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News Currents

A current events product that introduces learners to the world around them in a unique and engaging way.

Story Text | Country of the Week
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Country of the Week: Iceland
Iceland is an island nation just south of the Arctic Circle.
Iceland is an island in Europe, near the Arctic Circle. What ocean is it located in? (The North Atlantic.) What is the climate like? (It is cold in the north, but the ocean means the southern part of the country is more mild.) Only about 372,000 people live in the whole country. Most live in or near the capital city, Reykjavík—RAY-kyuh-vik. Reykjavík is a beautiful, clean city on the ocean. It is famous for its colorful roofs. From the photo, what do you notice about this city? Iceland’s Prime Minister is Katrín Jakobsdottír. She has run the government since 2017.

Iceland is located on a fault line. It has about 30 active volcanoes. It is also known for its geysers, which are underground hot springs that shoot up steam and boiling water. Strokkur geyser erupts about every 10 minutes, and it is a tourist attraction. Iceland is a very environmentally friendly country. Most people’s homes are heated with geothermal energy, which comes from the heat inside the earth. How is this better for the environment than oil or coal?
Because Iceland was isolated, it has unique animals and a unique culture.
Because Iceland was isolated, it has unique animals and a unique culture. This painting shows Ingólfr Arnarson, one of the first settlers of Iceland. He arrived in Iceland in 874 and built his home there. Many other settlers came after him. Eventually, Denmark took control of Iceland. It became an independent country in 1944.

Before humans arrived, the only mammal on the island was the Arctic fox. Why? (Other animals could not get there.) The Icelandic horse developed from ponies that settlers brought with them. What can you tell about these horses? (They are smaller than regular horses.) Icelandic horses adapted to their new home and they are known for being steady on rocky ground. People from Iceland have a unique culture. Myths are important to people in Iceland. Myths are old stories about gods. Many myths are in the Prose Edda. People in Iceland once lived in “turf houses.” Turf is another word for grass and soil. Would you like to live in a house like this?
**Not included in this demo is the text zoom option.**
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