Directions: Read the story. Unscramble the words below and enter them in the boxes. Click the button to check your work.
Sequoyah was raised by his mother who was a successful trader. He learned the
fur trade from her. He became lame during his youth, possibly due to an
accident. After her death he was a fur trader and also became an excellent
silversmith. One day the men in his shop were talking about the white man's
"speaking leaves"; pages with English writing on them.He was sure he really
could make marks to signify words. He started out by drawing pictures and then
he started studying the sounds of the words in the Cherokee language. He found
there were more than eighty sounds. He made a syllabary and was able to write
all the words in their language. He spent twelve years working on his
invention of a system of written language for the Cherokee nation. The
alphabet was completed in 1821. He tried to interest his tribesmen in learning
the symbols, but they thought he was crazy. He finally convinced his tribesmen
this would be a valuable tool for conveying ideas and preserving their
stories. Within a short time the Cherokee nation was literate; most of them
could now read. It is said the language was so easy to learn a person could
learn it in three or four days, seldom more than a week. The Christian
missionaries learned the language and translated the Bible into Cherokee.
Today in America you will find the name Sequoyah (Sequoia) on schools,
caverns, hospitals, and ranches. The state of Oklahoma placed a bronze statue
of him in the rotunda of the Capitol, the Hall of Fame at Washington D.C. In
the 1830's the Cherokee people were forced by the government to move to Indian
Territory which is now the state of Oklahoma.The move is referred to as the
Trail of Tears.