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In 1919 in a busy neighborhood of Boston a tank holding 2 million gallons of molasses burst open and flooded the streets. An author has written a children’s story about the incident and what happened after the tank exploded. Listen to hear the author talk about and read from her book.
Story Length: 5:31
AIR DATE: 02/21/2012
Throughout time, the American dairy industry has been in desperate need of workers and this attracts immigrants from all over the world. This story starts in the home of an immigrant family as they begin work for the day. Listen to learn about the experiences of new immigrants to the United States, from Guatemala, who work on dairy farms in northern New York and Vermont.
The two-month Bread and Roses strike of 1912 carried out by textile factory workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts marked the beginning of the labor movement. The workers, made up overwhelmingly of immigrant women and children, walked off the jobs they had risked everything to travel to America to take. This public radio story looks back at the strike and what themes resonate today.
The U.S. warship the USS Constitution is docked in Boston Harbor. It's the oldest commission warship in the world. The USS Constitution played a key role in the War of 1812. This Public Radio Story describes how the warship Constitution got its nickname “Old Ironsides” during the War of 1812 as it battled British warships off the U.S. coast.
The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 prevented all immigration of Chinese laborers. Chinese immigrants were detained at Angel Island in San Francisco Bay at the turn of the 20th century because of the Exclusion Act. This audio story describes the Chinese poetry carved on the walls of a detention barracks by Angel Island detainees. Their poetry tells a story of humiliation and mistreatment of innocent Chinese people trying to start a new life or join loved ones already in the United States.
These levels of listening complexity can help teachers choose stories for their students. The levels do not relate to the content of the story, but to the complexity of the vocabulary, sentence structure and language in the audio story.
These stories are easier to understand and are a good starting point for elementary students or English learners.
These stories have an average language challenge for middle and high school students, and can be scaffolded for English learners.
These stories have challenging vocabulary and language and students may need to have some background knowledge to understand the story.