Module E – Lessons 91 to 99


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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.)
The Ancient Greek Civilization

Lesson 91 – Part Two

NEW WORDS: Apollo’s, Artemis, Artemis’s, Athenian, Crete, Demeter, Dion, Dion’s, Dionysus, Disa, Hephaestus, Hephaestus’s, Hermes’s, Hiero, Lysander, Myron, Myron’s, Olympian, Ottoman, Pegasus, Pericles, Pindar, Pindar’s, Platon, Poseidon’s, Seoul, Thebans, Thebes, abounding, amphitheater, animosities, antiquity, antlered, arable, astricted, balletic, beckoning, bellyached, benison, bids, bobsledding, bordering, carmine, catapult, champions, chitchatting, clamant, climactic, commencing, communing, composing, contentions, converged, conversant, conveyances, debarked, delightfully, dematerialized, devoting, dialects, differed, disciplined, discontentment, edifices, effortless, eights, embolden, embracing, enshroud, evolving, exemption, explicated, feminine, fixate, girding, glowered, groves, gutlessness, hardhearted, heroical, hounds, huntresses, ignite, impacted, inhuman, initiatory, intrepidity, irrevocable, jagged, jetted, jurisdiction, laudable, laurel, learnings, lengthy, loops, materialized, menage, mesmerizes, miffed, minding, mistress, mortals, obliges, opposites, opulence, originative, ostensible, outbursts, overpopulated, parting, presentment, prevail, priestesses, promenading, pursuance, rainless, recreant, recurred, recurrently, reelected, rejoining, remotest, revamped, seafarers, seeks, serrated, shouldered, soliciting, splintered, statuesque, suave, sufficiency, sumptuously, supervened, surged, sweeter, tableau, tasked, testy, tidings, titanic, treading, unmoving, untiring, victors, wavering, weaved, wielded


Chapter One: The Ancient Greeks
Let’s go back 2,800 years. We’ll meet the ancient Greeks. Now, we call part of the places where they lived the country of Greece. Way back, though, they lived on a much larger area of land. The boundaries of Greece then spread widely to the east and west. They went into lots of places bordering on the Black Sea to the north. And you could find them across hundreds of islands. These were scattered in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. Trips by land and by ship allowed the Greeks to head as far west as present-day Britain. And they went as far east as India. The Greeks traveled to check out far-off lands. And they went to trade goods with people from other places.

These Greeks were like other ancient civilizations in lots of ways. They had writing systems and leaders and laws. They had religions and different people to do varied jobs. You’ve studied lots about these ancient civilizations. You’re now quite conversant about the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Indians, Chinese, Maya, Inca, and Aztec. There was one thing in common with the Greeks and all of these others. They found ways to design and build magnificent structures. Lots of them can still be seen today. You’ll see pictures of some of these edifices in another lesson.


The Greeks, though, were not like these other civilizations in lots of ways. For instance, the Greeks did not develop around a great river. In Greece, there weren’t waterways like the Nile in Egypt. There was nothing like the Tigris or Euphrates near Babylon. The Greek land was not as arable as the land near those wide, flooding rivers. Greece is a land of high, jagged mountains. So, in many parts, farming was hard. You’ll hear about one type of hardy tree, though. The Greeks could grow it in abundance. In addition to being farmers, some Greeks were also shepherds. They would take care of sheep on this rugged land.

Some Greeks built harbors. These were near the Black, Aegean, and Mediterranean seas. And many were expert sailors and fishermen. They’d use boats like the one in this image. The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea is Crete. So, they were surrounded by water. The Greeks on Crete became quite skilled seafarers.

The high Greek mountains also impacted the way that Greece was ruled. The mountains splintered Greece into lots of small valleys. So, it was hard to move from place to place. Many Greeks stayed in one place. They would marry people from the same community. Each city in each valley became its own little nation. We refer to them today as a “city-state.” Each city-state had its own government. And it had its own laws. They would control just the jurisdiction closely around them. All the Greek city-states shared the same language. But each city-state did have different dialects. That’s like listening to someone in the U.S. who has a Southern accent, versus someone from the Bronx in New York.


Sometimes the Greeks had the same thoughts about how to live their lives. But they did those things independently of each other. In fact, they were quite competitive. Only in an emergency would they work with each other. After each emergency, each city-state would go back to minding its own business. People in each city-state did not think of themselves as “united Greeks.” They saw themselves, instead, as citizens of their own city-state.

The Greeks looked at the world differently from the way other people of their time looked at things. For example, you’ll hear the tale of how one city-state decided not to have a king anymore. This was not like what other Greeks did. It was not like what the Mesopotamians and Egyptians had done. And it was not like what the Aztec, Inca, and others would do in the future.

You’ll hear more about this. But for now, all I’ll say is that the Greeks had a unique way of seeing and thinking about things. We have a lot of big adventures ahead of us. The Greeks were unique in many ways. They made lots of contributions that impact our lives today.


Chapter Two: Mount Olympus, Part One
The day began delightfully, of course. Each day began that way on Mount Olympus. That’s because it was the home of the gods. These gods called Mount Olympus their home. Thus, they were called the “Olympian gods.” Sometimes they enjoyed roaming on Earth. And that’s where the gods could be found at this moment. That is, all except for Hermes and Apollo.
Hermes was the messenger of the gods. And he was the son of Zeus. He appeared in an instant at the side of his brother, Apollo. Hermes was wearing his famous winged sandals and winged helmet. And he carried a small, wooden stick, or baton. It had wings on either side. These extra wings gave Hermes even greater speed than he already had. He was constantly flitting here and there. He would be carrying news among the gods and leading lost travelers back in the right direction. So, Hermes needed all the speed that he could get. When he was moving his fastest, it always seemed as if, WHOOSH, he just materialized out of nowhere.

Apollo was the god of music and poetry. He was startled when Hermes suddenly appeared. One would think that he should have been used to it by now. “Do you have to pop up like that?” he bellyached. “I was just composing the most wonderful song on my harp. Now you’ve made me forget where I was in the melody.”


“So sorry,” Hermes exclaimed. But he really was secretly pleased. You see, he was a bit of a trickster. Hermes went on, “But soon you’ll have more of an audience. Our father, Zeus, has summoned us all here to the great hall at once.” Then he glanced around nervously. He added, quietly, “And you know how he can be when he is kept waiting.”

Hermes looked at the harp that he’d given to Apollo. That had been long ago. It was made from the shell of a large tortoise. It had strings stretched across it. “Still, I can stay for a bit. Would you be kind enough to play what you were working on?” He sat down on a thick ottoman close to Apollo.

Apollo smiled. And because he was also the god of light, his smile could truly light up a room. “I would be delighted,” he said. Then, his fingers ran swiftly across the harp strings. His fingers seemed almost liquid. As always, the song was beautiful. Anyone listening would think it must be the best song that could ever be played. That is, until Apollo played the next one.

Hermes sat there, unmoving. That was quite rare for him. At the end of the song, he sighed. He said, “Apollo, as always, your music mesmerizes me!” Then he was gone. His parting “thank you” was left wavering in the air.
Apollo thought, “That boy must learn to slow down.”


Hermes had left behind the high, cloud-covered mountain. Now he was settling down into a lush green forest below. Here, Hermes was quite alert. He was searching for the greatest of hunters, or rather, huntresses. That was his sister. She was the goddess Artemis. If anything could travel as quickly as Hermes, it would be one of Artemis’s arrows. You see, she was the goddess of hunting, wilderness, and animals.

Hermes could hear the crashing and crackling of branches. Something large was breaking through the trees nearby. Suddenly, a great, antlered stag surged from the bushes. He was not five feet from Hermes. Panic was in its eyes as it saw him. Turning, the stag ran from the little clearing as quickly as it had arrived. Hermes had only enough time to think, “How balletic!” Then, two huge hounds leaped from the bushes. They were ready to go in pursuance of the stag. Hermes simply held up his wooden baton. The two dogs stopped at once. They were lying down before him, panting.

A moment later, their mistress Artemis appeared. Discontentment was ostensible on the goddess’s face. She was miffed about losing the deer that she’d been hunting. At such moments, Artemis could be hardhearted. But when she saw Hermes, she smiled. She was very fond of him. “I wondered why the hounds had stopped,” she said.


“I’m afraid that you will have to stop, too,” Hermes replied. “Our father Zeus is beckoning us to come to Mount Olympus. We must get there as quickly as possible.”

At once, Artemis placed the arrow that she had been holding into the quiver that she wore over her shoulder. “I will leave right now,” she said. But as Hermes flew off, he saw her looking longingly at the bushes where the deer had dematerialized.

A minute later, the messenger god hovered in midair. He was high above the sea that surrounded Greece. That azure sea held hundreds of islands of all sizes. With eyes as sharp as one of Artemis’s arrows, Hermes shot through the ocean waves. He weaved among a dozen dancing dolphins. Then he came to rest next to the massive shoulders of his uncle Poseidon. He was the god of the seas, and of all that crosses the seas.

Poseidon’s lengthy, white beard moved like sea foam in the water. Then he turned and spoke. “Hermes, you are welcome here!” he boomed out in a mighty voice. And Hermes remembered that Poseidon, brother of Zeus, could make the Earth shake. He was also the god of earthquakes! He was pointing his great trident, which was a three-pointed pitchfork. He recurrently used it to stir up the waves of the sea. The sea god said to Hermes, “Watch with me.”


So, the two gods watched as the dolphins swam in effortless, wide figure-eights. And massive whales rose up from the depths to swim through the loops of the dolphins’ design. When the show was over, 100 octopi jetted in front of the whales and dolphins. They were shooting black ink from their bellies. This was a sort of closing theater curtain to end the performance. Poseidon roared with laughter at this surprise ending. Then, turning to Hermes, he asked, “What brings you here, nephew?”

Hermes replied to him. “Zeus asks you to come with all speed to Mount Olympus.”

“I shall go at once,” he said. But before he set out to see his brother, Poseidon took the time to thank the dolphins, whales, and octopi for their show. When he finished, Hermes was already gone. “It is wonderful how he does that,” Poseidon thought.

In the sky high above him, Hermes was already seeking out another of the gods. Suddenly, a lightning bolt split the air. It was only ten feet from the messenger god. Then, a deafening crash of thunder supervened. Zeus was getting testy. Hermes called upward. “I am moving as quickly as I can, my lord!” The messenger of the gods hurried on his way.


Chapter Three: Mount Olympus, Part Two
We’re now rejoining Hermes. You know that he was messenger of the gods. He was on a mission for his father, Zeus. Zeus was the king of the gods. Zeus was soliciting the most powerful gods. He was asking them to come back to their palace. That was at the top of Mount Olympus. Hermes had passed on Zeus’s message to Apollo. He was the suave god of music, poetry, and light. He talked with Apollo’s sister. She was the huntress Artemis. Hermes had carried the message to Zeus’s brother. He was the mighty Poseidon. He was god of the sea. Hermes’s task was not done yet. Now, he hovered above Greece. He was looking and listening for the signs that would lead him to the next god who he wished to find.

This did not take long. Far off, Hermes saw outbursts of light from Earth beneath him. Flying in that direction, he soon heard screams and angry shouts. Now he could see two armies engaged in a battle. The lights that Hermes had seen were flashes of sunlight. They were reflecting off of armor and weapons. The soldiers of one army were pushing back another army, which was now commencing to panic and run.


Hermes saw a god perched on a cloud. It was high above the battle. He was excited by the tableau below. There stood Ares. He was the god of war. He was dressed in a carmine robe. He stood statuesque and strong. And his smile grew broader as Hermes landed beside him. “Hail, brother!” said Ares. He was a son of Zeus, too. He pointed down. Then he asked, “Isn’t it glorious? Here are humans at their best and worst. Some display heroical intrepidity. Others show recreant gutlessness.” He pointed his finger. A beam of light shone on one of the desperate soldiers. “I have been watching that man there. See how he seeks to bring his fellow soldiers together to prevail in the fight?”

Hermes did not understood his brother’s attraction to battle. But it would not do for him to say so. Hermes thought this to himself. “It seems to me that there are better elements to humans. They are love, loyalty, and learning. Not fighting.” To Ares, he said, “Zeus bids us all to come to Olympus.”

Ares did not take his eyes off of the battle. He nodded. “I’ll be there.”

Hermes now flew to the Greek city-state of Athens. Here he found his sister Athena. She was another daughter of Zeus. She was the goddess of wisdom and war. She was promenading among a grove of olive trees. With Athena was Zeus’s sister. She was named Demeter. She was the goddess of plants and of the harvest. In her wise, intelligent voice, Athena was chatting. “And so, dear aunt, would you please make sure that this year’s crop of olives is plentiful for the people of Athens?”


Gently, Demeter answered her, “I shall be delighted.” Instantly, the nearby olive leaves turned a deeper shade of green.

Hermes landed. He kissed his aunt’s cheek. He then smiled at Athena. “I have come with clamant tidings. Zeus calls us all to Olympus.”

“Of course,” Athena said.

Hermes was off once more to his last stop. He flew back to Olympus, where he had started. There, Hermes heard loud clangs. They were the sounds of metal striking on metal. It came from his brother Hephaestus. He was the god of fire. And he was the blacksmith of the gods. He stood by his red-hot forge. He wielded a huge hammer in each hand. He struck them in turn against a serrated lightning bolt. The lightning bolt was being forged on top of an anvil. That was a heavy block of iron or steel with a smooth, flat top. Outside, a horse was waiting. He would carry the lightning bolt to Zeus. He needed it, as he was the god of lightning and thunder. The steed was a magnificent winged horse. He was named Pegasus.

Hephaestus did not first see Hermes. So, the messenger god called out to him. He yelled loudly enough to be heard over the hammer strokes. “Greetings, brother!”


Hephaestus stopped hammering. He wiped the sweat from his brow. He looked over at Hermes. The two gods, though brothers, seemed to be opposites. Hephaestus was huge and muscular in his upper body. But he was slow-moving. That was due to an injury that had left his legs badly damaged. Hermes was slender and smooth. He seemed almost to dance in all of his movements.

Hephaestus’s face broke out into a big grin. “Brother! “Where have you been while I have been tied down here at my forge?” he asked in his slow way.

“Just about everywhere!” Hermes said. “Zeus has sent me to summon all of us to the great hall.”

By “us,” Hermes meant the main gods. He himself, was one of those. In fact, there was just one left to talk to. “Would you ask your wife to join us?” he asked.

Hephaestus glowered. “She does not like to be awakened this early,” he said. But it was nearly noon by now. “But if it is for Zeus, I will do it.”

Hephaestus’s wife was the most beautiful of all the goddesses. She was the goddess of beauty itself, and of love. Aphrodite was her name. She was as used to opulence as Hephaestus was to hard work.

Hephaestus said, “We will come.”

A bit later, all of the gods and goddesses had gathered. Aphrodite told Athena in a laughing voice, “I’m sorry that I look like such a mess. But Hephaestus said that I had to hurry.” Athena smiled to herself. For, as always, Aphrodite was absolutely stunning.


Athena had no chance to reply. Now, the king and queen of them all, Zeus and Hera, came in. Hera was the goddess of feminine power and women’s lives. She knew why Zeus had brought them all there so that they could be communing. The family of the Olympian gods was about to be embracing a new member!

Zeus raised a hand for silence. He smiled and announced, “This is a special day. Today, we invite to join us here on Olympus a new god. He’ll be the youngest of us all. Humans will worship him as they worship the rest of us.” Zeus continued. “Welcome among us, Dionysus. You shall be the god of wine, pleasure, and theater.” Then, a handsome fellow walked in. He had laughing eyes. And he had a lazy smile, and dark, curly hair.

Dionysus spoke in a light, easy tone. “I am honored. I shall teach humans. They shall make wine and raise cups of it in praise of us all. And they shall dedicate their finest plays to the gods and goddesses. In these ways, I hope to give pleasure to humans, and to give honor to us all.”

And so it was that Dionysus joined the menage of the gods and goddesses, atop Mount Olympus. He now completed what is known as the twelve Olympian gods.


Chapter Four: The Olympic Games
The travelers came from all directions. They came from each part of Greece. They came from each Greek city-state. Some came from such far-off places as Egypt and Spain. Many came on ships. Some rode on horseback. Some rode in horse-drawn conveyances. Some untiring souls walked the whole way. They were determined to reach their goal. They might have thought that they were on a holy journey. There were the rich and the poor. Some were carried in luxury. Others were treading on foot. They came by the thousands. They came to take part in and watch the Olympic Games.

These Games recurred every four years. They were held at the site of Olympia. There were contests in which Greek athletes would compete. These Games were part of a religious festival. It was held to honor the king of the gods, Zeus. The Games were thought to be sacred. In the first Games, there were only footraces, or running races. Later came events like wrestling, boxing, and racing horses and chariots. Even more were added as time went on. Some of these were throwing the heavy stone discus, and throwing the javelin, a type of long spear.


Among those coming to the Games one year were two men. They were named Myron and Pindar. They made their way to the sacred site of Olympia in a private carriage. It was drawn by a team of horses. It was driven by a servant. The passenger in the brown cloak was Myron. He was so muscular that others asked, “Is he one of the athletes?” But Myron was not an athlete. He was a sculptor. He used his muscular arms and huge hands to carve statues out of bronze and marble.

Myron was talking to his riding companion. “Of course, you are right, Pindar. I could just invite the champions to my home after the Games are over. I could carve statues of them there. But I want my statues to show the exact moment when a runner starts to pull ahead in a race. Or I want to capture the instant when a discus thrower is about to let go of that heavy stone and fling it down the field. So I like to see those events with my own eyes.”

His friend Pindar smiled. He said, “I, on the other hand, have written poems in honor of champions. But I have never seen them compete. You see, I am less interested in watching a runner cross the finish line in first place. I want to know about the effort and determination it took for him to get there. It is this that I admire. It is about this that I write.”


Myron grinned. “Well, your way works for you. My way works for me.”

Then a voice called out. “Pindar! Why are you with that Athenian? Don’t you know that we Thebans are in a war against Athens?”

Turning, Pindar recognized a friend from his hometown of Thebes. He had his driver stop the horses. Pindar said, “My friend! You know that all such conflicts are set aside here. Each person has safe passage going to, and returning from, the Games. That way, all may gather to take part in this grand competition. That’s how we honor Zeus and the other gods.” The Olympic Games were more important than the contentions that the cities were having with each other. Thus, these animosities were put on hold. That way, everyone could be there safely for these sacred Games.

Pindar went on. “Besides, Myron and I are artists. Here’s what it’s like when I write a poem, or when Myron carves a statue. Our interest goes far beyond the boundaries of any one city. We honor these champions as being laudable. That way, we might embolden all Greeks to do the best that they can in their own lives. This is how we honor the gods. And we should do this. The gods gave us our hearts, minds, and muscles.”


Pindar and Myron soon debarked at Olympia. The greatest athletes in the Greek world had converged there. Pindar and Myron looked around excitedly. They saw the running track, the long jump pit, and the vast horse racing amphitheater. In the distance, thick clouds hid the peaks of Mount Olympus.

All of the athletes were men. There were no events for women in these first Games. But there was one exemption from that rule. That was the horse and chariot race. If women owned horses, they could enter them into the races. But they were not the ones who rode the horses. Women could not even be present at the Games to see their horses win.

Victory was a source of great pride for the victors and their home cities. An Olympic champion received a wreath of laurel leaves to wear atop his head. But more than that, he knew that his name would live on as a hero in his city’s history. In fact, lots of cities awarded large sums of money to their champions.


In some ways, things have not changed much in the twenty-seven centuries since the initiatory Olympics. Modern athletes, too, may win fame. And that’s even if their main reason to compete is for the love of the sport. The Summer Olympics are still held every four years. But now, there are also Winter Olympics. People compete in winter sports. Some of these are skiing, bobsledding, and figure skating. These are held two years after each Summer Olympics. The location of the Olympic Games also changes each time. They’ve been hosted in cities such as Seoul, Korea, Atlanta, Georgia, and Athens, Greece. Men, and now women, from all over the world head to the chosen city to compete. Even if their countries don’t get along, people set aside their conflicts in honor of the Games. That’s just like in those days of antiquity.


Many centuries have passed since Myron and Pindar went to the Olympics. But they, too, are still remembered. Today, Myron is known for his presentment of an Olympic champion. His “The Discus Thrower” is still one of the most famous statues in the world. The original statue was lost long ago. It was perhaps lost in a war or an earthquake. But luckily, someone had made a copy. That way, we still can admire Myron’s work.

How about the poet Pindar? The Greeks loved his poems. For centuries after his death, he was remembered by the priests and priestesses at Apollo’s temple. They would pray each night, “Let Pindar the poet attend the supper of the gods.” Later still, we see how the Greek king, Alexander the Great, admired him so much. He had ordered that Pindar’s home city of Thebes be destroyed in a war. But Alexander gave an order to his soldiers. “But keep Pindar’s house safe from the flames!” Pindar’s ideas are still part of our thinking today. He wrote about doing our best, with the talents that we are given. He wrote about getting along peacefully with one another. In fact, we still call this way of seeing things “the Olympic spirit.”


Chapter Five: All For Sparta
Lysander was ready. This was his seventh birthday. It’s the birthday of his twin sister, too. Her name is Disa. That name means “double.” This is their last birthday with each other. When a boy in the city-state of Sparta turned seven, his life changed a lot.

Up to now, Lysander had lived at home with his mom and his sister. They saw his dad when he visited home. You see, fathers did not live with their families in Sparta. Instead, all Spartan men served for life in the Spartan army. They lived in army camps.

His father took Lysander aside one day. He explicated what it meant to be a man in Sparta. “The age of seven is a time of change for a boy. You’ll start evolving into a Spartan man. A Spartan boy starts his formal training. He’ll be disciplined to lead a life in the army. Spartan soldiers are the best in Greece. You will want to take your place with us. Thus, you must be girding yourself when you’re young. Here are your goals. You must be as strong, as fast, and as tough as you can. You must run great distances. You must climb steep mountains. You must swim in rough seas.”


His dad went on. “When I can, I’ll spend time here. I’ll show you how to use a sword and a spear. We will wrestle and box. You’ll learn these and other fighting skills in the training camp. But I will help you, too. I expect the best from you. Sparta obliges all of its people to be at their best.”

How would you like to have a talk like this with your mom or dad? It sounds daunting, doesn’t it? For us now, the Spartan life seems almost inhuman. Spartans had few comforts in life. They had to accept abounding hardships. We even use the word “Spartan” today. It describes something hard to achieve. It means that one must be strong in body and mind. And one must have a great deal of self-discipline. To the Spartans, this was the only way that they knew how to live. But things had not always been this way.

Let’s move many years back. Sparta had been just one of the city-states in Greece. Its people were farmers, seafarers, and merchants. They were just like folks in most other parts of Greece. Sparta grew overpopulated. The city-state attacked another city. They wished to have more land and food. The Spartans fought a long war of conquest against this city.


This war went on and on. They found it hard to win the war. That’s when they changed. The people of Sparta made an irrevocable decision. Here’s what they said. “We’ll rebuild our city. We’ll make Sparta the strongest military force in the world. No one will be able to attack us. No one can fight back against us. We will make all of Sparta into one great fighting machine. Each citizen must do his or her part. We must all make that machine unstoppable. All of our men will be soldiers. We will train them to be mighty warriors. Our women will learn how to run and wrestle. That way, they, too, will be strong. But their jobs will be different. The women must give birth to lots of children. And they must do even the most difficult jobs at home, while the men are off fighting.”

They revamped their way of life. They turned into the military city-state of Sparta. Few people got to vote on how the government would work, or what it would do. Women could not vote. And they could not take part in the government. They were astricted to fixate their efforts on life at home. Even among the men, few could make decisions.

There were two kings instead of one. That way, one person could not hold all of the power. The two Spartan kings also led the Spartan armies. If one died in battle, the other would still be alive to lead the troops. To pass laws, there was a council. It was made up of twenty-eight elders and the two kings. The two kings could be younger than sixty. But the other men in the council had to be at least sixty years old. That was to be sure that they had enough life experience to help run the city-state as the Spartans thought it should be run.


Sparta was what we might call “a closed society.” They did not conduct a lot of business with other parts of Greece. They aimed for self-sufficiency. They tried to make and grow in their own city-state all that they would need in order to survive. They did not want to open themselves up to other peoples’ ideas of how to live. Nor did they want to open up to a possible invasion by other city-states.

On his seventh birthday, Lysander thought about his fate. “Today I will leave my family to start training as a soldier.” Later in the day, a husky soldier came to the house. He would lead Lysander away. The fellow said that his name was Platon. That means “broad-shouldered” in Greek.

Lysander wished to look brave in front of him. So, he did not cry when he said goodbye to his mother and sister. But Disa whispered to him, “I’ll miss you.”

He whispered back, “I’ll miss you, too.”


Lysander marched off with Platon. The soldier told him, “Your father and I served with each other in a war. In fact, he saved my life. I heard that his son was going to join us. So, I asked if I could bring you to your new home.”

The soldier went on. “Life at the training camp will not be like what you have known. They will take away your shoes. That way, you will learn how to march and run barefoot in an emergency. You will get rough, old clothing to wear. It’s not comfortable. But neither is armor. And you may as well get used to discomfort.

“As for the food,” Platon grinned. “It’s worse than what we soldiers eat. And there’s not enough to fill your belly. But sometimes the soldiers will offer you and the other boys some nice, fresh cheese. If you can get to it. They won’t make it easy for you. Only the bravest and strongest boys will be able to accomplish that feat.”

“Or the hungriest,” said the boy.

Platon grinned at him. “I think you’ll do just fine,” he said. And they marched onward together.


Chapter Six: Athens And The Olive Tree
We now head to a place far from Sparta. Here a group of Greeks found a good place to build a new city-state. “That high hill will be a great place to build a city around,” these Greeks said. “There’s a good harbor for boats just a short distance away, too.

Most Greek cities were built around high hills. It gave them a good defense in case of an attack. Let’s say that the enemy attacked the low parts of the city. The people would climb up and gather on the high hill behind the city walls. There, it would be hard for the enemy to reach them.

So, this group of Greeks had found just the place they wished for. Now, they would need a name for their city. One of the Greek tales tells us how they chose their name. It says that an amazing thing happened. Two of the gods came to the people and spoke to them.

The first time was when the Greeks were in a group at the harbor. The titanic, muscular figure of Poseidon rose up from the sea. You’ll recall that Poseidon was the god of the seas and of all that crosses the seas, including ships. His towering head and shoulders seemed to almost reach the clouds. All around him, dolphins leaped and played in the waves. And seabirds circled in the air above him.


“Hear me, little mortals!” Poseidon boomed. And even those at the remotest points from the shore could hear his loud voice. “You would be wise to honor me the most of all the gods and goddesses. I am the Lord of the Sea. I can bring you good luck in your fishing.”

He lifted his vast hands. He said, “Look!” Hundreds of fish leaped from the waves and sank back down. He then lowered his hands. He went on. “I can bless the safety of your fishermen while they ride on my waves. I can see to it that the ships in which your merchants trade move swiftly and smoothly to distant shores and then back home. I will do all these things for you, and more. I just ask that you show me reverence.” The people were overjoyed to hear his words. Turning to each other, they said, “How wonderful! We shall tell him that we will pray to him more than to all the other gods.”

But, something happened before they could say this to the god of the sea. Another voice called out to them. “Hear me, Oh people. I, too, can give you a gift and a benison.” This time it was a female voice that they heard. She spoke in calm, clear, intelligent tones.”


The group turned to this new voice. They saw, in front of them, Athena. You’ll recall that she was the goddess of wisdom and of war. She went on. “The gift that I can give you is this.” She, too, lifted a hand. But there was nothing as climactic as hundreds of fish leaping up. All that showed on the ground was one, single, graceful tree. It grew high and wide on the spot, where a moment before, the ground had been empty.

“This is an olive tree,” Athena said.

The people did not want to be rude to the goddess. But they whispered to one another. “She would give us but one tree? It is nice to look at. But it is nothing compared to Poseidon’s blessings.”

She heard all. Then the goddess smiled. She said, “Let me tell you about this tree. One day soon, all of these lands around you can be covered in vast groves of these olive trees. Even the rocky hills beyond, that are hard to farm, will be covered. From these trees will come the wealth of your city. You’ll eat the fruit that you pick from these trees. You’ll never go hungry. You’ll squeeze oil from the tree’s fruit. It tastes so good that its flavor will improve anything that you cook with it. Fill a lamp with the olive oil. Then set a dry rope wick in it. Ignite it. You’ll have light in the darkest hour of the night. Mix other sweet-smelling herbs into the oil. Then rub it onto your skin. You’ll be healthier and cleaner. And you’ll smell sweeter. The oil will stay fresh in jugs and bottles for a long time. You can ship it to lands far and near. Lots of people will want to have these blessings of the olive for themselves.”


“The tree itself will be a blessing, too. In its shade, you’ll find shelter from the heat of the summer sun, and from the cold. The wood of this tree will be fine for carving. So, you’ll never lack for bowls, plates, or furniture. The tree will live for hundreds of years. And if a fire burns it down, it will grow again from the stump that is left there.”

She went on. “And I tell you this as the goddess of war. The olive branch will become the symbol of peace. Pray to me when you are in danger. Then I will protect you.” Athena gestured to the olive tree. She said, “Here, then, is food, fortune, and protection. These will be the great blessings of your people forever. I just ask that you choose to honor me.”

The people thought about what the two gods had offered. They came to a decision. They told the god of the sea, “Great Poseidon, you have offered us wonderful things. We will always offer prayers to you. And we will be grateful to you for the riches of the sea, however much you choose to share them from your great and generous heart. But we will be the people of Athena and her olive tree.”

To Athena, the people said, “Let us now show our devotion to you. We will name our new city ‘Athens’. That is in honor of you and your blessings.”

And that, the tale tells us, is how these Greeks came to call their city Athens.


Chapter Seven: Athens, The Birthplace Of Democracy
Hiero and Dion were on their way to Dion’s home. They passed through the main marketplace in Athens. There, people were devoting as much time to chitchatting as they were to shopping. The two young men stopped. They wished to buy some olives. They were at a farmer’s booth. It stood beneath the branches of two old olive trees. They stepped out into the sun again. Dion turned to look up at the top of the high hill.

“You know what, Hiero?” Dion asked. “Just look at the Parthenon! Is there a greater spectacle any place else? My dad and I went to lots of cool places last year. That was on our trading voyage on the Mediterranean. But I did not see a thing equal to it.” Hiero agreed as he looked up at the sumptuously designed temple.

Recall what the city-state of Sparta was like. They were all about self-discipline and training for battle. Athens was not like them. Athenians focused on other things. They had a love of art, architecture, and sculpture. They filled their city-state with graceful buildings. They were all pleasing to the eye. And statues were all over. They were inside these buildings. They were in the public spaces around them. Famous artists sculpted statues for all to enjoy. Some of their statues still exist. And even today, they’re thought to be some of the finest ever made.


The people of Athens were quite wealthy. They could enshroud a forty-foot-high statue of Athena in gold before they’d set it in the Parthenon. The Greeks showed their devotion to Athena there. They would come to her statue. There, they’d offer her prayers and gifts.

The arts were one arena of glory in Athens. But then there was science. Their scientists made discoveries that would be the basis for modern science. One scientist you’ll learn of was a great observer. His thoughts and classifications are still used now. Other Greeks gave us inventions that the next civilizations developed more fully. Some of these were the gear, screw, watermill, and catapult. Others were plumbing, and using furnaces to melt and shape iron. They even figured out how to use air, water, or steam for central heating.

Athens’ merchants such as Dion and his father were trading on distant shores. They went as far west as Britain. They went as far east as India. They brought back goods and learnings from these far-off lands. This was one way that Athens differed from Sparta. Sparta was a “closed” society. Most Spartans weren’t allowed to go beyond their city for trade or exploration.

What drove the Athenians’ amazing achievements? It was their belief that humans could achieve almost anything. They just had to set their minds to it. And if they could not achieve, they could at least fail with grace. So, they focused on the benefits of independent thinking. That led to the greatest of all the Athenian gifts to the world. It was greater than the art, the architecture, or the Olympic Games. It was the gift of democracy!


Let’s get back to Hiero and Dion. They were walking on that rainless afternoon, so long ago. They glanced ahead. There was a face that they knew well. “It’s Pericles!” Hiero yelled.

Pericles had been voted for by the people. He would run their government for a number of years. All those in Athens knew him. He held great power. He was both an army general and the leader of their government. But he was bound by the rules for all of their leaders. He had to be reelected to his office each year. What if the people did not like the job that he’d done? They could vote him out of office. They could even kick him out of Athens for up to ten years!

It had not always been this way. Athens had once been ruled by a king. Then, a number of nobles ruled in place of a king. One day, an originative new leader came along. He thought that each citizen should be able to take part in the government.

In early Athens, just a small percent of folks could be citizens. You had to have been born in Athens. You had to be a man. And you had to be wealthy enough.

These citizens had the right to vote. They could be part of a jury that made decisions in a court of law. They could serve in the assembly. That was a group of men who would debate and create the laws. Time passed, and others could now take part in the assembly. Poor men were let in. And there were even some merchants who were not born in Athens. But they lived and traded there.


At some point, there were just too many in the assembly. There were over 5,000 people. It was now too hard to manage the meetings. And not everyone could have their say. So, changes were made. Now, people would come from different areas of the city. They would represent the people from their area. Now, the group was smaller. It was easy to manage again. Each citizen still had the right to choose who would speak for them in the now-smaller assembly.

Women, though, did not have the rights to do any of these things. They could own land. And they could have their own money. Athenian girls also did not have the right to go to school, as the boys did. Women were tasked with learning to cook, sew, and clean. Well-educated young ladies learned some math at home. That way, they could be in charge of a household budget. Some also learned to read and write at home. They were admired for their intelligence and learning.


Here’s a good example of this education for women. The best woman friend of Pericles wrote lots of his famous speeches for him! Yet they did not let her listen to him speak those words in the assembly. Nor could she vote for the laws that he proposed.

The boys saw Pericles up ahead now. Dion asked Hiero, “Who are those two men with him?”

Hiero peered above the heads of those in the crowd. He said, “Only one of the greatest writers in the world. And the artist who designed the statue of Athena!” Then he smiled. “Only in Athens could you witness something like this. A discussion among the greatest living political leader, a world-famous writer, and such a well-known artist. Don’t you wonder what those great men are talking about?”

Dion answered him. “Whatever it is, I’m sure that it’s a most fascinating dialog.”

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.)
The Ancient Greek Civilization

Lesson 92 – Part Three

NEW WORDS: Achaemenid, Afghanistan, Agathon, Callimachus, Dardanelles, Darius’s, Greco, Hellespont, Iliad, Jordan, Lebanon, Macedonian, Marmara, Miltiades, Persia’s, Pheidippides, Plataea, Salamis, Syria, Themistocles, Xerxes, Xerxes’s, abhorred, academe, archers, battering, brilliantly, cataloged, cavalry, civilized, competing, confabulation, constructions, deference, fiercely, grimly, groomsman, groomsmen, heroism, horseman, infighting, internecine, landowners, maneuverable, polemarch, pontoon, purposely, referenced, risks, skirmishes, spearmen, straits, subverted, tearful, tensely, trample, triumphant, unceasingly, undying, unties, victories, wrestler


Chapter Eight: Marathon
(Note. This lesson introduces to you the kingdom of Persia. It was a giant empire. Some call it the “Persian Empire.” A more fancy name is the “Achaemenid Empire.” At its height, it included modern-day Turkey, Iraq, Iran, a part of Egypt, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. And parts of other modern-day countries, like Afghanistan, were also in their vast territory. You’ll learn, in this and the next chapter, about “The Two Persian Wars.” They’re also called the “Greco-Persian Wars.” The first conflict occurred from 492 to 490 B.C. The second one occurred in 480 – 479 B.C. That was the major victory for Greece. There were some continuing skirmishes lasting until 451 B.C.)

“The Persians are coming!” This was frightening news. And it raced through Athens like a quickly spreading fire. The very name of the Persians meant terror to all the Greeks. Darius was angry at Athens. That’s because they had helped some Greek city-states fight against Persia. And now he meant to punish them. So, he had sent an army of Persian foot soldiers and cavalry to fight them.

They sent a fleet of 600 ships! The boats held as many as 20,000 experienced Persian soldiers. They had come to a beach about 26 miles from Athens. It was near a wide, flat plain called “Marathon.”

“There are not enough of us to face them,” moaned an army general. “And no one can beat Persian soldiers.”


But another Athenian general spoke up. He was a man named Miltiades. He said, “The Persians fight for a king most of them have never seen. Their king cares nothing for them. We fight for our freedom. We fight for the freedom of our children. That must be worth something in battle.”

The Athenians had ten elected generals. They had another military leader called a “polemarch.” Callimachus was the name of the polemarch. He gathered with the ten generals, including Miltiades. They had to create a plan of defense. One of them said, “The plain of Marathon is a perfect place for the Persians to attack us. There is room for their horsemen to move around us. And there will be nowhere for us to go. We won’t be able to avoid their well-organized soldiers fighting on foot.”

Then, one of them said, “Let us send our fastest runner to Sparta. The Spartans are the greatest fighters in Greece. We must ask them to help us. Then, we might have a chance.”

But it was 150 miles from Athens to Sparta. And some of that journey passed through rugged mountains and streams. They knew that they would need a runner who was fast and strong.

Pheidippides is our man,” they all agreed. “No one in Athens can touch him for speed over a long distance.” So, they sent swift-footed Pheidippides on his way. He would call on the Spartans for help.


Then the generals called together all 10,000 Athenian men of fighting age. In each Athenian home, there were tearful goodbyes. At last, they went off toward the plain of Marathon. It was about 26 miles away.

The Persians were camped on the beach. That was near the edge of the plain. The Persian commander-in-charge was talking to his men. “We will win a great victory here for Darius. Then, the rest of the Greeks will just surrender to us.”

They were too confident, it turns out. Their leader took no special steps to guard his camp. He just sent the cavalry off on their horses. They would search the area a few times a day.

Elsewhere, the strong legs and powerful heart of the Athenian runner carried him to Sparta. He ran as he had never run before. He stopped just a few times to drink from streams. He ran for three days. He reached Sparta and the two Spartan kings. “You must come with your armies at once. If you don’t, it will be too late!” he explained.

To his horror, the Spartan kings said, “No. We can’t leave before tomorrow. Sparta is in the middle of a religious holiday. We are honoring the gods. And our law says that we must finish before we can leave to fight.”

“By then, the fight will be over. We will have lost!” Pheidippides exclaimed. He set out to carry the news back to Athens. He’d tell them that they would be on their own.


As it turned out, this was not true. There were 1,000 Greeks from the city of Plataea who’d heard the news. They came to join the Athenians. These 11,000 Greeks marched over the mountains to the plain of Marathon. Soon, Pheidippides arrived. He said, “The Spartans can’t help us.” The generals were horrified.

“The Persian army is much bigger than ours. They have way more soldiers,” one pointed out, with fear.

“We should surrender. We’ll beg for mercy!” cried a second.

“There will be no mercy,” said Miltiades. He was the general who had spoken boldly back in Athens. “The Persians are here because we helped other Greeks strike back against them. They will not stop until they have destroyed us.”

The ten generals had to take a vote. Should they surrender? Or should they attack? Each side won five votes.

Then Miltiades recalled something. He thought of the polemarch. Callimachus would get a vote, too. Miltiades told him, “The decision rests with you. Either we surrender and agree to serve the Persians, suffering all that this will bring. Or we will fight and live as free people.”

Callimachus trusted Miltiades. “What do you think?” he asked.


Miltiades said, “Here is what happens if we don’t fight. The people of Athens will be frightened, too. They’ll surrender the city to the enemy. All of Greece will follow. So, we must attack before fear sweeps through our camp. Then, I think that we’ll win.”

Callimachus said, “Then let us fight!”

Luck was with them. The Persian leader had sent his cavalry off again. That was to make sure that no other Greek armies were coming. While the horsemen were away, the Greeks spread out in a wide line. The Greek generals purposely put more men at either end of their wide line. That left the middle as the weakest part. Then, shouting a loud battle cry, the Greeks charged.

The Persians were startled. No one ever ran toward them. But never mind that. They moved forward toward the Greeks. “Look how weak those fools have left their mid-point,” laughed the Persian leader. He did not know that this was a trap! So, the laugh was on him. Things went just as the Greeks had planned. The Persians moved to the middle first. They pushed back the Greek line. But then the stronger Greek forces on the edges circled around. They attacked from the sides. They caught the Persians between them.


The Persians were now confused. They were not able to defend themselves. Now, they turned and ran for their ships. And the Greeks were hot on their heels. In fact, the Greeks captured seven Persian ships. That was before the Persians could even reach them. The other Persians sailed away. One estimate suggests that over 6,000 Persian soldiers died in the battle. And it suggests that fewer than 200 Greek soldiers lost their lives.

Cheers went up. “We have beaten the mighty Persians!” Then they thought of their families. They’d be waiting for news at home.

Legend says that Pheidippides proudly stepped up. “I shall carry the news,” he called out. He set out again. He headed away from the scene of the battle at Marathon. He reached the gates of Athens. The people gathered around him. He was just able to gasp out one word. That word was, “Victory!” Then his great heart, which had carried him to Sparta and back, finally gave out. The great runner fell dead at the gates of Athens.

In tribute to Pheidippides, the Greeks measured the distance that he had run from Marathon to Athens. Those 26 miles became the distance of their long-distance races. And still today, a “marathon” is a 26-mile running race. What happened at that battle is why we call the race “a marathon.” It’s in memory of Pheidippides and all of those who fought for freedom on the plains of Marathon.


Chapter Nine: Thermopylae, The Persians Strike Again
King Darius of Persia failed to conquer Greece. He died not long after the Greeks had been triumphant at Marathon. Darius’s son Xerxes was now the king of Persia. He abhorred the Greeks for having subverted his father. Unceasingly, rage was brewing inside of him. At some point, he could stand it no longer. It was now ten years after Marathon. Xerxes sat to plan how Persia would attack Greece again. He thought this to himself. “This time, Persia will have so many soldiers and ships that it will not fail.”

Xerxes amassed an army that’s size is hard to fathom. Modern historians have broad estimates on how large the army really was. The “middle-of-the-pack” numbers suggest that it could have been 200,000 soldiers! Imagine that! That’s as many people as those who live in the large modern-day city of Salt Lake City, Utah!

Xerxes’s finest leaders were in charge of the troops. But he did not have enough ships to carry that many men to Greece by sea. “We will go over land from Asia. Then we’ll head south into Greece,” he said. This chosen route offered a challenge. It meant that the Persians would have to cross a mile-wide channel of water. That crossing lay between Asia and northern Greece. The waterway links the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara. This point was called the “Hellespont” back then. Today we call it the entrance to the Dardanelles Straits. Modern-day Istanbul, in Turkey, is some 40 miles to the northeast of this point.


Xerxes said this to his navy captains. “We will cross the channel on an enormous floating bridge. Spread out your ships in rows. Then tie them together. Then lay wooden platforms across the space between the ships. That way, my army can pass.” Today, we term such constructionspontoon bridges.”

Xerxes’s vast army crossed the decks of 600 ships. They moved into northeastern Greece. There, they faced a new test. That was Greece’s high mountains. They had to avoid having to travel over these mountains. Thus, the army went south along a narrow strip of dry land. It was near the eastern coast of Greece. It was called “Thermopylae.”

But there was one big obstacle awaiting them. They’d have to move this giant army through a very narrow mountain pass. And, at the other end of this narrow pass, the Greeks were waiting for him. The Greeks knew that Xerxes’s army could not spread out to its full width to attack here. There simply was not enough room in the narrow pass between the mountains and the ocean. Instead, here, a smaller army might have a chance to win.

Most of the Greek city-states were working together. The Greeks had sent 10,000 men to block the Persian march. They were led by the Spartan king Leonidas. The Greeks took up positions across the full width of the Thermopylae pass. Leonidas spurred on his soldiers. “The longer we can hold the Persians here, the more time it gives the other Greeks to prepare for battle.” Of course, the fate of their families was always in their minds. Tensely, Leonidas and his soldiers waited.


Leonidas knew what was going on farther south. There was an Athenian leader named Themistocles. He was rushing to draw together a fleet of navy ships. He was sure that the war would be won at sea. He had told the other Greeks, “The Persians may force their way into Greece. But Xerxes can’t keep bringing food and other supplies to his men by land. It takes too long. So, we must control the sea. In the end, the Persians will  have to go home.” Leonidas and his Spartan soldiers had to hold Xerxes at Thermopylae for as long as they could. That would give the Athenian naval fleet time to get into position.

Soon, the Persians reached the place where the Greeks blocked the pass. Xerxes sent a message to the Greeks. He warned them to surrender, and to ask for mercy. He wrote, “I command so many archers that their attack of arrows will block out the sun above you.”

One of the Spartans followed with a jesting comment. “Fine! We prefer to fight in the shade, anyway.”

Xerxes waited for four days for the Greeks to surrender, without a battle. But they did not! The furious king gave word for his armies to attack. But the Greeks had predicted things well in their battle plan. Just a small number of Persian soldiers could fit into the narrow pass at once. So, their great numbers did not help them. Leonidas and the Greeks drove back one attack after another. Then one of the Persian officers called to Xerxes. “Oh, great king. There is a Greek who lives near here. He offers to lead us to the Greeks through another pass in the mountains. But only if you will pay him enough gold.”


Xerxes smiled grimly. “Good! Have him lead half our men along this other path. That way, we can come out behind the Greeks.”

The Persians moved back. That way, they could take the other route. But Leonidas of Sparta saw what was going on. He quickly met with the other Greek leaders. He gave orders to them. “Take your men safely away from here. I will remain behind with 300 of my best Spartan fighters. We will force the Persians to take the other, longer way around.”

“But this is very dangerous for you and your 300 men,” an officer protested. “The Persians will come through the other pass. They will circle around. Then, they’ll attack you from behind. You’ll be caught between the two Persian forces.”

Leonidas turned to one of his Spartan officers. “What do you think?”

His friend shrugged. “We are Spartans,” he said. And that was all. It was enough.

Leonidas turned to the other Greeks. “There is your answer. We will stay.”

Now, just so that you know, some of this history has turned into legend. The story often goes that there remained only 300 soldiers. And that they were the Spartans alone. In fact, there are varied accounts of other Greeks from other cities remaining with “the 300.” But one can only imagine that whoever stayed to fight, they demonstrated incredible bravery.


So, taking the Spartan king’s orders, the rest of the Greek army quickly retreated out of the narrow pass. Those who remained spread out across the pass. They were soon in position. Leonidas cheered them on. “Let us fight in such a way that, forever after, all Persians will speak of us in amazement. And all Greeks will speak of us in words of pride.”

Together the Greeks bravely fought as long as they could. But in the end, the Persians won the battle. It had gone on for a brutal three days. These Greeks are still remembered, more than 2,000 years later, for their heroism. It is almost impossible to imagine how they held off such a large army for so long. These Greeks were able to hold the Persians at the pass just long enough. That helped the other Greek forces prepare for battle. This famous act of courage and sacrifice has a name. It is known as “the last stand at Thermopylae.” Varied searches suggest that the Persians lost 20,000 soldiers in this battle. And the Greeks lost 4,000 soldiers. Have you ever heard the term, “War is Hell?” Well, this battle is an ugly reminder about how horrifying war can be.

The Persians now continued south. Soon, they reached Athens. They were shocked when they got there. They found the city nearly deserted. Meanwhile, let’s go to Themistocles, the Athenian navy commander. He had moved all of the Greeks to nearby areas. Lots of them had gone to an island called Salamis. Xerxes found out about this. At that point, he sent for his navy from Persia. “Sail here and attack Salamis!” he ordered.


But this was just what the clever Themistocles had counted on. He had hidden the Greek navy in bays and harbors. They lay between the island of Salamis and Athens on the Greek mainland. His plans were like what they’d done in the narrow mountain pass at Thermopylae. The seas in this area were not wide open. There were lots of narrow channels. Thus, the greater Persian numbers could not help Xerxes in this narrow neck of water.

The Persian ships approached. Themistocles signaled to his ships’ captains, “Attack!” The Greek ships came out of their hiding places. Their ships were smaller and faster. They were more maneuverable. Thus, they surprised the Persians. The larger Persian ships were jammed together in the narrow waters. They were not nimble enough. They could not turn around to defend themselves. The Greeks had metal battering rams attached to the bow of their ships. The Greek ships smashed into the helpless Persian ships. One after another, the Persian vessels sank. Those few that did not sink sailed away broken and battered.

The Greek victory at Salamis was complete. King Xerxes had to face reality. “We can’t stay here if we can’t count on our ships. They can no longer bring us food, medicine, and more soldiers from Persia.” Finally, the Persians left Greece.

There would be just one more land battle the next year. It, too, was won by the Greeks. But it was nothing compared to the heroic stand by the Greeks at Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis. Finally, the Persian threat was over forever. And the tales of these Greek victories would be told again and again for years to come.


Chapter Ten: The Great Thinkers Of Greece
He was the most famous philosopher who ever lived. His name was Socrates. He lived in the city-state of Athens. That was over 2,000 years ago.

Here’s what the tales of Socrates tell of him. These stories were cataloged by his friends and students. They tell us all that we know of him. You see, he never wrote anything down himself. He was the most down-to-Earth man you could meet. There was no one more clever. There was no one more loyal to his friends. There was no one so willing to poke fun at himself. And there was no one as glad to share daily activities with you.

Here’s the thing that made Socrates such a great philosopher. He kept asking questions about why people did such everyday things. We always hear about him sitting beneath a shady tree. Or maybe he was walking with friends. He was always engaged in curious confabulation.

Here’s one tale. Lots of guests are waiting for him to arrive at a dinner party. The guests are with their host, a man named Agathon. They’re wealthy, well-educated young Athenians. They talk about sports, politics, and the latest plays. Some help to run their family’s large farms. Some travel to faraway lands on business trips as merchants. Some are political leaders in Athens. A few are soldiers. None of them, though, spend their lives like Socrates. All he does is just think and ask questions to answer other questions.


In this tale, Socrates is older than the rest of the guests. He has almost no money to his name. He wears the same outfit day and night. And he mostly walks about without shoes. Yet in this and other tales, we hear politicians, landowners, and soldiers speak of him with great affection and deference.

At the party, one Athenian says this. “One day, Socrates and I were passing through the marketplace. I bought a number of items for myself. I know that Socrates has little money. So, I offered to buy him whatever he wanted. Socrates said, ‘Here’s one reason for human unhappiness. It’s that people want more things than they need. When they get those things, then they still want more. I think the happiest people are the ones with the least number of things. Just look at all the marvelous things in this marketplace that I don’t want!'”


Another dinner guest shares a different memory. “During the war, we were soldiers together in that icy, cold winter. Everyone else bundled up in as many clothes as they could. But Socrates gave a man his own coat and boots. He said, ‘You need these more than I do.’ He marched barefoot, even over the ice. Yet he out-marched the rest of us. And then we ran low on food. He still shared his food with others. Yet during the battle, he was the strongest of us all. I received honors for bravery that day. But Socrates was the real hero. Yes, I led the charge. But I became surrounded by enemy soldiers. One of them knocked my sword from my hand. Socrates burst through them. He scattered them left and right. Then he glared at them so fiercely that they ran away. He found me another sword. Then he said, ‘If I had known that making ugly faces could drive the enemy away, I could have won the battle for us. For heaven knows that I am ugly enough for that.'”

The guest finishes this retelling. Socrates then walks in the door. Agathon, the host, insists, “Sit next to me, Socrates. That way, I can hear your words of wisdom.”

Socrates laughs. “I fear you’ll go thirsty, Agathon. For I have no wisdom for you to hear. I have only questions, not answers.”

You see, his method of learning and teaching was to ask others questions. Some were like these. “How do you know?” “What do you mean?” For example, someone might say to him, “The way to lead a good life is to give to others.” Socrates might respond, “How do you know?”


Why did he ask all of these questions? Well, he really wished to cause people to think about their lives. He wished for them to think about why they do certain things. “Otherwise,” he would say, “we will just repeat the same old mistakes that everyone else has made. And what about when we end up doing good things? Should we not try to understand why they are good? That way, we can do more good things!”

Being in his company was somewhat magical. It was with him that people had moments of enlightenment.

Of course, some folks did not like Socrates. They said that he was wasting their time. They said that he would confuse them by trying to change their minds. Socrates protested. “But I can’t change your mind. Only you can do that.” Then he would go on his way.

Lots of Socrates’s friends went on to become great leaders of Greece. Lots of his students became well-known and respected. One such student was an intelligent young fellow named Plato. He was a poet, champion athlete, and brave soldier. He paid close attention to what Socrates said. Later in his life, Plato wrote books reporting those wonderful chats. But the years passed. Plato became famous himself. He then wrote more about his own thoughts about the world, and less about Socrates.


At some point, Plato opened a school. It was near a grove of olive trees. They called it “the grove of Academe.” The school became famous as “The Academy.” That’s a word that we still use today for some schools. Here, Plato gave classes in all sorts of subjects. He taught about history, math, music, literature, law, politics, and more. He would always ask this. “What do we know about these things? How can we be sure that we’re right? How can our knowing lead to more happiness?”

By the time Plato taught at The Academy, Athens had changed. It had gone through a long, terrible war. A terrible disease had swept through the city. It was a disease that today we might be able to treat with modern medicine. Without such medicine, lots of Athenians died. Lots of the happy young men and women of Plato’s youth did not survive. Life was no longer so easy or happy for him. He then began to write books that asked new questions. These were like, “Wouldn’t life be nicer if we could only …?” And he continued to try to find proof to back up his thoughts.


One of Plato’s students was a young man named Aristotle. He, too, wished to understand people and things. But he looked at them in a way more like Socrates than Plato. Aristotle thought, “Let’s not look for facts to prove what we already think is true. Let us first study the facts. Then, we shall try to understand what they mean.”

That simple thought would change the world. Aristotle would become the first great observer. He would study things that he could see and experiment with. These were things such as plants, animals, humans, and the stars and planets. Aristotle’s thoughts and classifications, as you heard referenced earlier, are still used in science today.

Aristotle also thought that we should have a balance in life. He thought that doing or having too much of one thing was not good. In today’s world, that could be things like these. Staying up too late. Eating too many unhealthy foods. Studying too much. Doing one thing too much did not allow time for other things that you may need to do.

Aristotle, like his teacher, Plato, also opened a school in Athens. His students, and the books he wrote, spread across Greece and beyond. This carried Greek ideas to distant lands. Among Aristotle’s students was an astonishing boy. He would carry these ideas the farthest of all. His name was Alexander. You’ll learn about him in the next lesson.


Chapter Eleven: Alexander The Great, Part One
Let’s head to the north of the Greek city-states. We’ll even be north of Mount Olympus. There lay the land known as Macedonia. The Macedonian king was Philip the 2nd. He watched Greece, and he waited. He saw their city-states struggling among themselves. They vied for power and wealth after the Persian wars. It seemed that they could work with each other brilliantly. But that was only when they faced a common enemy. After that, they would go back to competing with each other. These internecine contentions would weaken the Greeks. And away from all these conflicts, King Philip grew strong.

Philip had a plan. He would let the rest of the Greeks wear themselves out with their infighting. Then he would lead his army south. He would unite all of Greece beneath his command.

Philip had a son. He wished his son to follow in his steps. His son was to take over the throne one day. The boy was a bold, handsome, curly-haired youngster. He was named Alexander. At first, Philip was a bit disappointed. It became clear that Alexander would not grow up to be a tall, strapping fellow like his father. Philip asked this. “How can a boy Alexander’s size become a great warrior and commander like, well, like me?” He soon found that he had nothing to worry about!


Alexander wished to be the best at each thing that he did. He constantly practiced with sword and spear, hour after hour. Even full-grown soldiers were wary of him. “Keep your guard up when you practice against Prince Alexander. Or you will find his sword point at your throat.” Alexander trained to swim in icy rivers. He could run for miles and not stop. He became a superb wrestler. And he was a champion horseman, constantly challenging other riders.

But the boy was more than just strong and sturdy. He was quite smart, too. Philip saw this. He told his son, “I will have the greatest thinker in the world come here to teach you. He is the famous Aristotle. Treat him with respect.”

Alexander came to love and honor the wise Aristotle. He tried to learn all that he could from him. And Aristotle was pleased with his student. He taught the prince more than science and mathematics. He often upheld the Athenians. He passed along what they had learned about leading a civilized and well-balanced life. Alexander also loved to read the poems of Pindar.

Aristotle also taught about the importance of observing and studying facts before making decisions. But the prince had an energetic nature. He would come to use this lesson in ways far different from those that the quiet scientist had thought of.


Here’s a famous example. The Prince was in his early teens. He had set his eyes on a magnificent horse. The steed was named Bucephalus. Alexander said this to his father’s groomsmen. “That is the horse that I want to ride.”

The head groomsman bowed. “I’m sorry, your highness. I can’t let you. It’s for your own safety. No one can ride Bucephalus. One of our greatest horsemen tried yesterday. And even he broke his leg.”

Alexander saw that he’d  have to use his mind, as well as his muscles, to tame this horse. “I must think this through,” he told himself. He watched rider after rider lead the huge horse out to the wooden fence. They would try to mount the saddle. He saw something that no one else had seen. He said this to himself. “Why, the big fellow is frightened. It happens each time that he sees his own shadow moving before him on the ground. He gets so nervous that he throws off any rider who tries to ride him.”

Alexander took some sugar out to the horse. “Here, boy, eat this,” he said. Then he turned the horse around in the other direction. Now he was facing the sun. So, he could not see his own shadow. Now, Alexander easily climbed into the saddle. All who watched this were amazed. The Prince rode the huge horse all afternoon. Even the King came out to watch, grinning at his son. “He’s not so bad!” called Alexander, grinning back. After a time, Bucephalus trusted Alexander so much that the boy could lead him to do anything. And that was even with his shadow in front of him. Bucephalus became the Prince’s horse. And Alexander so loved the horse that later he named a city after him.


Soon, the Prince would lead troops into battle for his father. He formed a habit that stayed with him all his life. He always rode in the front line of fighters. The soldiers were proud of their brave prince. They loved him for taking risks as great as those that he asked them to take. There were a number of times when a battle might have been lost. Alexander would yell, “Charge!” And he’d ride ahead. His soldiers were devoted. They’d think, “We can’t let him be killed or captured!” They had no choice but to follow him and win the battle. They knew that he would never retreat.

At last, Philip felt that he and his son were ready to conquer the Greeks. Then, they had a stroke of good luck. They found a better way. Their old foe, Persia, once again came after the Greek cities. Philip told the other leaders of Greece, “I will lead you against Persia.” A few protested. But Philip and Alexander quickly invaded their cities. They conquered them by force. People in the other city-states had been weakened by war. They were afraid to go up against the powerful Macedonian army.


And then King Philip died. Alexander was now twenty. He now was the king of Macedonia. Although young in years, Alexander led his army through Greece. He fought and conquered when he needed to. But he accepted surrender when he could. He generously gave gifts to the peoples and cities that welcomed him. But he gave no quarter to those who opposed him.”

At last, all of Greece hailed Alexander as their king. But Greece was not enough for the ambitious king. He put one of his trusted advisors in charge of Greece. Then he announced, “It’s time to end the Persian threat once and for all. We will call Persia my own.” With that, the young king set out on his greatest adventure.


Chapter Twelve: Alexander The Great, Part Two
He was now King Alexander of Macedonia. And he was now king of the Greeks, too. He led his Greek soldiers on foot across Europe. Then they went by ship. They crossed the channel of water that was between Europe and Asia. The boats came up to the far shore. The King flung his spear. It landed point-first in Asian soil. He stepped from his boat. He freed the spear. His men cheered. He yelled out a battle cry. “We will conquer Asia. We will conquer them with our spears!”

He led the troops down the Aegean coast. He stopped at the site of ancient Troy. He recalled nine centuries before. Then, the Greeks had fought a famed war. The tale of that war had been told in a well-known book. It was called “The Iliad.” The author was named Homer. Since he’d been a boy, Alexander had set a big goal. “I want people to remember me for all time as a great hero. I want to be as revered as Achilles.” (He was the greatest hero in The Iliad.) His goal of undying fame would drive him on. It would make him strong in his grand adventures.

They kept moving down the coast. There were some former Greek city-states that were there in Asia. They hailed the King’s army. “He will free us from Persian rule!” they cheered. “We will live as free Greeks once more.”


The King told them, “Yes, we will free you.” Yet, once he took over a city or a nation, he would not give up his control. He wished to set a new record. He wished to rule the greatest empire in history. And he did not think that he could do that by freeing people and places that he had conquered.

Soon the troops found themselves in front of a huge Persian army. They had been sent by the Persian king. Between the two armies lay a river. Alexander charged across the river. He called out, “Follow me!” His men rushed to keep up. They won the battle.

Next, they reached the city of Gordia. There, the King was shown the old chariot of the ancient founder of the city. It was tied to a pole with a large knot. The old priests smiled at the young invader. “Legend says that only he who unties this ‘Gordian knot’ can rule Asia,” the priests said. They knew that it would take days or weeks to do so. But with lightning speed, Alexander drew his sword. He took one mighty stroke. He sliced the knot in half. “What a nice tall tale,” he said. Then he rode on, laughing.

They went on to Egypt. That was ruled by Persia, too. He beat their troops there. The Egyptians called him pharaoh.

He did one thing through all of his travels. He sent samples of local plants and animals to his old teacher, Aristotle. That way, the great scientist could study them. Alexander also tried to answer a question that the wise man had long hoped to figure out. Why does the Nile flood in the spring?


“I can’t prove it. I can’t follow the river all the way to where it starts,” Alexander wrote. “And this I have no time to do. So, I talked with the most educated Egyptians. I think that each spring, rains must fill the lakes in the mountains of northern Africa. The lakes overflow into the Nile. It brings the water down to the flatlands of Egypt.” He was right. Aristotle sent him a letter of thanks.

Next, the troops went back to Persia. They won battle after battle. At one of these battles, the Persians had lots more soldiers than did the Greeks. The Persian king felt sure of victory. So, he left his family and a good deal of his treasure in a nearby city. But Alexander won the fight. He marched into that city. He took the king’s treasure for himself and his men. After more victories, Alexander at last defeated the Persians for good. He crowned himself king of Asia.

Through these fights, Alexander said what his goal was. He wished to win glory for himself and his troops. And he wished to prove that no one else was stronger in force. After his success, Alexander married off thousands of his Greek soldiers to Persian women. And he took Persian soldiers into his army. That way, they could learn Greek thoughts from his soldiers. He and his lifelong best friend even married two of the king of Persia’s daughters. It was a double wedding ceremony. “We will unite all of our empire into one great nation,” Alexander claimed.


Alexander was busy trying to conquer even more lands. So, he could not give much attention to where he’d already taken over. Instead, he left behind generals who he trusted to rule for him. Or, he let the kings who he’d conquered run their countries while reporting to him. Then, he would move on to the next target. Without more attention on his part, his grand plan could never fully succeed.

At some point, his wins went to his head. He began to claim, “I am one of the gods. Who but a god could do all that I have done?” It was then that folks began to refer to him as “Alexander the Great.” He may have been the first to use that term. He stayed restless. He was never satisfied that he had done enough in his life.

Even taking over Persia did not calm him down. “We’ll move east to India,” he ordered. His troops fought over great distances and rugged mountains. After a time, they reached northern India. There, they found that they’d have to face a strong Indian army. And it had a terrible new threat.

“What on Earth is that thing?” one soldier asked his comrade.

“I don’t know,” said his friend. “But I’ve never seen anything so big!”


In fact, the “monsters” that they saw were elephants. Indian soldiers rode atop them. They had the huge beasts attack and trample their enemies. Alexander sent spearmen to the front of his army. Their spears were twenty-one feet long. He said this to them. “Do not let those beasts get close enough to reach you!”  The King gave them confidence. So, his men scared off the elephants. Thus, they won the battle.

Now northern India was theirs. Next, they chopped down trees. With them, they made great wooden rafts. They rode them down the wide Indus River. That took them to central India. The troops heard that their King meant to conquer the rest of India. For the first time, they would not obey him! Here’s what they said. “We have marched by your side and fought as brothers under your command for thirteen years. We are far from Macedonia. Please, take us home.” The King could not deny his men this request. So, they turned back to head home.


That is when the King found that he was not a god. He was just 33 years old. He had lived through enough adventures for a hundred lifetimes. He had worn out the energetic body that he’d built to such strength as a youngster. He fell ill. They were still many miles from home.

Alexander lay in his large travel tent. He was near death. His generals gathered around him. Each hoped to be the new king. Each wished to rule his great empire after his death. They asked, “To which of us do you leave your empire?”

He laughed. Then, he said, “To the strongest!” Then he closed his eyes. He had laughed because he knew what would happen next. And he turned out to be right. Fighting for control of his empire, his men would break it into pieces. None of them would match his record. He would be known as the mightiest conqueror of all. And, as a result, he would never be forgotten. He would always be remembered as Alexander the Great.


Lesson 93 – Marzano Grade 3-4 Words Finish-Up

NEW WORDS: Celsius, Celtic, Centigrade, Detroit, Elliott, Eskimo, Manila, Miami, Microsoft’s, Milwaukee, Rockies, Rottweiler, Seattle, accordion, acrobat, adverb, apostrophe, babble, barrow, blurt, burglar, caramel, carton, cartwheel, cello, centre, charcoal, clarinet, cocker, congruent, costume, cowgirl, daffodil, depot, detergent, dodo, dooming, drugstore, duel, equilateral, firehouse, flannel, foil, folder, foreword, foursquare, freshman, geranium, glacier, goblin, griddle, heave, heifer, hiccup, holster, homespun, hunch, hydrant, hyphen, idle, igloo, insulting, jabber, jackknife, janitor, jingle, knothole, lariat, lathe, liter, lollipop, lurch, manhole, marshal, marshmallows, midget, miser, mustache, numb, pageant, papoose, paraffin, patio, peacock, peafowl, perennial, perimeter, petal, piccolo, plaza, popover, porpoise, possessive, preposition, procrastinate, pronoun, pullover, punk, pushcart, putter, quadrilateral, quarantine, quartet, quicksand, redwood, ruffle, rustler, sawmill, schooners, scrapbook, screwdriver, scribble, sherbet, silverware, slab, smother, snoop, sober, soothe, soybean, spaniel, splice, spore, squaw, squawk, stallion, staple, sticker, stingy, sundae, synthesis, tambourine, taupe, telltale, tether, thong, tights, toboggan, toilet’s, trampoline, trapeze, trinket, trio, trumpetlike, trundle, vampire, vendor’s, viola, waterproofing, wharf, withered, woodwind, word’s

Splice these two ropes together.

Zero degrees Celsius is the freezing point.

A dolphin has a longer nose and body than a porpoise.

Microsoft’s headquarters is near Seattle, Washington.

All three sides are equal in an equilateral triangle.

Mom once won a beauty pageant.

Tether the horse to the fence.

I bought a lathe at Home Depot.

Line this pan with foil.

This flower petal has withered.

Dad got sticker shock when he saw the car’s price.

I’d like a cherry lollipop.

They went to ski in the Rockies.

Quadrilateral” means having four sides.

I love to sing “Jingle Bells.”

I’ll fix hash browns on the griddle.

That cattle rustler is wanted in three states.

My brother’s a freshman at Centre College.

My baby sis can do a cartwheel!

An engine just rolled out of the firehouse.

I’ll change into tights for ballet practice.

Waiter, this silverware is dirty!

Team, we need to marshal some resources to fix this problem.


Some Native Americans call a baby a “papoose.”

Why do teenagers like vampire stories?

The words “in,” “on,” and “to” are each a preposition.

That soda pop will make me hiccup.

I need a screwdriver to tighten this steel rack.

I love the toboggan races in the winter Olympics.

A daffodil is a trumpetlike flower.

That street vendor’s pushcart is called a “barrow.”

Scribble this note to remind me.

A male peafowl is a “peacock.”

An Eskimo might live in an igloo.

This word’s possessive, so put an apostrophe before the “S.”

Redwood trees can grow to be more than 350 feet tall!

You should always be sober when you drive.

Manila is the capital of the Philippines.

Get out of my closet, you old snoop!

You need a hyphen between “good” and “bye.”

The kids are jumping on the trampoline.

Is your dog a cocker spaniel?

Meet me on the wharf by those schooners.

The Miami Dolphins have won the Super Bowl twice.

Tofu is a soybean product.

Light the charcoal on the grill.


That trapeze artist is quite an acrobat.

The sheriff pulled his gun from his holster.

I have to pick up my prescription at the drugstore.

Mom plays the cello in a string quartet.

Detroit, Michigan is the car capital of the U.S.

This house is built on a concrete slab.

The accordion was invented in Berlin, Germany around 1822.

This costume jewelry is just a trinket.

A road worker fell down that manhole!

Paraffin can be used in waterproofing paper.

Dad’s baby pictures are in this scrapbook.

Pick up a carton of eggs, please.

There’s great shopping at our downtown plaza.

Mom put the geranium pot on the patio.

Taupe” is a dark, brownish-gray color.

Raise your hand, and don’t blurt out the answer.

Why do dogs like to pee on every fire hydrant?

He gave a foursquare speech about how bad things really were.

Shake the tambourine during this song.

Pull out the trundle bed for your cousin.

He peeked at their back yard through a knothole in the fence.

The words “he,” “we,” and “they” are each a pronoun.

Look at that flag ruffle in the strong wind.


My flannel pajamas are really warm.

Dad shaved off his mustache.

I’m going to smother my biscuits with gravy.

Each of the words “when,” “where,” and “how” is an adverb.

A “liter” in the metric system is about 1.06 liquid quarts.

We saw a glacier in Alaska.

Even at the age of ninety, she is a perennial beauty.

His behaviors are dooming him to failure, like he’s sinking in quicksand.

Granny tells stories that have homespun humor.

A bell on a cat is a telltale sound to warn the birds.

The cowgirl roped that heifer with a lariat.

Our Rottweiler chased off a burglar in the back yard.

Mom, where’s the laundry detergent?

I have a hunch that Elliott forgot to do his homework.

The first astronauts on the moon had to quarantine when they got back to Earth.

That sickly baby calf is a midget.

That match was quite a duel between those tennis pros.

Please pass me some butter for my popover.


The piccolo is a high-pitched musical instrument.

I asked my professor to write the foreword to my new book.

Should I choose a ghost or a goblin as my Halloween costume?

Truck drivers have to be careful to never do a jackknife skid.

Listen to that baby jabber, coo, and babble!

My sister plays the viola in a string trio.

Ferns are spore-bearing plants.

We picked up our lumber at the sawmill.

I love to put marshmallows in my hot chocolate.

I got a pretty pullover sweater for my birthday.

The notes from the meeting are in this folder.

We tried to lurch forward, but the car was stuck in the mud.

My favorite horse story is “The Black Stallion.”

The dentist made my mouth numb before he started drilling.

I’m going to idle away the afternoon watching football.

Your suggestion is not congruent with our ethics rules.

When I yell, “HEAVE!” we’ll pick this heavy box up together.

I like whipped cream on an ice cream sundae.


Tell the janitor that this toilet’s stopped up.

Would you like raspberry or orange sherbet?

A hundred degrees Centigrade is the boiling point.

Listen to those monkeys squawk!

Staple these papers for me, please.

That old miser is really stingy.

I got a new pair of thong sandals to wear this summer.

A clarinet is called a “woodwind” instrument.

NEVER use the former Native American term “squaw,” as it is now considered insulting.

The cameras are set to see the entire perimeter of the building.

Their music is a synthesis of Celtic folk tunes and punk rock.

I’m going to go putter about in the garden.

I love caramel-covered apples!

That new kid in class acts like a dodo.

German immigrants came to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the 1840s.

This cough drop will soothe your sore throat.

Don’t procrastinate, and finish this chore NOW!


Lesson 94 – Beatrix Potter: The Remaining Four Stories (Part One)

These passages have been altered from the Beatrix Potter original for grade-leveling and vocabulary exposure purposes.   
NEW WORDS: Christmastime, Freda, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Grimm, Kyloe, Maggotty, Ribby, Ribby’s, Ribston, Simpkin, Westgate, Whittington’s, Worcestershire, affectionately, alack, badness, basins, blushing, breadths, buttonholes, corded, crosswise, cuffs, cuttings, duchess’s, embroider, embroidered, emptying, expects, fairytales, fashionable, fetching, fourpence, gables, genteel, gloss, glossy, heartening, interruption, jackdaw, jackdaws, lamented, lappet, lappets, leaded, lutestring, magpie, minced, mobs, mournfully, ornamental, paduasoy, pansies, penn’orth, periwig, periwigs, pieced, piecrust, pipkin, pompadour, privately, pronouncing, provoking, punctually, raveling, rented, repentant, resounded, ridged, sausages, scuffled, scuffling, shams, shuffled, sidled, sieve, sizzled, skein, smithy, snappeting, snippeting, snippetted, starlings, taffeta, tailoring, tappity, teacups, throstles, tippet, tippets, trapdoors, wainscots, waistcoat, waistcoats, weeny, windowpanes

Editor’s note. There are a couple of odd terms that we’ll tell you about ahead of time. 1) A “patty-pan” was a small metal pan. Think of the ridged paper that you back a cupcake in, only it was metal. It looked something like that. In this story, it would have been placed inside a larger pie pan. It would have held the crust up. 2) A “jackdaw” is a glossy, black European bird that is in the crow family.

The Pie and the Patty-Pan
Let us start with this old rhyme.

Pussycat sits by the fire. How should she be fair?
In walks the little dog. Says, “Pussy are you there?”
“How do you do Mistress Pussy? Mistress Pussy, how do you do?”
“I thank you kindly, little dog, I fare as well as you!”

Once upon a time, there was a Pussycat called Ribby. She’d invited a little dog called Duchess to tea.

“Come in good time, my dear Duchess,” said Ribby’s note. “And we will have something so very nice. I am baking it in a pie dish. It’s a pie dish with a pink rim. You never tasted anything so good! And YOU shall eat it all! I will eat muffins, my dear Duchess!” wrote Ribby.

“I will come very punctually, my dear Ribby,” wrote Duchess. And then at the end, she added, “I hope it isn’t mouse.” And then she thought that this did not look quite polite. So, she scratched out “isn’t mouse.” She changed it to “I hope it will be fine.” Then she gave her letter to the postman.


But she thought a great deal about Ribby’s pie. And she read Ribby’s letter over and over. “I am dreadfully afraid that it WILL be mouse!” said Duchess to herself. “I just couldn’t. I COULDN’T eat mouse pie. And I shall have to eat it. That’s because it’s a party. And MY pie was going to be veal and ham. A pink and white pie dish! And so is mine. They’re just like Ribby’s dishes. They were both bought at Tabitha Twitchit’s.”

Duchess went into her larder. She took the pie off of a shelf and looked at it. “Oh, what a good thought! Why shouldn’t I rush along. I’ll put my pie into Ribby’s oven when Ribby isn’t there.”

Ribby, in the meantime, had received Duchess’s answer. And as soon as she was sure that the little dog would come, she popped HER pie into the oven. There were two ovens, one above the other. Some other knobs and handles were only ornamental. They were not intended to open. Ribby put the pie into the lower oven. The door was very stiff. “The top oven bakes too quickly,” said Ribby to herself.

Ribby put on some coal and swept up the hearth. Then she went out with a can to the well, for water to fill up the kettle. Then she began to set the room in order, for it was the sitting-room as well as the kitchen.


When Ribby had laid the table, she went out down the field to the farm, to fetch milk and butter. When she came back, she peeped into the bottom oven. The pie looked very comfortable. Ribby put on her shawl and bonnet and went out again with a basket. She headed to the village shop to buy a packet of tea, a pound of lump sugar, and a pot of marmalade. And just at the same time, Duchess came out of HER house. It was at the other end of the village.

Ribby met Duchess halfway down the street, also carrying a basket, covered with a cloth. They only bowed to one another. They did not speak, because they were going to have a party. As soon as Duchess had got ’round the corner out of sight, she simply ran straightaway to Ribby’s house!

Ribby went into the shop and bought what she required, and came out, after a pleasant gossip with Cousin Tabitha Twitchit. Ribby went on to Timothy Baker’s and bought the muffins. Then she went home. There seemed to be a sort of scuffling noise in the back passage, as she was coming in at the front door. But there was nobody there. Duchess in the meantime, had slipped out at the back door.

She talked to herself. “It is a very odd thing that Ribby’s pie was NOT in the oven when I put mine in! And I can’t find it anywhere. I have looked all over the house. I put MY pie into a nice hot oven at the top. I could not turn any of the other handles. I think that they are all shams,” said Duchess. “But I wish that I could have removed the pie made of mouse! I cannot think what she has done with it. I heard Ribby coming, and I had to run out by the back door!”


Duchess went home and brushed her beautiful black coat, and then she picked a bunch of flowers in her garden as a present for Ribby. Then, she passed the time until the clock struck four.

Ribby, having assured herself by careful search that there was really no one hiding in the cupboard or in the larder, went upstairs to change her dress. She came downstairs again and made the tea, and put the teapot on the hob. She peeped again into the BOTTOM oven. The pie had become a lovely brown, and it was steaming hot.

She sat down before the fire to wait for the little dog. “I am glad that I used the BOTTOM oven,” said Ribby. “The top one would certainly have been very much too hot.”

Very punctually at four o’clock, Duchess started to go to the party. At a quarter past four to the minute, there came a most genteel little “tap-tappity” at the door. “Is Mrs. Ribston at home?” inquired Duchess in the porch.

“Come in! And how do you do, my dear Duchess?” cried Ribby. “I hope that you are doing well?”

“Quite well, I thank you, and how do YOU do, my dear Ribby?” said Duchess. “I’ve brought you some flowers. And what a delicious smell of pie!”

“Oh, what lovely flowers! Yes, it is mouse and bacon! I think it wants another five minutes,” said Ribby. “Just a shade longer. I will pour out the tea, while we wait. Do you take sugar, my dear Duchess?”


“Oh yes, please! my dear Ribby. And may I have a lump upon my nose?”

“With pleasure, my dear Duchess.”

Duchess sat up with the sugar on her nose and sniffed. “How good that pie smells! I do love veal and ham. Ooops, I mean to say mouse and bacon.” She dropped the sugar in confusion and had to go hunting under the tea-table, so she did not see which oven Ribby opened in order to get out the pie.

Ribby set the pie upon the table. There was a very savory smell.

Duchess came out from under the tablecloth munching sugar, and she sat up on a chair.

“I will first cut the pie for you. I am going to have muffin and marmalade,” said Ribby.

“I think,” thought Duchess to herself, “I THINK it would be wiser if I helped myself to pie, though Ribby did not seem to notice anything when she was cutting it. What very small fine pieces it has cooked into! I did not remember that I had minced it up so fine. I suppose this is a quicker oven than my own.”

The pie dish was emptying rapidly! Duchess had had four helpings already, and she was fumbling with the spoon.

“A little more bacon, my dear Duchess?” said Ribby.

“Thank you, my dear Ribby. I was only feeling for the patty-pan.”


“The patty-pan, my dear Duchess?”

“The patty-pan that held up the pie crust,” said Duchess, blushing under her black coat.

“Oh, I didn’t put one in, my dear Duchess,” said Ribby. “I don’t think that it is necessary in pies made of mouse.”

Duchess fumbled with the spoon. “I can’t find it!” she said anxiously.

“There isn’t a patty-pan,” said Ribby, looking perplexed.

“Yes, indeed, my dear Ribby. Where can it have gone to?” said Duchess. Duchess looked very much alarmed, and she continued to scoop the inside of the pie dish.

“I have only four patty-pans, and they are all in the cupboard.”

Duchess set up a howl. “I shall die! I shall die! I have swallowed a patty-pan! Oh, my dear Ribby, I do feel so ill!”

“It is impossible, my dear Duchess. There simply was not a patty-pan.”

“Yes there WAS, my dear Ribby. I am sure that I have swallowed it!”

“Let me prop you up with a pillow, my dear Duchess. Where do you think you feel it?”

“Oh, I do feel so ill ALL OVER me, my dear Ribby.”


“Shall I run for the doctor?”

“Oh yes, yes! Fetch Dr. Maggotty, my dear Ribby. He is a Pie himself, so he will certainly understand.”

Ribby settled Duchess in an armchair before the fire, and she went out and hurried to the village to look for the doctor. She found him at the smithy. Ribby explained that her guest had swallowed a patty-pan. Dr. Maggotty hopped so fast that Ribby had to run. It was most conspicuous. All the village could see that Ribby was fetching the doctor.

But while Ribby had been hunting for the doctor, a curious thing had happened to Duchess, who had been left by herself, sitting before the fire, sighing and groaning and feeling very unhappy. “How COULD I have swallowed it? Such a large thing as a patty-pan!” She sat down again, and stared mournfully at the grate. The fire crackled and danced, and something sizzled!

Duchess started! She opened the door of the TOP oven. Out came a rich steamy flavor of veal and ham, and there stood a fine brown pie. And through a hole in the top of the pie crust there was a glimpse of a little tin patty-pan!


Duchess drew a long breath. “Then I must have been eating MOUSE! No wonder I feel ill. But perhaps I should feel worse if I had really swallowed a patty-pan!” Duchess reflected. “What a very awkward thing to have to explain to Ribby! I think that I will put MY pie in the back yard and say nothing about it. When I go home, I will run ’round and take it away.” She put it outside the back door, and sat down again by the fire, and shut her eyes. When Ribby arrived with the doctor, she seemed fast asleep.

“I am feeling very much better,” said Duchess, waking up with a jump.

“I am truly glad to hear it! He has brought you a pill, my dear Duchess!”

“I think I should feel QUITE well if he only felt my pulse,” said Duchess, backing away from the magpie, who sidled up with something in his beak.

“It is only a bread pill. You had much better take it. Drink a little milk, my dear Duchess!”

“I am feeling very much better, my dear Ribby,” said Duchess. “Do you not think that I had better go home before it gets dark?”


“Perhaps it might be wise, my dear Duchess.”

Ribby and Duchess said goodbye affectionately, and Duchess started home. Halfway up the lane she stopped and looked back. Ribby had gone in and shut her door. Duchess slipped through the fence, and she ran ’round to the back of Ribby’s house, and peeped into the yard.

Upon the roof of the pigsty sat Dr. Maggotty and three jackdaws. The jackdaws were eating piecrust, and the magpie was drinking gravy out of a patty-pan. Duchess ran home feeling uncommonly silly!

When Ribby came out for a pailful of water to wash up the tea-things, she found a pink and white pie-dish lying smashed in the middle of the yard.

Ribby stared with amazement. She said to herself, “Did you ever see the like! So, there really WAS a patty-pan? But MY patty-pans are all in the kitchen cupboard. Well I never did! Next time I want to give a party, I will invite Cousin Tabitha Twitchit!”


Editor’s note. Do you remember reading a very famous story when you were a bit younger? It’s called “The Elves And The Shoemaker.” It was written by the Brothers Grimm in the early 1800s. This magical Christmas tale, “The Tailor Of Gloucester,” was written by Beatrix Potter in 1903. We have a question for you! After you have read this delightful tale, think back to “The Elves And The Shoemaker.” Do you think that the older tale could have influenced Beatrix Potter when she wrote this one?!

And here are some odd words that you’ll see. 1) A “periwig” was a long, fashionable wig that men would wear. 2) A “lappet” was a decorative flap that would be part of a garment. 3) “Paduasoy” was a slightly corded, strong, rich, silk fabric. 4) “Taffeta” is a lustrous fabric with a fine, crosswise rib effect. 5) “Pompadour” is a fabric that often has a design of small pink and blue flowers on a white background. 6) A “lutestring” can be a narrow ribbon finished with a high gloss. 7) A “tippet” is a type of scarf. 8) A “Kyloe cow” is a sturdy breed of cattle. It’s also called a “Highland cow” in England. It has long fur, and it has long, sharp horns. It survives well in cold climates. 9) A “groat” was an English silver coin worth four of their pennies.

And how about pronouncing this town?! “Gloucester” is nothing like you think it will be. Say it like this. “GLOS-TER.” Similarly, “Gloucestershire” is pronounced “GLOS-TER-SHEAR.”

Do you like Worcestershire sauce on burgers or steaks? This one is crazy! It’s “WUSS-TER-SHEAR.” That’s “wuss” as in “wussie.”
The Tailor of Gloucester
“I’ll be at charges for a looking-glass,
And entertain a score or two of tailors.”

Richard III, by William Shakespeare.

My Dear Freda.

I know that you’re fond of fairytales. And I know that you’ve been ill. So, I have made you a tale. It’s just for you. It’s a new one that no one else has read yet.


And there’s a queer thing about it. First, I heard it in the odd place of Gloucestershire. Second, part of it is true. Well, at least the part about the tailor, the waistcoat, and the “No more twist!”
The tale goes back to the time of swords. Folks wore periwigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets. It was back when gentlemen wore ruffles. And they wore gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta. Back then, there lived a tailor in Gloucester. He sat in the window of a little shop in Westgate Street. He sat cross-legged on a table, from morning till dark.

He worked all day long. He worked while the light lasted. He sewed and snippetted. He pieced out his satin, and pompadour, and lutestring. His products had strange names. And they were very expensive. That’s what it was like in the days of the Tailor of Gloucester.

Now, he sewed fine silk for his neighbors. But he himself was quite poor. He cut his coats without waste. He did so according to his embroidered cloth. He wasted just very small ends and snippets. They lay about, upon the table. “Too narrow breadths for nought, except waistcoats for mice,” said the tailor.

We turn to one bitter cold day. It was near Christmastime. The tailor began to make a coat. It would be a coat of cherry-colored corded silk. He’d embroider it with pansies and roses. He’d also sew a cream-colored satin waistcoat. Both of these were for the Mayor of Gloucester.


The tailor worked hard. And he talked to himself while he worked. It was “tailoring talk.” You and I would not know a lot of what he meant. He said things like, “No breadth at all. And cut on the cross. It is no breadth at all. Tippets for mice, and ribbons for mobs!” Thus said the Tailor of Gloucester.

At some point in the day, the snowflakes came down against the small leaded windowpanes. This shut out the light. So, the tailor knew that he’d done his day’s work. All of his silk and satin lay cut out on the table.

There were twelve pieces for the coat. There were four pieces for the waistcoat. And there were pocket-flaps and cuffs and buttons, all in order. For the lining of the coat, there was fine yellow taffeta. And for the buttonholes of the waistcoat, there was cherry-colored twist. And it was all ready to sew together in the morning. It was all measured and sufficient. Well, except for one thing. There was still wanting just one single skein of cherry-colored twisted silk.

The tailor came out of his shop at dark. No one lived there at nights but little brown mice. And THEY ran in and out without any keys! They scurried behind the wooden wainscots of all the old houses in Gloucester. There are little mouse staircases and secret trapdoors. And the mice run from house to house through those long, narrow passages.


So, the tailor came out of his shop. He shuffled home through the snow. He did not live in a big house. In fact, he was so poor that he rented just the kitchen. He lived alone with his cat. Its name was Simpkin. “Meow!” said the cat when the tailor opened the door. “Meow.”

The tailor replied to his cat. “Simpkin, we shall make our fortune. But I am worn to a raveling. Take this groat (which is our last fourpence). And, Simpkin, take a china pipkin. But a penn’orth of bread, a penn’orth of milk, and a penn’orth of sausages. And oh, Simpkin, do this with the last penny of our fourpence. Buy me one penn’orth of cherry-colored silk. But do not lose the last penny of the fourpence, Simpkin. If you lose it, I am undone. I’ll be worn to a thread-paper, for I have NO MORE TWIST to finish my sewing.”

Then Simpkin again said, “Meow!” Simpkin took the groat and the pipkin, and went out into the dark.

The tailor was very tired. He began to feel ill. He sat down by the hearth. He talked to himself about that wonderful coat. “I shall make my fortune. The Mayor of Gloucester is to be married on Christmas Day in the morning. He hath ordered a coat and an embroidered waistcoat.” Then the tailor started. For all of a sudden, there was an interruption. It came from the dresser at the other side of the kitchen. He heard a number of little noises. “Tip tap. Tip tap, Tip tap tip!”


“Now what can that be?” he asked. He jumped up from his chair. He crossed the kitchen, and he stood quite still by the dresser. He was listening and peering through his spectacles. “This is very peculiar,” he remarked. Then he lifted up the teacup which was upside down.

Out stepped a little live lady mouse. She made a curtsy to the tailor! Then she hopped away down off the dresser, and under the wainscot. The tailor sat down again by the fire. He warmed his poor cold hands. But all at once, from the dresser, there came other little noises. “Tip tap. Tip tap, Tip tap tip!”

“This is passing extraordinary!” said the tailor. He turned over another teacup, which was upside down. Out stepped a little gentleman mouse. He made a bow to the tailor! And out from under teacups, and from under bowls and basins, stepped other, and more, little mice. They all hopped down off the dresser. Then they scuttled under the wainscot.

The tailor sat down, close by the fire. He lamented, “One-and-twenty buttonholes of cherry-colored silk! To be finished by noon of Saturday. And this is Tuesday evening. Was it right to let loose those mice? They were undoubtedly the property of Simpkin. Alack, I am undone, for I have no more twist!”


The little mice came out again. They listened to the tailor. They took notice of the pattern of that wonderful coat. They whispered to one another about the taffeta lining. And they noted the little mouse tippets. And then, quickly, they all ran away together. They went down the passage behind the wainscot. They were squeaking and calling to each other as they ran from house-to-house.

Simpkin came back from his shopping. Not one mouse was left in the tailor’s kitchen. He set down the pipkin of milk upon the dresser. He looked suspiciously at the teacups. He wanted his supper of little fat mouse! “Simpkin,” said the tailor. “Where is my TWIST?” But Simpkin hid a little parcel, privately, in the teapot. It was the twist that the tailor so desperately needed! Naughty feline! Then the cat spit and growled at the tailor. If Simpkin had been able to talk, he would have asked this. “Where is my MOUSE?”

“Alack, I am undone!” said the tailor. He did know that the cat HAD obtained his twist. So, he just shuffled sadly to bed. He assumed that he was doomed.

All night long, Simpkin hunted and searched through the kitchen. He peeped into cupboards. He checked under the wainscot. He looked into the teapot where he had hidden that twist. But still, he never found a mouse!

The poor old tailor was very ill with a fever. He was tossing and turning in his four-post bed. In his dreams, he mumbled, “No more twist! No more twist!” What should become of the cherry-colored coat? Who should come to sew it? After all, the window was barred, and the door was fast locked.


Out-of-doors, the market folks went trudging through the snow. They shopped to buy their geese and turkeys. They’d get the ingredients to bake their Christmas pies. But there’d be no dinner for Simpkin and the poor old tailor. The tailor lay ill for three days and nights. And then it was Christmas Eve. It was very late at night. And still Simpkin wanted his mice. He mewed, gratingly, as he stood beside the four-post bed.

But it is in the old story that magic happens at Christmas. The beasts can talk in the night between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the morning. Now, there are very few folk who can hear them. And if they do hear them, they don’t know what it is that they say. When the Cathedral clock struck twelve there was an answer. It was like an echo of the chimes. And Simpkin heard it, all right! It came out of the tailor’s door. Then it wandered about in the snow.

The sounds resounded from all the roofs and gables and old wooden houses in Gloucester. There came a thousand merry voices. They sang the old Christmas rhymes. There were all the old songs that ever I heard of. And there were some that I did not know, like “Whittington’s Bells.”

Under the wooden eaves, starlings and sparrows sang of Christmas pies. The jackdaws woke up in the Cathedral tower. And it did not matter that it was the middle of the night. The throstles and robins sang. The air was quite full of little twittering tunes.


But it was all rather provoking to poor, hungry Simpkin. From the tailor’s shop in Westgate came a glow of light. Simpkin crept up to it. He peeped in the window. Oddly, the shop was full of candles! There was a snippeting of scissors. There was a snappeting of thread. And little mouse voices sang this, loudly and gaily.

“Four-and-twenty tailors,
Went to catch a snail.
The best man amongst them
Durst not touch her tail.

She put out her horns,
Like a little Kyloe cow.
Run, tailors, run!
Or she’ll have you all, even now!”

Then, without a pause, the little mouse voices went on again.

Sieve my lady’s oatmeal.
Grind my lady’s flour.
Put it in a chestnut.
Let it stand an hour.”

“Mew! Mew!” interrupted Simpkin. Highly agitated, he scratched at the door. But the key was under the tailor’s pillow at home. Simpkin could not get in. The little mice just laughed. And they tried another tune.


“Three little mice sat down to spin.
Pussy passed by, and she peeped in.
What are you at, my fine little men?
Making coats for gentlemen.
Shall I come in and cut off your threads?
Oh, no, Miss Pussy.
You’d bite off our heads!”

“Mew! Scritch! scratch!” scuffled Simpkin on the windowsill. The little mice inside sprang to their feet. They all shouted, at once, in little twittering voices. “No more twist! No more twist!” And they barred up the window-shutters. They shut out Simpkin.

The cat came away from the shop. He went home, considering the naughty deed that he had done. He found the poor old tailor. At least now, he was without fever. He was even sleeping peacefully. Then Simpkin went on tiptoe. He took a little parcel of silk out of the teapot. He looked at it in the moonlight. Of course, it was the twist. And he now felt quite ashamed of his badness. He compared himself with those good little mice! Even he had to admit that those mice were doing a noble thing.

The tailor awoke in the morning. The first thing he saw was on his patchwork quilt. It was a skein of cherry-colored twisted silk. And by his bed stood the repentant Simpkin! He looked down, with a guilty expression on his whiskered face. The sun was shining on the snow when the tailor got up and dressed. He came out into the street. Simpkin ran in front of him.


“Alack and alas,” said the tailor. “I have my twist. But I have no more strength. And I don’t have enough time than will serve to make me one single buttonhole. This is Christmas Day in the Morning! The Mayor of Gloucester shall be married by noon. And where is his cherry-colored coat?” He unlocked the door of the little shop in Westgate Street. Simpkin lurched in. He looked like a cat that expects something. But there was no one there! Not even one little brown mouse!

But on the table, oh joy! The tailor gave a heartening shout. The last he’d been in the shop, there were plain cuttings of silk on the table. Now, there lay the most beautiful coat and embroidered satin waistcoat that ever were worn by a Mayor of Gloucester! Everything was finished. That is, except for just one single cherry-colored buttonhole. And where that buttonhole was wanting, there was pinned a scrap of paper. It had these words, in little teeny weeny writing. NO MORE TWIST. So, it was true! During those few hours at Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, the mice COULD speak English!

And from this point forward, the tailor’s luck turned to the good. He grew quite stout. And he grew quite rich. He made the most wonderful waistcoats for all the rich merchants of Gloucester. And he was the tailor for all the fine gentlemen of the country ’round.


Never were seen such ruffles. Or such embroidered cuffs and lappets! But his buttonholes were the greatest triumph of it all. The stitches of those buttonholes were so neat. They were SO neat, that I wonder how they could be stitched by an old man in spectacles. And a man with crooked old fingers, and a tailor’s thimble. The stitches of those buttonholes were so incredibly small. They were SO small, that they looked as if they had been made by little mice!


Lesson 95 – Beatrix Potter: The Remaining Four Stories (Part Two)

These passages have been altered from the Beatrix Potter original for grade-leveling and vocabulary exposure purposes.


NEW WORDS: Aesop, Berkshire, Bland’s, Cicily, Lancashire, Pettitoes, Pigling, Pigling’s, Piperson, Saturdays, Stumpy’s, Westmoreland, Willie’s, Yock, addressed, affable, antimacassar, appetites, asthmatically, bland, broody, bucketfuls, cackling, carrier’s, clattering, cockerel, continual, coppy, cottages, crossly, crossroads, crossways, curing, dejectedly, deplorable, discreetly, disposed, distrusted, embarrassing, exclamation, farthings, flicked, flitch, fowls, frightfully, frivolity, gratitude, hallo, hamper, hams, idditty, iddy, jerks, jiggettyjig, jolting, jumbled, keyhole, lengthened, lightweight, milestones, oddities, offensively, ounces, overtake, parlormaid, peaky, peppermints, petticoats, pinks, piper’s, platefuls, plowman, poker, roosting, roosts, rooting, screwed, screws, scruff, scrumply, scruple, sedate, sentiments, shillings, signpost, signposts, sirs, skirmishing, smutty, snuffed, soiling, spick, suppressed, throstle, tidditty, toothache, umph, undecidedly, unlaced, upholstered, vacantly, volatile, whichever, wickerwork, wig’s, youngsters


Editor’s note. There is an odd term that we’ll tell you about ahead of time. A “throstle” is a bird that’s typically known as a “song thrush.”
The Tale Of Johnny Town-Mouse

To Aesop in the shadows.

Johnny Town-mouse was born in a cupboard, and Timmy Willie was born in a garden. Timmy Willie was a little country mouse. One day, he went to town, by mistake, in a hamper. The gardener sent vegetables to town once a week. He sent them by a carrier, and he packed them in a big hamper.

The gardener left the hamper by the garden gate. That way, the carrier could pick it up when he passed by. Timmy Willie crept in through a hole in the wickerwork. He ate some peas, and then, he fell fast asleep.

He awoke in a fright. He was being jostled, and the hamper was being lifted into the carrier’s cart. Then there was a jolting, and he heard a clattering of horse’s feet. Other packages were thrown in. And then for miles and miles, the cart went “jolt, jolt, jolt!” Poor Timmy Willie trembled amongst the jumbled-up vegetables.

At last, the cart stopped at a house, the hamper was taken out, and it was carried in and set down. The cook gave the carrier sixpence. The back door banged. Then, the cart rumbled away, but there was no quiet. There seemed to be hundreds of carts passing. Dogs barked, boys whistled in the street, the cook laughed, the parlormaid ran up and down the stairs, and a canary sang like a steam engine.


Timmy Willie had lived all his life in a garden. He was now almost frightened to death. Soon, the cook opened the hamper, and she began to unpack the vegetables. Out sprang the terrified Timmy Willie.

Up jumped the cook on a chair. She exclaimed, “A mouse! A mouse! Call the cat! Fetch me the poker, Sarah!” Timmy Willie did not wait for Sarah with the poker. He rushed along the skirting board. He quickly came to a little hole, and in he popped.

He dropped half a foot, and then, he crashed into the middle of a mouse dinner party. He broke three drinking glasses. “Who in the world is this?” inquired Johnny Town-mouse. But after his first exclamation of surprise, he instantly recovered his manners.

With the utmost politeness, he introduced Timmy Willie to nine other mice. They all had long tails and white neckties. Timmy Willie’s own tail was small, and Johnny Town-mouse and his friends noticed it. But they were too well bred to make personal remarks, and only one of them asked Timmy Willie if he had ever been in a trap?

The dinner was of eight courses. There was not much of anything, but it was truly elegant. All the dishes were unknown to Timmy Willie. Anyway, he would have been a little afraid of tasting them, but he was very hungry, and he was very anxious to behave with good-company manners. But the continual noise upstairs made him nervous, and he dropped a plate after one loud sound. “Never mind, they don’t belong to us,” said Johnny.


“Why don’t those youngsters come back with the dessert?” It should be explained to you that there were two young mice who were waiting on the others. They’d gone skirmishing upstairs to the kitchen, between courses. A number of times, they had come tumbling in, squeaking and laughing. Timmy Willie learned, with horror, that they were being chased by the cat. His appetite failed, and he felt faint. “Try some jelly?” asked Johnny Town-mouse. “No, would you rather go to bed? I will show you a most comfortable sofa pillow.”

The sofa pillow had a hole in it, but Johnny Town-mouse quite honestly recommended it as the best bed. He said that it was kept exclusively for visitors. But the sofa smelt of cat, so Timmy Willie preferred to spend a miserable night under the fender.

It was just the same next day. An excellent breakfast was provided, that is, for mice who were accustomed to eating bacon. But Timmy Willie had been reared on roots and salad. Johnny Town-mouse and his friends scurried about under the floors, and they came boldly out all over the house in the evening. One particularly loud crash had been caused by Sarah, as she was tumbling downstairs with the tea-tray. Upstairs, there were crumbs and sugar and smears of jam to be collected, and that was all in spite of the cat.


Timmy Willie longed to be at home in his peaceful nest in a sunny bank. The food disagreed with him here, and the noise prevented him from sleeping. In a few days, he grew so thin that Johnny Town-mouse noticed it. So, he questioned Timmy, and he listened to Timmy Willie’s story and inquired about the garden. “It sounds like rather a dull place. What do you do when it rains?”

Timmy said, “When it rains, I sit in my little sandy burrow, and I shell corn and seeds from my autumn store. I peep out at the throstles and blackbirds on the lawn, and I chat with my friend Cock Robin. And when the sun comes out again, you should see my garden and the flowers. There are roses and pinks and pansies. There’s no noise except for the birds and bees, and the lambs bleat quietly in the meadows.”

“There goes that cat again!” yelled Johnny Town-mouse. They took refuge in the coal-cellar, where he resumed their talk. “I confess that I am a little disappointed, as we have endeavored to entertain you, Timothy William.”

“Oh yes, yes, you have been most kind, but I do feel so ill,” said Timmy Willie.

Johnny said, “It may be that your teeth and digestion are unaccustomed to our food, so perhaps it might be wise for you to return in the hamper.”


“Oh, Oh!” cried Timmy Willie.

“Why, of course, for the matter of that, we could have sent you back last week,” said Johnny, rather huffily. “Did you not know that the hamper goes back empty on Saturdays?”

So, Timmy Willie said good-bye to his new friends, and he hid in the hamper with a crumb of cake and a withered cabbage leaf. And, after much jolting, he was set down safely in his own garden.

Sometimes, on Saturdays, he went to look at the hamper lying by the gate, but he knew better than to get in again. And nobody got out, though Johnny Town-mouse had half-promised a visit.

The winter passed, and the sun came out again, and Timmy Willie sat by his burrow. He was warming his little fur coat and sniffing the smell of violets and spring grass. He had nearly forgotten his visit to town, when up the sandy path, all spick and span with a brown leather bag, came Johnny Town-mouse!

Timmy Willie received him with open arms, and he said, “You have come at the best time of the year, and we will have herb pudding and sit in the sun.”

“Hmm, it is a little damp,” said Johnny Town-mouse, as he was carrying his tail under his arm, out of the mud. “What is that fearful noise?” he started, violently.


“That,” said Timmy Willie,” is just a cow. I will beg a little milk from her, as they are quite harmless, that is, unless they happen to lie down upon you. How are all our friends?”

Johnny’s account was rather middling, and he explained why he was paying his visit so early in the season. The family had gone to the seaside for Easter. The cook was doing spring cleaning, and she had particular instructions to clear out the mice. There were four kittens, and the cat had killed the canary.

“They say that we did it, but I know better,” said Johnny Town-mouse. “Whatever is that fearful racket?”

“That is just the lawnmower. I will fetch some of the grass clippings soon, to make your bed. I’m sure that you had better settle in the country, Johnny.”

“Hmm, we shall see by Tuesday week, as the hamper is stopped while they are at the seaside.”

“I’m sure that you’ll never want to live in town again,” said Timmy Willie.

Oh, but he certainly did, and he went back in the very next hamper of vegetables. He said that it was too quiet!

One place suits one person, and another place suits another person. For my part, I prefer to live in the country, just like Timmy Willie.



Editor’s note. You’ll see a few huge oddities in this passage. 1) “Penn’orth” means “a penny’s worth.” 2) “Coppy stool” is a stool with just three legs. 3) An “antimacassar” is a small covering, usually ornamental, placed on the backs and arms of upholstered furniture to prevent wear or soiling. 4) A “flitch” is a side of bacon. 5) A “barrow” is a pushcart used by street vendors.

The Tail of Pigling Bland
(For Cicily and Charlie, a Tale of the Christmas Pig.)

It was once upon a time. There was an old pig called Aunt Pettitoes. She had a family of eight. There were four little girl pigs. They were called Cross-patch, Suck-suck, Yock-yock and Spot. There were four little boy pigs. They were called Alexander, Pigling Bland, Chin-Chin and Stumpy. Stumpy’s tail had been badly injured.

The eight little pigs had very fine appetites. “Yes, yes, yes! They eat, and indeed they DO eat!” said Aunt Pettitoes. She looked at her family with pride. Suddenly, there were fearful squeals. Alexander had squeezed inside the hoops of the pig trough and had gotten stuck. Aunt Pettitoes and I dragged him out by the hind legs.

Chin-chin had already been a disgrace. It was washing day, and he had eaten a piece of soap. And soon, in a basket of clean clothes, we found another dirty little pig. “Tut, tut, tut! Whichever piggie is this?” grunted Aunt Pettitoes. Now, all the pig family are pink, or pink with black spots. But this pig child was smutty black all over. After it had been popped into a tub, it proved to be Yock-yock.


I went into the garden. There I found Cross-patch and Suck-suck. They were rooting up carrots. I spanked them myself, and I led them out by the ears. Cross-patch tried to bite me.

“Aunt Pettitoes! Aunt Pettitoes! You are a worthy person. But your family is not well brought up. Each one of them has been in mischief except for Spot and Pigling Bland.”

“Yes, yes!” sighed Aunt Pettitoes.

“And they drink bucketfuls of milk. I shall have to get another cow! Good little Spot shall stay at home to do the housework. But the others must go. Four little boy pigs and four little girl pigs are too many altogether.”

“Yes, yes, yes,” said Aunt Pettitoes. “And there will be more to eat without them.” So, Chin-chin and Suck-suck went away in a wheel-barrow, and Stumpy, Yock-yock and Cross-patch rode away in a cart. And the other two little boy pigs, Pigling Bland and Alexander, went to market. We brushed their coats, we curled their tails and washed their little faces, and we wished them good-bye in the yard.

Aunt Pettitoes wiped her eyes with a large pocket handkerchief. Then she wiped Pigling Bland’s nose and shed tears. Then she wiped Alexander’s nose and shed tears. Then she passed the handkerchief to Spot. Aunt Pettitoes sighed and grunted, and she addressed those little pigs as follows.


“Now Pigling Bland, son Pigling Bland, you must go to market. Take your brother Alexander by the hand. Mind your Sunday clothes, and remember to blow your nose.” Aunt Pettitoes passed ’round the handkerchief again. “Beware of traps, hen roosts, bacon and eggs. And always walk on your hind legs.” Pigling Bland, who was a sedate little pig, looked solemnly at his mother, and a tear trickled down his cheek.

Aunt Pettitoes turned to the other. “Now, son Alexander take the hand.”

“Wee, wee, wee!” giggled Alexander.

His mother went on, “Take the hand of your brother Pigling Bland, and you must go to market with him. Mind.”

“Wee, wee, wee!” interrupted Alexander again.

“You put me out,” said Aunt Pettitoes. “Observe signposts and milestones, and don’t gobble herring bones.”

“And remember,” said I, impressively, “if you once cross the county boundary you can’t come back. Alexander, you are not attending. Listen up! Here are two licenses permitting two pigs to go to market in Lancashire. Attend, Alexander! I have had no end of trouble in getting these papers from the policeman.” Pigling Bland listened gravely, while Alexander was hopelessly volatile.


I pinned the papers, for safety, inside their waistcoat pockets. Aunt Pettitoes gave to each a little bundle. And she gave them eight conversation peppermints with appropriate moral sentiments in screws of paper. Then they started off. Pigling Bland and Alexander trotted along steadily for a mile. Well, at least Pigling Bland did. Alexander made the road half as long again by skipping from side-to-side. He danced about and pinched his brother. He sang out, “This pig went to market, this pig stayed at home. This pig had a bit of meat. Let’s see, what have they given US for dinner, Pigling?”

Pigling Bland and Alexander sat down. They untied their bundles. Alexander gobbled up his dinner in no time. He had already eaten all his own peppermints. “Give me one of yours, please, Pigling?”

“But I wish to preserve them for emergencies,” said Pigling Bland doubtfully. Alexander went into squeals of laughter. Then he pricked Pigling with the pin that had fastened his pig paper. And when Pigling slapped him he dropped the pin. Then he tried to take Pigling’s pin, and the papers got mixed up. Pigling Bland reproved him. But soon, they made it up again. They trotted off together, singing. “Tom, Tom the piper’s son, stole a pig and away he ran! But all the tune that he could play, was ‘Over the hills and far away’!”


But, then they were confronted! “What’s that, young Sirs? Stole a pig? Where are your licenses?” asked the policeman. They had nearly run into him while rounding a corner. Pigling Bland pulled out his paper. Alexander, after fumbling, handed over something scrumply.

The officer said, “To 2 1/2 ounces conversation sweeties at three farthings. What’s this? This ain’t a license.” It was a peppermint wrapper!

Alexander’s nose lengthened visibly. Now he was nervous. He said, “I had one, indeed I had, Mr. Policeman!”

“It’s not likely that they let you start out without one. I am passing the farm. You may walk with me.”

“Can I come back, too?” inquired Pigling Bland.

“I see no reason for that, young Sir. Your paper is all right.” Pigling Bland did not like going on alone, and it was starting to rain. But it is unwise to argue with the police. So, he gave his brother a peppermint, and he watched him head out of sight. Now we conclude the adventures of Alexander. The policeman sauntered up to the house about tea time. Following him was a damp, subdued little pig. I disposed of Alexander in the neighborhood. He did fairly well when he had settled down.


Pigling Bland went on alone dejectedly. He came to a crossroads and a signpost. “To Market-town, five miles. Over the Hills, four miles. To Pettitoes’ Farm, three miles.” He was shocked, as there was little hope of sleeping in Market Town tonight. And tomorrow was the hiring fair. It was deplorable to think how much time had been wasted by Alexander’s frivolity. He glanced wistfully along the road towards the hills. Then, he set off walking obediently the other way. He buttoned up his coat against the rain. He had never wanted to go. And the idea of standing all by himself in a crowded market was very disagreeable. He’d be stared at, pushed, and hired by some big strange farmer. He said to himself, “I wish I could just have a little garden and grow potatoes.”

He put his cold hand in his pocket. He felt his paper. He put his other hand in his other pocket. He felt another paper. It was Alexander’s! He squealed. Then, he ran back frantically. He was hoping to overtake Alexander and the policeman. He took a wrong turn. Truly, he took a number of wrong turns. Now, he was quite lost. It grew dark and the wind whistled. The trees creaked and groaned. Pigling Bland became frightened. He cried “Wee, wee, wee! I can’t find my way home!”


After an hour’s wandering, he got out of the woods. The moon shone through the clouds. Now, Pigling Bland saw a country that was new to him. The road crossed a moor. Below was a wide valley, with a river twinkling in the moonlight. And beyond the water, in misty distance, lay the hills. He saw a small wooden hut. He made his way to it. Then he crept inside. “I am afraid it IS a hen house. But what can I do?” said Pigling Bland. He was wet, cold, and quite tired out.

“Bacon and eggs! Bacon and eggs!” clucked a hen. She was on a perch.

“Trap, trap, trap! Cackle, cackle, cackle!” scolded the disturbed cockerel.

“To market. To market! Jiggettyjig!” clucked a broody white hen roosting next to him. Pigling Bland was much alarmed. He planned to leave at daybreak. In the meantime, he and the hens fell asleep. In less than an hour, they were all rudely woken up. The farm’s owner was Mr. Peter Thomas Piperson. He came with a lantern and a hamper. He was going to take six fowls to market in the morning.


He grabbed the white hen roosting next to the cock. Then his eye fell upon Pigling Bland. Pigling was squeezed up in a corner. The farmer made a singular remark. “Hallo, here’s another!” He seized Pigling by the scruff of the neck. Then he dropped him into the hamper. Then plopped in five more dirty, kicking, cackling hens. They were all on top of Pigling Bland. The hamper now contained six fowls and a young pig. It was not lightweight! It was taken down the hill, unsteadily, with jerks. Pigling was now nearly scratched to pieces. He contrived to hide the papers and peppermints inside his clothes.

At last, the hamper was bumped down upon a kitchen floor. The lid was opened. And Pigling was lifted out. He looked up, blinking. He saw an offensively ugly elderly Man. The man was grinning from ear to ear. “This one’s come of himself. Whatever!” said Mr. Piperson. Then he turned Pigling’s pockets inside out. He pushed the hamper into a corner. He threw a sack on top of it. That was to keep the hens quiet. Then he put a pot on the fire. And he unlaced his boots.

Pigling Bland drew forward a coppy stool. He sat on the edge of it. He was shyly warming his hands. Mr. Piperson pulled off a boot. He threw it against the wainscot at the further end of the kitchen. There was a smothered noise. “Shut up!” said the farmer. Pigling warmed his hands, and he eyed the old man. Mr. Piperson pulled off the other boot. He flung it near the first one. There was again a curious noise. “Be quiet, will ye?” said the farmer. Pigling sat on the very edge of the coppy stool.


Mr. Piperson fetched meal from a chest. He made porridge with it. It seemed to Pigling that something at the further end of the kitchen was taking a suppressed interest in the cooking. But he was too hungry to be troubled by noises. The old man poured out three platefuls. One was for himself. One was for Pigling. The third just sat glaring at Pigling. Then the farmer put it away with much scuffling. He locked it up. Pigling ate his supper discreetly. After supper, the old man consulted an almanac. Then he felt Pigling’s ribs. It was too late in the season for curing bacon. Besides, the hens had seen this pig. He looked at the small remains of a flitch. Then, he looked undecidedly at Pigling. “You may sleep on the rug,” he said to the pig.

Pigling Bland slept like a top. In the morning, there was more porridge. The weather was warmer. The farmer looked at how much meal was left in the locked-up chest. He seemed dissatisfied. Then, he said to the pig, “You’ll likely be moving on again?” Before Pigling could reply, a neighbor whistled from the gate. He was there to give Mr. Piperson and the hens a lift. The old man hurried out with the hamper. He enjoined Pigling to shut the door behind him. And he said, “Don’t meddle with nought. Or I’ll come back and skin ye!” Something crossed Pigling’s mind. What if HE had asked for a lift, too? He might still have been in time for market. But he distrusted Peter Thomas.


Pigling finished breakfast at his leisure. Then, he had a look ’round the cottage. Everything was locked up. He found some potato peelings. They were in a bucket in the back kitchen. He ate the peel. Then he washed up the porridge plates in the bucket. He sang while he worked. “Tom with his pipe made such a noise. He called up all the girls and boys. And they all ran to hear him play, Over the hills and far away.”

Suddenly, a little smothered voice chimed in. “Over the hills and a great way off, The wind shall blow my top knot off.” Pigling Bland put down a plate that he was wiping, and listened. After a long pause, Pigling went on tiptoe. He peeped ’round the door into the front kitchen. No one was there. He took another pause. He approached the door of the locked cupboard. He snuffed at the keyhole. It was quiet. He took another long pause. Pigling pushed a peppermint under the door. It was sucked in immediately. In the course of the day, Pigling pushed in all his remaining six peppermints.

Mr. Piperson returned. He found Pigling sitting before the fire. The pig had brushed up the hearth. And he’d put on the pot to boil. But he could not get to the meal. For a change, the farmer was quite affable. He slapped Pigling on the back. He made lots of porridge. And he forgot to lock the meal chest. He did lock the cupboard door. But he did not properly shut it. He went to bed early. He told Pigling not to, on any account, disturb him the next day before twelve o’clock.


Pigling Bland sat by the fire. He was eating his supper. All at once, at his elbow, a little voice spoke. “My name is Pig-wig. Make me more porridge, please!” Pigling Bland jumped and looked ’round. A perfectly lovely little black Berkshire pig stood smiling beside him. She had twinkly little screwed-up eyes. And she had a double chin and a short turned-up nose. She pointed at Pigling’s plate. He hastily gave it to her. Then he fled to the meal chest. “How did you come here?” asked Pigling.

“Stolen,” replied Pig-wig, with her mouth full.

Pigling helped himself to more meal without scruple. “What for?”

“Bacon, hams,” replied Pig-wig cheerfully.

“Why on Earth don’t you run away?” exclaimed the horrified Pigling.

“I shall after supper,” said Pig-wig decidedly.

Pigling made more porridge. Then he watched her shyly. She finished a second plate. She got up and looked about her. It was as though she were going to head off. “You can’t go in the dark,” said Pigling. Pig-wig looked anxious. He asked, “Do you know your way by daylight?”

“I know we can see this little white house from the hills across the river. Which way are you going, Mr. Pig?”


“To market. I have two pig papers. I might take you to the bridge. That’s if you have no objection.” Pigling was much confused. He was sitting on the edge of his coppy stool. Pig-wig’s gratitude was such. And she asked so many questions that it became embarrassing to Pigling. He was obliged to shut his eyes. He even pretended to sleep. She became quiet. And there was a smell of peppermint. “I thought you had eaten them?” said Pigling, waking suddenly.

“Only the corners,” replied Pig-wig.

“I wish that you wouldn’t. The old man might smell them through the ceiling,” said the alarmed Pigling.

Pig-wig put back the sticky peppermints into her pocket. “Sing something,” she demanded.

“I’m sorry. I have a toothache,” said Pigling, much dismayed.

“Then I will sing,” said Pig-wig, “You won’t mind if I say iddy tidditty, will you? I have forgotten some of the words.” Pigling Bland made no objection. He sat with his eyes half shut and watched her. She wagged her head and rocked about. She was clapping time and singing in a sweet little grunty voice.

“A funny old mother pig lived in a sty. And three little piggies had she. Tidditty, idditty, umph, umph, umph! And the little pigs said ‘wee, wee’!”

She sang successfully through three or four verses. But at each verse, her head nodded a little lower. And her little twinkly eyes closed up.


“Those three little piggies grew peaky and lean. And lean they might very well be. For somehow they couldn’t say ‘umph, umph, umph!’ And they wouldn’t say ‘wee, wee, wee’! For somehow they couldn’t say.” Then she stopped singing. Her head bobbed lower and lower. Then she rolled over, a little round ball. She fell fast asleep on the hearth-rug. Pigling Bland, on tiptoe, covered her up with an antimacassar.

Pigling was afraid to go to sleep himself. For the rest of the night, he sat listening to the chirping of the crickets. And he could hear the snores of the farmer, overhead. Morning neared. It was between dark and daylight. Pigling tied up his little bundle. He woke up Pig-wig. She was excited and half-frightened. She said, “But it’s dark! How can we find our way?”

Pigling answered, “The cock has crowed. We must start before the hens come out. They might shout to the old man.” Pig-wig sat down again. She commenced to cry. “Come now, Pig-wig. We can see when we get used to the low light. Come on! I can hear them clucking!” Pigling had never said “shh” to a hen in his life. That’s because he was peaceable. Also, he remembered the hamper.


He opened the house door quietly. He shut it after them. There was no garden. The neighborhood of the farmer’s was all scratched up by fowls. They slipped away hand-in-hand across an untidy field to the road. Pigling sang a ditty. “Tom, Tom, the piper’s son, stole a pig and away he ran! But all the tune that he could play, was ‘Over the hills and far away’!” Then he said, “Come Pig-wig. We must get to the bridge before folks are stirring.”

“Why do you want to go to market, Pigling?” inquired Pig-wig. The sun rose while they were crossing the moor. A dazzle of light showed over the tops of the hills. The sunshine crept down the slopes into the peaceful green valleys. One could see little white cottages all about. They were nestled in gardens and orchards.

“That’s Westmoreland,” said Pig-wig. She dropped Pigling’s hand. She commenced to dance and sing. “I don’t want. I want to grow potatoes.” Then she asked, “Have a peppermint?” Pigling refused quite crossly. “Does your poor toothy hurt?” inquired Pig-wig. Pigling Bland grunted. Pig-wig ate the peppermint herself. Then she followed the opposite side of the road.

Pigling then cried out, “Pig-wig! Keep under the wall. There’s a man plowing.” Pig-wig crossed over. They hurried downhill towards the county boundary. Suddenly Pigling stopped. He heard wheels. Slowly jogging up the road below them came a tradesman’s cart. The reins flapped on the horse’s back. The grocer was reading a newspaper.


“Pig-wig! Take that peppermint out of your mouth,” Pigling urged. “We may have to run. Don’t say one word. Leave it to me. Blast it! And this has to happen to us right when we’re in sight of the bridge!” said poor Pigling. He was nearly crying. He began to walk frightfully lame. He was holding Pig-wig’s arm.

The grocer was intent upon his newspaper. He might have passed them. But his horse shied and snorted. He pulled the cart crossways and held down his whip. “Hallo? Where are you going to?” he called. Pigling Bland stared at him vacantly. “Are you deaf? Are you going to market?” Pigling nodded slowly. “I thought as much. It was yesterday. Show me your license.” Pigling stared at the off hind shoe of the grocer’s horse. It had picked up a stone. The grocer flicked his whip. “Papers? Pig license?” Pigling fumbled in all his pockets. He handed up the papers. The grocer read them. But he still seemed dissatisfied. “This here pig is a young lady. Is her name Alexander?” Remember? Pigling had his younger brother’s paperwork. He didn’t have Pig-wig’s. Pig-wig opened her mouth and shut it again. Pigling coughed asthmatically.


The grocer ran his finger down the advertisement column of his newspaper. He read out loud, “Lost, stolen or strayed. Ten shillings reward.” He looked suspiciously at Pig-wig. Then he stood up in the trap. He whistled for the nearby plowman. “You wait here while I drive on and speak to him,” said the grocer. He gathered up the reins. He knew that pigs are slippery. But surely, such a VERY lame pig could never run!

“Not yet, Pig-wig,” whispered Pigling. “He will look back.” The grocer did so. He saw the two pigs stock-still in the middle of the road. Then he looked over at his horse’s heels. It was lame, too. The stone took some time to knock out, after he got over to the plowman.

Then Pigling yelled out at the top of his lungs, “Now, Pig-wig! NOW!” Never did any pigs run as these pigs ran! They raced and squealed and pelted down the long white hill towards the bridge. Little fat Pig-wig’s petticoats fluttered. And her feet went “pitter, patter, pitter,” as she bounded and jumped. They ran, and they ran. And they ran down the hill. And they went across a shortcut on level green turf at the bottom. It was between pebble beds and rushes. They came to the river. They came to the bridge. They crossed it hand-in-hand. Now they were in another county. They were safe and sound! Then, over the hills and far away, Pig-wig danced with Pigling Bland!

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.)
The Thirteen Colonies

Lesson 96 – Part One 

NEW WORDS: Ashley, Calverts, Carolus, Cecilius, Charleston’s, Eliza’s, Hannah, Hannah’s, Henrico, Joseph’s, Oglethorpe’s, Rolfe’s, Wingfield, baron, belowdecks, biased, bolster, breakfasting, circumvent, counterblast, enlistment, graveyards, incarceration, indebtedness, laborer, lading, newcomers, outnumbered, overlooks, oversee, palisade, planner, planters, playful, shipwreck, stakes, stinking, storehouses, swatting, sweaty, upcountry, workforce


Chapter One: The English Colonies
The Big Question. Why did people come to settle in the English colonies?


Trader, a person who buys and sells things.

Thirteen In All

The United States began as a group of thirteen English colonies. These thirteen colonies did not begin all at once. Explorers and traders came first. Then slowly, over time, the colonies were created. The first colony was founded in Virginia in 1607. And the last of the thirteen colonies was founded in Georgia in 1732.

The first European settlers came here from England. They brought with them everything that they owned. When the settlers arrived, they had no family to greet them. Sometimes the Native Americans who already lived in North America welcomed the settlers. Other times, though, the Native Americans were not happy to see newcomers settling on their land.

There were no houses to live in, so many of the first settlers lived in tents. Some even lived in caves to survive. Their living conditions were harsh, especially during the winter. Many died of hunger, cold, and disease. Even though life in the early colonies could be hard, most settlers did not return to England. They started a new life in a new place instead.


Why They Came
Early settlers had different reasons for coming to America. Some people came because they had been very poor in their homeland. In England and other countries, there were often not enough jobs or land. The new colonies needed workers, and as far as the settlers were concerned, there was enough land for everyone who wanted to stay. People who settle in a new place on behalf of another country are called colonists. The settlers were, in fact, colonists.

Some colonists came because they thought they could get rich in America. Some hoped to find gold and silver. Others hoped that farming would make them wealthy. Some were people who had broken the law in England and, as part of their punishment, they were sent to the colonies in North America.

Colonists came for religious reasons, too. In England, not everyone could practice their religion in the way that they wanted. Some people came to America because they wanted to worship in their own way. For these colonists, living in a land where they could have religious freedom was important. Not everyone who crossed the Atlantic Ocean found opportunity and freedom. As the colonies developed and grew larger, some people from Africa were forced to settle in America. They did not choose to settle here. Instead, they were kidnapped from their homes and brought across the ocean to be enslaved workers.


The New England Colonies

Crop, a plant that is grown in large quantities for food or other use.

Harbor, a part of a body of water that is next to land and provides a safe place for ships to anchor.

Region, a large area that may have certain characteristics related to its geography, form of government, or traditions that set it apart from other places.

Timber, wood that is cut from trees and used for building, also called lumber.

The map shows that the colonies were divided into three groups, or regions. The New England Colonies made up the northern region. They included Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Originally, there was another colony in New England called Plymouth, which you will read about later. Plymouth eventually became part of Massachusetts.


In New England, the winters were long and cold. The soil was rocky. The short growing season and poor soil made it difficult for the colonists to grow crops there. Usually, New England colonists grew only enough vegetables and grains to feed their own families. They were unable to grow extra food to sell to others.

Just like today, the New England region had a long coastline with many natural harbors. Fish were plentiful in the rivers and in the coastal waters. When the colonists first arrived, they found many forests in the region. The colonists cut down trees for timber. They used the timber to build ships, houses, and other buildings. Timber was also used for firewood. As the colonies grew, trading ships sailed in and out of the busy New England harbors. The ships carried timber to the West Indies, the Caribbean, and Europe.


The Middle Colonies
The colonies in the middle region were called the Middle Colonies. They were New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Winters in the Middle Colonies were not as long and cold as the winters in New England. Warm, rainy summers and fertile soil made growing crops much easier in this region. Colonists in the Middle Colonies could grow enough food to feed themselves and still have crops left over to sell. The Middle Colonies also had a coastline for fishing and ports for ships.

The Southern Colonies

The Southern Colonies were made up of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The Southern Colonies were perfect for farming. They had mild winters and fertile soil. Crops grew so well that some colonists built large farms called plantations. Many plantations grew large amounts of a single crop that was then sold to make a profit.


Port Cities
As more people from England and other European countries came to America, the colonists built towns that often grew into cities. Have you heard of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston? These cities became known as port cities. This is because they were built along waterways or on harbors on the coast. The colonists used waterways for transportation.

Centers of Trade
Port cities became centers for trade, too. They also became places where news and information were shared. Ships traveling between the port cities kept the colonies connected with each other and with the rest of the world. New ideas spread from the port cities throughout the colonies. One of the ideas that developed over time was that the colonists could govern themselves. When you learn about the American Revolution, you will read about how the colonists fought to create an independent nation.


Chapter Two: Starting the Virginia Colony
The Big Question. What challenges did the colonists in Jamestown face?

An Ocean Apart
It was September in the year 1607, and Hannah was not happy at all. She was trying to read a new book, but it was too difficult for her. If Thomas were home, here in London, he would have helped her. But Thomas had gone away last year, when she was seven, to a place called Virginia. Hannah often thought about Thomas. Sometimes she worried about him because he had set off on a dangerous voyage across the giant ocean.

Thomas was Hannah’s uncle, her father’s younger brother. But he had always lived with her family in London, and Hannah thought of him as her big brother. Thomas was eighteen years old, and Hannah was eight. She missed Thomas.


Letter from Jamestown
“Hannah, Hannah, come quickly! We have a letter from Thomas!” Mother was very excited.

Hannah raced into the parlor. She laughed and jumped up and down before falling into a chair. “What does Thomas say? Oh, read it, please, Mother. Read it to me, please!”

Hannah’s mother unfolded the letter. She laughed. She looked so happy. She had worried about Thomas, too. “His letter is dated June 1607. That was more than three months ago! Virginia certainly is far away,” Hannah’s mother said.

Thomas began his letter, “To my family. Six months ago our three ships, the Discovery, the Godspeed, and the Susan Constant, sailed from England. We men of the Virginia Company of London were eager to sail. We thought that the adventure in Virginia would make us rich. We were at sea four long months before we saw land again. During those months, we grew very tired of sailing, and of each other.”

“One man argued with Mr. Edward Wingfield, a very important man aboard the ship. The poor fellow was then locked in chains for the rest of the voyage. I became friends with that man, and he has proved to be a most unusual fellow. We finally reached the Chesapeake Bay in April. That’s when I saw Virginia for the first time. It is a beautiful land, with great forests and green fields. The water in the bay is clear and deep and filled with fish. We were all so happy to see land stretching out before us.”


Instructions from London

Council, group of people who meet to help run a government.

Gentleman, a man with high position in society, and not a laborer.

Deck, the floor of a ship that people walk on.

“We put ashore at a point that we called Cape Henry, named for the king’s oldest son. Shortly afterward, Captain Newport of the Susan Constant brought out a sea chest. Instructions from the Virginia Company had been locked in there since we left England. We were to follow the Instructions. First, we were to sail up a deep river and find a place for a settlement. Then we were to build a fort to protect us from attack. The instructions included the names of seven men who were to make rules for the colony. They would be called the council. Six of those names were no surprise to us at all, for they were important gentlemen or ship captains.”

“But one name was a great surprise to everyone. That was John Smith. John Smith was not a rich gentleman. He was the man who had been locked in chains below deck, my new friend. The six gentlemen who were named to the council would not accept John Smith as an equal. They would not let him on the council, but they did take off his chains.”



Palisade, a fence made from wooden or metal stakes driven into the ground.
“We followed the Virginia Company’s instructions. We sailed up a clear, deep river, which we named the James River after the king. About sixty miles upriver, we came upon a place that all the gentlemen thought would be just right for our settlement. This place would be safe and unnoticed by our enemy, the Spanish. We named the place Jamestown, once again in honor of King James.”

“We were all very happy to get off the ships and onto land. But trouble began almost at once. Our first task was to build a fort to protect us from Native Americans and the Spanish. Most of us had never built anything before. Many of the gentlemen had never worked a day in their lives, and they did not want to work now. What they really wanted was for someone else to do the work while they looked for gold.”

“John Smith knew a lot about building. He showed me how to chop down trees and carve them into thick posts. He also showed me how to bury the lower part of the posts into the ground close together, so that they could stand up straight. These posts became a strong wall called the palisade that protected the fort.


Finding Food
“John Smith took me to the river each day to fish. Sometimes the other gentlemen joined us, but they rarely caught anything. Smith almost always caught fish for us to eat. I watched him carefully and did what he did. Soon I was able to catch fish, too. Smith also taught me how to find other foods. I learned where to look for berries and nuts. Native Americans watched us as we worked.”

“After a few weeks of hard work, the fort was partly finished. But then the council decided to send Captain Newport and John Smith to explore farther up the James River. I wanted to go, too. I wanted to see more of the land. John Smith did not want to explore the James River. He did not want anyone else to explore it, either. He thought that we should finish the fort first.”

“Many of the gentlemen were angry because they had not found any gold. They did very little except eat, sleep, and argue. Smith became angry. He said it was very important to prepare for the coming winter. The council did not listen to Smith. They ordered us to explore the river instead.”


Trouble at the Fort
“We did as we were told and left to explore the river. We traveled up the river for several days. Eventually, we came to a place where the water ran over huge rocks that could destroy our boat. We had to return to Jamestown. When we got back, we heard bad news. While we were gone, there had been conflict between the men left behind and some Native Americans. Two of our men were killed. Ten more were wounded. The fort had also been damaged.”

“John Smith had been right, and the council had been wrong. Now the council was ready to listen to John Smith. He told the men to get to work and rebuild the fort. I am happy to say that we finished the fort a few days ago. Captain Smith, as everyone calls him now, took his seat on the council. The ship that will carry our letters home to England is about to sail. If the ship does not sink on the way and you get this letter, please write back to me. I will write again when the next ship sails. Your loving Thomas.”


Chapter Three: Captain John Smith
The Big Question. How did John Smith make sure that everyone worked?

News from Jamestown
Hannah and her mother wrote a letter back to Thomas. They told him that they missed him very much and asked him to write again as soon as he could. Months later, in the spring of 1608, Thomas’s next letter arrived. Captain Newport brought the letter when he returned from Jamestown.

“To my family,” Thomas’s letter began. “There have been many changes in our life here In Jamestown. In many ways, life has been hard, but we are working to keep our tiny colony alive. We owe our lives to John Smith. Without him, none of us would be alive today. When John Smith took his seat on the council, we were running low on food. He knew that it was too late in the year to plant crops. He also knew that the Native Americans who we now knew as the Powhatan had corn and other food. John Smith began visiting their villages. I often went with him. He began to learn their language and their way of life.


“We began to trade. We gave the Powhatan blankets, axes, and other things from England. In exchange, they gave us corn and fresh meat. Their food kept everyone from starving. We can all thank Captain Smith, and the Powhatan, for saving our colony.”

Three Years Later
It was a long time before Hannah and her mother received another letter from Thomas. Finally, in 1611, news from Thomas arrived. “Please forgive me for waiting so long to write. I wanted to send you good news about Jamestown, but it was a long time before things got better. In fact, life in the colony became even harder than at the beginning, and many men died. The people living in Jamestown could not learn to work together. The council could not make life better for the colony.”


A New Rule

Well, a hole dug deep into the ground to get water.

“Then the council chose John Smith to be the leader of the colony. Smith made a new rule. Those who did not work could not eat. Some of the gentlemen complained, but Smith stayed firm. He would not change the rule. After Captain Smith’s new rule, more work got done. The fort was made larger, and more houses were built. We dug a well so that we could have cleaner water to drink.”

“We cleared fields, planted crops, and caught fish. We traded more with the Native Americans. Captain Smith also taught us to use weapons to defend the fort. Captain Newport will sail back to England with a cargo of timber and boards cut from the forest in Jamestown by English gentlemen. Your loving Thomas.”


Chapter Four: Changing Times in Jamestown
The Big Question. What events led to “the Starving Time?”

Working Together
Many things went well when John Smith was the leader of Jamestown. The settlement grew to nearly five hundred people. The colonists all worked because John Smith had made a rule that those who did not work could not eat. The colonists grew crops. They raised chickens, goats, and horses. They also kept pigs outside the fort in a place called Hog Island.

In the forests around Jamestown, there were many animals for the colonists to hunt. They could catch fish and oysters In the rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. They could gather the fruits, berries, and nuts that grew wild In the Jamestown area. John Smith traded for food with the Powhatan. They were willing to trade with him because he worked hard to earn their respect. He was fair and honest. He always kept his word.


New Problems

Gunpowder, an explosive material used to make guns shoot.

Then one night a terrible thing happened. Captain Smith was very badly hurt in a gunpowder explosion. He had to return to England for medical help to heal his wounds. When Captain Smith left, the colonists had a good supply of food in their storehouses. They had enough for more than two months. They also had a clean water supply, warm houses, and a strong fort.

But many of the colonists were happy to see John Smith go back to England. They were tired of working so hard. But after he left, the colonists were missing something important, and that was a good leader. The new leader was not as strong as Captain Smith had been. He did not make the colonists work hard to survive.

A group of colonists went to trade with the Powhatan, but they tried to cheat the Native Americans. A fight broke out, and the colonists were killed. Now the Powhatan were angry, and they would not trade for food. The colonists’ food supply continued to grow smaller. Outnumbered, the colonists were trapped inside the walls of the Jamestown fort. The colonists could not go out to hunt or fish. They also needed firewood for the coming winter. The people of Jamestown began knocking down the houses that they had worked so hard to build.
The Starving Time

The colonists grew hungry. Before long, they had eaten everything in the storehouses. Then they ate the chickens, the goats, and even the horses. After the large animals were gone, the colonists ate the dogs and then the cats. Then they ate the rats, and finally the mice. They were so hungry that they even ate their boots and shoes. Many of the colonists died from hunger, disease, and freezing temperatures. By the spring of 1610, only sixty people were still alive. The colonists had a special name for the winter of 1609 and the spring of 1610. They called it the Starving Time.


A New Leader

Governor, a person appointed by the king to oversee and make decisions in a region or colony.

The colonists decided to leave Jamestown, but they did not get far. As they sailed down the James River, they saw sails in the distance. The sails belonged to two English ships on their way to Jamestown. The ships carried a new governor, more new colonists, and lots of supplies. The colony was saved! The new governor was a strong leader. He warned the colonists that they would be punished if they did not work hard. He ordered everyone to clean up and rebuild the settlement.


A New Start
Finally, the Starving Time was over. The colonists began to clear the land around the fort. They built small farmhouses. The English colonists in Virginia had survived their worst struggles. Slowly life in Jamestown began to get better. The Powhatan and the colonists began to trade again. But neither side fully trusted the other anymore.


Chapter Five: Virginia Succeeds
The Big Question. How did the arrival of John Rolfe affect the Virginia colony?

The Native American Princess
Captain John Smith had become friends with Chief Powhatan of the Powhatan tribe. The chief had a daughter whom he loved very much. Chief Powhatan gave her the pet name Pocahontas, which means “the playful one.” Pocahontas visited the Jamestown colony many times. She taught John Smith some Powhatan words. She brought food to the colonists and tried to make peace with them. Pocahontas was about fourteen years old when John Smith was injured by the gunpowder explosion and had to leave Jamestown.


Saved by a Shipwreck

Tobacco, a plant whose leaves are used for chewing or smoking.

Cash crop, a crop that is grown to be sold.

At about the same time John Smith was sailing back to England, another Englishman, named John Rolfe, was on his way to Virginia. There were two interesting things about John Rolfe. First, he was a very lucky man. Second, like many people of his time, he really liked to smoke his pipe.

In 1609, several ships left England bound for Jamestown. One ship was called the Sea Venture, and another was called the Catch. John Rolfe sailed aboard the Sea Venture. Things did not go very well. The ships were caught in a storm. The Catch and all of its passengers sank to the bottom of the ocean. The Sea Venture was wrecked on an Island seven hundred miles from Jamestown. It could not be repaired. The only way for everyone to get to Jamestown was to make two smaller ships from the remaining pieces of the Sea Venture.


It took a long time to build the two ships. By the time the ships finally reached Jamestown, they were almost a year late. Because of the shipwreck, Rolfe and the men with him were not in Jamestown during the Starving Time. Many of the people in Jamestown during that awful time had died. Soon after Rolfe reached Jamestown, he ran out of tobacco for his pipe. He had been smoking tobacco that the Spanish had brought to Europe from the Americas. Now Rolfe tried the tobacco that the Native Americans in Virginia grew. He did not like it at all. John Rolfe left Jamestown and moved farther up the James River. There, he started a farm near the new village of Henrico.


Growing Tobacco


Self-government, the ability of people to rule themselves and make their own laws.

Rolfe decided to buy seeds of the tobacco that grew in South America and seeds of the tobacco that grew in the West Indies. He tested the different kinds of tobacco plants to find one that would grow well in Virginia. Soon Rolfe was growing excellent tobacco and shipping it back to England. People in England liked John Rolfe’s Virginia tobacco, too. It quickly became Virginia’s cash crop. Everywhere in the colony, people started planting tobacco, even in the streets and in graveyards. Soon the colony was shipping thousands of pounds of Virginia tobacco to England.

In 1619, the people of Jamestown established the House of Burgesses. This was the first example of self-government in the colonies. Also, colonists were now able to own land and keep the money earned from the tobacco that they sold. The ability for people to make money from tobacco increased the need for land and for workers. Smoking became very popular In England. Few English people understood how unhealthy it was. King James was one of the few people in England who decided that smoking was bad. He wrote a book called “A Counterblast to Tobacco” that warned against smoking the “stinking weed.” Smoking, he said, was “loathsome (disgusting) to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain,” and also “dangerous to the lungs.” But no one paid attention.


More Adventures for Pocahontas

Disease, sickness.

Meanwhile, Pocahontas went to visit some friends in a nearby village. While she was there, an English sea captain kidnapped her. He took her up the river to the village of Henrico. When Pocahontas got to Henrico, the women there gave her English clothes to wear. They taught her to speak English and to read the Bible. Pocahontas took the name Rebecca.

John Rolfe met Pocahontas in Henrico. The Native American princess fell in love with him. Her father, Chief Powhatan, said that they could get married. Everyone was happy for Pocahontas and John Rolfe. Their marriage meant that the Powhatan and the colonists lived in peace for several years. A year after Pocahontas and John Rolfe were married, their son Thomas was born. They took the baby to England to visit John Rolfe’s family.


While Pocahontas was in England, everyone treated her like a queen. They called her Lady Rebecca. She made many new friends there, including King James. She also had a happy meeting with her old friend Captain John Smith. Pocahontas was about to leave England to go home when she caught a terrible disease and died. She was only twenty-two years old. She was buried in England.

The same year that Pocahontas died, the Virginia colony shipped 20,000 pounds of tobacco to England. The gentlemen of Virginia intended to get rich growing tobacco. To do this, they cleared new land for large farms called plantations. Because they owned plantations, they came to be known as “planters.” At first, planters, like John Rolfe, thought that growing tobacco would make them as rich as if they had found gold. John Rolfe was a very lucky man, and he became rich by growing tobacco. But many other English colonists and Native Americans living in Virginia were not as lucky.

Tobacco plantations needed a lot of land and a lot of workers. The English colonists were greedy for all the land that they could get. This caused several wars to break out between the Native Americans and the English. By 1625, the colonists had finally won. Although the Native Americans outnumbered the English, the English had guns. This gave them a great advantage. Many Native Americans also died from diseases that had been brought to North America by the colonists.


A Changing Workforce

Indentured servant, a person who owes an employer a certain amount of work for a certain amount of time in exchange for some benefit.

As time passed, plantations grew larger and larger. Some plantations looked like tiny towns. There was a large house for the owner and small cabins for the field workers. There were other buildings where carpenters and blacksmiths worked.

In the early days of the Virginia colony, planters hired indentured servants to work in their fields. The plantation owners paid for the indentured servants to sail from England and gave them shelter, food, water, and clothes when they arrived. In exchange, the indentured servants worked for the plantation owners to pay back the money that they owed. After a certain number of years, the indentured servants were free to leave. Over time, indentured servants came from other countries. Eventually, indentured servants in Virginia were replaced by enslaved workers from Africa. You will read more about the hard lives of enslaved people in later chapters.


Chapter Six: The Story of Maryland
The Big Question. Why was Maryland created, and how did people there elude some of the problems faced by the colonists in Virginia?


Official, a person who carries out a government duty.

Roman Catholic, a person who follows the teachings of the Catholic Church, a Christian church that has its headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Protestant, a person who follows the teachings of a Christian church that separated from the Roman Catholic Church.


A Friend of the King
In the early 1600s, George Calvert worked for the king of England as a government official. The job was very important. Calvert worked hard and did his work well. As a result, the king promised him a reward. The king told Calvert that he would give him a lot of land in America. But there was one big problem. George Calvert was a Roman Catholic. That made a lot of Protestant people very unhappy. They did not want a Catholic to be a government official. Calvert was forced to give up his job. Almost everybody in England was a Christian. But English Christians were divided into different groups that disliked each other. One group was the Catholics. Catholics believed that the Pope in Rome was the head of the whole Church. Another group was the Protestants. Most English Protestants believed that the king was the head of the Church in England.

Although George Calvert had changed his religion from Protestant to Roman Catholic, the king liked him. He gave Calvert the title of Lord Baltimore, the first Baron of Baltimore. He was named Lord Baltimore after a small place in Ireland. Most people who lived there were Catholics. Because most of the people in England were Protestants, the laws of England were sometimes biased against Catholics. But in countries where most of the people were Catholics, such as France, Spain, and Portugal, the laws were sometimes unfair to Protestants.


Maryland’s First Owner
George Calvert wanted to start a colony where English Catholics and Protestants would all be treated fairly. This colony would be a refuge, or a place where English Catholics would be protected. The king thought that this was a fine idea. So, he gave Calvert permission to build a colony just north of Virginia. The new colony was named Maryland, for Queen Henrietta Maria, the king’s wife. George Calvert died shortly after the king gave him Maryland. His oldest son, Cecilius, became the second Lord Baltimore and the new “owner” of Maryland.

Maryland’s Second Owner
Unlike Virginia, which was owned by a company, Maryland was owned by one man. Although he lived in England, Cecilius Calvert owned all the land and made all the rules. The new Lord Baltimore asked his younger brother Leonard to go to Maryland with the first group of colonists. Leonard would be the governor of the new colony. The Calverts started Maryland as a colony for Catholics. But they also wanted Protestants to settle there to bolster the colony’s population.


The New Colony
In early spring 1634, two small ships sailed into the Chesapeake Bay. Governor Leonard Calvert and nearly two hundred colonists were on board. The ships had no extra space. The passengers had brought with them most of what they would need to survive their first year in the new colony. Governor Calvert told a group of Native Americans that he wanted to buy one of their villages. The Native Americans were not using the village. They agreed to let the newcomers live there while the colonists built their own houses and planted crops. The governor knew how badly the people in Virginia had suffered. He made sure that the people of his colony had enough food and supplies to circumvent a starving time. Governor Calvert named the colonists’ new home Saint Mary’s City. This became the first settlement in the Maryland colony.


Home in a Wigwam Village

Toleration, acceptance of different beliefs, or practices.

Two years later, in 1636, the settlement still looked like a Native American village. The colonists lived in wigwams that the Native Americans had built. Some of the Maryland colonists were wealthy Catholics. But more Protestants than Catholics came to Maryland. Many of the Protestants worked for the Catholic gentlemen as servants. Everyone In Saint Mary’s City worked hard to get the colony started. Catholic gentlemen and Protestant servants worked side by side. Governor Calvert had the colonists build a chapel, or small church, for Saint Mary’s City. Both Catholics and Protestants shared the chapel so that each group could worship in its own way. In 1649, the Toleration Act was created In Maryland. The act gave religious freedom to all Christians in the colony.


Tough Times For All
In both Maryland and Virginia, things did not work out as the colonists had hoped. The Virginia Company lost so much money that the king of England took direct control of Virginia. The Calvert family still owned Maryland, but not too many Catholics actually settled there. In the early days In Virginia and Maryland, many colonists became sick and died. Children often saw one or both of their parents die. Many children died, too.

At first, Virginia and Maryland planters thought that raising tobacco was almost as good as finding gold. But soon they were shipping so much to England, they could not sell it all. There was too much tobacco and not enough customers. This caused the price of tobacco to drop. After the first few years, anyone who raised tobacco had a very hard time making money.

The only way planters could make money from raising tobacco was to own lots of land, have lots of workers, and ship lots of tobacco to many places. Getting enough land was not that hard to do. Finding workers, however, was more difficult. Fewer English people were willing to move to Virginia and Maryland to be indentured servants. Keeping indentured servants was also very expensive. Planters needed another way to find large numbers of workers. They found these workers in Africa.


Servants and Enslaved Workers
The very first Africans were brought to Virginia in the year 1619. Some historians think that these African workers were indentured servants. Others believe that they may have been enslaved. They worked for a period of time on a plantation, and then they were free to leave. Some became free landowners, just as English indentured servants did.

In the mid-1600s, however, Virginia and Maryland planters changed the rules. Africans brought to the colonies were forced to become enslaved workers. They were considered the property of an owner. They were not paid, and most would never be freed. Their children would become enslaved workers, too. And relying on enslaved workers meant that plantation owners could make more money.

By the late 1600s, large numbers of enslaved Africans were brought to work on plantations near the Chesapeake Bay. They were treated harshly. In one Southern colony, so many enslaved Africans were brought in that more than half of the people living there were originally from Africa. That colony was called Carolina.


Chapter Seven: Plantations in South Carolina
The Big Question. Why did plantation owners have enslaved workers?

A Charleston Sea Captain
It is the year 1710. Eliza and her father are breakfasting at home. Her father, Edward Jones, is a sea captain. Their house overlooks Charleston harbor in the Carolina colony. Captain Jones leaves tomorrow on a long sea voyage. His ships will sail to the West Indies, England, and Africa before returning to Charleston. While her father is at sea, Eliza will live with her uncle, Joseph Jones. He owns two plantations and a house in Charleston. The port of Charleston lies near the mouths of the Ashley and Cooper rivers. These two rivers connect Charleston to the large plantations upcountry. From Charleston’s harbor, ships can trade with the whole world.


Settling Charleston
In 1710, when Eliza’s story takes place, Charleston was the only large town in that Carolina colony. In 1663, about thirty years after the Maryland colony began, King Charles II of England gave a group of rich English gentlemen another colony in North America. In honor of King Charles, the gentlemen named the colony Carolina. Carolina comes from “Carolus,” which is Latin for Charles.

Wealthy gentlemen started plantations in Carolina to make money by growing cash crops. Tobacco would not grow in the area around Charleston. But Carolina planters discovered that they could grow and sell other crops for lots of money. These crops were rice and indigo. Indigo is a plant from which a blue-green dye is made. A woman by the name of Eliza Lucas was mainly responsible for making indigo a very successful cash crop. Selling these cash crops made some Carolina planters very rich. Like plantation owners in Virginia and Maryland, they began to use enslaved workers.


At the Dock

Middle Passage, the forced voyage made by enslaved Africans from Africa to the American colonies.

After breakfast, Eliza and her father go to the dock. Captain Jones looks over his two ships. The first ship, the Sea Hawk, will soon sail for the West Indies. It is filled with lumber and cattle for plantations there. The second ship, the Raven, will sail for England. It will carry a lading of tobacco, indigo, and rice. In England, the captain will deliver the ship’s cargo and buy English goods. The Raven will then sail to Africa. There, Captain Edward will trade English goods for enslaved workers. Finally, the Raven will sail back to Charleston.

Eliza watches as the sailors load cattle and lumber onto the Sea Hawk. On the Raven, workers roll huge barrels of rice up the loading ramp and onto the deck. When the Raven reaches Africa, the ship will take enslaved Africans on board. The trip across the Atlantic Ocean, called the Middle Passage, is brutal. The enslaved Africans must stay in cramped, dirty quarters belowdecks. When the Raven returns to Charleston, the enslaved Africans will be sold mostly to plantation owners.


Uncle Joseph’s Rice Plantation

Tidal marsh, an area of soft wet land where water levels are the result of the rise and fall of a river or ocean.

After a while, a large black carriage pulled by four horses rolls up to the dock. Uncle Joseph and his children appear. Eliza is happy to see her cousins. They travel to Uncle Joseph’s new rice plantation. Uncle Joseph is having the plantation built along the banks of the Cooper River, about twenty miles from Charleston. Much of the land in the new plantation is a tidal marsh. The land is a perfect place to grow rice. That’s because rice needs a lot of water.

But it is not a healthy place to live. Many people at the plantation get sick and die. Even those who do not get sick are constantly swatting mosquitoes. They do not know that the mosquitoes spread a deadly disease called malaria. The long, hot, sweaty summer months at the plantation are the worst. So, every summer Uncle Joseph’s family lives In Charleston. It is a little cooler in Charleston because of breezes from the harbor. People also think that they are safer there from disease.


Working in the Fields
Uncle Joseph owns many enslaved workers who had once been rice farmers in Africa. The enslaved workers are digging ditches that will bring water to the rice plants. They have to be careful, for there are many poisonous snakes hiding in the marsh. The enslaved workers are also working in the fields. The carriage nears the center of the plantation. Eliza sees more enslaved people hard at work. They are building a long driveway leading to the main house.

Many buildings stand behind the trees that line the driveway. Eliza recognizes the sounds coming from the blacksmith’s workshop and the horse stable near the carriage house. A short distance away, soap and candle makers and shoemakers are busy at work. Eliza can see carpenters, gardeners, and stable boys. It takes the hard work of many people to keep the plantation running.


Chapter Eight: The Story of Georgia
The Big Question. Why did James Oglethorpe want to set up a colony in North America?

The Voyage to Savannah

Parliament, a group made up of representatives and the king or queen, who make the laws for a country; a term used especially in England to describe the lawmaking part of the government.

Debt, something that is owed, such as money.

The year was 1732, and the ship was called the Anne. It was a very crowded ship with 120 passengers and many animals. Most of the people on the Anne were poor and unable to find work in England. There was, however, one very wealthy gentleman on the ship. His name was James Oglethorpe. Everyone called him Father Oglethorpe because he was kind and gentle. James Oglethorpe was the leader of the new colony named Georgia, in honor of King George II. It was the last of the Southern Colonies to be established. James Oglethorpe was born into a wealthy family. When he was a teenager, he went for enlistment into the English army. He became captain of the queen’s guard. He left the army when he was twenty-six to become a member of Parliament. He spoke out for poor people and for people who suffered incarceration because they could not find a solution to their state of indebtedness.


The Story of Georgia
At the time, people in England who did not have enough money to pay their debts were put into jail. James Oglethorpe wanted to find a way to give debtors and all poor people a new start. He and a group of businessmen asked the king to let them start a colony in North America. They asked him to make the colony a place for poor people to begin a new life.

James Oglethorpe dreamed of building a great city for the Georgia colony. He brought in a city planner to design the new city of Savannah. The streets were wide and straight and there were many parks. Oglethorpe had many other dreams for the colony. He dreamed of making the Georgia colony a place of asylum for poor people and for people of different religions from all parts of Europe. He also wanted to keep the colony free of slavery. He had been to Charleston, where he saw how badly enslaved workers were treated. Oglethorpe also believed that Native Americans should be treated fairly and with respect. He made a rule that “no white man may cheat the Native Americans.” The Native Americans called James Oglethorpe the “Great Man.” They called him that to show their respect for him.


What Happened Next?

Profit, the money that is made by a business once all expenses have been paid.

Some of Oglethorpe’s dreams did not come true. Parliament made it hard for poor people who owed money to leave English jails and settle in Georgia. Rice turned out to be the only crop that could be grown in Georgia and sold for a profit. And to grow rice, many workers were needed. In 1750, the leaders of Georgia decided to change the rules. Slavery and big rice plantations were now allowed, just as in the Carolina colony.

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.)
The Thirteen Colonies

Lesson 97 – Part Two

NEW WORDS: Adams’s, Albany, Boston’s, Coopers, Darby, Darby’s, Englanders, Haudenosaunee, Josiah, Mayflower’s, Minuit, Netherland, Portsmouth, Roger’s, Stuyvesant, Swedes, Walloon, Williams’s, abbreviations, adamantly, advocating, agitators, alleged, apposite, aristocracy, assertions, aversion, ballots, beggarly, blanched, booklets, booksellers, bouweries, bowery, breadbasket, castigated, checkerboard, clammy, comply, concurrence, congregation, congregations, conveyance, cornhusks, dejected, detractors, disclosed, dispensation, enlist, enmity, expatiate, explorer’s, expound, expressing, forcing, gateway, genuflect, glassware, handbills, harmoniously, hornbook, illegality, immured, imprisonment, inaugural, inspirited, introductions, landowning, manifold, meetinghouses, mussels, olid, outset, primer, principled, rebuff, recites, resettle, sailmakers, schism, seaports, shorewards, sinned, slay, solidarity, stockades, tempest, tenets, tolerant, toolmakers, waffles, whate’er, woes


Chapter Nine: The Pilgrims Come to America
The Big Question. Who were the Pilgrims, and why did they sail to America?

The New England Colonies
Do you remember the names of those three regions? If you said Southern Colonies, Middle Colonies, and New England Colonies, you are correct! Now, we are going to jump over the Middle Colonies and go north to the New England Colonies. We will come back to the Middle Colonies later. To learn about these colonies, we have to travel back to the fall of 1620 for introductions to the first New England colonists, the Pilgrims. The Pilgrims spent a great deal of time planning their move to America. At last, in September 1620, they were ready to make the voyage.


The Pilgrims
“Land ho! Land ho!” the sailors cried. The passengers crowded onto the deck of the Mayflower. They wanted to have their first look at America. The Mayflower had been sailing for Virginia, but it ended up in what is now Massachusetts. A month later, the Mayflower crossed the bay. On a cold morning in November 1620, its passengers got ready to land. Who were these people on board the ship? Today, we call the Mayflower’s passengers the Pilgrims. A pilgrim is someone who travels for religious reasons. The people on the Mayflower had left their homes in England for a new life.

The Pilgrims were not like the inaugural Jamestown settlers. The first Jamestown settlers had wanted to find gold and other riches. Many would rebuff attempts at getting them to do hard work. They did not want to build houses or plant crops. They only wanted to return to England as rich men. The Pilgrims were not looking for gold. They wanted to build houses and start farms. They wanted to raise families in a new land. They did not want to go back to England.

In England, King James made everyone comply with the rules of the Church of England. The Pilgrims, however, did not wish to do so. They believed so adamantly that God wanted them to worship in a certain way that they had a schism with the Church of England. They were called Separatists because they wanted to separate, or break away, from the Church of England. That was considered an illegality, and they risked imprisonment for doing this.


Woes for the Separatists
When the king found out about the Separatists, he was angry. He did everything he could to make them feel highly dejected. He even put some of them in prison. The Separatists were blanched about staying in England under such conditions, so they went to the Netherlands. But life there was difficult. People had to work very hard for beggarly wages. The people in the Netherlands spoke Dutch. The Separatists were afraid that their children would forget how to speak English.

About twelve years later, the Separatists decided to leave the Netherlands. They wanted to cross the ocean and start a colony. In their new home, they would have their own land and could worship God in their own way. Not all of the people on the Mayflower were Separatists. Other people from England had joined them. Like the Separatists, these people were sailing to America to begin a new life.


A Long, Hard Journey

Cargo ship, a large boat used to carry things from one place to another to be bought and sold.

Altogether, 102 passengers and 30 sailors sailed on the Mayflower. There were also some hens, goats, and two dogs. The journey to North America was difficult. The Mayflower was a cargo ship. It was not made to carry people. It was very crowded. The Pilgrims slept on the floor below the main deck. There was hardly any light and no fresh air.

For the first month, the Mayflower sailed in good weather. After that, the ship and its passengers faced one tempest after another. The wind howled and waves crashed on the deck. Most of the passengers became seasick. The Pilgrims were afraid that the ship would sink. The Pilgrims thought that the terrible voyage would never end. But finally, it did. Standing on the ship’s deck that November morning, the Pilgrims saw a sandy beach lined with trees. This was Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Behind them was the cold, gray, late autumn ocean.


 The New Decision

Contract, a written or spoken agreement, usually about business.

Vote, to make a decision as a group, usually by casting ballots, raising hands, or speaking aloud.

The Pilgrims were excited and afraid. They were very far from home. They were afraid that there might be wild animals. The Pilgrim leaders said that they would have to live on the Mayflower until they found a good place to settle and build houses. Some of the passengers did not like this decision. They were tired of being crowded together on the clammy, olid ship. They wanted to head shorewards.

However, the Pilgrim leaders knew that they would have to stay together for safety. If they did not, they would not survive in this new land. The Pilgrims also knew that they needed rules and laws and good leaders to help them live together peacefully. Before the Pilgrims got off the ship, they wrote and signed a contract. The Pilgrim leaders called their contract the Mayflower Compact. The compact said that all the passengers would work together to govern themselves in the new land.

The Pilgrims agreed to vote. They also agreed to majority rule. That means the Pilgrims agreed to do whatever the majority, or most, of the Pilgrims voted to do. They all promised to obey these rules after they left the ship.


Starting a New Life
After they signed the Mayflower Compact, the passengers were allowed to go ashore on Cape Cod. Everyone’s legs were wobbly after being at sea for so long. Even though it had already snowed, the children ran on the cold, sandy beach. The men searched for fresh water and dry firewood. They also explored the area.

The women washed clothes. Soon the rocks and bushes were dotted with clothing spread out to dry. It took the Pilgrims almost a month to find a permanent place to settle. They finally decided on a spot on the other side of Massachusetts Bay from Cape Cod. There the water was deep enough to anchor their ship. When they explored the land, they found Native American fields that had already been cleared for planting. They found freshwater streams and forests for timber. The Pilgrims named their new settlement Plymouth.


Chapter Ten: Plymouth, The Pilgrim Colony
The Big Question. Why was it important for the Pilgrims to work hard to prepare for winter?

A Harsh Winter
The Pilgrims had hoped to settle in Virginia, but the captain of the Mayflower had refused to go farther than Cape Cod. The cold, snowy days of winter had already begun. The Pilgrims spent most of their first winter in Plymouth colony aboard the crowded, damp Mayflower. The men and boys went ashore to build the first houses.

An icy wind blew off the ocean. On many days the weather was so bad that the men could not work. During that first winter, half the Pilgrims died from cold and hunger. All winter, the Native Americans who lived near Plymouth stayed in the forest and watched the Pilgrims. They watched the Pilgrims bring supplies from the ship. They watched them chop down trees and saw logs into planks to build houses.


Setting up a Colony

“Common house,” (phrase) a building used for meetings and worship.

The first house that the Pilgrims built was called the common house. At first, it was used as a shelter and a place to store tools. Later, it was used as a place of worship. When spring finally came, the Pilgrims moved off of the Mayflower and into the houses. They began to plant crops. They had to work hard. Once the Mayflower sailed back to England, they were on their own. During the warm summer, the Pilgrims tended their gardens. They were already preparing for the winter ahead.


A Visitor
One day a tall Native American warrior with long black hair appeared at the edge of the woods. He walked boldly into Plymouth. The Pilgrims came out of their houses and in from the fields to see the visitor. “Welcome, Englishmen,” he said. “My name is Samoset. The Pilgrims were astonished that he spoke English. It turned out that Samoset had learned the Pilgrims’ language from English fishermen who dried their nets and packed their fish along the shore.

Samoset spoke to John Carver, the first governor of Plymouth. He told the governor that the chief of the Wampanoag was coming to visit the Pilgrims. The Wampanoag lived nearby. Samoset told the Pilgrims about the Native Americans who used to live in the place where the Pilgrims had built their village. These Native Americans had cleared the fields around Plymouth.

A few years before, Samoset told the Pilgrims, a strange sickness had killed every member of that nation. The only person left in that nation was Squanto, a warrior. Squanto had been taken to England by fishermen before the strange sickness broke out. When Squanto returned, he was the only one of his people still alive.


A Friendship Grows
A few days later, Samoset brought the chief of the Wampanoag to Plymouth colony. With him were several warriors, including Squanto. The Pilgrims and the Native Americans exchanged gifts. Then they ate and drank together. Afterward, Governor Carver and the chief made a peace treaty that lasted fifty-four years. The chief and the other Native Americans left. But Squanto stayed behind to live with the Pilgrims. He showed the Pilgrims where to fish. He pointed out which nuts and berries were safe to eat.

The Pilgrims were very busy that first spring. Both boys and girls gathered mussels from the rocks in the shallow water at the edge of the sea. They dug dams from the wet sand. They carried water and wood. They stuffed linen sacks with cornhusks to make mattresses. In the late spring, Governor Carver died. The Pilgrims chose William Bradford as their new governor. Bradford was governor of Plymouth for the next thirty-five years. He even wrote a history of the colony that people today still study.


Giving Thanks

Harvest, the crops collected at the end of a growing season.

In the fall, Governor Bradford gathered all the Pilgrims together. He told them that they had many things to be thankful for. They had finally found a place to worship God in their own way. And thanks to their Native American friends, their harvest would be plentiful. If they were careful, no one would go hungry during the next winter.

To celebrate, Governor Bradford invited the Pilgrims’ Native American friends to feast with them and offer prayers of thanksgiving. The feast lasted three days. That feast was a thanksgiving celebration that has become an American tradition. We do not know for certain whether they ate turkey, but Governor Bradford did write that they had “fowl,” or birds, for dinner, as well as other kinds of meat. When we celebrate Thanksgiving today, we remember how the Pilgrims came to the Americas in search of religious freedom, how much they had to suffer, and how grateful they were for their new life. We also think about the Native Americans who helped them and who shared in their celebration.


Chapter Eleven: The Massachusetts Bay Colony
The Big Question. What kinds of jobs were available in the New England colonies?

The Puritan Mission
Ten years after the Pilgrims settled Plymouth, more English settlers arrived in New England. Their settlement was called the Massachusetts Bay Colony. These settlers were known as Puritans. The Puritans were not like the Pilgrims. The Puritans did not want to leave the Church of England. Instead, the Puritans wanted to purify, or change, the Church of England.

John Winthrop was the leader of the Puritans. He believed that God brought the Puritans to North America for a reason. Winthrop wanted the Puritans to be an example of how Christians could live together in a community and be unselfish people. He believed that the whole world would be watching to see if the Puritans could succeed.


The Great Migration
In the beginning, about one hundred Pilgrims started Plymouth colony. But almost 25,000 Puritans came to Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1630 to 1660. This enormous wave of settlement is called “the Great Migration.” A migration is a movement from one place to another. During the Great Migration, Puritans started small towns all over eastern Massachusetts. In each town, they built their houses and their meetinghouse, or house of worship, near a large grassy area called a common.


Strict Rules

Congregation, a group of people who gather for the purpose of religious worship.

Everyone who lived in a Puritan town had to obey strict rules. Each town was governed by landowning men who met to make rules and decisions. Only members of a town’s Puritan congregation could own land or vote in the town meeting. Joining a congregation was not easy. You had to answer many hard questions about your life and your beliefs.

People who were not Puritans did not enjoy religious freedom. They could attend their own churches. But they were forced to also attend Puritan services and pay taxes to support the Puritan ministers. Those who opposed Puritan religious teachings were punished. Some were forced to leave town. People who were forced to leave Puritan towns sometimes started their own towns. Many of these towns were founded in a new colony called Rhode Island, which you will read about in a later chapter.


A Growing Population
Through the 1640s, new settlers kept coming to the colonies from England. The population was also growing naturally. Unlike in England, and even in the Southern Colonies, more and more New England children lived to become adults and parents. This was largely because there was less disease. These growing families needed more land. So, two new colonies were later founded by Puritans from Massachusetts. These colonies were Connecticut and New Hampshire.


The New England Region

Mast, a large vertical post on a ship that helps hold up the sails.

Although New England was a healthier place to live than the South during the 1600s, the colonies in New England did not have good soil. The winters were long and cold. This meant that the growing season was short. Most New England families could grow only enough food to feed themselves. However, the region was rich in other ways. There were great forests and a long coastline with natural harbors for ships. The New England colonists built some of their towns along the coast. These towns became centers for fishing, shipbuilding, and trade.

New Englanders became very good at fishing in the ocean off the coast. This part of the ocean had plenty of fish, especially cod. Cod was tasty, and many people in Europe liked to eat it. The colonists dried the cod so that the meat would not spoil. Then they shipped the cod to England and to the West Indies. Dried cod became to New England what cash crops were to the Southern Colonies.


New Englanders cut timber from the forests for shipbuilding. Tall trees were chopped down to make masts for ships. Carpenters cut and shaped the wood to make other parts of the ships. Sailmakers made the ships’ sails, while blacksmiths made the ships’ anchors. Men called coopers made barrels to hold cargo, food, and fresh water for long voyages.

Harbor Towns
New England harbor towns were busy places. Ships were loaded with dried cod, timber, and furs. The ships sailed to England, the West Indies, or other colonies. Other ships arrived with sugar and enslaved workers. Still, more ships brought tools, glassware, and mail from England. The harbor towns grew faster than the other New England towns. Ships filled with people and their belongings also sailed into the harbor towns. New colonists came to live and work in New England. Fishing and shipbuilding provided jobs for many people. Others found work on the docks and in warehouses.


Chapter Twelve: Living in a Puritan Colony
The Big Question. What was life like for children in a Puritan colony?

Family Life
Families were very important to the Puritans. Puritan parents raised their children according to strict rules.

A School Day
It is the year 1640. We go to Salem, one of the harbor towns in Massachusetts colony. Patience and Hope have just arrived at Mistress Darby’s “dame school.” A dame school is a private school run by a woman teacher. The school is not in a special building like the ones students attend today. It is in Mistress Darby’s own small house. And she is very strict.

Parents pay Mistress Darby to teach their children in her kitchen. That was one of just two rooms in her house. There, Patience and Hope are learning how to read, write, and do arithmetic. The two girls will attend the dame school together for two years. After that they will stay home and learn how to cook, weave, and sew. They will not go to school anymore. Puritan boys, however, will get the chance to continue their education.


Reading and Writing Lessons
The children have spent the morning practicing their ABCs using a hornbook. A hornbook is not really a book. It is a flat board that looks like a paddle. The alphabet is printed on one side. On the other side is a prayer. In the afternoon, the children are beginning to study their only textbook, the New England Primer. It has rhymes that teach the alphabet and spelling words. The Primer also has many prayers, poems, and questions about the Bible. Mistress Darby has told each child to learn certain poems by heart. She expects them to be said perfectly.

“Patience!” Mistress Darby calls sharply. “Repeat your lesson.”

Patience stands and recites, “Be you to others kind and true, as you’d have others be to you: And neither do nor say to men, whate’er you would not take again.” Patience slowly lets out her breath. She has remembered it correctly. Mistress Darby seems satisfied, for now!

Here are two examples of the types of rhymes the children would practice.

In Adams’s Fall, We sinned all. Thy life to men, This Book (the Bible) attend (pay attention to). The Cat doth play, And after slay.

A Dog will bite, A Thief at Night. An Eagle’s flight, Is out of sight. The Idle Fool Is whipped at School.

Finally, it is time to go home. Patience is glad that she remembered her lesson today!


Passing the Meetinghouse

Sermon, a speech on a religious topic given by a religious leader.

Minister, a religious leader, usually in a Protestant church.

After school, Patience and Hope walk home, crossing the large, grassy common. The common is an open pasture that belongs to everyone in the town. The townspeople bring their cows to graze on the common. The children walk past the meetinghouse. On Sundays, every family in Salem must worship there. They listen to long sermons, read from the Bible, and sing hymns. The service lasts all day, and the minister is very serious. His sermons are full of hard words, but Father later explains what the minister has said.

On Sundays, Patience and Hope know that good Puritans are not supposed to do anything except go to the meetinghouse to worship God. They do not even make their beds. Adults do not work, and children certainly are not allowed to play. Last Sunday, Patience and Hope were both punished. They were running and jumping as the townspeople walked home from the meetinghouse.


A Family Home
Now, coming home from school, Patience and Hope reach the door of their small two-story house. The downstairs is one large room. It is called the keeping room. The keeping room is the only room in the house with a fireplace. The fireplace is used for both heating and cooking. It is so big that you can walk right into it and make a small fire in one of the corners! Everyone gathers in the keeping room to eat, to do chores, and to study. In the winter the whole family sleeps here.

The children’s father has just come in from the fields with their big brother, Josiah. Their older sister, Honor, is helping their mother prepare a meal. Patience and Hope do not speak. They know that Puritan fathers expect their children to be silent until he speaks to them first.


An Important Story
Father is telling Josiah how the Puritans came to Massachusetts from England. That was before Patience and Hope were born. “When we lived in England, we Puritans were not happy with the leaders of the Church of England,” Father tells Josiah. Patience and Hope are quiet. They want to hear the story, too, instead of being sent outside to do chores.

Puritan Beliefs
“The Church of England is too fancy. We do not like its stained-glass windows or the organ music that is played during its worship services. We do not like the fancy robes that its ministers must wear. Many Puritans were thrown in jail because they wanted to change the Church of England. So we decided that we would leave England and come to this new land.”


Coming to a New Land

Charter, a document given by a ruler to a group of people that allows them to elect their own government officials.

All the children listen carefully as Father continues his story. “While we were on the ship, Governor Winthrop told us that in Massachusetts we Puritans must be ‘as a city upon a hill.’ That means that we must be an example for people everywhere in the world to follow. We formed a company called the Massachusetts Bay Company. The king gave our company a charter to start our own colony in New England. The king was glad to have us move far away from England. He thought that we were troublemakers. In 1630, eleven ships, carrying more than seven hundred men, women, and children, sailed to New England.”

Working Together
Father continues, “When we arrived, we could see that New England was beautiful. The trees were so green. The forests were full of deer, and the ocean was filled with fish. We worked very hard to settle here.” Father turns to Patience and Hope. “Children,” he says, “you have learned how we Puritans came to New England. But it is time to go back to work. You both have chores to do outside, and I have wood to chop.” The girls smile at their father before racing outside to the garden.


Chapter Thirteen: The Story of Rhode Island
The Big Question. What was the main reason why Roger Williams disagreed with his fellow Puritans?


Shorthand, a system of abbreviations and symbols used to make writing faster.

Household, a house and all of the people who live in it.

An English Man
Roger Williams was born in London, England. As a boy, he learned to write in a special way called shorthand. When he went to church, he used shorthand to write down what the minister said. Roger’s shorthand notes helped him to study the Bible. When Roger grew up, he went to Cambridge University, one of England’s famous schools. During his time at Cambridge, he became a Puritan, and eventually he became a minister.


Wanting Freedom
Roger Williams knew that the king did not like Puritans because they disagreed with the Church of England. Roger Williams worked as a minister in the household of a Puritan who was a member of Parliament. There, he met Puritans who wanted to leave England and live in North America. Roger Williams decided to join the Puritans in Massachusetts. He wanted to be free of the king and the church leaders in England.

However, as you have discovered, the Puritans who traveled to Massachusetts were not Separatists like the Pilgrims in Plymouth. Puritans wanted to change the Church of England by example. In 1631, Roger Williams sailed to Boston, Massachusetts. Governor John Winthrop offered him a job as minister to Boston’s Puritan congregation. Roger Williams now disagreed with his fellow Puritans. He believed that it was time to leave the Church of England. Williams told Governor Winthrop that he could not take the job.


Expressing His Beliefs
Roger Williams found other work as a minister, first in Plymouth, and then in Salem. He spoke out against forcing people to pay taxes to support Puritan congregations. He feared that close ties with the government were harming the Church. He also thought that Puritans were not strict enough in their religious beliefs. Puritan leaders became angry with Roger Williams.

Roger Williams also believed that the king had no right to take land from Native Americans. Williams said that the colonists should pay the Native Americans for any land that they wished to have. Williams became friends with a group of Native Americans. He knew many languages, including Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and he learned their language, too. Williams earned the respect of the Native Americans.


The Puritans Disagree
The Puritans decided to send Roger Williams back to England. It was almost winter, and he was sick. So, Governor Winthrop said that Williams could wait and return to England in the spring. But Williams did not wish to return to England. Instead, he escaped from Massachusetts and went to what is now Rhode Island. There, he spent the winter with his Native American friends, the Wampanoag.

In the spring, some of Williams’s Puritan friends came to help him. He built a house and planted crops. Williams bought land from the Narragansett Native Americans. With his Puritan friends, Roger Williams started a town on that land. He called the town Providence. It was the first town in the colony that would eventually be called Rhode Island.


Where the People Rule
The town of Providence was ruled by the people, not by the members of a religious congregation. People had religious freedom. They were not punished for their beliefs, even if Williams disagreed with them. Unlike in Massachusetts, the people living in Rhode Island were not forced to pay taxes to support the Puritan congregation. In fact, no taxes were paid to any religious group. People of different religions who settled in Providence were responsible for supporting themselves.

Anne Hutchinson
Little by little, more towns were set up near Providence. Like Roger Williams, another famous Puritan moved from Massachusetts to Rhode Island. She was a very brave woman named Anne Hutchinson. Anne Hutchinson always spoke her mind. She read the Bible very carefully. She believed that God inspired her directly. She said that she did not need the Puritan ministers telling her what to believe. Like Roger Williams, Anne did not believe that the Puritans were strict enough in their beliefs. The Puritans did not like having people challenge their religious beliefs, especially a woman.

Like Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson soon got into trouble with Governor Winthrop and the other Puritan leaders. When the Puritan leaders ordered her and her family to leave Massachusetts, her friends helped her start the new town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island.


A Successful Colony
As the number of towns in Rhode Island grew, the people wanted to have their own official colony. Roger Williams traveled to England to ask the king for a charter for the colony. Williams still had friends in Parliament. They helped him get the charter.

People in Rhode Island had more religious freedom than in any other colony. Most of them liked Roger Williams. He was eventually elected president of the colony. Williams worked for the rest of his life to make Rhode Island a good place to live. He worked to keep peace with Native Americans. He treated everyone with kindness and respect. Roger Williams’s ideas about separating religion from government can still be found in our laws today.


Chapter Fourteen: The Middle Colonies
The Big Question. How did the mixing of cultures help the Middle Colonies grow and prosper?


Culture, the language, religion, customs, traditions, and material possessions of a group of people.

Different Colonies
There are still four colonies to learn about. They are New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. These colonies are called the Middle Colonies. Both the Southern Colonies and New England Colonies attracted colonists mostly from England and Scotland. But people from many different parts of Europe came to the Middle Colonies.

Settlers came from Germany, the Netherlands (also called Holland), and Sweden. Some of these people came for religious freedom. Some came to trade with Native Americans. Others looked for farmland to grow crops. To get along, people in the Middle Colonies had to respect each other’s differences. They had to respect the different religions, cultures, and languages.


A Mixing of Cultures

Plow, a tool used to prepare soil for farming.

Colonists from different countries brought unique skills to the Middle Colonies. The Germans were skilled farmers. The Dutch were very good at building wagons and plows. The Swedes built strong log houses. The colonists taught these skills to each other. Sometimes they even shared ways to have fun. For example, the Dutch taught the other colonists about ice skating and bowling. Sharing among different peoples caused cultures to mix. This mixing of cultures helped the Middle Colonies to grow and prosper.


Farming in the Middle Colonies
Like the New England Colonies, the Middle Colonies had large forests. The forests provided lumber for building things like houses and ships. But unlike New England, the Middle Colonies were a good place to farm. The soil was rich. The climate was usually mild. Summers were warm and rainy. Many kinds of crops grew well there.

The early settlers grew different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Farmers grew enough crops to feed their families. They also had enough left over to sell for a profit. Soon farmers grew cash crops just to sell. The main cash crops in the Middle Colonies were grains, such as wheat, rye, and oats. Because the Middle Colonies grew large amounts of grains, they were called the “breadbasket colonies.”


River Highways

Merchant, a person who buys and sells things to earn money.

After the harvest, many farmers took their wheat to a miller. The miller, a person who owns a mill, would then grind the wheat into flour. Now the farmers were ready to sell their flour in markets in big port cities, such as Philadelphia and New York City. But how would they get the flour there?

Farmers in Pennsylvania used the Delaware River to move crops from their farms to Philadelphia. Farmers in New York used the Hudson River to move crops to markets in New York City. Both the Delaware and Hudson rivers are very wide and deep. This made it possible for ships to travel almost one hundred miles upstream.

When the farmers reached Philadelphia or New York City, they sold their flour and other crops to merchants. Sometimes the merchants shipped the crops to other colonies. Other times the merchants shipped the crops to England or other European countries.


Important Cities
New York City and Philadelphia became centers for trade and shipping. They also became centers for the mixing of cultures. People with special skills and new ideas came to these port cities. They started schools, built libraries, and printed newspapers. Over time, different cultures, beliefs, and ideas began to create something entirely new, an American culture.


Chapter Fifteen: New York, A Dutch Settlement
The Big Question. Why was Peter Stuyvesant unable to defend New Amsterdam against the English?

Dutch Culture
The Dutch colonists brought many things to the North American colonies. They brought foods, such as waffles and coleslaw. They brought activities, such as sledding, ice-skating, and bowling. They even brought the idea of Santa Claus. Their colony was located right in the middle of England’s North American colonies. It was between the Puritan towns of New England and the plantations of the Southern Colonies.

An Explorer for the Dutch
It was a pleasant September morning in 1609, about two years after the Jamestown settlers sailed up the James River in Virginia. An explorer sailed his small ship up a wide, deep river. He was looking for a waterway through North America to Asia. The explorer’s name was Henry Hudson. He was an Englishman. But he was working for the Dutch. The river he found is now called the Hudson River.


A Good Trading Post
Henry Hudson did not find a waterway to Asia. Instead he found Native Americans who wanted to trade valuable furs for his tools, weapons, and colorful cloth. Hudson also found dense forests and good land for farming. He claimed a large area of this land for the Dutch. The Dutch decided that the territory would make a great trading post. They called the trading post New Netherland, after their homeland.

In 1621, a group of wealthy Dutchmen formed the Dutch West India Company. The Dutch government gave the Dutch West India Company the right to settle New Netherland and the right to trade with Native Americans. The company named a governor to run the new colony. The colony’s purpose was to make the people who owned the company rich. The company sent a ship to New Netherland with 110 people. The biggest group started a settlement far up the Hudson River in a place that is now Albany, New York. That was as far up the river as oceangoing ships could sail. It was a good place to buy furs from the Native Americans, especially the Haudenosaunee. Furs sold for very high prices in Europe. A smaller group settled on Manhattan, an island at the mouth of the Hudson River. This small group built a fort on the island.


Buying an Island
The next year more people came to the Island of Manhattan. They built a town that they called New Amsterdam, after the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The governor of New Netherland was a Walloon named Peter Minuit. He thought that it was a good idea to buy the whole island from the Native Americans. The governor offered some cloth, knives, beads, and other small things to the Native Americans in exchange for Manhattan Island. The total value of everything the governor offered was said to be about $24. The governor probably thought that he had done very well in the trade. The Native Americans probably thought that they had done very well, too. Native Americans did not think about owning land in the same way as Europeans. They did not think that land could be owned by anyone. They believed that they were giving the land to the Dutch to use, not to possess.


Settling New Amsterdam
The Dutch built houses, streets, and public buildings in New Amsterdam. The houses that they built were tall and narrow with steep roofs. They looked like houses back in the Netherlands. The Dutch built a wall across the island at one end of the town. Outside the wall, they started farms that they called “bouweries.” The Dutch worked in their new town. They also loved to have fun. Boys and girls in New Amsterdam went to school year-round.

The Dutch settlers even had special holidays. One of their holidays was called First Skating Day. That was the first day that the ponds were frozen hard enough for ice skating. On that day, the schools closed and the whole town went ice skating.


A Tolerant People and a Harsh Leader

“Freedom of religion,” (phrase) the ability to practice any religion without fear of punishment.

Most Dutch people were tolerant. They invited people from other countries to move to New Amsterdam. Peter Stuyvesant was named the second governor of New Amsterdam. Stuyvesant had a wooden leg. If he did not get his way, he would stamp his wooden leg and swear. Stuyvesant disliked anyone who disagreed with him. When someone disagreed with him, he threatened to ship the person back to the Netherlands, in pieces.

New Amsterdam was doing well, but it was growing quite slowly. Most of the Dutch people back in the Netherlands were happy. They did not want to move to America. They had jobs and they had freedom of religion. Very few wanted to travel thousands of miles to start over in New Netherland.


The English Take Over
Life was very different for the people who lived in England in the 1600s. They had many good reasons to leave. The king wanted an English colony, not a Dutch colony, between the New England Colonies and the Southern Colonies. New Amsterdam was valuable because it was the gateway to the Hudson River, a valuable trade route.

In 1664, a war started between England and the Netherlands. The king of England gave his brother the job of taking New Netherland from the Dutch. The king promised his brother, the Duke of York, that he could have the colony if he was successful. The Duke of York sent warships and several hundred soldiers to New Amsterdam. As the ships sailed into the harbor, the English prepared to fight.

Peter Stuyvesant became very angry. He wanted to fight the English, but he could not. First, he did not have enough gunpowder to fire his cannons. Second, he did not have enough soldiers to defend the town. And finally, almost everyone In New Amsterdam refused to help him. They wanted him to surrender. That way, no one would get hurt. Peter Stuyvesant had no choice but to surrender. The English took the colony of New Netherland without firing a single shot.


The English and Dutch Get Along
The Dutch and the English got along well in the New York colony. The people continued to work hard, but they also had fun. The Dutch and the English even shared the church buildings for religious services. The English allowed freedom of religion, just like the Dutch. They even allowed Peter Stuyvesant to stay, but he was not in charge anymore. He became a farmer on Manhattan Island.

New York City
Today, New Amsterdam is called New York City. The place where the Dutch built their wall is still known as Wall Street. That wall was built to keep farm animals from wandering into the town. In the tall buildings along Wall Street today, businesses make deals worth millions, even billions, of dollars every day. The area where the Dutch had their farms, or bouweries, is now called the Bowery. Amsterdam Avenue is a very busy street in New York City. High schools, parks, and even a neighborhood are even named after Peter Stuyvesant.


Chapter Sixteen: William Penn and the Quakers
The Big Question. Why might Philadelphia have been a place that Europeans would want to move to?

An Important Letter
William Penn sat at his desk in his large house in England. He looked down at the charter in front of him. The king of England had signed this conveyance. It was dated 1681. The charter gave William Penn the dispensation that he needed to start a colony in North America. The name of the colony would be Pennsylvania, which means “Penn’s Woods.”

Before he left England, there was a day when Penn was composing a letter to the Native Americans who lived in his new colony. First, Penn disclosed to the Native Americans that he and his colonists would resettle in North America soon. They planned to arrive in the summer of 1682. Next, Penn told the Native Americans that he knew they had been mistreated by English colonists in the past. He promised that the Pennsylvania colonists would be kind and principled. Any colonist who harmed Native Americans would be castigated. Penn ended his letter by saying that he had a great love and reverence for the Native Americans, and he hoped to win their love and solidarity.


Quaker Beliefs

Aristocracy, the upper or noble class whose members’ status is usually inherited.

William Penn was a Quaker. The Quakers belonged to a religious group called the Society of Friends. The Quakers’ way of worship was very different from worship in the Church of England. The Quakers did not have ministers who gave sermons. When the Quakers met in their meetinghouses, they prayed silently. During the meeting, anyone who felt inspirited by God could stand up and expatiate on their thoughts.

The Friends believed that all people were equal and should be shown deference. One of their key assertions was that the aristocracy was no better than other people. But the aristocracy in England was not in concurrence with that view. They expected everyone to genuflect to them and call them “my lord” or “my lady.” Because the Bible says, “Thou shalt not kill,” the Quakers also alleged that all wars were wrong. The Quakers would not enlist in armies or fight wars.


Hard Times for the Quakers
The Quakers had many detractors in England. Some would expound sentiments that the Friends were agitators. The government had enmity for them because they said that war was wrong. The Church of England had an aversion to the Quakers’ religious tenets. As a result, many Quakers were immured for their beliefs. Life in England became harder and harder for the Society of Friends. William Penn was perhaps the best-known Quaker in England. Because of his Quaker beliefs, Penn had also been sent to jail manifold times.

Settling Pennsylvania
William Penn was a good person to lead a colony. He was a lawyer and a town planner. He was also a just man who treated all people fairly. Penn called his colony a “holy experiment.” He wanted Pennsylvania to be a place where Quakers and other religious groups could live together harmoniously. Penn also opened his new colony to people who were not Quakers. To advertise his colony, Penn printed booklets. In these handbills, he told about the beauty of the land, and he promised religious freedom for everyone who settled in Pennsylvania.


Planning Philadelphia

Stockade, a defensive wall, usually made from stakes or poles driven into the ground.

Penn helped design the city of Philadelphia, the first major city in Pennsylvania. In Greek, the name Philadelphia means “brotherly love.” This was an apposite name for the Quaker city. William Penn’s plan for the city looked like a checkerboard. He laid out the streets in that pattern. He gave numbers to all the streets that ran from north to south. Penn gave tree names, like Pine and Walnut to streets that ran from east to west. He put in a central square where people could meet. He planned many parks and gardens.

Penn did not have walls or stockades built around Philadelphia. He said that it was a city where everyone would live in peace. Soon, other colonial towns used Penn’s city plan as an example. Philadelphia grew very quickly. The colonists could not build houses fast enough. Some colonists had to live in caves along the banks of the Delaware River while they built their houses!

William Penn soon returned to England. He spent less than four years of his life in Pennsylvania. He spent most of his time in England, advocating for the rights of the settlers in Pennsylvania.


Delaware Valley Settlers
People from all over Europe settled in Pennsylvania for many reasons. They came for religious freedom. They came because they could afford to buy the rich farmland, and the climate was mild for farming. They came for the promise of good trade. They also came because the colony was at peace with Native Americans.

Two other Middle Colonies were also located along the Delaware River Valley. They were New Jersey and Delaware. Before William Penn’s colony, Dutch and Swedish settlements existed in this area. When England took over New Netherland and renamed it New York, the king made New Jersey an English colony, too. At the outset of the 1700s, some Pennsylvania settlers formed the new colony of Delaware.




Independence, freedom from the control of a person or group of people.

It did not take long for Philadelphia to become an important city in the colonies. Philadelphia was a busy port and trading center. Land in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey was highly arable. Farms blossomed in all three colonies. Farmers sold their crops in Philadelphia. Ships loaded with flour, grains, and dried fruit sailed to other seaports in the colonies. The ships also sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to England and Europe.


Because there was so much trade in Philadelphia, there were many kinds of jobs. People worked as farmers, bakers, blacksmiths, toolmakers, tailors, and glassmakers. People also worked as teachers, printers, booksellers, and lawyers.

As Philadelphia grew, the city built paved streets and raised sidewalks with curbs. At night, lamps burned whale oil to light the main streets. Most people in Philadelphia lived in small brick houses. But in the 1700s, a few wealthy people built big houses. They filled them with beautiful furniture and art.

Because of trade and the mixing of cultures, Philadelphia became a great center for new ideas. As time went on, people in Philadelphia built a college, a theater, and America’s first hospital. They also built a museum, a public library, and started a scientific society. By 1776, when the American colonies rebelled against British rule and declared their independence, Philadelphia was the largest city in the thirteen colonies. In fact, it was the second-largest English-speaking city in the whole world, after London!


Aristocracy, the upper or noble class whose members’ status is usually inherited.

Cargo ship, a large boat used to carry things from one place to another to be bought and sold.
Cash crop, a crop that is grown to be sold.
Charter, a document given by a ruler to a group of people that allows them to elect their own government officials.
“Common house,” (phrase) a building used for meetings and worship.
Congregation, a group of people who gather for the purpose of religious worship.
Contract, a written or spoken agreement, usually about business.
Council, group of people who meet to help run a government.
Crop, a plant that is grown in large quantities for food or other use.
Culture, the language, religion, customs, traditions, and material possessions of a group of people.

Debt, something that is owed, such as money.
Deck, the floor of a ship that people walk on.
Disease, sickness.

“Freedom of religion,” (phrase) the ability to practice any religion without fear of punishment.

Gentleman, a man with high position in society; not a laborer.
Governor, a person appointed by the king to oversee and make decisions in a region or colony.
Gunpowder, an explosive material used to make guns shoot.

Harbor, a part of a body of water that is next to land and provides a safe place for ships to anchor.
Harvest, the crops collected at the end of a growing season.
Household, a house and all of the people who live within it.

Indentured servant, a person who owes an employer a certain amount of work for a certain amount of time in exchange for some benefit.
Independence, freedom from the control of a person or group of people.

Mast, a large vertical post on a ship that helps hold up the sails.
Merchant, a person who buys and sells things to earn money.
Middle Passage, the forced voyage made by enslaved Africans from Africa to the American colonies.
Minister, a religious leader, usually in a Protestant church.

Official, a person who carries out a government duty.

Palisade, a fence made from wooden or metal stakes driven into the ground.
Parliament, a group made up of representatives and the king or queen, who make the laws for a country; a term used especially in England to describe the lawmaking part of the government.
Plow, a tool used to prepare soil for farming.
Pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
Profit, the money that is made by a business once all expenses have been paid.
Protestant, a person who follows the teachings of a Christian church that separated from the Roman Catholic Church.

Region, a large area that may have certain characteristics related to its geography, form of government, or traditions that set it apart from other places.
Roman Catholic, a person who follows the teachings of the Catholic Church, a Christian church that has its headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Self-government, the ability of people to rule themselves and make their own laws.
Sermon, a speech on a religious topic given by a religious leader.
Shorthand, a system of abbreviations and symbols used to make writing faster.
Stockade, a defensive wall, usually made from stakes or poles driven into the ground.

Tidal marsh, an area of soft wet land where water levels are the result of the rise and fall of a river or ocean.
Timber, wood that is cut from trees and used for building, also called lumber.
Tobacco, a plant whose leaves are used for chewing or smoking.
Toleration, acceptance of different beliefs or practices.
Trader, a person who buys and sells things.

Vote, to make a decision as a group, usually by casting ballots, raising hands, or speaking aloud.

Well, a hole dug deep into the ground to get water.

Illustration subtitles. The first English settlers hoped to find a new life in the colonies. Some people hoped to become very rich in this new land. Even though it was not easy to live in the colonies, many people believed they would have a better life. The English colonies were divided into three regions. Because of the climate and soil, wheat grew well in the Middle Colonies. In 1607, ships carried the first English settlers, such as Hannah’s Uncle Thomas, to North America. The passengers were happy to leave their ships after such a long voyage. John Smith knew that it was important to prepare for the cold winter months. John Smith taught people in Jamestown how to survive. New houses were built within the fort. A gunpowder explosion in Jamestown injured Captain Smith. Many people died from the cold and hunger during the Starving Time. Pocahontas hoped to make peace with the English settlers. A bad storm threatened the ships. The Catch sank to the bottom of the ocean. Growing tobacco made Virginia a rich colony. The Native American princess met the king of England. The king rewarded George Calvert’s service by giving Calvert land in America. The colonists had continued to live in traditional Native American wigwams. Many of the first colonists became sick and died. Enslaved people were brought from Africa to grow tobacco in North America. Captain Jones will sail to the West Indies, England, Africa, and then back to Charleston. He will take lumber and cattle to the West Indies. In England, he will unload cargo and load other goods. In Africa, he will take on enslaved African workers. Trade was an important part of the developing economy in the South. Enslaved Africans were transported from Africa to North America. They were packed onto ships that sailed thousands of miles across the ocean. Plantations depended on the hard labor of enslaved workers. In England, people often went to jail for a long time if they could not pay their debts. Sometimes they were there until they died. James Oglethorpe respected Native Americans. The Pilgrims thought long and hard about making the dangerous voyage to North America. The Mayflower was meant to carry goods, not people. By signing the Mayflower Compact, the Pilgrims were agreeing to work together in the new land. The Pilgrims were ready to begin a new life. Despite the cold, wintry conditions, the men and boys set to work building houses. Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn and how to trade with other Native Americans. Boys and girls worked very hard in Plymouth. Everyone had to help prepare for winter. The Pilgrims and Native American friends gathered to celebrate the colony’s first year. John Winthrop had a plan for the Puritans who traveled to America. Life in Puritan towns centered around the town meetinghouse. Generally, most people lived close to this house of worship. Making barrels was an important skill. Mistress Darby teaches children in her home. Rhymes like these helped children learn their ABCs. The minister is an important member of the community. Just like all Puritan children, Patience and Hope had chores to do. As a young boy, Roger spent a lot of time studying. Before the Puritans could send Roger Williams back to England, he escaped in the middle of the night. Puritan leaders did not like that Anne Hutchinson disagreed with them. Not all the people who came to the Middle Colonies spoke the same language. They also had different religions and customs. After the wheat was harvested, it was brought to a mill. Early mills were often powered by water. People from all over brought their ideas and traditions to the Middle Colonies. The Dutch colonists brought new foods to North America, such as waffles and coleslaw. The Dutch traded with Native Americans for the island of Manhattan. The Duke of York sent several hundred soldiers to capture New Amsterdam for England. Peter Stuyvesant was forced to surrender New Netherland to the English. William Penn wanted to treat the Native Americans fairly and with respect. William Penn, like many other Quakers, was put in prison for his religious beliefs. William Penn made a city plan for Philadelphia that included parks and gardens. Many skilled people worked in Philadelphia.

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 98 – Properties Of Matter

NEW WORDS: Dmitri, Mackintosh, Maya’s, Mendeleev, Prine, Zhou, advantageous, binder, carted, categorizing, conundrum, cumulonimbus, deluging, descriptive, dousing, encircling, ennui, funereal, glacial, grams, gushing, liquid’s, looseleaf, milliliter, milliliters, obversely, overshoes, potholes, precipitating, reexamine, residences, reversed, reversible, saturating, semitransparent, sequoia, solid’s, stapler, transparency, treacherous, unmistakably


Chapter One: Where Did the Salt Go?
It was a funereal and chilly Saturday, and Maya looked out the window, filled with ennui. Rain was deluging from the sky, gushing down the sidewalk, and saturating the potholes in the street. She wished that the rain would stop, because she really wanted to go outside and play. Maya’s mom came into the room and said, “Honey, it is going to get glacial later, and the rain will turn into ice, and the front sidewalk will be treacherous to walk on. Can you please go to the shed and get some sidewalk salt, because the salt will help to keep the sidewalk from becoming icy and slippery.”

Maya liked to help her parents, so, she put on her mackintosh and overshoes and headed outside into the rain. She found a bucket of sidewalk salt in the shed and tried to lift it, but it was too heavy. She looked around and found a paper bag with handles, which would be easier for her to carry. She used a small shovel to fill the bag with salt and then carted the bag to the front sidewalk. She would reexamine the weather conditions again in a few hours.

Later that afternoon, Maya looked outside again, and she could tell that it was unmistakably colder, and snowflakes were now mixing with the rain. It was time to spread the salt. But when Maya got outside, she saw that the paper bag was very wet. It had turned to mush, and the salt was almost gone, too. She wondered how this could have happened!


Chapter Two: What Is Matter?
Look around your desk or table. What is on it, and what is in it? You may have a stapler, a looseleaf binder, scissors, pencils, glue, and colored markers, and all of these objects look and feel different. They have varied uses, but they all have one thing in common. They are made up of “something.” They are made of “stuff.” Another word for “stuff” of any kind is “matter.” Matter is the “stuff” that is all around you. It is anything that takes up space. Matter can be as small as a grain of sand, or it can be as large as a sequoia tree. It can be as light as a feather, or a cumulonimbus cloud, or even air. But it can be as heavy as a boulder, too. Sand is matter, people’s hands are matter, tree leaves are matter. So are tree trunks and branches, feathers, and the air encircling you that you cannot see. Rocks are matter, and so are people and clothes.

You can see and touch some kinds of matter, and you can sometimes smell and taste it. You can measure matter. You can use different words to describe it. Name three things in this photo that are matter. What are some words that you can use to describe ice cream? Can you think of some examples of matter from the story about Maya and her bag of salt? Salt is matter; rain, ice, and snow are matter; sidewalks and houses are matter. Even Maya herself is matter. All of these things take up space.


Chapter Three: What Are the Different Kinds of Matter?
You know that rain is matter. You also know that rocks are matter. But they are different kinds of matter. It helps if you are categorizing matter into varied types. Scientists group matter by whether it is a solid, a liquid, or a gas. These terms are all called “states of matter.” There are three states of matter in this picture. Can you tell what they are? Read on to learn more about them.

Solids. A solid is matter that has its own shape. If you put a solid in a container, such as a bucket or a bag, its shape will stay the same. It does not change shape to fill the container. Wood is a solid, so logs stay the same shape, whether they are in the container or not. Wood blocks remain the same shape, whether they are in a bucket or not. An apple is a solid, and a book is a solid.

Solids can be rough or smooth, and they can be shiny or dull. They can be soft or hard, and they can be stiff, or easy to bend. They can be long, short, light, or heavy. Solids can be all different colors, or they can be semitransparent. What are some ways that you can describe these solid objects?


Liquids. A liquid is a type of matter that does not have its own shape. It will fill the inside shape of any container it is in. A liquid also flows, or spreads from one place to another. Water and oil are some liquids. Honey poured onto pancakes flows into a different shape. Olive oil is liquid, and it flows and takes the shape of the bowl that it’s in.

You can see through some liquids, like water. Other liquids, like dark oil, are hard to see through. Liquids can be thick or thin, and they can be warm or cold. They can be any color. Some liquids have a smell, while others do not. How would you describe the liquids that you see here?


Gases. Like a liquid, a gas does not have a fixed shape, and a gas takes the shape of its container. But unlike a liquid, a gas can spread out in every direction and can fill an entire container. A gas can even escape a container that is not closed. The air that you breathe is a gas. It fills the space around you. The matter inside balloons is a gas. It spreads out to fill the inside of the balloons, no matter how they are shaped.

Many gases are invisible, like air. Some gases have an odor, while others do not smell at all. The bubbles are filled with air, and that air is gas. The gases that come out of a volcano smell awful, and they are poisonous and dangerous to breathe.

Now, think again of the story about Maya and her bag of salt. What are some solids, liquids, and gases in the story? Keep reading to help Maya solve the conundrum of the disappearing salt.


Chapter Four: You Can Measure Matter
You can observe matter to help you describe it, and you can measure matter, too. You can find out how large or small it is, and you can find out how light or heavy it is. You can find out how full or empty a container of matter is. Different tools measure different kinds of matter. A ruler is too short to measure the length of this dog. What are the people using instead?

Measuring Solids. There are many ways to measure solids. You can measure a solid’s height to find out how tall it is. You can measure its weight to find out how heavy it is. You can measure a solid’s width to find out how wide it is. Then you can use this information to help you describe it. Rulers and measuring tapes are marked in inches and centimeters. They can tell you the height, length, and width of a solid object. A scale shows pounds and ounces, or grams, thus, it measures weight. A scale is descriptive for how light or heavy something is.


Measuring Liquids. Liquids flow, thus, they do not have a shape, so, you can’t measure a liquid’s length or width. Instead, you measure how much space a liquid takes up. This is called “volume.” Words that describe volume include liter, cup, pint, quart, and gallon. This container measures in milliliters, and one milliliter is a very small amount of liquid. You can buy milk in pints, quarts, half-gallons, and gallons.

Measuring Gases. Most gases are invisible, so, you are probably wondering how you can measure something that you can’t see or hold. Gases are measured the same way liquids are. They are measured by the amount of space they take up. This measurement is the volume of a gas. Which beach ball holds the larger volume of air?


Chapter Five: Matter Has Properties
How can you describe the materials that were used to make this snowman? The snow is white and cold, and the carrot is long and pointy. The scarf is red, white, blue, and soft, and the mouth and arms are thin and brown. These are called “properties.” Properties of matter are details that you can observe, plus, you can measure many properties.

Weight is a property that you can describe, and color is a property of matter. Size and shape are properties of matter, and the way that matter feels is a property, too. You use your senses to observe matter, so, you can record data about matter, and then you can group matter by its properties.


What are some different ways that you can group these objects? Properties make matter useful for certain things. Water is wet, and it’s good at dousing out fires. Glue is sticky, and it is used to hold things together. Glass is see-through, and its transparency is perfect for making lenses in eyeglasses. Bricks and wood are hard and strong, and they are used to build residences.

Do you remember what happened to Maya’s paper bag in the story? The bag got wet, and then it turned to mush. That is because paper is thin and soft, and water can leak through it and make it softer. Paper is not a good material for storing things outdoors. Look at the containers below and see what materials they are made of. Which ones could have been more advantageous for holding Maya’s salt? What properties make a material a better choice.


Chapter Six: Heating and Cooling Matter
In the first part of the story, it was precipitating at Maya’s house. Then it got colder, and the rain started to turn to snow, because a change in temperature occurred. Temperature is a measure of how hot or cold something is. It snows when the temperature of the air is cold enough.

Temperature is measured in “degrees,” and you can measure it with a tool called a “thermometer.” This thermometer has two scales. One scale is degrees “Celsius,” and the other scale is degrees “Fahrenheit.” What is the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit? What is the temperature in degrees Celsius?

Making matter warmer or cooler causes changes to its properties. Warming can change matter from a solid to a liquid, and cooling can change matter from a liquid to a solid. Warming can change matter from a liquid to a gas. Heating a solid can change it to a liquid. You can see this change when you melt butter in a pan.

But obversely, heating some liquids can actually change them into solids. You can see this change when you fry an egg, or when you bake cake batter. Heating a liquid can also change it to a gas. Steam above boiling water is a sign of this change.


Changes happen when you cool matter, too. Cooling can change a liquid to a solid. You can see this change when you fill an ice cube tray with water. When you take it out of the freezer, the water is solid ice. Icicles are solid water, and they form when cold air changes the liquid water that drips from the roof.

Sometimes, changes are reversible. That means that matter can go back and forth from one state to another. Heating can melt solid chocolate into a liquid, but cooling can change it back to solid chocolate again. But sometimes changes cannot be reversed. A cooked pancake cannot be changed back to liquid batter. Water can be a solid, a liquid, or a gas.

Heating and cooling cause matter to change its state. Some matter changes states more easily than other matter. Water very easily changes among all three states. It changes and then can easily change back again. When liquid water is heated, it changes to a gas called “water vapor.” When liquid water cools, it becomes a solid, which is ice. Ice changes back to liquid water when heat is added again. This canal is ice now, but in warmer temperatures, it will change to liquid water. This river is liquid now, but in colder temperatures, it will change to solid ice.


Chapter Seven: What Can We Make from Matter?
We use matter to make the things that we use each day. Look at the pictures and see if you can name some different kinds of matter that  each object is made from? The objects that we use each day have a purpose. Sometimes they help meet a need. Sometimes they help make a job easier. Sometimes they are just for fun. Engineers design things that people use. They choose matter that is best for each object’s purpose. Rubber makes this ball bounce, so the ball works great for kickball!

Some objects that people build and use are made with just one kind of matter. This tank is a home for fish, and it must be see-through so that people can see inside. It must be strong so that it can hold a lot of water. The container cannot get soft when it is wet. Glass is matter that is best suited for a fish tank.


Other objects that people build and use are made from different kinds of matter. Some objects are made of many parts, and each part is made from matter that is best suited for its purpose. The different parts work together. They help the object work the way that it is supposed to. When many small parts are put together, they can make something big. Sometimes these objects can be taken apart again, and sometimes they cannot. This house is big, though it is made from many small bricks.

Here are more objects that are made from many small parts. Compare them and think about how they are the same. Contrast them and think about how they are different. What kinds of matter are the objects made from? Which objects can be taken apart and put back together again?


Chapter Eight: Science in Action. Meeting a Materials Scientist
At school, Maya tells her teacher about the dissolving salt and the soggy paper bag. Mr. Prine asks the class, “Why did the paper turn to mush? Where did the salt go?” Mr. Prine explains that salt and paper have properties that make water affect them in different ways. He says, “When paper gets wet, it turns to mush. Water breaks salt down into very small bits. How do people figure out what different materials will do in different situations?”

Mr. Prine asks his friend, Dr. Zhou, to talk with the class on a video call. He is a materials scientist, and he explains, “Materials scientists study the properties of all types of matter. We investigate different materials to figure out how they can be useful. We also design new materials that work for special tasks. We design materials to solve problems and to meet needs.”


Dr. Zhou tells the class that he studies plastics to find ways to keep Earth safe. When people throw plastic away, it stays in landfills for a very long time. Dr. Zhou wants to design a plastic that can break down quickly. He wants to design a material that will not pollute Earth the same way that plastic does. He explains that the new material must feel and look like plastic. It must be able to be used like plastic. But it also has to be easily broken down by tiny living things in the soil. Dr. Zhou tells the class that he will design and test his solutions until he finds one that works.

Dr. Zhou explains that many scientists before him have been studying types of matter for a very long time. He builds on what he has learned from their work. Scientists long ago started by learning about the different types of matter that are found in nature. Dr. Zhou tells the students that his work depends on what he learned from the earlier work of a scientist named Dmitri Mendeleev. Mendeleev was one of the first people to sort and group types of matter called “elements.” He did so in a way that made them easy to understand.



Dmitri Mendeleev. Dmitri Mendeleev was a chemist in the 1800s. He studied elements. Elements are the most basic types of matter. Mendeleev listed the properties of each element. His list allowed him to group those elements together. Eventually, Mendeleev turned his list into what called the “periodic table of elements.” This is a critical thing to know about when one studies the science of “chemistry.”

The periodic table is a chart. It displays elements in rows and columns instead of as one long list. The arrangement groups elements by their similar properties. The types of matter in the same color on this table have something in common. For example, all the types of matter colored gold on the table are metal. Gold and silver are two types of matter in that bunch. People around the world today still use the periodic table to understand types of matter. It now contains 118 elements. How many groups of different colors can you count?


Lesson 99 – Inf./Deriv. Vocabulary Builder

NEW WORDS: Aborigine, Archie, Avengers, Axel, Bertie, Congresswoman, Edna, Elmo, Elon, Emil, Hugh, Joab, Kyla, Lacy, Lara, Lena, Lexi, Megan’s, Olaf, Oren, Remy, Santana’s, Stef, Thad, Tige, Toya, Vigo, Yankees, Yoji, Yorkshire, Yves, Zena, adjourned, adore, airdropping, airway, allied, anchorwomen, backboard, backdrops, backlight, backrests, backtalk, bedrest, belie, belied, belies, believers, belittle, belittled, belittles, belittling, belying, blackballers, blackballing, blackmailed, blackmailer, blackmailers, blackmailing, blitzes, boardroom, boardrooms, boardwalks, bonuses, bracelets, byline, bylines, cabin’s, checker, clothesline, clotheslines, complexions, coupons, creaming, cutaway, cutlets, daydreamer, dayflies, daylong, daytimes, deadlines, deathbed, deathbeds, deathblow, deathblows, deathwatch, deathwatches, decorates, division’s, doers, doorbusters, doorkeepers, doormat, doormats, doorstops, drinkers, earmark, earmarking, earmarks, emailed, emailing, exams, facedowns, feedlot, feedlots, filly, floodlight, floodlights, flycatcher, folksy, foodie, foodies, formats, formatted, formatting, framed, froglike, frogman, frogmen, gamekeepers, getaways, givebacks, godchildren, graffiti, grandfathers, grants, greener, greenhouses, greenskeeper, groundskeeper, groundwater, hairline, hairlines, handshake, handyman, handymen, hardcover, hatboxes, headboards, highlanders, highlife, hitter, homemaker, homeschool, homeschooling, hotcake, hotcakes, hotdogs, hotheaded, hotheads, hotlines, iceboat, icehouse, icehouses, icemakers, ices, impractical, inlander, inlet, inlets, johnnycakes, kindest, landlords, landside, lastly, layouts, leaderboards, leadoff, leaks, learners, lefties, leftist, leftists, lefty, legally, lifeboat, lifeboats, lifeline, lifelines, lifework, lighters, lightest, lineage, lineages, linebackers, linemen, linesman, linesmen, listeners, littler, livers, longtime, lookalike, lookalikes, lookouts, lookup, lookups, lordly, lordships, lovebird, lovesick, lowlifes, madder, maddest, madhouse, madhouses, madmen, madwoman, madwomen, mailboxes, mailed, mailer, mailers, mailing, mailmen, mails, manages, manpower, marksman, marksmanship, marksmen, markup, markups, meanie, meanies, messaged, messaging, nightlife, nightlong, nomad, occupancy, offline, outdated, outhouses, outjumping, outlaid, outlay, outlaying, outlays, outlooks, overhunt, overhunting, overhunts, overlord, overlords, overworked, paperback, payers, penthouse, placemat, placemats, plane’s, playbook, playlands, playtimes, realtor, rebels, rebounded, receding, redline, redlined, redlines, redlining, renovate, rundowns, runways, shortcuts, sideline, sidelined, sidelining, skylights, skylines, slackers, spooks, spotlight, spotlights, stepchildren, taillights, timelines, topline, townhome, townhomes, townhouse, townhouses, tycoon, vigil, walkabout, warden, warlord, warlords, washboards, waterline, waterlines, watermark, watermarks, westerns, whisk, whiteboard, workarounds, yearlong


He breathed in the icy air.

The groundwater level is low.

Which of these layouts do you prefer?

I ate three hotdogs.

Those drinkers called a cab.

I’m worried about the freeway traffic.

They’re bobbing for apples.

I’m taken aback at your ugly comments.

I love walking along boardwalks.

We buy honey from that beekeeper.

She’s aging gracefully.

It’s now out in paperback.

Attack their airfields first.

Steer clear of that beehive.

I got As on my exams.

These are cozy bedcovers.

That gelato is so creamy!

She’s a heavy-hitter in their industry.

Don’t give me any backtalk!

Can a bedbug hurt you?

The clothes are drying.

That was the kindest comment!

Boxers are known for their facedowns.


I found out about it, anyway.

Your aunt’s coming to visit!

The Red Sox are creaming the Yankees.

We need a flycatcher in the kitchen.

Mom’s browning the chicken.

I hate that blackballing monster!

You’ll see dayflies at the lake.

I hate when the front window ices up.

An Aborigine often goes on a walkabout.

I’m afraid that this rash is hives.

We’ll meet in the Boardroom.

This info is way outdated.

You look chipper today!

The farmlands are getting good rain.

We should homeschool our son.

The doctor ordered bedrest.

I ducked when the bat flew by.

And lastly, tell your sister you’re sorry!

A bluebell is such a pretty flower.

She’s been near the top of many leaderboards this year.

Bertie, can you help me lift the mattress?

We hire doers, not slackers!

I’ll let you meet her new boyfriend.


Are you onboard with the plan?

Why does Granny have so many hatboxes?

I’ve adjusted the landside on the plow.

Their horse gave birth to a filly.

They fed the baby bird with a dropper.

This has been the driest of summers!

Our golf course hired a new greenskeeper.

Put doorstops at all the back doors.

I’ve never met a braver soldier.

Those bigmouths are just full of hot air.

Your daughter dances wondrously.

Those mountain backdrops make for a lovely view.

A fox crept around the henhouse.

Let’s brainstorm on the whiteboard.

He’s gotten quite beefy!

There are two greenhouses on the farm.

We should broadcast that song on the airway.

He comes from an ancestry of gamekeepers.

Are you homeschooling your kids?

She quickly forgave him.

I don’t need that, but thanks anyhow!

Before refrigerators, you needed icehouses.

The artists designed a great backdrop for the play.


We are believers about global warming!

His hotheaded reply got him in trouble.

These backrests might help on a long drive.

Our kids love to go to various playlands.

This plan has too many downsides.

We toured the icehouse at the old plantation.

Everybody’s coming!

Grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence.

I bet he overhunts in this forest.

The old airfield was covered with weeds.

Hotheads thrive on stirring up trouble.

Yum, hotcakes for breakfast!

That hilltop is about a 2-mile hike.

That’s no one else’s business!

Come here, little pussycat!

I bet that outhouses smelled really bad.

He clucked just like a chicken.

We framed this photo as a gift.

We made a deal, so no givebacks!

Icemakers are included in these refrigerators.

After just two weeks away, she was homesick.

This new material is very long-lasting.

She decorates in a folksy-looking way.


Mom tossed the hotcake in the air.

Can you jump high enough to touch the backboard?

Congresswoman, you will have our strong backing!

We got two doorbusters on Black Friday!

We’ll discuss this more in the daytime.

She’s sending all these barbs to me in her emails.

That hunter whistles a realistic birdcall.

We had a brutal daylong meeting at work.

The issue snowballed when he would not apologize.

We’re bringing in an experienced groundskeeper.

That was one of our most relaxing getaways ever.

I adore my godchildren.

His stepchildren despise him.

They put on the grandest of parties.

We counted 30 grandfathers at the school play.

Their new pet is an annoying little beastie.

That sunflower is gigantic!

Hotel doorkeepers are a thing of the past.

They’re airdropping food to the refugees.

I splurged and bought the hardcover edition.

That’s one of the smartest workarounds I’ve seen.

That’s a conference for TV anchorwomen.

Megan’s outjumping Larry on the trampoline.


That inlander would not have a clue how to cook lobster.

They stopped overhunting, and the normal population rebounded.

The Senators kicked off the environmental hearings this week.

They put in much better headboards in the gym over the summer.

The Game Warden says it’s dumb to overhunt nature’s creatures.

Boardrooms across the U.S. are concerned about this new law.

There’s no better breakfast than bacon and johnnycakes.

My cousin is an impractical daydreamer.

I need a checker to help me with my inventory count.

Find some kinds of coverings to keep this stuff dry.

The teacher snapped, “Archie, stop daydreaming!”

My uncle’s in northern Canada, on the crew of an iceboat.

Those blackballers have thrown out the smartest people.

She was a homemaker until her kids reached high school.

Cleaning clothes with washboards must have been hard.

The townsfolk think that the old mansion on the hill is haunted.

The movie director put a cutaway shot in here.

Those highlanders have ruddy complexions.

He suffered through long daytimes until his fever broke.

Farmer Brown went to the feedlot.

Please email Nina about the Zoom call.

He collected a list of their bylines and accused them of “fake news.”

We’re locking down the budget this week.


I was done a day before the deadline.

His marksmanship earned him a Gold Medal.

Poor Joey has bulging, froglike eyes.

Schedule calls so that I can hear each Division’s rundowns.

Both of these lighters are out of fluid.

I bet that one of the linebackers blitzes on this play.

Have you seen the film, “Silver Linings Playbook?”

Santana’s hair style makes him a lookalike with Einstein.

She’s a lifelong learner!

Fess and Kaki are madly in love.

During the Great Plague, entire towns were on constant deathwatches.

It’s unkind to belittle other folks.

They’ll spend a lot to decorate their new townhouse.

We’re outlaying three million dollars to renovate our headquarters.

Without her leadership, they would not have won the game.

You are legally bound to do this.

Emil has a reputation as a blackmailer.

For foodies, this town has great places to dine out.

The economic outlooks suggest a recession.

Get this mailing out on Thursday!

Lech, I didn’t know you were a lefty!

I like your cheerful new summer placemats.

We look forward to a manned voyage to Mars.


There are enough lifeboats on the cruise ship.

Kyla and Lara are lookalikes.

That realtor is an expert on nearby townhomes.

It took four strong men to whisk away the madwoman.

Those funds are earmarked for bonuses.

She’s sidelining as a jewelry consultant.

I’m tired of emailing Dean about this.

I know his secret, and I’m going to blackmail him.

I watched the bird alight onto his head.

Jacques Cousteau must have been a talented frogman.

Elmo manages to screw this up each time.

Forty mailmen came to his funeral.

The linemen were overworked fixing things after the storm.

This is one of the best lookups that I’ve used.

A bird has a nest in that skylight.

The scrooge constantly redlines his slow payers.

Those madmen gave The Avengers the fight of their life.

Floodlights brighten his back yard.

He offered a lordly buffet to his guests.

A lovebird really is a type of small parrot.

Three deathblows to the head and it was all over.

Don’t let a sweaty handshake belie a cool demeanor.

We have too many meetings at work.


Amid the confusion, she caught sight of her son.

Inspect this lifeboat for leaks.

That formatting won’t work with my equipment.

My class is full of smart learners.

He’s a nomad who wanders the desert.

These inlets are too shallow to fish in.

Hire this handyman.

Their marksmen are deadly accurate.

Gabe mails his bills late.

The overlords have allied against the king.

That backlight will mess up your photo.

That’s the maddest I’ve seen dad!

The managers got called to a meeting.

The crime scene had lots of earmarks of foul play.

That should have a 30% markup.

There’s an odd spot on your left lung.

Axel is with an elite group of Marine frogmen.

Newt belittled Stef all weekend.

That statue is a good landmark at which to meet.

Let’s arrange some playtimes this spring.

Jace is sidelined with an injury.

Sherlock Holmes is an expert on watermarks.

Is that a droplet of rain?


She’ll be in the spotlight after that performance.

Which of these bracelets can we afford?

The warlord wreaked havoc through the land.

Cory is a longtime friend.

Their cabin’s overlooking the river.

You’re a meanie!

We gained many learnings from the lesson.

The spotlights blinded them.

Capture that outlay in the budget.

She’s lovesick for Thad.

This project will take a lot of manpower.

That crook blackmails rich ladies.

I’d like a veal cutlet.

These photos show varied animal livers.

We need new doormats.

Oops, I messed up.

I’m losing my mind.

It was a nightlong vigil.

That’s a hairline fracture.

That crook’s a madman!

Our landlord raised the rent.

Their pitchers are all lefties.

Tige ran down the sideline.

Isn’t that a stunning skyline?


Both taillights are out.

That linesman weighs 240 pounds.

Check the mailbox, Yoji.

Yves loves liver and onions.

Call the hotline, Zena!

You overlooked these crumbs.

Noni loves to shop online.

Oren, you’re a great listener.

Lena is worming her way through the crowd.

Robb is the leadoff batter.

Lightly butter it.

The airport added two runways.

They’re hanging on the clothesline.

They put skylights in their porch.

They’re on a deathwatch by the prisoner.

Art is my lifework.

The lake’s waterline is low.

Rudd is a fast linebacker.

I just formatted the hard-drive.

Good day, Madame.

There are good coupons in this mailer.

We moved into a townhome.

This word has many meanings.


Those lovebirds are so happy!

Toya is a leftist politician.

The plane’s starting down the runway.

Buy a floodlight at Home Depot.

Do cats have nine lifetimes?

That’s a topline restaurant.

The tic with his pinky belies his attempt at a poker face.

Olaf has a happy outlook.

That lowlife should be in jail.

There are odd markings in the cave.

Redline the members who have not paid.

Throw Vigo a lifeline.

Nuclear weapons threaten mankind.

Check out my turquoise bracelet!

Stop belittling your little brother!

Our dog chased the mailman.

He made a deathbed confession.

Do you think that there’s an afterlife?

The boss sets tight timelines.

This letter has the King’s watermark!

Lief is a lover of old Westerns.

Who broke into my locker?!

Both shortcuts are flooded.


Sara loves to eat seafood.

Each lake in Maryland is manmade!

His victory made him the new overlord.

Don’t overlook grammar errors.

I mailed the box.

Remy listens to rap all day.

There’s a lineman on their property.

Wipe your feet on the doormat.

I messaged him about that.

The tycoon has been blackmailed.

His book is called “The Madwomen of Yorkshire.”

Your steep markups have cost you lots of sales.

Lighthouses are the best landmarks for ships at sea.

Their hotlines went nuts due to the safety recall.

Sir Ralph mans the northwest tower.

You can buy this in varied formats.

It’s hard to find good handymen.

There was graffiti on their mailboxes.

Inspect the lifelines on the ship.

Those meanies might start a food fight!

Those lowlifes made some bad choices.

They closed 10% of their shopping outlets.

Their offices are run like madhouses.


I emailed Lexi for the fourth time.

The lookouts all heard the blast.

She has the lightest touch on the keyboard.

All of their hairlines were receding.

Mom will fix cutlets for dinner!

Those blackmailers just got arrested.

The sweat on his forehead is belying his calm voice.

Waterlines through the State are many feet low.

I’ve taught my kids to be good listeners.

They’re earmarking which grants go to the schools.

Does this program have a lookup feature?

Joab is littler than Jock.

The feedlots were brimming with cattle.

The snake wormed its way across the jungle floor.

Those linesmen are the toughest in the league.

Stop messaging me so much!

She takes cool photos of city skylines.

They outlaid less than they should have for maintenance costs.


Both families have lineages that date back 100s of years.

The landlords worried about their low occupancy rates.

Lacy always belittles her husband.

School was a madhouse today.

Earmark this much to pay their moving costs.

The warlords will meet during a truce.

The loser buys the other a steak dinner.

Pass me a cigarette lighter.

This bright moonlight spooks me out.

I’ll be even madder if this happens once more.

Let’s have an offline talk about this.

His byline is at the end of the article.

I’ve got lots of deadlines to meet!

Let’s go to the outlet mall.

That marksman hits a target a mile away.

You can trace our lineage back to the Vikings.

This town has an active nightlife.

Matthew is blackmailing Hugh.


Her penthouse overlooks Central Park.

I’ll be redlining the slackers in this Division.

We sent out the mailers last night.

The rebels are leftists.

Elon is manning the guns facing north.

The storm knocked down clotheslines.

These townhouses will be on the beach.

Edna, can you meet this timeline?

A few droplets of this could kill you.

He’s been in a yearlong rut.

This inlet looks good for catching fish.

His bad cough belied his claim that he wasn’t sick.

The knight landed a deathblow to his enemy.

Those rich folks live the highlife!

The cat shredded my placemat.

My Lordships, court is adjourned.

This problem messes up our plans.

Romeo and Juliet were doomed lovers.

A foodie would love this diner!

Who allowed these costly outlays?

The teacher redlined the errors on my paper.

There were many deathbeds after the battle ended.

Click on this link to move forward to Module F, Lessons 1 – 10


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