Coolies - Student Resources

What were the contributions Chinese provided to the building of the Transcontinental Railroad?

Created by,
Jessica Hoewing

Curriculum Info  Meet the Author

Coolies, written by Yin


These are websites that my second grade class can access on their own for additional information. These sites provide historical information that adds to their understanding of the book, "Coolies."

Extension Activites
    •The Race to Utah!
An interactive map depicting the Transcontinental Railroad's route from Sacramento to Promontory Point, Utah. This activity is a bit advanced and would be best for gifted students or those with computer experience.
Teacher Resources
    •the Brown Quarterly: the Chinese and the Transcontinental Railroad
A great article for teachers to read before teaching this lesson. It is a concise history of the Chinese contribution and the hardships they faced.
    •Timeline of the Transcontinental Railroad
A very detailed timeline of the building of the railroad. Includes other current events (Lincoln's assassination etc.) to put the railroad in a historical context.
    •People & Events: The Chinese Workers' Strike
This article gives a great deal of information about the workers' strike mentioned in the book, "Coolies."
    •PBS Teacher Resources: Transcontinental Railroad
A few additional lessons about the Transcontinental Railroad.
    •Literature Learning Ladders: Dragon's Gate
This is a great Read-Aloud book about the Chinese contribution to the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. It could be read over a week or so a chapter at a time.
    •"Coolies" on
Reviews and information about Yin's beautiful book
Visual Resources
    •Chinese Contribution to the Transcontinental Railroad
This site has a variety of authentic photographs depiciting Chinese laborers working on the railroad. It also had interesting text for advanced readers.
    •PBS Transcontinental Railroad Slideshow
A beautiful photographic slideshow capturing the building of the railroad. This slideshow captures all workers including the Chinese.
    •The El Paso County Courthouse Mural
This is a section of the colorful and detailed mural found at the country courthouse in El Paso, Texas. This section memorializes the Chinese who worked on the railroad.
    •A View of San Francisco's Chinatown (1870's)
This is a nice photo for students to compare San Francisco's Chinatown now and in the late 1800's.
    •A Visual Tour of San Francisco's Chinatown (1900)
this is a great short movie filmed in San Francisco's Chinatown. A wonderful way for students to compare our Chinatown then and now.

Last updated: September 28 2004, 1:36 pm
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