Mining (America at Work Series)

Hockey-playing twins Trish and Jamie learn all about the mining efforts it takes to produce the new skates they want for their upcoming tournament. Follow the twins as they go on a mining tour to learn how the steel for their new skates is made. This colorful, descriptive book also shows how companies deal with environmental concerns when mining for coal and oil.

Interested in using this resource in your classroom? Check out the posters that go along with this book: Capital Resources, Human Resources, Productive Resources, Natural Resources.

Comprehensive Questions

What are capital resources used to mine coal underground? (See pictures on pgs. 6-7.)

Many examples! Elevator, ventilation shaft, ore cage, front-end loader, mine cart, drilling machine, crusher, etc.

The story talks about mining coal. Is coal a capital resource?

No, coal is a natural resource.

What are capital resources used to mine coal on the surface? (pgs. 16-17)

Dragline excavator, conveyor belt, front-end loader, dump truck.

When drilling for oil, what is an unsuccessful well called?


Why do entrepreneurs and mining companies drill for oil if nine out of ten wells are dry dusters?

The one successful well may really pay off! Of course, it may not. There is a risk to all oil exploration and, indeed, to all investors.

What is the name of a person (human resources) who looks for oil?


A mining drill is a capital resource. What special kind of drill is used to drill for oil?

A rotary steel drill studded with industrial diamonds.

When geologists look for oil, what other natural resource do they frequently find?

Natural gas

How is oil transported?

A pipeline, tanker truck, rail tanker, ocean tanker.

Does mining pollute the environment? How?

Yes, water gets polluted, toxic smoke can go into the air, oil spills can harm wildlife and water. All forms of production cause some pollution. The good news is that humans can help control the effects of pollution. For example, in the United States, the air and water are cleaner now than they were 30 years ago. As individuals we can practice the four Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle, and refuse.

How do coal mining companies help the environment after they mine for coal?

They reclaim the land that is mined. Top soil is put back and grass and trees planted. Mining wastes are put back under the ground. This is much better than in years past when ugly piles of waste were left and the land went totally un-reclaimed.

What are 24 things made from steel on page 30? (Teachers may photocopy the page covering the answers - and give to students to study.)

See answer list on page 30.

Author: Jane Drake with Ann Love
Illustrator: Pat Cupples
Published: 1997
Grade Level: 2 - 5
Accelerated Reader Level/Points: .5
Publisher: Kids Can Press