(PDF) Jessica and Her Pen Pals - abcteach.com · Jessica and Her Pen Pals Jessica got a wonderful present from her Aunt Georgia last summer. The present was a silver bracelet from Ireland, - DOKUMEN.TIPS (2023)

  • Reading Comprehension/ Geography/ Europe

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    Jessica and Her Pen Pals

    Jessica got a wonderful present from her Aunt Georgia lastsummer. The present was a silver bracelet from Ireland, with Celticpatterns etched into it. Jessica’s Aunt Georgia gave her the newbracelet after returning from a trip to Europe. She told Jessicathe patterns in the silver were supposed to bring good luck.

    Aunt Georgia had traveled all over Europe. After she came back,she spent hours telling Jessica and her family stories about hertravels, and showing them pictures

    she had taken. Jessica thought France sounded like aninteresting place. She liked the pictures of Paris. She thought thestained glass windows in the Notre Dame cathedral were beautiful,and Aunt Georgia’s story about the prehistoric cave paintings inLascaux in France fascinated her. It was almost impossible for herto believe that the pictures in the cave were 17,000 years old!Jessica also liked the pictures of the city of Venice, in Italy,where the streets were made of

    water, not pavement, and there were no cars, only boats. Everypicture her aunt showed her seemed strange and different fromJessica’s home in New Mexico, and Jessica decided right there tolearn all she could about Europe.

    A few weeks later, school started. Jessica’s teacher beganteaching her class about the differences between North America,which included the United States and Canada, and Europe, acontinent across the Atlantic Ocean to the east, with a largevariety of languages and cultures. Europe is the second-smallestcontinent, after Australia, but is home to about 730 millionpeople, 11% of the world’s population. In addition to Russia, theworld’s largest country in terms of area, Europe is also home toVatican City and Monaco, the smallest countries in the world, witha combined area of less than one square mile. There were also manydifferences in geography, culture, language, and climate, bothbetween North America and Europe, and between the many Europeancountries themselves. That fascinated Jessica.

    Jessica asked her teacher how she could find out more about kidsher age that lived in Europe. Her teacher told her about a groupcalled the “Pen Pals of Europe*.” It was a sort of long-distanceclub for kids, where everybody wrote letters to each other, fromEurope to America and from America to Europe. That was just whatJessica was looking for! She joined right away and sent letters toa boy or girl in eighteen different European countries, four orfive in each of the four regions of Europe. Pretty soon, shestarted receiving mail from European children her age …

    (the letters are all on the following pages)

    What a wonderful bunch of letters! Jessica wrote back to eachone of her new pen pals: Lidiya, Pavel, Agnieszka, Claudiu, Maarit,Jaagup, Jona, Cathal, Zlata, Estevao, Xanthia, Mauro, Maria, Klaus,Laura, Jules, Ute, and Laurent. And she started getting moreletters back from them. Soon, she had many new friends and waslearning more and more. Jessica wants to take a trip to Europe someday!

    *note: Pen Pals of Europe is not a real group.

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    Dear Jessica, Hello from Bulgaria. My name is Lidiya. I live inthe city of Sofia, which is the capital of my country and thelargest city. In your letter, you wrote that you were interested inlearning about Europe. Bulgaria is in the south-east of Europe,between Turkey and Romania. We have nice beaches on the Black Sea,where my family likes to go on summer vacation. You asked ifBulgaria is still Communist. We were until 1990 (before I wasborn!), when democratic elections were first held. Bulgaria joinedthe EU at the beginning of 2007. My parents say life is much betternow. My father has a good job at a chemical company. I heard thatin America, you shake your head to say ‘no’ and nod to say ‘yes’.That sounds strange, is it true? Here in Bulgaria we do theopposite. Please write back. Regards, Lidiya.

    Dear Jessica, Hi from the Czech Republic. My name is Pavel. Myfamily and I live only fifteen miles away from Prague, and both myparents work there. You asked if my country has beaches. Notreally, unless you count rivers and lakes, because the CzechRepublic is landlocked. We are located in the center of Europe,southeast of Germany and north of Austria. In 1989, the Communistgovernment was peacefully overthrown in the “Velvet Revolution”. Weused to be half of Czechoslovakia, but in 1993 the country splitinto the Czech Republic and Slovakia. People call it the “VelvetDivorce” because it was also peaceful. Summers are mild here, whichis good because I don’t like hot weather. I enjoy skiing in thewinter, when it usually snows a lot. What is it like in the winterwhere you live? Best wishes, Pavel

    Dear Jessica, Dzień dobry from Poland! My name is Agnieszka. Iam a girl. Poland is easy to find on a map, it’s a big country eastof Germany and south of the Baltic Sea. I live in a small townoutside Warsaw, the capital. My father works for the government andmy mother is an artist. What do your parents do? I like to cook,and I want to have my own restaurant when I grow up. My favoritething to cook (or eat) are pierogi, which are dumplings with meat,cabbage, and other good things inside. If you come to Poland, Ipromise to cook some for you. You are right: Poland used to be aCommunist country, but that ended in 1989, a long time before I wasborn. We joined the EU in 2004. Please tell me more about yourself.Your pen friend, Agnieszka.

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    Dear Jessica, Hi from Claudiu in Romania. I live with my parentsand my sister in Bucharest, the capital. My hobby is playing theguitar and singing while I play. You asked me if we really havevampires in my country. I hope you were joking. Transylvania ispart of my country, but there are no such things as vampires. Atleast I have never seen one! Romania is in the south-east part ofEurope, between Ukraine and Bulgaria. We also share borders withHungary, Moldova, and Serbia. We have nice beaches on the BlackSea, where I enjoy swimming. Romania used to be a Communistcountry, from the end of WWII until 1989. We joined the EU in 2007,and now we can travel in Europe without passports. Watch out forvampires! Your pen friend, Claudiu.

    Dear Jessica, This is Maarit in Finland. I am a girl. I live inHelsinki with my parents. My most important interest is music. JeanSibelius was a famous Finnish composer, but I prefer the rock bandThe Rasmus, have you heard of them? What can I tell you aboutFinland? It is a big country in the north of Europe between Swedenand Russia. It is cold and dark in the winter and the summer daysare long. We have thousands and thousands of lakes. We also havelots of cell phones – more per person than any other country. Doyou know Nokia cell phones? Nokia is a Finnish company. Finlandused to be poor, but now the economy is much better. We joined theEU in 1995. Please write me back and tell me about yourself. Whatbands do you like? Regards, Maarit.

    Dear Jessica, Greetings from Estonia. My name is Jaagup. I am aboy. I live in Tallinn with my parents and two brothers. Tallinn,as you know, is the capital city of Estonia. Estonia lies on theBaltic Sea between Latvia and Russia. It is a small country, thesize of Switzerland, but with fewer people, only 1.5 millioninstead of 7.5 million as in Switzerland. That makes Estonia one ofthe most sparsely-populated countries in Europe. We gained ourindependence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and we joined the EU in2004. Some people say Estonians invented the Christmas tree,because the first Christmas tree recorded in history was put up inTallinn in 1441 at a Christmas party (it burned down at the end ofthe party!). Sincerely, Jaagup.

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    Dear Jessica, Hello! Ég heiti Jona. That is Icelandic for “Myname is Jona.” I am a girl. I live with my parents and two sistersnot far from Reykjavik. You asked me if I have ever seen the singerBjörk. I am sorry: although she is from Iceland I have never seenher. I like her music though. One thing I have seen a lot of inIceland are volcanoes and geysers. Also lots of ice: more than tenpercent of our country is covered by glaciers. Iceland is an islandin northern Europe. We are a small country with only about 300,000people. We are in the Atlantic Ocean between Greenland and Europe.Did you know that Iceland has the oldest parliament in the world?It is called the Althing and was founded in 930. That is more than500 years before Columbus sailed to the Americas! Sincerely,Jona.

    Dear Jessica, Greetings from Ireland. My name is Cathal. I’m aboy, by the way. I’ve got two sisters and one brother and we alllive with our parents in Galway, which is on the west coast acrossthe country from Dublin, the capital. Galway is in the Gaeltacht,which is part of western Ireland where people still speak Irish.Most people learn Irish in school, but English is the firstlanguage for most of us now. What can I tell you about Ireland? Itis an island west of Great Britain. You asked if there is fightingin Northern Ireland, which still belongs to Great Britain. I amhappy to report that things are mostly peaceful there now. Myfavorite thing to do is play Irish rules football, which is similarto what you call soccer. I also like computers. What are yourhobbies? Cheers, Cathal.

    Dear Jessica, This is Zlata writing from Croatia. Like you, I ama girl. Croatia is a country in southern Europe. You mentioned thewar: we used to be part of a country called Yugoslavia, but wedeclared independence in 1991 and fighting began because otherparts of the country didn’t want us to leave. The war lasted aboutfour years. I am glad it is peaceful now. Croatia is a beautifulcountry. We have a long coastline on the Adriatic Sea that ispretty, and it’s popular with tourists from all over the world. Ihave one sister and live in Zagreb, the capital, with my family. Iwant to be President when I grow up, or a pop singer. Maybe both.What are your plans? Write back and tell me. Regards, Zlata.

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    Dear Jessica, Hi from sunny Portugal. My name is Estevao. I likeplaying football (or, as you call it, soccer). I hope to playprofessionally someday. My family and I live in a small town thirtykilometers northeast of Lisbon, the capital. Portugal is insouthern Europe on the Atlantic Ocean west of Spain, on the IberianPeninsula. Centuries ago, Portugal was a rich and importantseafaring country with overseas colonies. Many famous explorerscame from Portugal. Vasco de Gama found a route to India, andPortuguese traders got rich from the spice trade. Pedro ÁlvaresCabral discovered Brazil and claimed it for Portugal, which is whythey speak Portuguese in Brazil today. Please write back and tellme about America! Sincerely, Estevao.

    Dear Jessica, Hi from in Greece. My name is Xanthia. I live inThessaloniki with my family, including one sister and two brothers.Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece, after Athens,the capital. Greece is at the southern edge of Europe, so as youguessed, it is hot here in the summer. Sometimes it gets so drythat forest fires are a big danger. But you were wrong about thelandscape: it is not flat here, four-fifths of the country ismountainous, in fact. Have you heard of Mount Olympus? It is thehighest mountain in Greece. In our mythology the gods were said tolive there. Do you know any Greek myths? Greek philosophers arealso famous, such as Plato and Aristotle. Greek culture is very oldand has had a big influence on culture and art in other countries.Your new pen pal, Xanthia.

    Dear Jessica, Buon giorno! My name is Mauro, and I live inItaly. Italy is the boot-shaped country in the south of Europe. Ican tell you a lot about Italy, as I am very good in school and Ican speak English well. I live with my parents and two youngersisters in Rome, the capital. Rome is the biggest city, almost 4million people live in the city or nearby. It is also old: it ismore than 2,500 years old. It is loud and busy and I like it. Toanswer your question, yes, I have been to Venice. In person it iseven more beautiful than in pictures, but I got tired walkingaround so much. My favorite city is Pompeii, which was buried by avolcano in the year 79. My favorite food is ice cream, calledgelato in Italian. What is yours? Regards, Mauro.

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    Dear Jessica, Hello from Spain. I am Maria. My family and I livein a big house near Madrid, the capital. You asked if Spain stillhas a king. Yes, it does, but Spain is a parliamentary monarchy,meaning although the king is head of state, the government iselected. Spain is a large country in the southwest of Europe. Ithas a population of about 40 million people. Most people speakSpanish, but Catalan, Galician and Basque are also spoken. Spainhas a long history. The oldest human fossils in Europe were foundin caves in Spain, and in the 16th and 17th centuries Spanishexplorers conquered much of North and South America. Please writeme again and tell me more about yourself. Yours truly, Maria.

    Dear Jessica, Servus from Austria! We speak German here inAustria, and “servus” means both hello and goodbye in AustrianGerman. My name is Klaus. I live in a small town west of Vienna. Ido like to ski, how did you guess? However, I cannot ski near myhome because it is flat where I live, although more than half ofAustria is covered with mountains. Our highest mountain is theGrossglockner, it is 3,798 meters high. Austria used to be a largeempire in Europe, but after the first World War it lost muchterritory and now it is a small country of eight million people inthe center of Europe. We have many neighbors: the Czech Republic,Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia,Switzerland. I like music. I play

    the violin. Can you play an instrument? Servus, Klaus.

    Dear Jessica, Nice to meet you. My name is Laura. Thank you foryour interest in Belgium. I am interested in the United States,too. My family lives in Brussels, where my father works for the EU.Brussels is the capital of both Belgium and the European Union.Belgium used to be part of the Netherlands but became independentin 1830. Because Belgium is near the sea, it is often foggy here. Ilike fog. Belgium is also famous for its beer. We have more than450 different kinds of beer! As you mentioned in your letter, wehave a king, but we also have an elected government: Belgium is aconstitutional monarchy. The official languages are French andDutch. I can speak both, as well as English and German. Whatlanguages do you speak? Write back soon! Laura.

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    Dear Jessica, Bon jour from Jules in France! I live with onebrother and my parents in Paris. My older sister goes to universityand no longer lives with us. To answer your question: Yes, I havebeen to the Eiffel Tower, but I have not been to the Notre DameCathedral because I don’t go to church that much. I have also notseen the caves in Lascaux, because they are closed to the public,although they have a reproduction in caves nearby. France is in thewest of Europe, across the English Channel from Great Britain. Itis a large country, with a population of more than 60 millionpeople. In the summer my family goes to the South of France onholiday. It is warmer there. In the winter we go skiing in themountains near Grenoble. What do you do on your holidays? Regards,Jules.

    Dear Jessica, Hi from Germany. My name is Ute. I am a girl. Myfamily and I live near Berlin, the capital of Germany. There usedto be two Germanys. In 1949, the country was divided into WestGermany and East Germany. East Germany was Communist. Germany wasreunited in 1990. Germany is a large country in central Europe. Thepopulation is over 80 million, the second-biggest in Europe (afterRussia) and the economy is strong, so we play an important role inEurope. Germany was a founding member of the EU in 1957. The Germanlandscape is quite varied. It ranges from flat plains in the north,near the North Sea, to mountains and Alps in the south. Our highestmountain is the Zugspitze, it is 2,963 meters high. Write back soonand tell me about your country! Tschüß!

    Dear Jessica, My name is Laurent. Hello from one of the smallestcountries in Europe: Luxembourg. Luxembourg was founded in 963, butdidn’t gain full independence until 1867. Our population is onlyabout 480,000. Our capital city, where I live with my family, isalso called Luxembourg. We are a constitutional monarchy, meaningthe head of state is the Grand Duke or Grand Duchess, and the headof government is elected. Personally, I find the climate herepleasant, because it is mild, meaning the winters are not so cold,and it doesn’t get too hot in the summer, unlike other countriesfurther in the north or south of Europe. My hobbies are horsebackriding and reading. What do you like to do? Please write soon andtell me more about yourself.

    Sincerely, Laurent.

  • Reading Comprehension/ Geography/ Europe

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    Name ________________________________ Date________________________ Part I: Mark each of the followingstatements T for TRUE or F for FALSE.

    1. __ It is very hot and dry throughout all of Europe.

    2. __ English, French, and German are the only languages spokenin Europe.

    3. __ Luxembourg is the second-largest country in Europe.

    4. __ There are no glaciers in Europe.

    5. __ Many European countries ceased to be Communist around theyear 1990.

    6. __ No European countries are landlocked.

    7. __ All European countries are more than 1,500 years old.

    8. __ English is spoken in Europe.

    9. __ There are volcanoes in Europe.

    10. __ European countries all share the same culture.

    11. __ Germany is the northernmost country in Europe.

    12. __ The Eiffel Tower is in France.

    13. __ It is often foggy in Belgium.

    14. __ Austria used to be an empire.

    15. __ The Czech Republic is landlocked.

    16. __ Europe is home to 11% of the world’s population.

    17. __ Cavemen used to live in Europe.

    18. __ Some European countries are quite mountainous.

    19. __ “Servus” means “thank you” in German.

    20. __ Monaco and Vatican City are the smallest countries inEurope.

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    Name ________________________________ Date________________________ Part II: Write a brief answer to each ofthe following questions.

    1. Why did Jessica become interested in Europe?

    2. How did Jessica get the names and addresses of all thechildren she wrote?

    3. How many people live in Europe?

    4. How old are the caves of Lascaux, France?

    5. Which country has the largest area in Europe?

    6. What languages are spoken in Spain?

    7. Which countries have the largest and second-largestpopulations?

    8. Ice covers 10% of which European country?

    9. Which European country split off from Yugoslavia in 1991?

    10. Which European country is famous for having many brands ofbeer?

    11. Does the Czech Republic have ocean beaches?

    12. What is Brussels the capital of?

    13. Where is Portugal?

    14. What are the smallest European countries?

    15. What is the Grossglockner and where is it?

    16. What are pierogi?

    17. Why are forest fires sometimes a problem in Greece?

    18. In which European country is Transylvania located?

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    Name ________________________________ Date________________________ Part III: Choose the correct missingportion for each statement.

    1. Jessica lives in ______________. a. Canada b. Germany c. TheUnited States d. Ireland

    2. Her Aunt Georgia visited ____________. a. Ireland b. Venice,Italy c. Paris, France d. All of the above

    3. In the story, Pen Pals of Europe was a club where kids fromthe United States and Europe could _______________ other kids.

    a. adopt b. write letters to c. learn to speak Europeanlanguages with d. send gifts to

    4. From Klaus’ letter from Austria, Jessica learned that__________. a. The Eiffel Tower is in Austria b. No one in Austriacan ski c. Austria used to be a large empire d. All of theabove

    5. Finland is cold and dark in the winter because__________________ a. It is so far north b. It is so mountainous c.It is covered with ice d. The government forgot to pay its utilitybill

    6. The Christmas Tree may have been invented in__________________. a. Latvia b. Greece c. Portugal d. Estonia

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    Name ________________________________ Date________________________ Part III: Choose the correct missingportion for each statement.

    7. From Lidiya, Jessica learns that Bulgaria _______________ .a. has a coastline on the Black Sea b. is presently a Communistcountry c. shares a border with Spain d. all of the above

    8. Pavel tells Jessica that peaceful split of Czechoslovakiainto the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993 is called_________________ .

    a. the “Cotton Annulment” b. the “Satin Split-up” c. the “VelvetDivorce” d. none of the above

    9. Which statement is not true about Poland? a. It is a bigcountry b. It is Communist c. It is East of Germany d. It is Southof the Baltic Sea

    10. Which of the following does Romania not have? a. a borderwith Hungary b. vampires c. a communist past d. beaches

    11. Jessica learns from Maarit that Nokia is _________, a. aBelgian beer b. a Finnish company c. a Polish dumpling d. aPortuguese explorer and navigator

    12. A good way for Jessica to learn more about Europe is to___________ . a. write more letters to her new European pen pals b.eat European food c. study European fashions d. go to a museum

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    Name ________________________________ Date________________________ Part III: Choose the correct missingportion for each statement.

    13. Estonia gained independence from ____________________ in1991. a. the Soviet Union b. Yugoslavia c. the Netherlands d.Monaco

    14. The oldest parliament in the world is located in____________.

    a. Greece b. France c. Iceland d. Sweden

    15. The capital of Ireland is ____________.

    a. Dublin b. Galway c. Gaeltacht d. Reykjavik

    16. ____________ is a former Yugoslavian country with a longcoastline on the

    Adriatic Sea. a. Slovenia b. Croatia c. Italy d. Greece

    17. The combined land area of Monaco and Vatican City is____________.

    a. the size of Alaska b. nearly twice as large as the UnitedStates c. less than one square mile d. all of the above

    18. Many famous explorers came from ____________.

    a. Portugal b. Belgium c. Austria d. None of the above

    19. The highest mountain in Greece is ____________. a. Mt. Platob. Mt. Olympus c. Mt. Athens d. Mt. Olympics

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    Name ________________________________ Date________________________ Part IV. On another sheet of paper, writea short paragraph about each of the following topics.

    1. What you would like to see if you went on a trip toEurope

    2. Which letter you liked best and why

    3. What you learned that was new information

    4. What you know about Europe that wasn’t in the story

    5. What languages are spoken in various countries in Europe

    6. What the food is like in some European countries

    7. What the climate is like in different parts of Europe

    8. What sort of landscapes you think can be found in Europe

    Part V. Match the following items with the name of the country:Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia,Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy,Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Spain.

    1. __________ Notre Dame Cathedral

    2. __________ Former empire (lost much territory after WWI)

    3. __________ Population 480,000

    4. __________ Pierogi

    5. __________ Transylvania

    6. __________ Black Sea

    7. __________ Velvet Revolution

    8. __________ Grand Duke is Head of State

    9. __________ Formerly split into two halves, East and West

    10. __________ Gained independence from Netherlands in 1830

    11. __________ Vienna

    12. __________ Sibelius

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    13. __________ Tallinn

    14. __________ oldest human fossils in Europe were found incaves here

    15. __________ Pompeii, Rome, Venice

    16. __________ Gaeltacht

    17. __________ geysers

    18. __________ Plato

    19. __________ Vasco de Gama

    20. __________ Zagreb

    21. __________ Brazil

    22. __________ Official languages are French and Dutch

    23. __________ Big country east of Germany

    24. __________ Population is about 80 million

    25. __________ Boot-shaped country in the South of Europe

    26. __________ Spanish, Catalan, Galician and Basque are spokenhere

    27. __________ Mt. Olympus

    28. __________ Full independence in 1867

    29. __________ Björk

    30. __________ Aristotle

    31. __________ Berlin

    32. __________ Prague

    33. __________ Oldest parliament in the world

    34. __________ Eiffel Tower

    35. __________ Country and capital city have same name

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    Part VI. Use the map of Europe below to answer the followingquestions.

    1. Which is the largest country? 2. Which is the northernmostcountry? 3. Which countries are islands? 4. Which country is thefurthest west? 5. Which countries share a border with Germany?

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    Part VII. There more than forty European countries in all. Whatif Jessica had gotten a letter from each country? Write animaginary letter to Jessica from someone in one of those othercountries. Be sure to include: The name of the country, capitalcity, region in Europe the country is located in, name of thewriter, the city or town that the writer is from, a briefdescription of the climate or geographical features, and at leastone interesting fact. Draw and color the flag in the spaceprovided, or have your teacher print one out for you.

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    Answer Key Part I 1. false 2. false 3. false 4. false 5. true 6.false 7. false 8. true 9. true 10. false

    11. false 12. true 13. true 14. true 15. true 16. true 17. true18. true 19. false 20. true

    Part II 1. because of the bracelet her aunt gave her, and herstories and photos 2. she signed up with a club for kids to writeto each other from America and Europe 3. about 730 million 4. theyare 17,000 years old 5. Russia 6. Spanish, Catalan, Galician, andBasque 7. Russia and Germany 8. Iceland 9. Croatia 10. Belgium 11.no 12. Brussels is the capital of both Belgium and the EuropeanUnion (EU) 13. Portugal is in southern Europe on the Atlantic Oceanwest of Spain, on the Iberian

    Peninsula 14. Monaco and Vatican City 15. the Grossglockner isthe highest mountain in Austria 16. Polish dumplings 17. because itsometimes gets so dry in the summer 18. Romania Part III 1. c 2. d3. b 4. c 5. a 6. d 7. a 8. c 9. b 10. b

    11. b 12. a 13. a 14. c 15. a 16. b 17. c 18. a 19. b

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    Part IV Answers will vary according to student experience. PartV 1. France 2. Austria 3. Luxembourg 4. Poland 5. Romania 6.Bulgaria 7. Czech Republic 8. Luxembourg 9. Germany 10. Belgium 11.Austria 12. Finland 13. Estonia 14. Spain 15. Italy 16. Ireland 17.Iceland 18. Greece

    19. Portugal 20. Croatia 21. Portugal 22. Belgium 23. Poland 24.Germany 25. Italy 26. Spain 27. Greece 28. Luxembourg 29. Iceland30. Greece 31. Germany 32. Czech Republic 33. Iceland 34. France35. Luxembourg

    Part VI 1. Russia 2. Norway 3. Iceland, Ireland, United Kingdom,Malta 4. Portugal 5. Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg,France, Switzerland, Austria, Czech

    Republic, Poland Part VII. Answers will vary.

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