Still Working: Ghosts of Chinese Transcontinental Railroad Workers by Lonnie Dai Zovi, is a short ghost story with exercises about a pair of graduated high school students taking their last camping trip together sleeping out in the open, right where the deserted Chinese Labor camp, where the workers on the Transcontinental Railroad used to stay. For some reason, they didn't manage to last the whole night there after all.
Still Working Ghosts of Transcontinental Railroad Chinese Workers is one of eighteen stories in the U.S.History based True Ghost Stories That Teach Historically Based Stories with Content Area Connections by Lonnie Dai Zovi. These 6 pages contain a high interest short story written at a 4-5th grade reading level, but of interest to all students, 4th grade to adult ESL,GED or Citizenship classes.
Besides enjoying the story (who doesn't love a good ghost story?), the students will learn, review, discuss, investigate, and write about :
1. The Transcontinental Railroad
2. Immigrant workers on the railroad
3. Early Chinese immigrants
4. Ph versus f in certain words
5. Applied simple math
All the stories in this collection capitalize on the students' great interest in ghosts, and other weird phenomena. These stories take advantage of this interest by using the stories to teach:
1. Practice reading
2. Improve comprehension
3. Expand vocabulary
4. Highlight or teach certain aspects of language
5. Teach or review history
6. Make connections to other content areas
7. Stimulate discussions
8. Write interesting paragraphs or simple essays
To take full advantage of the True Ghost Stories That Teach, the students should read the stories aloud, dramatizing and using voices and other sound effects (readers' theater). The stories have been designed for readers of all ages, as have the exercises. These exercise may be done together as a whole group, partners or individually.