Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
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Reading Comprehension Worksheets
After the Civil War

The United States Grows

The Transcontinental Railroad

After the Civil War<BR>(1865-1870)
After the Civil War

The Transcontinental Railroad
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.15

     challenging words:    solid-rock, waterless, communication, technological, network, traditional, newly-arrived, gasoline, livelihood, beginning, whichever, power, lines, unexpected, advance, government
     content words:    East Coast, West Coast, Native American, Union Pacific, Central Pacific, Great Plains, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Promontory Point, Transcontinental Railroad, Native Americans

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The Transcontinental Railroad
By Sharon Fabian

The Challenge

2     The challenge was to build a railroad from the East Coast to the West Coast. There was already a network of railroads on the East Coast and as far west as Missouri, but the challenging part lay ahead. It would not be easy to build railroad lines through waterless deserts, solid-rock mountains, or Native American hunting territory.
3     Two railroad companies were up for the challenge. The Union Pacific and the Central Pacific both won government contracts to work on the railroad. The Union Pacific would build west from Missouri. The Central Pacific would build east from California. Both companies would be paid for each mile of track they laid, $16,000 per mile on the prairie, twice as much on the high plateaus, and three times as much through the mountains. Whichever company built the most track would earn the most money. The race was on.
4     The Union Pacific hired thousands of workers, many of them Irish immigrants, and started building track across the Great Plains. Each day, it built a few more miles of track.
5     The Central Pacific hired workers in California and began to build. Its first step was to tunnel through the steep, rocky Sierra Nevada Mountains. Some days, they progressed only a few inches. Many workers on the first crew quit; then the Central Pacific began hiring Chinese immigrants. Thousands of these newly-arrived Americans chipped away at the rock day after day. It was slow going, but they kept at it.

Paragraphs 6 to 11:
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After the Civil War

             After the Civil War

The United States Grows

             The United States Grows

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
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