noticed something about these people who were helping them. They wore more gold than those on the other islands. He asked them about gold. He used gestures and movements. They used sign language. They communicated where their gold came from. It was in the high, heavily forested mountains. These were in the center of their island. At last! They had found a source for gold. They would start a gold mine in the mountains of Hispaniola.


The natives and the Spanish sailors worked together. They brought wood from the wrecked ship ashore. There, they built a fort. Columbus chose some men to stay there. Others returned with him to Spain aboard the Pinta and the Nina. They prepared for their journey back. They traded objects from the ships for some of the natives’ gold jewelry. Columbus put the gold jewelry into a chest for the trip. He and his sailors gathered unknown fruits and brightly colored tropical parrots. They would show them to the king and queen.

The trip home was stormy. More than once, the men thought they would die. At last, the storms ended. The two ships reached Spain. The families of the sailors were overjoyed! Their husbands and fathers had lived through the adventure. They danced in excitement when they saw the chest full of gold. They told one another, “We’ll all be rich! We’ll be great lords and ladies. We’ll live in palaces!”


The group reached the king and queen’s palace. Columbus told them his story. He gave them the treasures he had brought back to them. King Ferdinand had once been so difficult to convince. But he now smiled. He congratulated Columbus and his men. Queen Isabella had always been friendlier than the king. She laughed, smiled, and applauded throughout Columbus’s story. Then he showed them the gold. The royal couple was thrilled. “You’ve done what you promised!” they said. Then Columbus said that he wished to go back. He wished to make more discoveries. The king said, “Of course! You shall return to Hispaniola. You shall be governor of the island. You have discovered and claimed land for Spain. You’ll be in charge of all these western lands. And this time, we’ll give you lots of ships to command. But first, you must rest. Spend some time here as our guest.”

Meanwhile, Columbus thought about his new life. “All I have worked for and dreamed of all these years has come true! I am a friend of the king and queen. I will be rich and important. I will be famous. I’ll be the man who found another way to Asia.”


Chapter Five: Further Adventures Of Christopher Columbus
Columbus sailed from Spain. This was the second voyage. This time is was not three ships. It was seventeen! He told himself this. “I’ll go back to Hispaniola. I’ll find the men I left there. They’ll be waiting to help me. We’ll find Asia’s wealth. We’ll be rich!” Things seemed to be working fine.

But the big word in that comment is “seemed.” In fact, this time they were sailing into trouble. They reached Hispaniola. He looked for the fort his men had built. They had assembled it from the wooden planks of the Santa Maria. The fort was gone! And there was no sign of the men he’d left there! What was wrong?!

Columbus spoke with the natives. He still insisted on calling them Indians. He learned what had occurred. The Spanish had been unkind to the natives. They’d taken advantage of them.


Columbus had first come in peace. But greed won out. He and his sailors were greedy. Their greediness had changed things there. The men on this second voyage were the same. They, too, treated the natives badly. And they were just as greedy for treasure.

Once more, Columbus and his crew took advantage of the natives. They were forced to work for no pay. They had to carve mines in the high mountainsides. “There’s gold there!” All of them kept saying that. “And we did not sail this far to leave it there.” But they did not find what they hoped for. There was not as much gold as they had expected.

The second voyage was over. Columbus had returned to Spain. The king and queen did not like his report. The queen said this. “We’ll let you sail a third time. But you’d best find spices and more gold this time!”

Next was a third voyage. Columbus thought, “Surely this time I’ll find a grand city. It will be rich with gold and spices.” But all he saw were jungles. During his search, he became very sick. He was weak and discouraged. He ordered his men to head for Hispaniola.


They got there. And Columbus was surprised. A nobleman was waiting for him. This man had been sent by the king.

Why had they sent this man? It’s because they’d heard bad things about the second trip. They heard that the natives were treated cruelly. They heard that Columbus was keeping the gold for himself!
This man was told to spy on Columbus. He was to arrest him if this turned out to be true. Indeed, the nobleman heard things he didn’t like. Columbus and his men HAD mistreated the natives. The spy announced, “You’re charged with a crime. You’ve kept the gold and treasures for yourself. This means that you’re doing an awful job as governor. The king and queen will decide your fate.”

Columbus sailed the long trip home to Spain. He was not the ship’s leader this time. He was a prisoner. He was heading to jail! He wondered how he would be met by the king and queen.


Columbus arrived in Spain. At first, he was thrown in jail. Later, he appeared before the king and queen. They were shocked at the way he looked. His hair had turned snow white. His body had grown bent and weak. They thought of the past. He had once boldly stepped forward in their presence. Now, he limped, a broken man. The king and queen were ashamed. They took pity on Columbus. They released him from jail.

They set Columbus free. And they gave him back his share of the wealth. But their majesties, nonetheless, shattered his dreams. He could not return to his former importance. They said, “You’re free. But you’ll no longer be our governor.” They put someone new in his place. His replacement would now govern the new empire.

Then they told him this. “We’ll give you one last chance. Try to find the wealth of Asia.” They gave him a few old ships. They hardly seemed strong enough to make it out of the harbor. Much less sail safely on the open sea.


So, Columbus took those rotting Spanish ships. But he got them safely across the Atlantic. They sailed up and down the lush, green coast. They searched, once more, for grand Asian cities. He still thought they must be there. Of course, they were not. He would not go ashore to explore this time. He’d only go if he saw a city. But he never did. He was very discouraged. He returned to Spain for the fourth time. And again, he disembarked without the treasures he desired.

Christopher Columbus did not sail again. He died, still thinking that he’d found the Indies. But now, other explorers disagreed. They realized that he had actually found a new place. It must be in between Asia and Europe. Europeans had never known about this new region of the globe. They came up with a logical name for it. They called it the “New World.”

Today, each year on October 12 is a U.S. holiday. Americans remember Columbus’s arrival in the Americas, back in 1492. It’s called Columbus Day. Later, you’ll learn about another group. They came to North America before Columbus did! They’re called the Vikings.

Historians from lots of countries love the tale of Columbus. They’ve researched and retold his story many times over. That story means different things to different folks. But one thing’s for sure. Christopher Columbus made some mistakes. And they totally changed the world!

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.) 
Columbus And The Pilgrims

Lesson 25 – Part Three 

NEW WORDS: Jamestown, Massasoit, Samoset, Tisquantum, abused, acceptable, aye, bared, cannons, cap’n, cargo, colonies, commands, coverings, curiously, dared, desperately, discomfort, distressed, divergent, exploration, explorer, fascinated, floodgates, freshwater, fury, gangplank, godsend, identity, inland, introduced, meetings, navigator, nervously, overboard, patrol, peoples, perspectives, pilgrim, pilgrimage, reappeared, religious, replicate, represents, sachem, seasick, separatists, shores, sputtering, struggling, survival, survived, tightening, tribe’s, unprotected, untroubled, unused, updating, viewed, wisdom, yearned

Chapter Six: Colonies In Native American Lands
Columbus was a key explorer. He was one of the first to see the Americas. This was the land they called the “New World.” After his trips, the pace of exploration exploded. Lots of European countries joined in. They sent their own explorers. They, too, hoped to find riches. Lots of ships sailed westward. They left from France and Portugal. They left from the Netherlands and England. They kept at it for the next hundred years. Ships sailed back and forth across the Atlantic. They explored North America. They kept making discoveries. So, they kept updating their maps. They would get more and more accurate.

Time passed. They built colonies there. Years before, Columbus had tried to start a colony. That was in Hispaniola. He had claimed that land for Spain. Now, it was a hundred years later. Other countries were making similar claims. Let’s turn to the year 1607. The English started one of their first colonies. They named it Jamestown. That was in honor of their ruler, King James I.

King James was well-liked. But sometimes he abused his power. He was the head of the Church of England. He said that each person in his kingdom must follow his religion, and only his! They must all attend the Church of England. That was the king’s church. And they must pray as the king prayed. The English had no choice.


Most English people followed these commands. But there were some who did not. One group was known as the “Separatists.” They had their own views about how to pray. They did not like the king’s church. So, they formed their own church. And they began to meet in homes.

They now would not attend the king’s Church. He was furious. He said things like this. “Don’t miss the Sunday worship service. If you do, you must pay a fine.” He warned them further. “And don’t continue to miss church services. If you do, we’ll arrest you. We’ll throw you in jail.”

You can see how upset the Separatists were. They lived in fear of being arrested and thrown in jail. One woman whispered this to a friend. “I think a man working for the king has watched our house.” Her friend looked around nervously. She made sure that no one else could hear. She then said this. “My husband thinks a man has followed us in the streets. He’s checking on us. He’s seeing if we go to our own prayer meetings, and not to church. Who knows which of us might be next?”

Life became harder for the Separatists. Other people looked at them curiously. They did not know how to act. They heard that folks in other countries weren’t treated like this. People elsewhere were allowed to worship as they pleased. And so, they made a decision. They would leave Europe behind. They would look for a way to reach the New World. They were to begin a pilgrimage. They would go to this new continent. From here on, they had a new name. They were known as the “Pilgrims.”


Chapter Seven: The Voyage Of The Mayflower
It was a warm September day. It was in the year 1620. 102 people were gathered. There were men, women, and children. They were in a port town. It was in Plymouth, England. They walked up a gangplank. They were boarding a small sailing ship. They were bound for a new life. They were to go to the New World. Most of them were “Separatists.” They were leaving their country for good. And they were to leave their identity behind, too. They were now “Pilgrims.” They were to make a pilgrimage. They were leaving in search of religious freedom.

Their ship was the “Mayflower.” It was not meant to be a passenger ship. It had been a cargo ship. It had gone back and forth to France for years. The Pilgrims were crowded together. They were in an area beneath the main deck. They shared space with the ship’s cannons. “We don’t expect trouble,” the ship’s master said. “But we must be prepped in case it comes. Pirates patrol these waters. They’re looking for treasure. And they try to capture unprotected ships.”

The Pilgrims yearned for fresh air and exercise. So, they took turns going up on deck. Now, there were calm seas. But the ship was still in constant motion. A few of them were unused to that. So, they felt quite ill. And the air between decks was stale. That added to their discomfort.


But gradually, they grew used to their cramped conditions. The Atlantic, though, would soon spring her traps on them. She waited till they were far from shore. Then one day, she opened the floodgates. A sailor cried out. “Storm clouds, Cap’n!”

Aye-aye,” barked the captain. “See to it that things are tied down. We don’t want things to wash overboard. If we take on heavy seas, that’s a risk. Warn the Pilgrims to do the same.” Soon, the North Atlantic bared its teeth. Storms and high winds struck with fury.

Remember those who’d been untroubled by the ship’s motion? Now even they felt seasick. The ship was tossed high, on huge waves. It was lifted and dropped down forcefully. This happened again and again. Rains poured down on the ship. They dripped between the decks. A few men tried to help the crew. One was tightening some ropes. Then a great wave hit the ship from the side. The man tried to grab his rope. But too soon, the wave struck with all its might. There was a loud cry. The man was thrown over the side!


The ship’s navigator yelled out. “Man overboard!” Three men rushed to the ship’s side. They threw ropes toward the struggling man. He managed to grasp one of them. He held on desperately. Then he disappeared beneath the water. Then he bobbed up to the surface. He was sputtering. He was gasping for air. He still held the rope in his hands. The sailors drew him closer to the ship. They reached over the side. One of the sailors grasped the man’s arm. He pulled him to safety. Fortunately, the storm soon blew itself out. But the Pilgrims held on to their fear. After that, few of them dared to go on deck. Only some would venture up. And that was only in smooth seas.

At last! It was a clear, cold November day. A cry went up. “Land, ho!”

“Glory to God!” the Pilgrims cried. They had crossed the wide seas. They had reached the shores of the New World.

They viewed the new land that faced them. They had no idea what to expect. They had heard tales of native peoples there. Now, they called their destination the New World. But perhaps it was not such a new world after all.


Chapter Eight: The Wampanoag
The Pilgrims anchored their ship. They were in a calm bay. It was off the coast of Massachusetts. There’s a legend about this place. It says that they were looking for a good spot to land. They they saw a huge rock. It stuck out of the bay. It was near the shore.

One of them yelled out. “That rock is dry and level. It looks like a perfect place. We can go ashore without slipping.” And so, one-by-one, they left the ship. Each Pilgrim climbed onto the rock. They named it Plymouth Rock.

Have you been to Massachusetts? You can still see Plymouth Rock. Well, it’s a rock that COULD have been Plymouth Rock. No one knows for sure.

But we do know this. The Pilgrims slept aboard the Mayflower the first few days. They had to make a decision. Where was the best place to start their colony? They explored for days. They found an acceptable site. They all went ashore there. The first thing they did was to get down on their knees. They prayed. “Let us raise a prayer. Let’s thank God. Let’s thank Him for arriving safely in our new home.”

Of course, it was not quite a home yet. Much hard work lay ahead. And they’d have to brave cold November winds. They gathered supplies from the ship. Then they set about clearing the land. They rushed to build log homes. They hoped to beat the snows of winter. They came up with a name for their new settlement. They named it Plymouth Colony.


One day, the Pilgrims were out working. Two strangers stepped out from the woods. They stopped their work. They just stared. They were fascinated by what they saw. The men did not look at all like them. And, at first, the Pilgrims were alarmed. The strangers’ appearance distressed them. The settlers stood still. The men came closer. Were they Native Americans? Were they friends? Or were they enemies? They weren’t sure.

Then, one of the strangers smiled! Suddenly, the sense of danger was gone. One of the men introduced himself. And yes, indeed! He WAS a Native American. He called himself “Samoset.” He told the colonists about himself. He was a member of a tribe. They were the “Wampanoag” tribe.


A few days passed. Samoset reappeared. He brought a different man with him this time. This man was special. He would turn out to be the Pilgrims’ greatest friend. “I am Tisquantum,” he said. “I am of the Wampanoag people. I’ve come to help you.” He held out his hand in friendship to them. One-by-one, the colonists stepped forward. They all shook hands. They gave him a nickname. They called him “Squanto.” He was able to talk to the Pilgrims. He actually spoke English! How had he learned it? It happened when he was younger. He had been taken by Spanish explorers. They forced him to go to Spain with them. But he was clever. He had freed himself from them. He then went to England. That’s where he learned to speak English. After that, he returned to the New World.

Meeting Squanto was a turning point. Life would soon get easier for the Pilgrims. And Squanto was not their only helper. Other Wampanoag would be their friends, too.

The Wampanoag “sachem” was their tribe’s chief. He, too, would be a great friend. His name was “Massasoit.” He gave the Pilgrims a promise of friendship. He said that the Wampanoag would gladly share their land. But this was as long as the colonists took care of it. “We will teach you how to live in harmony with nature,” he said. Being on friendly terms with the Wampanoag was critical. This was key to the Pilgrims’ survival.


Chapter Nine: Thanksgiving
The Wampanoag had lived in the area for a long time. They shared their wisdom with the Pilgrims. “We live on the coast most of the year. But we move inland each fall. That gets us far from the cold winter winds. They roar in from the open sea.” Their homes were made of fur and hide. They stretched that over wooden tent poles. So, they left one set of poles in place inland. They left a second set in place near the sea. They took the hide coverings back and forth.

The Wampanoag taught the Pilgrims much. “In the fall, we fish in the rivers for freshwater fish. We hunt in the woods and fields. We hunt for deer, turkey, beaver, otter, and moose. These give us fresh meat. And we store some of it. That’s to have during the cold, snowy winter. Fresh food is harder to find then.”

There was little time for the Pilgrims to hunt and fish now. They worried if they’d have enough food for the winter. But the Wampanoag gladly shared. They gave them some meat from their hunts. They offered some fish from the sea. And they gave them dried fruits and nuts. The help of Squanto and Massasoit was a godsend. What if they hadn’t been there? The Pilgrims may not have survived that first hard winter.


But survive they did. And then spring came. The Wampanoag led the Pilgrims to rivers and to the sea. They taught them the best ways to catch fish. They taught them how to plant crops. And they saw new foods! That included the Native Americans’ most important crop, corn.

The Pilgrims and the Wampanoag lived peacefully as neighbors and friends. Fall came again. They brought in their harvest. The Pilgrims were grateful. They had survived a full year. They thanked God. He had brought them safely to this new land. Now they could live freely. Now they could follow their own religion. The Pilgrims held a three-day harvest celebration. They asked the Wampanoag to join them. It was to be a huge feast.

This feast is an important story in U.S. history. If was a fall day in 1621. Members of the Wampanoag tribe sat around the Pilgrims’ table. They feasted together. This story is told over and over in the U.S. We’re not sure of the details. We do know this. The Native Americans had celebrated a harvest festival for centuries. That was long before the Europeans came. This was likely the first time that Europeans and Native Americans celebrated together.

This feast took place nearly four hundred years ago. It has become known as the first Thanksgiving. Each November, we replicate that feast across America. Families and friends gather together. It’s the Thanksgiving Day holiday. They give thanks. They remember the long-ago friendship between the Wampanoags and the Pilgrims. To Americans, that first Thanksgiving has much meaning. It represents the best of the U.S. That’s when different types of people can live together peacefully. That’s when divergent perspectives are respected. That’s when people learn from each other.


Lesson 26 – Beatrix Potter

The Tale Of Mr. Tod – Part One

NEW WORDS: Brock, Flopsy’s, Tod, Tod’s, accompanied, adeptly, adjoined, afflicted, alacrity, alight, apogee, aroma, atwitter, authored, awkwardly, babes, badger’s, bagged, behaved, billowing, bitterly, bouncer’s, bristly, carting, cautiously, certainty, characters, chatterbox, chortled, chronicle, cigar, circular, circumstances, cleared, compose, concealed, concoct, conversed, coppice, copse, cordially, cowslip, craunched, dandelions, darnel, despised, detached, disagreeable, discretion, dislikes, doubled, durable, effulgence, ensconced, flocculent, footmarks, footpath, fortified, furnished, furtively, grinning, habits, house’s, hyacinths, infrequently, ironic, jape, kidnapped, lamentable, lodged, lolled, lounged, mishmash, muffler, newborns, obese, opine, overhung, panes, permeated, permission, personage, petite, pheasants, plainly, poaching, pollard, ponderous, portly, potent, proceeded, radiant, ravelings, razed, reflectively, relayed, repugnant, requesting, rooted, scarce, scarcity, scaring, scrutinized, serpentine, shoal, slanting, snacked, sorrel, spud, squatter, stoat, stricken, stumpy, surety, toddled, tracking, tumbledown, undeniable, unwashed, unwholesome, unwieldy, vacant, vegetarian, wasp, wedged

I’ve authored lots of books. Most are about well-behaved people. Now, I’m going to make a change. That’s just for fun. I’ll concoct a new chronicle. This takes place in the Lake District of England. It’s about two disagreeable characters. They’re named Tommy Brock and Mr. Tod.

Mr. Tod was a fox. No one would opine him as “nice.” Rabbits could not bear him. They could smell him half a mile off. He had a wandering habit. He had foxy whiskers. They never knew where he’d be next.

Let’s turn to a recent day. He was ensconced in a stick-house. That was in the coppice. (That’s a “copse.” That’s a “grove” of trees.) He was causing terror. He was bothering old Mr. Ben Bouncer’s family. Then the next day he moved. He lodged in a pollard willow. (That’s a tree cut back nearly to the trunk.) It adjoined the lake. He was frightening the wild ducks. He was scaring the water rats.

What about in winter and early spring? Where could you find him then? He’d likely be in an earth. It would be amongst some rocks. He’d be at the top of Bull Banks. That was under Oatmeal Crag. He had half a dozen houses. But he was infrequently at home.


What happened when Mr. Tod moved OUT? The houses weren’t always vacant. You see, sometimes Tommy Brock moved IN. (He did so without requesting permission. He was quite like a squatter!) Tommy Brock was a badger. He was short and bristly. He was an obese, waddling personage. He had a grin. It spread all over his face. He was not nice in his habits. He craunched on wasp nests. He snacked on frogs and worms. He toddled about by moonlight. He spent his time digging things up. His clothes were unwashed. He slept in the daytime. He always went to bed in his boots. And what about the bed he slept in? It was often Mr. Tod’s.

Now, Tommy did sometimes eat rabbit pie. But it was only very little young ones. And he did it quite rarely. He did so when other food was scarce. He was friendly with old Mr. Bouncer. They agreed in their dislikes. They despised the wicked otters AND Mr. Tod. They talked a lot about that painful subject.

Old Mr. Bouncer was stricken in years. He lounged in the spring sunshine outside the burrow. He wore a muffler. He smoked a pipe. He’d fill it with rabbit tobacco. He lived with his son. That was Benjamin Bunny. His daughter-in-law was Flopsy. Ben and Flopsy had a young family.


Let’s turn to that afternoon. Old Mr. Bouncer was in charge of the babies. That’s because his son and Flopsy had gone out. The rabbit babies were newborns. They were just old enough to open their blue eyes. And they were just starting to kick. They lay in a flocculent bed. It was made of rabbit wool and hay. It was in a shoal burrow. That was detached from the main rabbit hole. Now, I’ll tell you the truth. Old Mr. Bouncer had forgotten about them!

He lolled in the radiant sun. He conversed cordially with someone. That was Tommy. He had been passing through the wood. He had a sack and a little spud. He used the spud to dig. He was also carting some mole traps. He complained bitterly. And he was quite the chatterbox! He was mad about the scarcity of pheasants‘ eggs. He accused Mr. Tod of poaching them. And bad things had happened while he was asleep in the winter. The otters had cleared off all the frogs! He whined a lot. “I have not had a good square meal for a fort-night. I’m living on pig-nuts. I shall have to turn vegetarian. I might have to eat my own tail!”


It was not much of a jape. But it still tickled Mr. Bouncer. It was an ironic comment. That’s because Tommy was so portly, stumpy, and grinning. So, old Mr. Bouncer chortled. He pressed Tommy to come inside. He offered him a slice of seed cake. He poured him “a glass of my daughter Flopsy’s cowslip wine.” Tommy moved with alacrity. He wedged himself into the rabbit hole.

Then old Mr. Bouncer smoked another pipe. He furnished Tommy with a cabbage leaf cigar. It’s smoke was quite potent. It made Tommy grin even more. So, smoke permeated the burrow. Old Mr. Bouncer coughed and laughed. Tommy puffed and grinned. Mr. Bouncer shut his eyes. That was due to the cabbage smoke.

Flopsy and Ben later came home. They found Mr. Bouncer asleep. They woke him up. Tommy and all the rabbit babies were gone! Mr. Bouncer would not confess what had happened. He would not admit that he’d let someone into the rabbit hole. But there was a repugnant aroma of badger. That was undeniable. And there were circular, ponderous footmarks. They were all through the sand. Mr. Bouncer was in disgrace. Flopsy wrung her ears. Then she slapped him.


Ben set off at once. He had to find Tommy Brock. There was not much difficulty in tracking him. He had left his foot-mark. He’d gone awkwardly up a serpentine footpath. It went through the wood. Here, Tommy had rooted up the moss and wood sorrel. There, he had dug a deep hole. That was to plant dog darnel. And he had set a mole trap. A petite stream crossed the way. Ben skipped lightly over dry-foot. The badger’s unwieldy steps showed plainly. They were all through the mud.

The path led to part of a thicket. The trees had been razed there. There were leafy oak stumps. There was a sea of blue hyacinths. But a smell made Ben stop. And it was NOT the smell of flowers! Goodness! There was Mr. Tod’s stick-house! It was smack dab in front of him! And, for once, Mr. Tod was at home. There was not just a foxy odor to prove it. There was smoke. It was billowing out of a broken pail. That served as the house’s chimney.

Ben sat up. He stared. His whiskers twitched. Inside the stick-house was a noise. Someone dropped a plate. Then they said something. Ben stamped his foot. He bolted away like lightning. He did not stop. He came to the other side of the wood. Apparently, Tommy had turned the same way. He looked on top of the wall. Again, there were the marks of badger. And there were some ravelings of a sack. It had caught on a briar.


Ben climbed over the wall. He went into a meadow. He found another mole trap. It was newly set. So, he was still on Tommy’s track. It was now late in the afternoon. Other rabbits were coming out. They did so to enjoy the evening air. One of them was in a blue coat. He was by himself. He was busily hunting for dandelions. Ben shouted to him. “Cousin Peter! Peter Rabbit! Peter Rabbit!”

The blue-coated rabbit sat up. His ears were pricked up. “What’s the matter, Cousin? Is it a cat? Or John Stoat Ferret?”

“No, no, no! He’s bagged my family. It’s Tommy Brock. He’s kidnapped our babes! He has them in a sack. Have you seen him?”

“Tommy Brock? How many, Cousin?”

“Seven! And all of them twins! Did he come this way? Please tell me quick!”

“Yes! Yes! Not ten minutes since. He said they were CATERPILLARS. I did think they kicked rather hard. That is, for caterpillars.”

“Which way? Which way has he gone?” asked Ben.


Peter said, “He had a sack. Something alive was in it. I watched him. He set a mole trap. Let me use my mind, Cousin. Tell me from the beginning.” Ben proceeded with the details. Peter responded reflectively. “Oh, my Uncle Bouncer! He’s displayed a lamentable want of discretion for his years. But there are two hopeful circumstances. Your family is alive and kicking. And Tommy Brock has had refreshments. He’ll likely go to sleep. He’ll keep them for breakfast.”

“Which way?” asked Ben.

“Cousin, compose yourself. I know with surety which way. That’s because Mr. Tod was at home. He was in his stick-house. So, Tommy has gone to one of Mr. Tod’s other homes. That’s the one at the top of Bull Banks. Here’s partly how I know with certainty. It’s because he offered to leave any message at Sister Cottontail’s. He said he would be passing by there.” (Cottontail had married a handsome rabbit. They’d gone to live on the hill.)

Peter concealed his dandelions. He accompanied the afflicted parent. Poor Ben was all atwitter. They crossed several fields. They began to climb the hill. Tommy’s tracks were plainly to be seen. He seemed to have put down the sack often. It looked like every dozen yards. He’d had to stop and rest.


“He must be very puffed. We’re close behind him, by the scent. What an unwholesome person!” said Peter.

The sunshine was still warm. Its rays were slanting on the hill pastures. They got half way up the hill. There was Cottontail. She sat in her doorway. Four or five half grown little rabbits were with her. They were playing about. One was black. The others were brown. She had seen Tommy pass by in the distance. She relayed to them that Tommy had rested twice. This was just while she scrutinized his movements. He had nodded to her. He’d pointed to the sack. He seemed doubled up with laughter.

“Peter! Come now! He’ll be cooking them. Come quicker!” said Ben.


They climbed up and up. Peter said, “He’s at Tod’s home. I just saw his black ears. They were peeping furtively out of the hole. Come on, Cousin!”

They came near the wood. They were at the apogee of Bull Banks. They proceeded cautiously. The trees grew amongst heaped-up rocks. They looked beneath a crag. That’s where Mr. Tod had made one of his homes. It was at the top of a steep bank. The rocks and bushes overhung it. The rabbits crept up carefully. They were listening and peeping.

This house was hard to describe. It was a mishmash. It was something between a cave, a prison, and a tumbledown pigsty. But it did seem well fortified, at least. There was a durable front door. It was shut and locked. The sun was setting. It made the window panes glow with a red effulgence. The bunnies peeped through the window. But the kitchen fire was not alight. It was adeptly laid with dry sticks. This was clear to see. Ben sighed with relief.


Lesson 27 – Beatrix Potter

The Tale Of Mr. Tod – Part Two

NEW WORDS: Brock’s, abominations, absorbed, accoutrements, accustomed, addled, advertent, aflutter, aggressive, animate, approached, ascertained, attentively, backdrop, badgers, bandied, baritone, betwixt, briars, chopper, cockcrow, concluded, conscientiously, descried, diligently, dislodged, disquieting, distended, downright, emanated, excavate, exited, extant, flattened, frowzy, gaped, goldenrod, grubs, grunting, grunty, halcyon, hastily, heated, hideous, hilltops, hinges, hurriedly, immensely, imprudent, incapable, incarcerated, incensed, incurably, indolent, irradiated, leavings, luckily, malodorous, maneuvered, midges, neoteric, odious, overpowered, partially, persistently, plantation, portended, pother, proceedings, quizzical, recurrent, restive, rhythmic, sashes, scuttle, sequestered, shivered, shocking, shudder, shuffling, skulked, skulls, slumbering, snores, solace, sounder, spruced, stratagem, strive, sublime, subterranean, suspired, tempers, tiles, tiptops, trespasser, tumbler, unbolt, undid, unflaggingly, unfolded, uninterrupted, unkempt, unmistakable, unoccupied, unsatisfactory, unveiled, upwards, versa, wantonly, whirried, wonderwork, workable

But there were preparations upon the kitchen table. They made him shudder. There was an immense empty pie dish. It had a blue willow pattern. And they saw a large carving knife, a fork, and a chopper. Their eyes moved to the other end of the table. There was a partially unfolded tablecloth. They saw a plate and a tumbler. They saw a knife and fork. There was a salt cellar. There was mustard and a chair. In short, these were accoutrements for one person’s supper.

No one was to be seen. And there were no young rabbits. The kitchen was unoccupied and silent. The clock had run down. Peter and Ben flattened their noses against the window. They gaped into the dusk. Then they scrambled ’round the rocks. They went to the other side of the house. It was damp and malodorous. It was over-grown with thorns and briars. The rabbits shivered in their shoes. Ben suspired. “Oh my poor rabbit babies! What a hideous place. I shall never see them again!”

They skulked up to the bedroom window. It was closed and bolted. But there were some clues for them. It seemed that this window had been recently open. The cobwebs were disturbed. And there were neoteric, dirty footmarks. They were right on the windowsill.


The room inside was pitch black. At first, they could make out nothing. But they could hear a noise. It was a slow, baritone, recurrent snoring grunt. Their eyes became accustomed to the darkness. They ascertained that somebody was slumbering. He was on Mr. Tod’s bed. He was curled up under the blanket. “He’s gone to bed in his boots,” whispered Peter. Ben was all aflutter. He pulled Peter off of the windowsill.

Tommy Brock’s snores went on, uninterrupted. They were grunty and rhythmic. They emanated from Mr. Tod’s bed. Nothing could be seen of the young family. The sun had set. An owl began to hoot in the wood. There were many disquieting things lying about. The rabbits wished that they had been buried. There were rabbit bones and skulls. There were chickens’ legs and other abominations. It was a shocking backdrop. And it was very dark.

They maneuvered themselves back to the front of the house. They tried to unbolt the kitchen window. They tried to push up a rusty nail. It was between the window sashes. But it was of no use. They just couldn’t do it without a light. They sat side-by-side outside the window. They whispered and listened. They remained advertent.


A half-hour passed. The moon rose over the wood. It shone full, clear, and cold. Its light fell upon the house and the rocks. It shone in at the kitchen window. But alas, no rabbit babies were to be seen! The moonbeams twinkled on the carving knife. They distended over the pie dish. They made a path of brightness. It went right across the unkempt floor.

The light unveiled a little door. It was in a wall beside the kitchen fireplace. It was a little iron door. It belonged to a brick oven. It was an old-fashioned kind. It was heated with small chunks of wood. They descried something that was quizzical to them. Something happened when they shook the window. The little door opposite them shook in answer. The young family were animate! That was the good news. But they were incarcerated in the oven!

Ben became very restive. It was a wonderwork he did not awake the snoring Tommy Brock. But there was not much solace in this discovery. They could not open the window. Yes, the young family was extant. But they were incapable of letting themselves out. They were not even old enough to crawl.


They whispered back and forth. They bandied about many ideas. At last, they concluded that they should dig a tunnel. They began to excavate the soil. They dug a yard or two lower down the bank. They had a workable stratagem. They’d strive to work betwixt the large stones under the house. But the kitchen floor was immensely frowzy. They could not tell whether it was made of earth or tiles.

They dug and dug for hours. They could not tunnel straight. That’s because of the stones. But they kept at it diligently. They worked unflaggingly. They zigged and zagged as they had to. It was now the end of the night. It was near cockcrow. They were under the kitchen floor. Ben was on his back. He was scratching upwards. Peter’s claws were worn down. He was outside their subterranean passage. He was shuffling sand away. He called out that it was sunrise. There were jays down below in the woods. They were making quite a pother.


Ben exited the dark tunnel. He dislodged the sand from his ears. He spruced up his face with his paws. The weather portended that it would be a sublime day. Each minute, the warm sun irradiated the hilltops. It was halcyon in the valley. There was a sea of white mist. The goldenrod tiptops of the trees were showing through. Then there was a sound from the field below. There was an incensed cry from a jay. That was followed by another sound. That was the sharp yelping bark of a fox!

Then the rabbits downright lost their heads. Their next action was most imprudent. They whirried into their short new tunnel. They sequestered themselves at the top end of it. They were right under Mr. Tod’s kitchen floor.

Mr. Tod was coming up Bull Banks! He was in the very worst of tempers. First, he had been upset by breaking a plate. It was his own fault. But it was a China plate. It was the last of his dinner service. It had belonged to his grandmother. She was old Vixen Tod. Then the midges had been very bad. And he’d failed to catch a hen pheasant. She had been on her nest. The nest had only five eggs. And two of them were addled. Mr. Tod had had an unsatisfactory night!


This was a usual practice of his. It’s what he’d do when in a bad mood. He would move house. First, he tried the pollard willow. But it was damp. And, the otters had left a dead fish there. Mr. Tod likes nobody’s leavings but his own.

He made his way up the hill. His temper was not improved. That’s because he noticed some unmistakable marks. They were from a badger. No one else grubs up the moss so wantonly as Tommy Brock. Mr. Tod slapped his stick upon the earth. He fumed. He guessed where Tommy had gone to.

He was further annoyed by the jay. The bird followed him persistently. It flew from tree to tree. It scolded him. It warned every rabbit within hearing. It chirped that either a cat or a fox was near the plantation. Once, it flew screaming over Tod’s head. The fox snapped and barked at it.

He approached his house very carefully. He held a large, rusty key. He sniffed. His whiskers bristled. The house was locked up. But Mr. Tod had his doubts whether it was empty. He turned the key in the lock. The rabbits below could hear it. Mr. Tod opened the door cautiously. Then he went in.


His eyes surveyed his kitchen. He did not like the sight. He was furious. There was his chair. There was his pie dish. He saw his knife and fork. He saw his mustard and salt shaker. And oh, there was his tablecloth. It had been nicely folded in the dresser. Now it was laid out on the table. In fact, the table was set for a meal. Maybe dinner. Maybe breakfast. He had no doubt about his home’s trespasser. This had been done by the odious Tommy Brock.

He breathed air through his nostrils. There was a smell of fresh earth. There was a scent of dirty badger. This was lucky for the rabbits. These smells overpowered any scent of rabbit. But something else absorbed most of Mr. Tod’s attention. It was a noise. It was deep and slow. It was a regular snoring, grunting noise. And it came from his own bed!

The bedroom door was half open. He peeped through its hinges. Then he turned. He rushed out of the house in a hurry. His whiskers bristled. His coat collar stood on end. He was in quite a rage. The next twenty minutes passed. Mr. Tod kept creeping cautiously into the house. Then he’d retreat hurriedly out again. By degrees, he ventured further in. He even went into the bedroom. What would he do when he was outside the house? He’d scratch up the earth with fury. But what about when he was inside? He did not like the look of the badger’s teeth.


Tommy was lying on his back. His mouth was open. He was grinning from ear to ear. He snored peacefully and regularly. But one eye was not perfectly shut. Mr. Tod came in and out of the bedroom. Twice, he brought in his walking stick. Once, he brought in the coal scuttle. But he thought the better of it. He took them away.

He came back after removing the coal scuttle. Tommy was lying a little more sideways. But he seemed even sounder asleep. Tommy was incurably indolent. He was not in the least afraid of Mr. Tod. You see, badgers are quite powerful. They are aggressive. And they can be vicious. It’s more likely that a fox would be afraid of a badger than vice versa. In fact, badgers have few natural enemies. Tommy was simply too lazy and comfortable to move.

Mr. Tod came back yet again into the bedroom. He had a clothes-line with him this time. He stood a minute. He kept watching Tommy. He listened attentively to the snores. They were very loud indeed. But they seemed quite natural. Mr. Tod turned his back towards the bed. He undid the window. It creaked. He turned ’round with a jump. Tommy had opened one eye. Then he had shut it hastily. The snores went on.


Mr. Tod’s proceedings were peculiar. And they were rather difficult. That’s because of the bed’s location. It was between the window and the door. He opened the window a bit. Then he pushed out most of the clothes-line. It now rested on the windowsill. The rest of the line remained in his hand. It had a hook at the end.

Tommy Brock snored conscientiously. Mr. Tod stood there. He looked at Tommy for a minute. Then he left the room again. Tommy opened both eyes. He looked at the rope and grinned. There was a noise. It was right outside the window. Tommy shut his eyes in a hurry.

Mr. Tod had gone out the front door. He was heading to the back of the house. He stumbled over the rabbit burrow. But he did not notice it. What if he HAD seen it? He would have pulled them out quickly! His foot went through the tunnel. It was nearly on top of Peter and Ben. Luckily, he thought that it was some more of Tommy’s work.


Lesson 28 – Beatrix Potter

The Tale Of Mr. Tod – Part Three

NEW WORDS: Persian, Windermere, admitted, afforded, aggressively, apoplectic, atoms, audible, avoided, barricaded, bedstead, breathless, burly, cacophony, canisters, carbolic, clamored, contrite, copacetic, crabapple, crockery, cursing, daintily, dangerously, decibel, decidedly, definitively, dignity, disavow, disinfected, disinfecting, disquietude, distend, echoed, emancipate, encouraged, encouraging, endeavored, ensued, entreaties, eradicate, escapades, famished, fender, flinch, forgiven, fox’s, fracas, fray, freshen, fuller, gingerly, glistened, goings, grappled, hallelujah, harum, heroic, hightailed, hob, huddled, hurly, hypothesis, ignominious, imperil, impossibly, inappropriate, industriously, inexcusably, inordinate, joker, ladle, lallygagging, launder, legged, loath, lubber, mantelpiece, mete, monumental, mumbling, mystified, nosedive, notification, noxious, occasional, occupied, overbalanced, pailful, pendulum, perchance, persevered, persisted, probability, quarreled, quarreling, quarts, queries, rebuffed, reckless, recount, recounted, recovered, refection, relieve, reproaches, retorted, reviled, roily, rosehip, sackcloth, safekeeping, saga, sallied, scalding, scarum, scrapped, scrutinize, scuttering, shied, skittish, slacker, sleeper, sleepless, slung, smashed, snarling, soused, spontaneously, spying, staggered, stark, strained, sulky, sulphur, sward, teacup, teapot, tester, thoroughly, tightened, transpiring, trespassing, trickling, triumph, trundled, uncontrollable, undamaged, undo, unharmed, unimaginable, unpen, unscathed, untying, uppermost, vases, vigorously, vindictive, wagering, walloped, warpath, whiskered, woebegone, wreckage, wriggling

Mr. Tod grabbed the coil of line from the sill. He listened for a moment. Then, he tied the rope to a tree. Tommy watched him with one eye. He was easy to see through the window. Tommy was puzzled.

Mr. Tod fetched a pail. He went to the nearby spring. He filled the pail with water. He carried the heavy pailful of water into the house. He staggered through the kitchen. He brought it into his bedroom. Tommy snored industriously. He gave an occasional loud snort.

Mr. Tod put down the pail. It was now right beside the bed. He took up the end of rope with the hook. He hesitated. He looked at Tommy Brock. The snores were almost apoplectic. But the grin was not quite so big. Mr. Tod gingerly mounted a chair. He was now by the head of the bedstead. His legs were dangerously near razor-sharp teeth.

He reached up. He put the end of rope over the head of the tester bed. That’s where the curtains ought to hang. But Mr. Tod’s curtains were folded up. They’d been put away. That’s because the house was unoccupied. The quilt was also put up. Tommy was covered with just a light blanket. Mr. Tod stood on the unsteady chair. He looked down at Tommy attentively. He really was a first-prize sound sleeper!


It seemed as though nothing would waken him. He slept soundly. And this was despite the flapping rope across the bed. Mr. Tod descended safely from the chair. He endeavored to get up again. This time he held the pail of water. He intended to hang it from the hook. It would be dangling over Tommy’s head. He could work the rope from outside. He’d pull it through the window. It would give Tommy a big shower-bath!

Of course, the fox was vindictive and sandy-whiskered. But, naturally, he was quite thin-legged. So, he was unable to lift the heavy weight all the way. He could not lift it to the level of the hook and rope. He very nearly overbalanced himself.

The snores became more apoplectic. One of Tommy’s hind legs twitched. But still, he slept on peacefully. Mr. Tod and the pail descended from the chair. He had avoided an accident. Mr. Tod thought for a considerable amount of time. He emptied the water into a wash basin and jug. The empty pail was not too heavy for him. He slung it up. Now, it was wobbling over Tommy’s head.


Surely there never was such a sleeper! Mr. Tod got up and down. Then he got down and up on the chair. He knew he could not lift the whole pail of water. So, he fetched a milk jug. He also got a ladle. He ladled quarts of water into the pail by degrees. The pail got fuller and fuller. It swung like a pendulum. Occasionally, a drop splashed over. But still, Tommy snored regularly. He never moved, except in one eye.

At last! Mr. Tod’s preparations were complete. The pail was full of water. The rope was tightly strained. It was over the top of the bed. And it was across the windowsill. It stretched to the tree outside. Mr. Tod talked to himself. “It will make a great mess in my bedroom. But I could never sleep in that bed again. Not without a spring cleaning of some sort.”

Mr. Tod took a last look at the badger. He softly left the room. He went out of the house. He shut the front door. The rabbits heard his footsteps. He walked right over their tunnel. He ran ’round, behind the house. He intended to undo the rope. This would dump the water on Tommy. Mr. Tod chuckled to himself. “I will wake him up. It will be an unpleasant surprise.”


The moment he had gone, Tommy got up. He moved quickly. He got Mr. Tod’s dressing-gown. He rolled it into a bundle. He put it into the bed. It was right beneath the pail of water. It looked like HE was still in the bed! He left the room. He was grinning immensely. He went into the kitchen. He lit the fire. He boiled the kettle. For the moment, he ignored the baby rabbits. He did not yet trouble himself to cook them.

Mr. Tod got to the tree. He found that the knot had tightened. It was too tight now. It was past untying. The weight and strain of the pail had made this happen. So, he was now obliged to gnaw it with his teeth. He chewed. He gnawed. This went on for more than twenty minutes. At last! The rope gave way! But it snapped with a sudden jerk. It nearly pulled the fox’s teeth out! And, it quite knocked him over backwards.

What happened inside the house? There was a great crash and splash. Mr. Tod heard the noise of the pail. It was rolling over and over. But there were no screams. Mr. Tod was mystified. He sat quite still. He listened attentively. Then he peeped in the window. Water was dripping from the bed. The pail had rolled into a corner.


He looked at the middle of the bed. There was a wet SOMETHING. It was under the blanket. It was much flattened in the middle. That’s where the pail had caught it. It looked like it had gone across the tummy. Its head was covered by the wet blanket. And it was NO LONGER SNORING.

There was nothing stirring. There was only one sound. It was a drip-drop, drop-drip sound. That was the water. It was trickling from the mattress. Mr. Tod watched it for half-hour. His eyes glistened. He became bolder. He even tapped at the window. But the bundle never moved.

Yes! There was no doubt about it. It had turned out better than he’d planned. The pail had hit poor old Tommy Brock. It must have killed him dead! Mr. Tod talked to himself. “I’ll bury that nasty person. I’ll put him in a hole. I’ll use the hole which he has dug. I’ll bring my bedding out. I’ll dry it in the sun.”

He persisted with his self-talk. “I’ll launder the tablecloth. I’ll distend it on the sward. The sun will bleach it. And the blanket must be hung up. The wind will freshen it. And the bed must be thoroughly disinfected. I’ll air it with a warming-pan. I’ll warm it with a hot water bottle.”


“I’ll get soft soap. I’ll use monkey soap. I’ll get soda and scrubbing brushes. I’ll get Persian powder. I’ll use carbolic. That will eradicate the noxious smell. I must have a disinfecting. Perchance, I may have to burn sulphur.” He hightailed it ’round the house. He sallied forth to get a shovel. It was in the kitchen. He kept mumbling to himself. “First, I will arrange the hole. Then I’ll drag out that joker in the blanket.”

Mr. Tod was in for a stark surprise. He opened the kitchen door. Spontaneously, he clamored, “EGADS!” Impossibly, there was the ignominious slacker, Tommy Brock! The trespassing lubber wasn’t in the bed! He was lallygagging at Tod’s kitchen table. And he was not even wet! He was quite dry. And, oh, was he grinning! He was holding the teapot. He was pouring out some rosehip tea. He daintily poured it into Mr. Tod’s teacup. Then, he afforded Mr. Tod no notification. He vigorously threw the cup of scalding tea at the fox. It soused Mr. Tod. He yelped in pain.


Now, a monumental fracas ensued. Mr. Tod went on the warpath. His response was uncontrollable. He rushed upon Tommy. Tommy fought back aggressively. Have you ever seen a fox and a badger fight? Oh, it is frightening. Go look on the Internet. Search “fox and badger fighting.” It is an ugly scene. I can promise you that!

The two reviled each other. There was an inordinate amount of cursing. Tommy grappled with Mr. Tod. They scrambled all through the broken crockery. This made for a high-decibel cacophony! It was a terrifying battle. It was an unimaginable hurlyburly. The two of them scrapped all over the kitchen. Have empathy for the rabbits underneath! It sounded as if the floor would give way. Each crash of falling furniture made the bunnies flinch.

For now, Tod and Tommy were occupied. So, the rabbits crept out of their tunnel. They hung about amongst the rocks and bushes. They listened anxiously. Inside the house, it was a harumscarum scene. The racket was fearful. Remember, the rabbit babies were in the oven. They woke up trembling. Perhaps it was fortunate they were shut up inside.


Everything was upset. The only unharmed item was the kitchen table. Almost everything was broken. The only undamaged items were the mantelpiece and the kitchen fender. The crockery was smashed to atoms. The chairs were broken. The windows were shattered. And the clock had fallen with a crash. There were handfuls of Mr. Tod’s sandy whiskers lying about.

The vases fell off the mantelpiece. The canisters fell off the shelf. The kettle fell off of the hob. Tommy put his foot in a jar of crabapple jelly. And there was boiling water in the kettle. It fell upon Mr. Tod’s tail. Tommy kept grinning. He seemed to be uppermost in the fight. He rolled Mr. Tod over and over like a log. He trundled him out the door.

Then the snarling and disquietude persevered outside. They rolled over the bank. They tumbled down the hill. They were bumping over the rocks. There will never be any love lost between those two!

The rabbits were spying from the bushes. Now the coast was clear. Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny came out. Peter yelled. “Now go for it! Run in, Cousin. Run in and unpen them! I’ll watch the door.”


But Ben was loath to imperil himself. He cried, “Oh! Oh! They are coming back!”

Peter said, “No they are not.”

Ben retorted, “Yes! They are!”

Peter said, “What inexcusably inappropriate language! I think they’ve taken a nosedive down the stone quarry.” Still, Ben shied from taking action. Peter kept encouraging him. “Be quick! It’s all right. Go, man! Emancipate them! Then shut the oven door. Then he won’t miss them.”

Decidedly, there had been lively doings in that kitchen! But what was transpiring at home? What were the goings-on in the rabbit hole? Well, things had not been copacetic there, either. Flopsy and old Mr. Bouncer were quarreling during their evening refection. Then they had a sleepless night.

They quarreled again at breakfast. Old Mr. Bouncer could no longer disavow his reckless deeds. He admitted that he’d encouraged company to come into the rabbit hole. But he rebuffed Flopsy’s entreaties to mete out any details. He would not reply to her queries and reproaches. Thus, the day passed with a woebegone mood.


Old Mr. Bouncer was very sulky. He was huddled up. He sat in a corner. He was barricaded with a chair. Flopsy had taken away his pipe. She’d hidden the tobacco. She was doing some spring cleaning. This helped to relieve her feelings. She’d just finished. Old Mr. Bouncer was anxious. What would she do next?

Now, back to Mr. Tod’s. Let’s scrutinize the kitchen. Ben waded amidst the wreckage. He was skittish. He picked his way forward. He threw up a roily cloud of dust. He got to the oven. He opened the door. He felt inside. He found something warm. It was wriggling. He lifted it out with care. He rejoined Peter. “Cousin Peter! Hallelujah! I’ve got them! Can we get out? Or shall we hide?”

Peter pricked his ears. Sounds of fighting were still audible. They echoed in the wood. Five minutes passed. There were two breathless rabbits. They came scuttering down Bull Banks. They were half carrying, half dragging a sackcloth. Each had a hold of it. It went bumpety-bump over the grass. They reached home. They were all unscathed. They burst into the rabbit hole.


Ben and Peter arrived in triumph. Thank goodness! They’d saved the tots! Great was old Mr. Bouncer’s relief! Great was Flopsy’s joy! The rabbit babies were rather tumbled. And they were famished. They were fed. They were put to bed. They soon recovered. They were no worse for wear and tear.

Flopsy walked to Mr. Bouncer. She brought him a new long pipe. She had fresh tobacco with it. He had lost his dignity. He had a sheepish look on his face. He was contrite about his errors of judgment. But he accepted the pipe. He knew that he was forgiven. Then they had dinner. Peter and Ben recounted their heroic escapades. Their saga would become famous among the rabbit families around Lake Windermere.

But there’s one thing they did not know. They could not recount how the fight had concluded. They did not wait to find out! They had a clear priority. That was to get the babies to safekeeping!

So, what about the fray? Here’s what I’m wagering. The probability was definitively in the badger’s favor. So, my hypothesis is this: I think that Tommy Brock walloped Mr. Tod!

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.) 
A New Nation: American Independence

Lesson 29 – Part One

NEW WORDS: Carolina, Chris, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hampshire, Holland, Maryland, Philadelphia, Philadelphian, Roanoke, chests, commander, continental, dwellings, elected, expenses, flared, freedoms, indentured, jersey, loyal, loyalists, midway, opinions, patriots, ports, representatives, requests, revolted, settlements, shiploads, smeared, stirred, streaks, taxed, taxes, taxing, transportation, trend

Chapter One: The New World
This is North America. It’s where we live now. Go back hundreds of years. Life here was not the same.

Who were the first people who lived here? They’re known as Native Americans. They lived in groups called tribes. They lived all over North America. There were no stores like we have now. They had to find or make things they needed to survive. They got their own food. They made their own clothes. They built their own dwellings.

Move forward in time. We’ll meet an explorer from Europe. His name is Christopher Columbus. He sailed and reached North America. But that’s not where he’d planned to go. He was hoping for something else. He hoped to find a quicker way to reach India and China. That’s where there were lots of spices, gold, and other riches.

Chris reached land in 1492. There’s a well-known song. It says he “sailed the ocean blue.” He and his crew did not get to India or China. They got to North America. They met the natives who lived there.


Chris started a trend. Sailors from other countries came to North America, too. Do you know these country names? Portugal, Holland, Spain. France and England. They all sent explorers to North America. They all hoped to find riches. They’d bring these goods back. They would trade and sell them in Europe. Lots of folks were intrigued by this “New World.”

The English did not want to just visit the New World. They wished to start settlements there. They wished for a place that their people could spread out. Their land was a small island country. They were across the Atlantic Ocean from the New World. English Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. That was in the 1600s. That’s about a hundred years after Columbus. It was hard for the Pilgrims to get used to their life in the New World. They were used to being near a city. That was not the case in the New World. They were lucky that the Native Americans helped them. The first year was REALLY hard for them.

Other English people came to settle here. Some came before the Pilgrims. The first colony was on Roanoke Island. Then there was one at Jamestown. A “colony” is a place that is ruled by a faraway country. So, these colonists did not make their own rules or laws. The English king and government were still in charge.


A child was born here. She was the first child of English parents. They lived on Roanoke Island. Her name was Virginia Dare. We don’t know what happened to her. We don’t know what happened to the other English settlers living there. They just disappeared. It’s a mystery to this day! So, Roanoke was given a name. It’s called “The Lost Colony.” Some people think life was too hard there. And maybe they ran out of food. So, maybe the people left their settlement. Maybe they lived with some of the Native American tribes in the area. This might have been like the Pilgrims. It had been hard for them, too. They had needed help from the Native Americas.

After Roanoke, no one came from England for twenty years. The next group had one hundred English men and boys. They sailed up a river from the Atlantic Ocean. They named the river the “James.” That was in honor of the king of England. They called their new home “Jamestown.”

They also met Native Americans. They wanted to trade goods with them. They wanted beaver and deer skins the most. They’d send them back to England. They could sell them for a high price.


Time passed. More settlers came. They were all up and down the East Coast. They formed more colonies. By 1732, there were thirteen British colonies in North America. Let’s learn their names. They are all names of states in the U.S. today! Massachusetts. New Hampshire. Rhode Island. Connecticut. New York. New Jersey. Pennsylvania. Delaware. Maryland. Virginia. North Carolina. South Carolina. Georgia. Did you already know most of them?

It was hard work starting colonies. The British did not do this all by themselves. They had lots of helpers to clear and farm the land. European ships brought people from Africa. They were probably indentured servants. This is a sad time in our history. It’s wrong to “own” another person! These people were forced to work with no pay. They would work a number of years. They were not free to live or work anywhere else. They had to work for the agreed-upon number of years. After that time, they were free to live and work where they wanted. And they’d be paid for that work.


But then it got way worse. More workers were needed. The people from Africa were no longer indentured servants. They were now slaves. The slaves did not share the freedoms enjoyed by the colonists. They could not leave their farms without permission. And it was against the law to teach them to read or write. This issue of slavery became a huge problem, over time. You’ll learn about this later. In the mid-1800s, some states went to war with other states. It’s called the U.S. Civil War. It’s a very sad part of our history.

But that’s for learning at a later time. The colonies were now growing larger. More changes were to come.


Chapter Two: A Taxing Time: The Boston Tea Party
At first, colonists were proud to be British citizens. They were okay with being ruled by the British king. But then things changed. The king and his government, the Parliament, started to make some colonists mad. England had spent lots of money to set up and protect the colonies. They wanted help paying for these expenses. Parliament made the colonies in America pay taxes to England.

Taxes are extra money people pay when they buy certain things. Today, we pay taxes when we buy clothes at a store. We may pay taxes on food in a restaurant. We pay taxes buying gas for our cars. Taxes are a bit different in each U.S. state. You might have to pay a dollar or two more for your new shirt than what’s on the price tag. You might pay a few extra cents for your sandwich than the price on the menu. But these stores do not keep this extra money. They give those taxes back to the government.
These days, we vote for and elect representatives. These people represent us in government. These people make decisions about how to best spend the taxes. These taxes go to provide public services. These benefit all who live here. The taxes to help pay for things that we all need. These are things like schools, public transportation, and roads. These cover water and garbage service, police and fire protection, and other public services. Many people think that it is a fair use of their money. So, they don’t mind paying taxes for a good cause.


But here was the rub for the colonists. Unlike the U.S. today, they could NOT vote for and elect “representatives.” So, no one could represent them in the British Parliament. So, many thought that it was unfair to be taxed. That’s because their voices could not be heard. Their interests could not be talked about. The colonists were asked to pay extra for stamps, sugar, and other things. They could not voice their opinions. So, why should they have to pay taxes? It just didn’t seem fair to them.

All over the colonies, people grew more angry. It was the colony of Massachusetts where tempers flared the most. King George even sent troops! He wanted to keep the peace in Boston. But that did not help much. Then, in 1773, Parliament did their worst thing so far. They passed a law called the Tea Act. They tried to force the colonists to buy tea from one British company only. And they charged a large tax for that tea. The colonists did not think that this was fair. Tea was one of their favorite drinks. So, they refused to pay the taxes on tea!

They sent shiploads of tea back to Britain. They bought their tea from Holland instead. This made the king furious. He said that they could not send the tea back to England without paying the tax. So, the colonists of Massachusetts revolted! They rose up against the British king. They would not follow the king’s orders.


Shiploads of British tea continued to enter the port of Boston, Massachusetts. Let’s turn to a December night in 1773. There was a group of men known as the “Sons of Liberty.” They planned an odd “tea party.” They smeared their faces with soot, grease, and streaks of red paint. They stuck feathers in their hair. They wanted to fool the British. They wanted to look like Mohawk Native Americans. They made their way down to the harbor. They climbed aboard three British ships. They dumped 342 chests of valuable tea into the Boston Harbor. This meant that the British lost tea and money. This night became known as the “Boston Tea Party.”

Now, King George closed the port of Boston! This was one of the American colonies’ key ports. He said that they had to pay for the tea that was destroyed. He said that England would not send any more supplies! The tea had to be paid for, first. What did that mean for the colonists? What if no supplies came from England? Well, there’d be nothing for the colonists to sell in their shops. So, people had to close their shops. Many people lost their jobs. Food was scarce. Colonists from up and down the East Coast helped out. They sent money and supplies to Massachusetts.

What were the colonists to do now? What should they say to the king?


The people of Boston began to talk of war against England. But other colonists warned them not to act so fast. “Wait a bit,” they said. “It’s not a good plan to fight back without cooling off a bit first.”

All thirteen colonies said they’d come up with a plan together. They held a big meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. That’s about midway between the farthest New England colonies and the farthest Southern ones. Each colony elected representatives to go there. This was a first time. Representatives from all the colonies had never met together in one place (note: Georgia did not send anyone to this meeting). They called themselves “the Continental Congress.”

The leaders were divided. Some remained loyal, or faithful, to England and the king. They were called “Loyalists.” “After all,” they said, “we’re British, too!” Others were thinking of themselves not as British citizens, but as Americans. They wanted to rule themselves. They no longer wanted to be ruled by a faraway king. These people were called “Patriots.”

Members of the Continental Congress included George Washington from Virginia. He was a young army commander. He had been helping to protect the colonies. Benjamin Franklin was there, too. He was a Philadelphian known for his ability to get folks to work together. Thomas Jefferson was elected as a representative from Virginia. He was known to be a good writer. But he could not come to the meeting.


This was just the first Continental Congress. This time, the representatives decided to talk to the king in a friendly way. They sent him a letter. They told him that they wanted to work things out peacefully. They asked the Parliament to stop making laws or rules for them. “We feel that we should create our own laws. That’s because we’re not able to vote for laws in Parliament,” they said. In the meantime, they waited for an answer from the king. They decided to stop selling goods to England. And, they’d stop buying goods from Great Britain.

The meeting ended. The colonists were still split in their opinions about what to do. The Loyalists hoped that the king would grant their requests. Maybe he’d let them make their own laws, while still remaining British. The Patriots kept things stirred up. They talked of going to war. They wished to break away from Britain altogether. It was not a calm time!

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.) 
A New Nation: American Independence

Lesson 30 – Part Two

NEW WORDS: Concord, Jefferson’s, Lexington, Revere, Revere’s, apt, arguing, battles, belfry, candlesticks, cannonballs, creator, debates, declaring, dinnerware, dipped, distrust, endowed, evident, grouped, independent, militia, minute’s, minutemen, muskets, neighboring, pursuit, quickest, redcoats, renting, repairing, revolutionary, rewrite, saddled, shopkeepers, silversmith, spies, storehouse, swarmed, truths, unalienable, volunteers

Chapter Three: The Shot Heard ‘Round the World
The Boston Tea Party made King George mad. He sent thousands of soldiers to Boston. He wanted the colonists to obey his orders. The soldiers swarmed the streets of the city. They had fancy red uniforms. Their buttons were shiny. They were called the “Redcoats.” They carried weapons with them. The people of Boston were angry about this. The city no longer felt like home. They did not know whom to trust. Spies spread out all over the city. British soldiers were disguised as colonists. Colonists were disguised as British soldiers. There was lots of whispering in the streets. Folks kept secrets from each other. It was not pleasant. It was even a bit scary.

Paul Revere was a silversmith from Boston. He was busy making and repairing silver dinnerware, candlesticks, and jewelry. A sign with a silver pitcher hung outside his shop. His shop was on the town square. One day, the door to his shop flew open. A friend rushed to Revere’s side. The two men were members of the Sons of Liberty. That was the group who had emptied tea into the harbor.


The Boston Tea Party had changed some things. The colonists of Massachusetts had been hiding things. They had weapons, gunpowder, and cannonballs in neighboring towns. The British were afraid the colonists might plan to attack them. They’d capture the weapons each time they learned where they were hidden.

The two men huddled in the back of Revere’s shop. His friend whispered to him. The British were planning to raid a storehouse of weapons. That was in the town of Concord. The British were to travel that night. No one knew how they’d go there. Would they march by land? Would they take the shorter route? That would be to sail on a boat by sea. The Patriots must warn the Concord militia.

Revere asked a friend to spy on the British. He wanted to find out the soldiers’ plans. Then he arranged for a signal to be given. It would be a secret code. It would let him know the answer to his question. His friend was to climb up the bell tower of the Old North Church. Revere talked to his friend. “Light one lantern. Hang it in the belfry. That’s if they’re coming on foot, by land. But if they’re coming by sea, hang two lanterns.”


It was after dark that night. Revere left his home. He crept down to the banks of the Charles River. He rowed his boat across the river. He came to a spot where fellow Patriots waited. They had a horse for him. It was saddled and ready to go. Paul mounted the horse. He watched the church. He was patient. He looked for the signal. It didn’t take long. He saw a light in the tower! One light. Then two. “Ah,” he said to himself. “Just as I thought. They chose the quickest way, by water. That way fewer people are apt to see them. Then I shall go by land. I’ll get there before they do.” He tipped his hat in thanks to the Patriots. Then he sped on.

He galloped through towns on the way. He shouted to the people in their beds. “The Redcoats are coming! The Redcoats are coming!” People began to wake up. Shutters were thrown open.

Revere reached the town of Lexington. He told them of the troops. Men rushed from their homes. They joined each other with their muskets. They grouped in the middle of the town. These men were known as “Minutemen.” They were expected to be ready to fight at a minute’s notice. They slept with their muskets and gunpowder beside their beds.


It was dawn. The British reached Lexington. The Minutemen were just farmers and shopkeepers. They were volunteers for their country. They weren’t trained soldiers. They looked ragged next to the well-dressed British soldiers. The early morning hours were confusing. A shot was fired. Others fired back. There was fighting throughout the morning. Finally, Minutemen forced the British to head back to Boston. They fired at them from behind rocks, trees, and fences. To this day, no one knows who fired that first shot. Nerves had been on edge since the Boston Tea Party. So, it was not a surprise that guns went off.

That first shot was the start of a long war. The British and their American colonies would now fight each other. It’s known as “the shot heard ’round the world.” Not only did it change life in the colonies. But it also changed things around the world. This would lead to the birth of the United States. That long war became known as the “Revolutionary War.” Did that “shot heard ’round the world” ring out so loudly that it reached King George’s ears that April morning? What do you think?


Chapter Four: Declaring Independence
“The shot heard ’round the world” was big news. It spread through the land. A second Congress was called. It was in Philadelphia again. The debates would be heated. What would they do?

Those at the meeting were still divided. Should they break from Britain? Should they become an independent nation? There were more small battles in Massachusetts. That convinced them that they had need of an army. Who would serve as the leader?

General George Washington seemed to be the best choice. He had fought to protect the colonies before. He knew how the British fought. He was dressed in his military uniform at the Congress. They all had lots of respect for him. He was elected as the commander-in-chief. He’d lead the Continental Army. George set off to join the troops. They’d come from across the land. They’d gather in Massachusetts. They’d be ready to meet the British in battle.


Meanwhile, the Congress went on in Philadelphia. One representative was Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was born in Massachusetts. He had moved to Pennsylvania. He’d even lived in London, England, for a few years. He had gone there to speak out in Parliament. He complained about the unfair taxing of the colonies. He complained that the colonists had no say in Parliament. Franklin was quite good at arguing. He got the British to remove some of their taxes. Franklin had lots of British friends in London. But the Boston Tea Party made things worse for him. An angry Parliament began to distrust and dislike him. So, in 1775, Franklin went home. He got there, just in time for the second Congress. The other representatives were glad he was there. He’d been in England. He knew what the British were thinking. He could help them decide what to do.

The Congress took a bold move. They had a message for Parliament and the king. They no longer wished to be a part of Great Britain. They would declare themselves a free and independent nation. An official declaration would have to be written. That way, Parliament and the king would take them seriously.


Who would write this “Declaration of Independence?” Among those mentioned was Thomas Jefferson. He was a thirty-two-year-old representative from Virginia. He was one of the youngest men there. Jefferson could not attend the first Congress. But the members all knew of his powerful writing. He was elected to be its author.

Jefferson was renting rooms in Philadelphia. He went back there. He got out some paper. He scratched his head. He dipped his pen in ink and started to write. Sometimes he stopped and crossed out some words. Then he went on. He knew that a lot of key people would read this. So, he had to make it good. He would get up at dawn and go to work. This went on for seventeen days. He’d write and rewrite. He wished it to be his best work.

The Congress liked his work. Franklin, among others, changed a word or two here and there. But most of the words were those of young Jefferson.


July 4, 1776 was the big day. The Declaration of Independence was approved by vote in the Congress. It was sent to a print shop that night. Riders went out across the countryside with copies. In town squares all over the colonies, folks gathered. They heard Jefferson’s words read aloud. One part is still read again and again today.

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Those are important words. It means that no one is born better than anyone else. All people all over the world have equal rights.

We still celebrate this important event. That’s our U.S. holiday each Fourth of July. You could call it the birthday of the United States.

Click on this link to move forward to Module D, Lessons 31 – 40


Note to Educators, Parents, Tutors, and Students: AOCR ® has attempted to provide authorship to all reading content where we have been able to find it. Some content is in the public domain without evidence of authorship. Some content has been written by AOCR ®.

All content contained in the AOCR ® curriculum is from one of four sources: 1) Content written by AOCR ® personnel; 2) Content derived from the Core Knowledge ® curriculum; 3) Content that is — to the best of AOCR’s knowledge — in the public domain and free of any copyright restrictions — with or without knowledge of authorship; 4) Content that is provided to us by an author with their permission, which shall be noted at the beginning of such content.

Further, ANY lesson that is identified as “Core Knowledge ®” is following all stipulations required by Core Knowledge ® in order for AOCR ® to reproduce it. The guidelines outlined in the next few lines, in italic, apply to ALL passages that are identified as originating from the Core Knowledge ® curriculum:

This work is based on an original work of the Core Knowledge ® Foundation made available through licensing under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This does not in any way imply that the Core Knowledge Foundation endorses this work. With the understanding that for reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do that is with a link to this web page:   .