This Informational lesson and test about Matthew Henson and Robert E. Peary’s expedition to the North Pole will make a great addition to your Black History unit. It is also an effective resource for Social Studies and Reading classes during any time of the year. Students will enjoy reading about the exciting adventures and how the explorers were able to reach their goal through teamwork. I included some dialog to make the text more vibrant. Your students will also find out what happened to the two explorers after the expedition ended and the injustice done to Matthew Henson when he did not receive his deserved recognition for years afterwards.
Following the 3 page text are 22 reading comprehension and vocabulary questions. 14 are regular multiple choice and the last 8 are part of a “Which Word Does Not Belong” exercise. In it, students are given sets of vocabulary that are synonyms except for one. Their job is to pick out the non-examples. Taught and tested vocabulary includes: century, Arctic, expedition, Inuit, sledges, igloos, ice floes, stamina, prejudice, intervals, efficiently, and weary. Reading Comprehension skills addressed are: locating details, drawing conclusions, making inferences, and recognizing causes and effects. There is also a bonus question in which students are asked whether or not they would volunteer to work in the North Pole. They would respond by writing a short paragraph. Pictures I provided are a drawing of Henson and Peary in their furry parkas and a map of the Arctic Circle. The map shows the countries inside the circle and the route Peary and Henson took. The lesson is a word document that you can easily print-off and modify if necessary. The 12th page is the answer key. (It came out fantastic when I printed it off! : )