edHelper.com
The 1890's
A Back That's Strong: Working for a Living in the 1890s, Part 1



A Back That's Strong: Working for a Living in the 1890s, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.5

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    company-owned, duhLAYN, hacked, hard-pressed, muckers, scrip-notes, silver-strewn, staked, trainload, walk-outs, rents, housing, barred, dynamite, grueling, clout
     content words:    Saint Peter, Merle Travis, Northern Idaho, North Idaho


Print A Back That's Strong: Working for a Living in the 1890s, Part 1
     Print A Back That's Strong: Working for a Living in the 1890s, Part 1  (font options, pick words for additional puzzles, and more)


Quickly Print - PDF format
     Quickly Print: PDF (2 columns per page)

     Quickly Print: PDF (full page)


Quickly Print - HTML format
     Quickly Print: HTML


Proofreading Activity
     Print a proofreading activity


Feedback on A Back That's Strong: Working for a Living in the 1890s, Part 1
     Leave your feedback on A Back That's Strong: Working for a Living in the 1890s, Part 1  (use this link if you found an error in the story)



A Back That's Strong: Working for a Living in the 1890s, Part 1
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     
Some people say a man is made out of mud.
A poor man's made out of muscle and blood--
Muscle and blood and skin and bones;
A mind that's weak and a back that's strong.

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go--
I owe my soul to the company store.
(From the song "Sixteen Tons" written by Merle Travis)

 
2     Organized labor walked a rocky path in the late 1800s. Workers were lined up for jobs. Employers could afford to shrug off protests about low pay and unsafe conditions. Labor groups in the U.S. launched nearly 25,000 strikes in the last 20 years of the 19th century. Six million workers joined in these walk-outs.
 
3     In half these attempts to win reforms, workers gained nothing. In fact, they usually lost everything. Groups of employers shared lists of those who had taken part in union activity. Workers from a failed strike were barred from other jobs. This was called blacklisting. In a few cases, employers made bargains with striking workers. These deals weren't backed by any sort of legal clout. Many didn't last long. Within a few month pay raises or other concessions often vanished like mist.
 
4     In spite of these disappointments, labor leaders pressed on. Most labor battles of the era followed a dismal pattern. The 1892 strike at a steel mill in Homestead, Pennsylvania, is an example. Faced with a cut in pay, the men banded together and walked off the job. Management moved to break the strike, bringing in new workers who didn't belong to the union. They also hired armed guards to keep union men out. Strikers, pushed to the wall, took up arms, too. In an exchange of bullets, several men were killed. The state militia was called in. Troops carried out orders to restore peace by pursuing and arresting strikers. The weary workers gave up. The strike was broken and the union collapsed.

Paragraphs 5 to 15:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable



Weekly Reading Books

          Create Weekly Reading Books

Prepare for an entire week at once!


The 1890's
             The 1890's


United States
             United States


    American Government  
 
    Black History and Blacks in U.S. History  
 
    Children in History  
 
    Government Careers  
 
    Hispanic Heritage  
 
    How Can I Help?  
 
 
    Immigration  
 
    National Parks and Monuments  
 
    Native Americans  
 
    Presidents of the United States  
 
    Women's History  
 


United States History
    A Nation Divided
(1840-1861)
 
 
    A New Nation
(1776-1830)
 
 
    After the Civil War
(1865-1870)
 
 
    American Revolution  
 
    Cold War
(1947-1991)
 
 
    Colonial America (1492-1776)  
 
    Lewis and Clark
(1804-1806)
 
 
    Spanish American War (1898)  
 
    The 1890's  
 
    The 1900's  
 
    The 1910's  
 
    The 1920's  
 
    The 1930's  
 
    The 1940's  
 
 
    The 1950's  
 
    The 1960's  
 
    The 1970's  
 
    The 1980's  
 
    The 1990's  
 
    The 2000's  
 
    The Civil War
(1861-1865)
 
 
    The Great Depression
(1929-1945)
 
 
    The United States Grows
(1865-1900)
 
 
    The War of 1812  
 
    Wild, Wild West  
 
    World War I
(1914-1918)
 
 
    World War II  
 


50 States

             Fifty States Theme Unit


Document Based Activities
      Document Based Activities


More Activities, Lesson Plans, and Worksheets


Back to School
Graphic Organizers
Alphabet Worksheets
Sight Words
Math Worksheets
Mazes
50 States

Monthly Themes
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

Fractions
Place Value
Time and Calendar
Money
Earth Day
Solar System
Analogies
Nouns
Following Directions
Listening
Capitalization
Cursive Writing
Patterns and Sequencing
Dinosaurs
All About Me

Kindergarten
First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Sixth Grade

Multiplication
Division
Main Idea
Cause and Effect
Measurement
Decimals
Rounding
Order of Operations
Verbs
Community Helpers
Adjectives
Plants
Grammar
Addition and Subtraction
Contractions
Bulletin Board Ideas
Word Searches
Crossword Puzzles
Printable Puzzles

Reading Comprehension
Reading Skills
English Language Arts





Copyright © 2011 edHelper