Online Homeschool Curriculum - Sample Lesson (Lesson 1 Only)


Chapter 1: The First Governor in Boston

Week: 1

Chapter one describes the plight of European settlers that came to America. The settlers failed at growing corn and other crops on the new lands. Their governor, John Winthrop, sent a ship to get food for the people, but the ship did not return. The settlers began to starve. Finally, the ship arrived carrying supplies to feed the starving people. A man, angry with the situation, sent a letter to John Winthrop. Winthrop returned the letter to him, writing, 'I cannot keep a letter that might make me angry.' The man wrote back to Winthrop, writing, 'By conquering yourself, you have conquered me.'

Chapter 2: Marquette in Iowa

Week: 2

Jacques Marquette, a priest, and Louis Joliet, a fur trader, were the first Europeans to explore the center of the United States. They traveled thousands of miles in canoes across vast lakes and up and down great rivers, including the Mississippi. They met an Indian tribe called the Illinois in what is now the state of Iowa. The Illinois welcomed the Frenchmen and made a feast for them. The Illinois gave Marquette and Joliet gifts including a peace pipe when the Frenchmen departed to continue their river journey.

Chapter 3: Indian Pictures

Week: 2

Marquette and Joliet continued their journey down the great Mississippi. They saw pictures of scary monsters painted on high rocks. Some of the American Indians they encountered were not as welcoming as the Illinois. Marquette and Joliet avoided fighting with wary American Indians by showing the peace pipe they received from the friendly Illinois.

Chapter 4: William Penn and the Lenape Indians

Week: 3

The King of England gave William Penn the land of the state of Pennsylvania to rule over. Penn tried to be fair to the American Indians already living on the land. He paid the Indians for the land the settlers wanted to live on. He met with the Indians, and they made a deal to live together in peace. The Indians called Penn, 'Brother Onas', since Penn continued to visit the Indians, even playing games with them.

Chapter 5: One Little Bag of Rice

Week: 4

The European settlers that sailed to the United States had a hard time growing crops in the new land. Settlers fished and hunted deer, bears, buffaloes, and other animals for food, but during the times a settler failed to catch enough fish or animals, they went hungry. Some settlers starved to death. Thomas Smith had an idea to solve the problem. He thought rice might grow well in the wet, swampy lands of South Carolina. He planted some rice in South Carolina, and the rice grew. He gave the rice he grew to others so they could also plant rice. Eventually Thomas Smith and his fellow settlers grew enough rice to both feed themselves and to sell to people who lived far away.

Chapter 6: The Story of a Wise Woman

Week: 4

Eliza Lucas tried to grow the indigo plant in South Carolina. Her father gave her some seeds from the West Indies. Eliza's first crop failed due to frost. Her second failed due to cutworms. A bad man ruined her next crop. But Eliza did not give up. She kept trying. Eventually, she learned how to grow the indigo plant in South Carolina. She also helped other people to grow indigo. In a few years, millions of pounds of indigo were being grown, all because Eliza Lucas refused to give up.

Chapter 7: Benjamin Franklin - His Own Teacher

Week: 5

Benjamin Franklin was a poor boy. He had to work selling soap and candles and could not go to school after he was ten years old. He taught himself by reading many books and observing people around him. He also learned to print books. He read so many books, he knew many things.

Chapter 8: How Benjamin Franklin Found Out Things

Week: 5

Benjamin Franklin learned things by watching the world. Franklin wondered whether ants talked to one another. He used a nail and a string to tie a jar to the ceiling which contained molasses and one ant. The little ant ate some molasses and left the jar. When the ant returned in half an hour, many ants came with him.

Chapter 9: Benjamin Franklin Asks the Sunshine Something

Week: 6

A woman remarked to Benjamin Franklin that coffee in a coffee pot cools more quickly if the pot is dull or dark. Franklin tested whether dark things cool more quickly than bright things. Franklin spread a white cloth on the snow. Next, he spread a black cloth next to the white cloth. Franklin waited and observed that the snow under the black cloth melted much sooner than the snow under the white cloth.

Chapter 10: Benjamin Franklin and the Kite

Week: 6

In Franklin's time, people did not have electric lights and electrical outlets. They used candles. People did not know much about lightning and thunder. Benjamin Franklin was curious. He conducted an experiment involving lightning and electricity. He made a kite with a wire lightning rod at its top to attract the lightning. He attached a kite to one end of a string and a key to the other end. Franklin flew the kite in a lightning storm and held his knuckle to the key. A tiny spark flashed between his knuckle and the key. Franklin captured the energy from the lightning into a special bottle. He also brought lightning into his house to ring bells and perform other tasks.

Chapter 11: Benjamin Franklin's Whistle

Week: 7

Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter about something that happened to him as a boy. This poem tells that story in rhyme. In the poem, Franklin sees a boy happily blowing a whistle. Overcome with longing for the whistle, Franklin buys the whistle for all his pennies. He pays more than he would have in a store. Was it worth it?

Chapter 12: John Stark and the Abenaki Indians

Week: 8

The Abenaki Indians captured John Stark while he trapped and hunted in the woods. The Abenakis brought Stark to their camp, and made him run the gauntlet. Stark had to run through two lines of Abenakis who hit him with clubs. Stark grabbed one of the clubs from the Abenakis and hit the Abenakis back. The Abenakis respected his bravery. Eventually a ransom was paid to the Abenakis to free Stark.

Chapter 13: A Great Good Man

Week: 9

Unlike many cruel schoolmasters of his time, Anthony Benezet treated children kindly. He wrote books against slavery, spoke up for the American Indians, and was kind to the poor. He helped to house and feed the French Acadians, who were forced from their island homes by the English. He also spoke with a British general on behalf of a washerwoman who had lost her home to the British army. The general agreed to give the woman her home back so she could do her washing and earn a living. When Anthony Benezet passed away, people from all walks of life, rich and poor, black and white, came to recognize him as a great good man.

Chapter 14: Israel Putnam and the Wolf

Week: 10

People in Connecticut had a problem. Wolves were killing their sheep. Hunters caught many wolves and killed them, but one old wolf evaded capture. That wolf loved to kill, slaughtering seventy sheep and goats in one night. Israel Putman and his friends hunted the wolf. They tracked the wolf to a dark cave. They sent dogs into the cave, but the wolf bit the dogs and drove them out. The men started a fire and burned brimstone in the cave, but the smoke and smell did not drive the wolf out. Israel Putnam crawled into the cave and shot the wolf dead. Now the sheep would have some peace.

Chapter 15: George Washington and His Hatchet

Week: 11

This poem overviews significant events in the life of George Washington, the first President of the United States. The poem overviews a story about Washington as a boy. Washington used a hatchet to 'hack' his father's cherry tree. When his father confronted him, Washington said, 'I cannot tell a lie. I cut the tree.' The poem then tells of an adult Washington fighting to 'hack and whack' against the British until the United States of America gained independence.

Chapter 16: How Benny West Learned to be a Painter

Week: 11

As a boy, Benny West loved to draw. He drew his baby niece when she smiled. The American Indians that lived near his house taught Benny how to make his own paints from plant juices. Benny made paintbrushes with hairs from his cat's tail. When a cousin sent him a box of paints, brushes, and engravings, Benny was thrilled. He loved painting so much, he forgot to do his work and skipped school to paint. Benny went to Philadelphia to study art, traveled to Italy to study master painters, and eventually moved to England, where he became a famous painter. If you look back to Chapter 4 ('Treaty of Penn with the Indians') and Chapter 10 ('Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky') of your history lessons, you will find two paintings by Benny West.

Chapter 17: George Washington's Christmas Gift

Week: 12

George Washington and his men warred with a larger, stronger British army and were defeated in New York. Washington retreated to New Jersey and crossed the Delaware River. The Hessian soldiers hired by the British were on the other side of the river from Washington in Trenton, New Jersey. The Hessians were waiting for the river to freeze so they could march over the ice and fight Washington. Washington decided to attack them first. He waited until Christmas, when the Hessians would eat and drink and make merry until late in the night. The Hessians awoke Christmas morning to the sound of Washington's drums. The Hessians tried to fight, but it was too late. Washington took their cannons and won the battle of Trenton.

Chapter 18: How George Washington Got out of a Trap

Week: 12

After winning the battle of Trenton, George Washington and his men rowed back across the Delaware River. Washington received additional soldiers, but not enough to fight the British general, Cornwallis, who marched to Trenton with his troops. Cornwallis had even more soldiers coming from Princeton, New Jersey. Cornwallis said, 'I will catch the fox in the morning,' and thought he had caught the fox (George Washington) in a trap. The night before Cornwallis planned to attack, Washington lit campfires and directed his men to make digging sounds where the British could hear them. Washington's army snuck around Cornwallis and marched to Princeton, where they defeated the soldiers on their way to join Cornwallis. After their victory, Washington and his troops slipped into the hills where Cornwallis could not find them. The fox had escaped the trap.

Chapter 19: Washington's Last Battle

Week: 13

Near the end of the Revolutionary War, two British armies remained in America, Cornwallis' troops in Virginia and another force in New York. Washington lacked enough soldiers to take New York, so he pretended to ready for battle in New York while marching to Yorktown, Virginia. France had sent ships and soldiers to help the Americans. This time, Washington had enough men to defeat Cornwallis. With only one army remaining, the British gave up and sailed home to England. The Revolutionary War was over. America was free at last.

Chapter 20: Marion's Tower

Week: 14

General Francis Marion led a ragtag group of American soldiers against the British in South Carolina. General Marion didn't have the manpower or the weapons to fight the large British armies. Instead, he and his men hid in the woods, attacked small parties of British soldiers, and then vanished back into the swampy forests of South Carolina. The British called him the 'Swamp Fox', because he was so hard to catch. One time, General Marion surrounded a British fort built on an Indian mound. General Marion thought the British would get thirsty and come out. But the British dug a well inside the fort and had enough water. One night, Marion quickly built a tower using layers of wooden poles. When morning arrived, Marion and his men fired down into the British fort. The British gave up and were taken prisoners.

Chapter 21: Clark and His Men

Week: 14

During the Revolution, the British had the Kaskaskia fort in Indiana and then Vincennes fort in Illinois. The British officers from these forts sent American Indians to kill colonial settlers in Kentucky. American Colonel George Rogers Clark decided to attack the British forts to stop the killings. Kaskaskia was far from the Americans, and its soldiers did not expect an attack. Clark and his soldiers marched in while the people were asleep and took the town. Next, Clark wanted to take Vincennes. It was winter, and Clark and his men had to march through rivers with freezing waters. The soldiers refused to cross one of the rivers. Clark had the tallest soldier put a little drummer boy on his shoulders and cross the river. The drummer boy beat his drums, inspiring the soldiers to follow. At another crossing, the soldiers floated the drummer boy across the river atop his drum. For the final river crossing, Clark painted his face and gave a war-whoop and the soldiers followed him again. At Vincennes, Clark marched his small band of 170 soldiers around the fort to make it seem like he had a full army. After some fighting, the British gave up, and Clark took the fort.

Chapter 22: Daniel Boone and His Grapevine Swing

Week: 15

Daniel Boone, the first settler of Kentucky, knew how to hunt and how to fight. His brother left Boone alone in a cabin in the wilderness to buy bullets, gunpowder, and other supplies. One day, as Boone walked through the woods, he noticed four American Indians tracking him. To evade the Indians, Boone devised a way to stop making tracks. He cut a wild grape-vine and swung through the air on it. When he landed on the ground, he went in a new direction. The Indians could not tell where he had gone. Boone had been alone for many months and was running out of bullets and powder. He had nothing to eat but meat. His brother returned, bringing two horses, bullets, gunpowder, clothes, and other supplies.

Chapter 23: Daniel Boone's Daughter and Her Friends

Week: 15

Boone brought his wife, children, two brothers, and some of his neighbors to Kentucky. They constructed several log houses side-by-side and facing a center square. There were no doors or windows on the backs of the houses, and the only way in or out was through gates that they shut at night. The settlers had to be very careful when leaving the fort, for there were American Indians that would attack them. Boone's daughter left the fort with her friends, Frances and Betsey Calloway. The girls walked to a nearby river, got in a canoe, and played and splashed with the paddles. While the girls played, they were captured by five strong American Indians. Boone and Calloway went after the girls, tracking the Indians to a Buffalo path. They followed the Buffalo path until they found the Indians. Boone and Calloway and their men shot their guns at the Indians. Boone and Calloway rescued the girls and brought them back home.

Chapter 24: Decatur and the Pirates

Week: 16

The pirates of Tripoli captured the Philadelphia, an American ship, and sailed her to Tripoli. Other American ships could not recapture the Philadelphia, because the pirates had many warships and cannons on the shores of Tripoli. The Americans did not want the pirates to have the Philadelphia, because the pirates could use it to sneak past American warships. Since the Americans could not take the Philadelphia by force, they took her by stealth. Stephen Decatur captained a small ketch of 80 men. They rowed the ketch quietly and hid 70 of the men to look less threatening. When they neared the Philadelphia and the pirates asked who they were, the Americans pretended to be merchants with wares to sell in Tripoli. The Americans claimed they had lost their anchor and asked to tie their ketch to the Philadelphia. The Americans quietly attacked the pirates, drove the pirates off the Philadelphia, and set fire to the ship. Mission accomplished, the Americans retreated in their ketch to their ships.

Chapter 25: Stories About Jefferson

Week: 17

Thomas Jefferson was a great thinker and writer during the Revolutionary War. He wrote the Declaration of Independence, one of the most important papers written for America. As a boy, Jefferson loved to read and learn from other people. Jefferson once spoke with a man in a tavern. The man later said that Jefferson knew so much about everything, he first thought Jefferson was a lawyer, then a doctor, and then a minister. Another time, when Jefferson and his nephew rode horseback, a black man lifted his cap and bowed. Jefferson bowed back to the black man. Jefferson's nephew did not think Jefferson should have bowed. Jefferson told his grandson, 'Do not let a poor negro be more of a gentleman than you are.' Remember, at the time of the Revolution, many black people were enslaved, they did not have the same rights as white people, and they were very often treated horribly. Jefferson later added the line 'All men are created equal' to the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson also said that people, poor or rich, of all skin colors, have the same right to life, to be free, and to try to make themselves happy.

Chapter 26: A Long Journey

Week: 17

While Thomas Jefferson was America's third President, he sent Lewis and Clark with over forty men to the wild west of America. Thomas Jefferson instructed Lewis and Clark to venture west across the plains, across the Rocky Mountains, and to the Pacific Ocean and back. Thomas Jefferson also tasked the expedition to discover the best paths through the mountains, to learn about the animals, and to find out about the American Indians living there. The journey took Lewis and Clark over two years. They hunted and ate buffalo, elk, deer, geese, fish, and even wolves, horses, and dogs to survive. They were friendly to the American Indians. One day, the Indians invited Lewis and Clark into a wigwam to eat. During the meal, the Indians gave a bowl of meat to the head of a dead buffalo. The Indians believed honoring the spirit of the buffalo would bring more buffaloes to their hunting grounds.

Chapter 27: Captain Clark's Burning Glass

Week: 18

On their expedition, Louis and Clark met American Indians who had never seen a gun before. One day, Clark was across a river from some American Indians and he shot a large bird called a crane. The crane fell out of the sky and landed near Clark. The Indians heard a big boom, saw something fall from the sky, and then spotted Clark. The Indians believed Clark made the big boom as he fell from the sky. Afraid, the Indians ran into their wigwams and hid. Clark crossed the river, entered a wigwam, and offered his pipe as a show of peace. When Clark lit his pipe with a burning glass, the Indians were afraid again. The American Indians and the European settlers had different ways of making fire. Indians rubbed sticks together. Europeans struck flint against steel or used a burning glass to concentrate the sun's rays. Captain Clark's Indian guide explained to the Indians that Clark did not come from the sky. The Indians were no longer afraid, and they all smoked the pipe in peace.

Chapter 28: Quicksilver Bob

Week: 19

When Robert Fulton was a boy, he enjoyed learning how things worked. Guns and quicksilver fascinated him. He invented a new type of lead pencil and brought it to school. He made Roman candles that shot fire into the air for the Fourth of July. He made a paddle for a fishing boat, eliminating the need for a pole to push the boat. As an adult, Robert Fulton made the first good steamboat.

Chapter 29: The First Steamboat

Week: 20

Robert Fulton built the first commercially successful steamboat, named 'Clermont.' People laughed at the steamboat and did not believe a boat could be pushed by steam. Before this, people used sails and oars to make boats move. Fulton started the boat. Smoke poured from the smokestack. The wheels started to turn. Without sails, without oars, the boat moved faster and faster. People stopped laughing and started cheering. When the steamboat passed other boats on the river at night, the sailors thought it was a sea monster and were afraid of the fire, smoke, and sound. Eventually, steamboats traveled all the large rivers.

Chapter 30: Washington Irving as a Boy

Week: 21

Washington Irving was named after George Washington, the Revolutionary War General and first American President. When Irving was a little boy, General Washington put his hand on Irving's head and blessed him. As an older boy, Irving was full of mischief. He'd climb on roofs and drop pebbles down chimneys. Irving loved to read about foreign countries, so much that he would read his books in school. His schoolmaster caught him reading a book, 'The World Displayed.' The schoolmaster did not punish Irving because it was a good book, but warned Irving not to read in school. Irving wanted to become a sailor and travel the world. He ate salt pork and slept on the floor at night to train to become a sailor. Irving did not like pork or sleeping on the floor and decided to become an author instead of a sailor. As an adult, Irving wrote the story of Rip Van Winkle and the Headless Horseman.

Chapter 31: Don't Give Up the Ship

Week: 22

Two children ask their grandfather what 'Don't give up the ship' means. Their grandfather tells the children a rhyme to explain the saying. In the rhyme, a ship's captain, Captain Lawrence, is mortally wounded during a gun battle. His last words were, 'Don't give up the ship,' which means to be brave like Captain Lawrence and to never give up.

Chapter 32: The Star-Spangled Banner

Week: 23

Francis Scott Key wrote a famous American song called 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' Key fought in the War of 1812, when the British landed soldiers in Maryland. The Americans lost the battle at Bladensburg, and the British took Washington. Key was sent to the British with a white flag of truce. When he delivered the message, the British took him prisoner. Key remained in captivity on a British ship while the British attacked Fort McHenry in Baltimore. The British fired bombshells and rockets at the fort, which exploded in the night sky. Key saw the American flag waving over the fort in the light of the bombs. When British ships stopped firing, Key despaired that the fort had fallen. When the sun came up, Key saw the American flag still flying over the fort. Filled with joy, Key wrote 'The Star-Spangled Banner' while still aboard the British ship. The British freed Key, and Key printed and distributed the song all over America. 'The Star-Spangled Banner' became the American national anthem, and Americans still sing the song today.

Chapter 33: How Audubon Came to Know About Birds

Week: 24

John James Audubon knew more about birds than anyone before him. As a boy, he gathered stuffed birds, but he wanted living birds to study. Little Audubon thought he could draw or paint pictures that look like live birds. But when he tried to paint or draw birds, they did not look real. Audubon burned his bad drawings, but he did not give up. He drew more pictures of birds. When he grew up, he studied under a great French painter who taught him to paint pictures that look like live birds. He traveled all over America, living in the woods and studying birds. After years of hard work, he made paintings of nearly one thousand birds. When rats got into his paintings and chewed them up, it almost broke Audubon's heart. Still, Audubon did not give up. He spent more years finding the birds again and painting them. At last, he published his paintings in books. People around the world praised his wonderful books. Audubon never gave up and had become a great man.

Chapter 34: Audubon in the Wild Woods

Week: 24

While making his book of birds, Audubon lived in the woods. He often lived among the American Indians. Audubon was an accurate shooter. A friend tossed a cap in the air, and Audubon shot a hole through it before it landed. Hunters in the woods could shoot even better than Audubon. They could shoot and extinguish a candle from 100 paces. Audubon's skill with a gun saved his life. Audubon stayed at the house of an old white woman. There was also a hurt American Indian staying in the house. The old woman saw Audubon's watch and held it for a few moments. The Indian pinched Audubon to let him know the woman was bad. Audubon lay on a bed and pretended to sleep while holding his gun. The old woman's two sons came in the cabin. They talked about killing the Indian and Audubon and taking Audubon's watch. Audubon pointed his gun at them. Just then, two hunters came to the cabin. Audubon told them about the robbers. The hunters tied up the old woman and her sons so they could be punished. The hurt Indian danced for joy with happiness.

Chapter 35: Hunting a Panther

Week: 25

Audubon stayed with a settler for a night. The settler told him that a bad panther had killed some of his dogs. The panther was big enough to kill a person. Audubon, the settler, and the settler's neighbors set out on horseback to kill the panther. The men brought dogs to help track the panther. Audubon and the men tracked the panther through the swampy land and chased him up a tree. They shot the panther, but the panther jumped down and ran away. Audubon and the men chased the panther up another tree. This time the men succeeded in killing the panther.

Chapter 36: Some Boys Who Became Authors

Week: 25

This chapter introduces four boys who became authors. William Cullen Bryant wrote poems from a very young age and became the first great poet of America. Nathaniel Hawthorne loved poetry, including Shakespeare and Milton, and grew up to write stories and books. William H. Prescott wrote beautiful histories, overcoming his blindness. Oliver Wendell Holmes became a great poet, writing poems about the soldiers that stayed in his boyhood home during the Revolutionary War.

Chapter 37: Daniel Webster and His Brother

Week: 26

Daniel Webster and his older brother Ezekiel were smart boys who wanted to go to college. Unfortunately, their family was poor, and it was too expensive to send both. Daniel was too sickly and weak for farm work, so he attended school and college while Ezekiel worked on the family farm. Daniel talked to his family about allowing Ezekiel go to college. The family agreed, even though the additional expenses could have caused them to lose their farm. While in college, Daniel taught school to help pay expenses. He gave money to his brother. When he later became a lawyer, he paid off his father's debts, and his father did not lose his farm. When Daniel became famous, Ezekiel was happy for his brother. When Daniel made his greatest speech, people praised him. But Ezekiel did not hear Daniel's famous speech, for he had died. Webster said 'I wish that my poor brother had lived to this time. It would have made him very happy.'

Chapter 38: Webster and the Poor Woman

Week: 26

As Daniel Webster walked home one cold, snowy night, he saw a poor woman. The woman repeatedly stopped, listened, and then moved on. The woman walked in front of Webster's house, stopped, and listened. She picked up a loose board that Webster had put down to walk on, then hurried off with the board. Webster followed the woman to her poor little house. Webster realized the woman had taken the board for firewood. The next day, Webster sent the poor woman a load of wood.

Chapter 39: The India-Rubber Man

Week: 27

People called Charles Goodyear, 'The India Rubber Man', because he made and wore clothes made from rubber. The Indians in South America used rubber to make bottles. People brought rubber to America and tried to find ways to use it. At first, rubber was only used to rub out pencil marks, which is where 'rubber' got its name. People tried to make shoes from rubber. But when winter came, the shoes would freeze as hard as stones. When summer came, the rubber shoes would melt. Goodyear tried for many years to make better rubber that would not get hard in the winter and melt in the summer. He was very poor and had to borrow money from friends to keep his family from starving or freezing to death in the winter, but he kept on trying for years. One day, Goodyear mixed rubber and Sulphur. This rubber did not melt. It did not freeze into a hard rock. He needed to buy more rubber and Sulphur to figure out how to mix it best, but he had no money. When no one had money to lend him, he sold almost everything he had to buy rubber. His risk paid off, and he became a success. He made and sold useful things from rubber. The people who once laughed at him now praised him.

Chapter 40: Doctor Kane in the Frozen Sea

Week: 28

Elisha Kent Kane sailed as a doctor on American warships. He also sailed on ships that explored the frozen north, first as the ship's doctor, then as the captain of the ship. Kane captained the ship, 'Advance', to explore the icy seas. Then his ship hit a bad storm. The ship blew too far north and became stuck in the ice. It was winter, and in the far north, the sun never rises. The men were stuck on a ship in the dark for months. Doctor Kane tried to explore with sleds and dogs, but it was so cold, some of the dogs died. Then summer came. During northern summers, the sun never sets. The summer was still too cold to melt the ice and free the ship. The men lived through another dark winter. Men became sickly and stayed in the cabin. The days began getting brighter. Doctor Kane used some looking glasses to reflect the sunlight into the dark cabin for the sickly men. The second dark winter was over, and the men were much happier.

Chapter 41: A Dinner on the Ice

Week: 29

After two long winters, Doctor Kane and his men decided to abandon his ship and set out for Greenland by sled and small boat. When on ice, the sleds carried the boats. When on water, the boats carried the sleds. Some of the men were sick and had to be moved by boat and sled. During the journey, Doctor Kane and his men did not have enough to eat and were in danger of starving. They saw a seal sleeping on a floating piece of ice. The men rowed quietly toward the seal. The seal woke, but before it could swim away, the men shot it. They were not going starve! The men laughed and danced with joy. They cut up the seal and were so hungry they ate the meat raw.

Chapter 42: Doctor Kane Gets Out of the Frozen Sea

Week: 30

After the seal, Doctor Kane and his men traveled on. When they became so hungry that they could hardly row their boats, they heard the voices of men in another boat. The next day, they reached a Greenland town. Later, they saw a steamer flying an American flag. It was a steamer sent to find Doctor Kane. People had begun to think Doctor Kane and his men had died. Doctor Kane and his men got on their little boat, named 'Faith', and rowed toward the steamer. They boarded the steamer and were finally safe. When the men on the steamer found out it was Doctor Kane, they cheered.

Chapter 43: Longfellow as a Boy

Week: 31

Longfellow was a noble boy who wanted to do right. He was also a tender-hearted boy. After he shot a robin, he cried and never hunted again. Longfellow enjoyed reading Irving's stories of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. When he was thirteen, Longfellow wrote a poem about Lovewell's fight with the Indians. Longfellow submitted his poem to a newspaper, and the paper published the poem. When a judge called the poem 'stiff' and said it was taken from other poets, Longfellow felt bad, but he did not give up. He kept trying. Eventually, Longfellow became a famous poet.

Chapter 44: Kit Carson and the Bears

Week: 32

Kit Carson was an American explorer and a guide. One day, he shot an elk while hunting. Unfortunately for Kit, two angry bears also wanted the meat. The bears chased him up a tree. Kit had dropped his gun to run, because it was empty and needed to be reloaded. Since Kit could not shoot the bears, he cut off a branch. Kit knew that a bear's nose is very tender. Whenever the bears climbed the tree to get him, Kit hit them on the nose with the branch. When hit, the bears would cry out and retreat. Eventually, the bears left. Kit still waited. Finally, he came down and quickly reloaded his gun. The bears did not come back.

Chapter 45: Horace Greeley as a Boy

Week: 33

Horace was the son of a poor farmer. Horace loved to learn and to read. He was the best speller in his class, including children much older than him. Horace preferred reading to working, but he did his work faithfully. When his father lost his land, the family was poorer than ever and could not buy books, so Horace borrowed as many books as he could. He borrowed books from a rich man who lived nearby. The rich man's friends asked why he would lend his books to a poor, strange-looking boy. The rich man believed Horace would become a great man someday. The rich man's friends laughed at this, but the rich man was right. Horace did become a great man. When Horace was thirteen, his teacher told Horace's father it was no use to send Horace to school. Horace knew more than his teachers.

Chapter 46: Horace Greeley Learning to Print

Week: 34

Horace loved papers and books and wanted become a printer to learn how to make them. He walked miles to apply for a spot to learn the printer's trade at a newspaper. He went to see Mr. Bliss, one of the owners of the paper. Mr. Bliss was skeptical at first, but when Mr. Bliss asked hard questions, Horace answered them all right. Mr. Bliss decided to give Horace a chance. The other boys at the paper laughed at Horace's poor clothing and white hair. Horace ignored the teasing of the other boys and worked hard. Horace learned more in his first day, than some boys did in a month. Day after day he worked hard. The other boys kept laughing at him, but Horace continued to ignore them. One boy stained Horace's hair with black ink, but Horace still ignored the boys. Eventually, the other boys grew to like Horace. Horace became a good printer. He sent his poor father money. Horace started his own paper and became a famous newspaper man.

Chapter 47: A Wonderful Woman

Week: 35

Little Dorothy Dix was neglected by her parents. Dorothy wanted to overcome her hardships, so she lived with her grandmother in Boston, worked hard in school, and became a teacher. Dorothy started a school for poor children in her grandmother's barn. When she became sick and had to leave teaching full-time, she still did volunteer work teaching. She once visited a place that housed the mentally ill and saw they had no fire to keep warm in the cold weather. Dorothy advocated for the people to a judge and had a stove added to keep the people warm. Dorothy went to other towns and saw the mentally ill were treated poorly. Dorothy worked to change laws to protect the mentally ill. She had safe housing constructed for the mentally ill people. When the Civil War broke out, she nursed the wounded soldiers. Then she went back to helping the poor.

Chapter 48: The Author of 'Little Women'

Week: 36

As a little girl, Louisa May Alcott ran wild in the streets. One day, she got lost. The town crier went around the town, ringing his bell, and telling people about the lost little girl. Louisa heard the crier and was returned home. The next day, Louisa's parents tied her to the couch to keep her from running wild in the streets. Louisa was wild, but she was also hard-working and creative. Louisa made doll clothes and sold them. Louisa turned old fairy tales into plays. She and her siblings put on the plays in their old barn. Louisa's family was very poor. Louisa wanted to make money, but she was busy doing the housekeeping for her family. Eventually, she became an author, writing the classic tale 'Little Women.' Louisa became famous, and her family had plenty of money to live on.