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Chester comics history for the visual learner or reluctant reader


history in the classroom
school learning comics "My students love the comix. Our 5th grade teachers should buy Slavery's Storm and Go West, Young Crab, which support their curriculum and Georgia's standards."
--Patricia, 4th grade
teacher from GA
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Go West, Young Crab

How did the Oregon Trail help make butter for the settlers pushing west? Why didn’t the man who started the started the gold rush in California get rich? Are Chinese workers successful when they go on strike to get more money for building the Transcontinental Railroad? And what happens when George Custer counts 800 Sioux warriors and ends up facing 3,500? This rollicking, colorful graphic novel will excite reluctant readers, prepare students for standardized tests in history and help homeschooling parents!

Comic sample page #1: How did people rush to the gold?
Comic sample page #2: When did Oregon become a state?
Topics covered in this comic book
View a teacher’s guide for this comic


When did Oregon become a state?


How did people join the 1849 Gold Rush to California?


Chapter 1: The Oregon Trail
The open landscape of the Great Plains belongs to the American Indians, the bison, and a few horses. Then, in 1843, the first large group of American settlers rolls wagons on the Oregon Trail. Settlers on this “Great Migration” group must brave months of dusty and lonely struggle to reach free land along the Pacific Coast. If they are successful, thousands more will follow them and change the West forever. . .

The Oregon Trail covers the following subjects:

Where did the Oregon Trail start?
Why did people walk the Oregon Trail?
How fast did wagons go to Oregon?
Where did the Oregon Trail get bad?
When did Oregon become a state?

Chapter 2: Gold Rush Hour

Rumors of gold pull Spanish explorers to the American Southwest in the 1500s. They find little that glitters except the dry sand. Mexico frees this land from Spanish control but then loses it to the United States in 1848 after the quick Mexican War. Could Americans finally find gold dust among this dusty landscape?

Gold Rush Hour covers the following topics:

When was California’s Gold Rush?
How did people rush to the gold?
How did the ‘49ers look for gold?
How did the Chinese mine for gold?
What happened after rush hour?

Chapter 3: Transcontinental Rails

The Gold Rush of 1849 is named that because people seem to move faster than ever before. Everyone sees how speed can make a difference in fortunes won and lost. California businessmen know that horses and ships cannot compete with a new kind of transportation: the “iron horse!” The steam locomotive could connect California to the eastern United States, if only the rails can climb the Rocky Mountains . . .

Transcontinental Rails covers the following subjects:

Who sold tools to the gold-diggers?
Why build tracks across America?
Who laid the transcontinental track?
Where did the tracks finally meet?
Who built up Newport News?

Chapter 4: The Battle Of Little Bighorn

American settlers now spread across the West. They kill the bison herds. They fence the wide prairie into smaller and smaller pieces. The pockets of land left to the American Indians grow smaller and smaller. When gold is found in the Indians’ Dakota reservation, an Army officer named George Custer decides to cross the line. And the first Americans decide they have one last chance to fight back . . .

The Battle of Little Bighorn covers the following topics:

How did the Plains Indians live?
How did settlers cross the Plains?
Who led the Plains Indians to war?
Where was the Battle of Little Bighorn?
Who won the Battle of Little Bighorn?

View the Teacher’s Guide of this comic

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