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ТЕКСТ: COUNTRY AND PEOPLE
There are fifty states in the United States of America. Two of these states, Alaska and Hawaii, are not connected to the other states. You can see it on this map. The US is washed by the Pacific Ocean in the west, by the Atlantic Ocean in the east, by the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico in the south. In the north are Great Lakes.
The US is a large country with many natural wonders. It goes from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the islands of Hawaii in the Pacific, and from cold, snowy northern Alaska to sunny Florida in the southeast. The US has almost every kind of weather. Also, it has many kinds of land — rocky coasts, dry empty deserts, big rivers, wide plains and grasslands, lakes of all sizes, high mountains, great forests, sunny beaches, lands of endless winter.
More than 250 million people live in the US. But the country is very big, so there is still a lot of open space and natural scenery outside the cities. Americans have tried to save many of the most beautiful wild areas of the United States. There are a lot of parks, forests and wildlands where you can enjoy the beauty and power of wild America. The Grand Canyon, Yosemite Valley, and Yellowstone are among the most famous.
Many rivers cross the United States. But the greatest is the mighty Mississippi. Native Americans called it "the father of waters". It begins quietly in the north of the country and ends in the Gulf of Mexico, nearly four thousand milesl (6400 km) away. On its journey to the sea, the Mississippi travels through several states, and becomes larger and more powerful, it brings water to farmlands. And the Mississippi has been an important waterway since early times, when native Americans travelled on the river in canoes. Among other big rivers are the Colorado and the Missouri. The Colorado River rises in the Rocky Mountains or the Rockies that stretch from Alaska down almost to the south of the country. Another big mountain chain is the Appalachians in the east also running from north to south.
The Grand Canyon is one of America's main tourist attractions. It is so big that you must go there yourself to feel its true size and beauty. The Colorado River formed the Grand Canyon over millions of years. Slowly, the river cut down through hard rock. Today, the canyon is one mile deep and 200 miles (320 km) long. It's interesting that there are different kinds of plants and animals on opposite sides of the canyon. The south side is dry and desert country. The north side has tall forests. The canyon looks different at different times of day, and in different seasons and weather. At sunrise and sunset the red, gold, brown, and orange colours of the rocks are especially clear and bright. In winter, the canyon is partly covered with snow. You can walk down into the Grand Canyon, or you can go down on the back of a mule. But be careful to carry enough water because inside the canyon, it is very hot — much hotter than at the top.
1. Where is the US situated? 2. What is it washed by? 3. What is the typical weather of the country? 4. What is the scenery of the country? 5. What is the population of the country? 6. What are the most famous places to enjoy the beauty and power of wild America? 7. What mighty rivers of the USA do you know? 8. What big mountain chains can you name? 9. What attracts people to the Grand Canyon? 10. Why do people say that the US is a young country? 11. What do the authors of the text say about Americans' likes and interests? 12. How do you understand the phrase "The US is a big melting pot"?