The Iron Dragon Never Sleeps

Section 1: Chapters 1-3

  1. disembark: to leave a vehicle such as a ship, train, or plane
  2. lurch: a sudden jerking, swaying, or tipping movement
  3. keg: a small cask or barrel
  4. celestial: relating to or suggesting something from the sky or heavens
  5. slump: to assume a drooping or stooped posture
  6. bluff: a high steep bank or cliff
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. We will disembark at noon for our trip to Grandma’s house.
  2. Abby lurched to her bed, exhausted after her long day of school.
  3. The precious liquid was stored in a keg for safe keeping.
  4. The fabric had a celestial pattern of stars all across it.
  5. Terrance was told not to slump in his chair no matter how tired he was.
  6. Standing on the edge of the bluff I looked across the water.
Comprehension Questions
  1. The man had a scraggly beard and a scuffed hat, and reminded her of her grandfathers, who had also been miners. (pg. 1)
  2. The train stops for ten minutes at Cape Horn so that the passengers can enjoy the view. (pg. 6)
  3. Everyone calls the Chinese the Celestials because they call their home in China the Celestial Kingdom. (pg. 11)
  4. Winnie’s father is late to pick up her and her mother because nothing went right in his day. (pg. 14)
  5. Winnie can’t go to the tunnel with her father because she’s a girl. (pg. 17)
  6. Winnie’s father surprises her with a horse to ride, named Handsome. (pg. 17)
  7. Lee Cheng thanks Winnie for her advice to taste winter in his mouth by eating peppermint. (pg. 23)

Section 2: Chapters 4-6

  1. slurp: to eat or drink noisily with a sucking sound
  2. freckle: a small brownish spot on the skin
  3. lumber: to move heavily or clumsily
  4. beam: to smile with joy
  5. buckboard: a horse drawn wagon with a floor made of long springy boards
  6. immigrant: a person who comes to live in a new country
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. The boy enjoyed slurping his iced tea while sitting in the shade.
  2. The red-headed girl was told that the freckles on her face were kisses from angels.
  3. In the 19th century, many immigrants came to America hoping for of a better life
  4. The sweetness of the ice cream made me beam with joy.
  5. The giant would lumber if asked to dance in the ballet.
  6. The horses panicked in the thunderstorm and galloped so wildly that the buckboard overturned.
Comprehension Questions
  1. Eating at Swanson’s is different because they can’t choose their meals and Papa tucks his napkin under his chin. (pg. 25)
  2. Winnie’s father says the Chinese wear their hair in a long braid because they have to obey the Chinese emperor’s law. (pg. 28)
  3. Winnie learns that the Celestials take many baths, and she dislikes baths almost as much as vegetables. (pg. 30)
  4. Winnie feels a little different toward the Chinese because she met Lee. (pg. 35)
  5. In 1847 at Donner Lake, there were immigrants who got stuck there and starved to death. (pg. 42)
  6. Lee Cheng shows Winnie how to fly her kite at Donner Lake. (pg. 43-44)
  7. Winnie’s attention keeps wondering what trouble is coming while rowing on Donner Lake. (pg. 47)

Section 3: Chapters 7-9

  1. calico: cotton cloth with a colored pattern printed on one side
  2. strike: a work stoppage to force an employer to agree with demands for change
  3. prowl: to move stealthily in search of prey
  4. briar: a plant with a thorny, woody stem
  5. tromp: to treat heavily
  6. canter: a smooth, three beat gait of a horse
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. The gardener pricked her finger while trimming the briar rose bushes.
  2. The young pioneer girl asked her mother for a calico dress.
  3. The sneaky burglar would prowl the neighborhood looking for an empty house to break into.
  4. The factory workers decided that a strike was the only thing that would get them a pay raise.
  5. The young boy loved to canter his horse along the beach.
  6. The playful dog would tromp through the garden, crushing all the flowers.
Comprehension Questions
  1. Marjorie thinks the railroad owners might deserve the strike since the Chinese are paid less than the white workers and have to buy their own food. (pg. 49)
  2. Lee Cheng justifies the strike by explaining how the Chinese have to work longer hours, how they have had to dig tunnels in the snow, and some even died in an Avalanche. (pg. 51-52)
  3. Winnie takes all of Mrs. Swanson’s muffins to give to Lee since Mr. Crocker stopped giving the Chinese any food. (pg. 57)
  4. Lee Cheng seems scared because of the three men he saw carrying clubs. (pg. 61)
  5. Winnie gives Lee Cheng the drawing she made of him. (pg. 60)
  6. The strike helped the Chinese workers to get two more dollars a month, but it cost the railroad time. (pg. 63)
  7. Flap Jack thinks it is strange that the explosions have suddenly stopped. (pg. 66)

Section 4: Chapters 10-Afterword

  1. frantic: wildly or uncontrollably excited
  2. smudge: a blurry spot, streak or smear
  3. policy: a set of rules or principles
  4. shudder: to tremble or shake
  5. foreman: a person in charge of a group of workers
  6. courage: the ability to face danger, fear or difficulty
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. The mother was frantic as she searched for her missing keys since she was late for an appointment.
  2. The artist didn’t notice that he had a big smudge of paint across his face.
  3. The foreman demanded that his workers arrive at the work site on time.
  4. The students were not allowed to text during class because it was against school policy.
  5. The man began to shudder as he thought of diving into the icy, cold water.
  6. The young boy showed great courage by jumping into the river to save his drowning brother.
Comprehension Questions
  1. The rescue work is slow and unorganized because the white men refuse to work as a team with the Chinese men. (pg. 71)
  2. Mr. Strobridge suggests that they make another explosion to help free the trapped men. (pg. 72)
  3. Lee Cheng’s brother was not treated by the railroad doctor because it was against company policy. (pg. 79)
  4. Winnie stands against the prejudice by telling the store keeper that Lee wasn’t bothering anyone, and then she left the store without buying anything. (pg. 81-83)
  5. Winnie tries to remind her father to shave. (pg. 84)
  6. Lee Cheng gives Winnie a kite shaped like a dragon as she leaves on the train to go home. (pg. 87)
  7. Chinese immigrants were not thanked for their work on the railroad because of their strange food and bathing habits. (pg. 89-90)