Working Cotton

A young black girl describes a day working in the cotton fields of central California. Her migrant family works very hard to pick the cotton without using the help of advanced machinery.

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

Comprehension Questions

Identify the human resources in the story.

Each member of the family

Explain why the father is the most valuable human resource of the family for picking cotton.

His strength and skills enable him to pick more cotton.

Describe how the family could increase the amount of cotton they pick.

Improve their skills, wait for the young to grow stronger, use machinery, etc.

Using machinery would enable workers to produce/pick much more cotton each day. What is the economic word for this?

Increasing productivity

What economic term describes the tools, equipment, machinery, and buildings used in production?

Capital Resources

What are examples of some other capital resources (machines, tools, equipment) that help workers increase productivity?

There are many, many examples - some simple and some very large and complicated. Hammers, saws, tractors, reapers, computers, trucks, etc.

Why does the little girl hope to be more like her older sister?

As she grows bigger and stronger, she will be able to gather more cotton.

As workers are able to produce more using capital resources, what tends to happen to their wages and salaries?

They typically increase! This is a major reason why the U.S. has a high standard of living compared to many other countries.

Author: Sheryl Ann Williams
Published: 1992
Reading Level: 2.8
Grade Level: 1 - 3
Accelerated Reader Level/Points: .5
Publisher: Harcourt, Voyager Books