Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Reading Comprehension Worksheets
The United States Grows

Chiang--Rails East

The United States Grows<BR>(1865-1900)
The United States Grows

Chiang--Rails East
Print Chiang--Rails East Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.31

     challenging words:    annoying, BOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM, immoveable, meanness, midday, hacked, pointed, Ooof, better, spite, stubborn, bullied, hearing, portion, explosion, waist
     content words:    Lee Chow, Sierra Nevadas, But Lee, Big Boss, But Lu Wong, Lu Wong, But Chiang

Chiang--Rails East
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     Chiang climbed into the basket with the others. Lee Chow tugged on his rope handle. The basket was lowered down the rock face. Twenty-three days they had worked at this spot. Inches at a time they had chiseled away at the rock with picks and spikes. Chiang sighed. The rock was stubborn, he thought. Hard, immoveable, stubborn.
2     Chiang sipped tea as he rode down. Soon they'd be down to last night's stopping point. They had to finish the tunnel today so that the track could be laid. Boss had warned them. They were falling behind. Boss was angry at the workers and the mountains. The Sierra Nevadas were holding up his train.
3     Chiang smiled. Boss and the rock were alike. Hard and ugly. Boss wanted a hole in the rock for the train to go through. He would do anything to get it. He'd raged and bullied, even struck workers. But rock is harder than men, Chiang thought. The rock could make holes in men. Chiang had seen it happen. Two men had been killed on this tunnel alone.
4     An annoying tug, tug, tug on his shirt shook Chiang from his daydream. Lee Chow, the elder of their crew, pointed to a loop of rope hanging from the top of the rock. Chiang hated wearing the safety rope. He was always getting himself and his tools tangled in it. But Lee insisted. Safety ropes for everyone.
5     "Yes, Grandfather," Chiang muttered. Grudgingly, he pulled the rope over his head and tightened it around his waist. He glanced up to see Lee smiling.
6     The older man had heard Chiang's muttering. Lee patted Chiang's back. "An extra grandfather is better than a long fall to the rocks, eh?" he said. He handed Chiang a pick.
7     They were making holes for the powder today. Boss wanted to blast this rock out of the way once and for all. Chiang hacked steadily away at the rock. At midday Lee passed around food from the small basket in the corner. Each man got a portion of rice and vegetables from last night's meal. A few minutes to eat, and then back to work.
8     "We find that when we are in a hurry for a job of work," Big Boss had said, "it is better to put Chinese on at once." Chiang was proud that the Chinese were known for their steadiness and hard work. But Chiang's people got less money for their work than the whites. On top of that, the Chinese paid for their own room and board. The whites did not.
9     Chiang jabbed at the rock. He was angry about the money. More work should mean more pay. But he was even more angry about the meanness. The other workers, mostly Irish, resented Chiang's people. They threw rocks or even attacked with pick handles. There were threats about cutting the ropes of Chinese working on the rock face.

Paragraphs 10 to 22:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

Weekly Reading Books

          Create Weekly Reading Books

Prepare for an entire week at once!

Feedback on Chiang--Rails East
Leave your feedback on Chiang--Rails East   (use this link if you found an error in the story)

The United States Grows

             The United States Grows

More Lessons
             High School Reading Comprehensions and High School Reading Lessons
             Special Education United States History Materials for Teachers

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?  
    National Parks and Monuments  
    Native Americans  
    Presidents of the United States  
    Women's History  

United States History
    A Nation Divided
    A New Nation
    After the Civil War
    American Revolution  
    Cold War
    Colonial America (1492-1776)  
    Lewis and Clark
    Pearl Harbor  
    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
    The Great Depression
    The United States Grows
    The War of 1812  
    Wild, Wild West  
    World War I
    World War II  

50 States

             Fifty States Theme Unit

Document Based Activities
      Document Based Activities

Copyright © 2018 edHelper