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The Appalachian Creation by Jenn Sisko (Grade 5)

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The Appalachian Creation by Jenn Sisko

Rocks are fascinating. I should now - I am one! Well, a lot them, actually. I am the Appalachian Mountain Range, and I have a long history. Let me tell you a little bit about how I was created.

I am mostly made up of sedimentary rock, which is formed when a river carries sediments like mud, sand, and shells to its basin where time and pressure harden us in to a solid form. Most of my peaks are made up of sedimentary rock. I also have a little bit of the ocean floor in me from when two continents pushed together. This is actually where I get my height from.

Some mountain ranges are made like me, while others are made from tectonic plates that slide under or over each other causing a mountain range. In my case, what is today known as North America and Africa collided, forming my peaks. And when I say collided, I mean at slower than a snail’s pace over a long time. A while passed before the two continents split again and drifted to where they are now, leaving me towering.

Igneous rock also makes up a large part of my structure. You won’t see a lot of eruptions at the moment, but a long time ago, the Appalachian Mountain range had a handful of active volcanoes. When lava, or molten rock, cools, it forms various kinds of igneous rocks. So throughout the sedimentary rock that I’m mostly made of, there are quite a few pockets of igneous rock along my ridges.

I may not be the biggest mountain range in the world, but I used to be very tall. A lot of weathering and erosion have shrunk me down. That is when winds, rain, running water, and other factors wear me down. But it makes me the perfect size for climbing and hiking.

If you visit me, you won’t be see any huge changes like those I’ve described happen. You may see a boulder out of place here and there or the very rare earthquake that will displace bits of me, but that's it. It takes a long time to move a mountain. The process to get to where I am today took millions of years. Over the next couple thousands of years, I’ll be continuously eroded down, and look a bit different from today. In a million years, I will be quite changed.

Of course, humans will always shape me for how they need for roads and passages. But for now, I look pretty amazing for being several million years old.

Bibliography
Appalachian Mountain Range. Geology Page, February 3, 2013.
http://www.geologypage.com/2013/02/appalachian-mountain-range.htm.
Clark, Sandra H. B. Birth of the Mountains: The Geologic Story of the Souther Appalachian Mountains. USGS. https://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/birth/birth.pdf.
1. 
What two types of rocks make up most of the Appalachian Mountain Range?
  1. igneous
  2. geologic
  3. sedimentary
  4. metamorphic
2. 
Why would it be difficult to see major changes to the Appalachian Mountain Range even if you visit it every day in a year?
  1. The weather changes every day.
  2. The mountain range never changes.
  3. The changes take place slowly over time.
  4. The mountain range changes in places visitors can't go.
3. 
What has caused the mountain range to shrink over time?
  1. The rock has been chipped away by humans.
  2. Humans have used dynamite to make roads.
  3. Weathering and erosion have broken the rock down.
  4. The sun has made the different types of rock start to melt.
4. 
What happened to the mountain range when North America and Africa collided?
  1. The rock broke down.
  2. The mountain peaks formed.
  3. The volcanoes began to erupt.
  4. The mountain closed to visitors.
5. 
From whose point of view is the passage written?
  1. a kid who wrote a research paper
  2. a person who loves mountains
  3. a well-known geologist
  4. the mountain range
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