Transcontinental Railroad Teacher Resources
Find Transcontinental Railroad educational ideas and activities
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Students share what they know about the daily life of the pioneers who settled on the Great Plains. They describe what characteristics modern-day explorers might have in common with people of America's frontier era.
Fifth graders analyze a landscape depicting Yosemite during the time of the Wild West. They compare their perceptions of the West from film and television to this representation. They observe the use of scale and color to depict size and distance and create a landscape of their own using these elements.
Students explore what a leader represents. In this social science instructional activity, students discuss what the traits, qualities, or characteristics are of a leader. Students also understand that leaders existed in America's past and in the present day as well.
Students begin the lesson by discussing the causes and effects of the movement west. Using primary sources, they develop their own definition for manifest destiny. In groups, they view examples of paintings and read poems on the topic. They compare and contrast how the idea of manifest destiny is shown through the two mediums.
Students consider rights a worker deserves and research the impact of migrant workers in countries around the world. They create public service announcements to increase awareness and address letters to individuals capable of redressing workers' plight.
Young scholars explain how California became an agricultural and industrial power, tracing the transformation of the California economy and its development since the 1850's.
High schoolers examine the various roles Washington Irving had in his lifetime. Examining the situation in Europe and the United States, they are encouraged to relate Irving's experiences to different events. They examine themselves in many ways as well.
Young scholars listen to the "Berry Pickers' Song" on the piano twice. They practice the song several times to become familiar enough to recognize it in the piece. They listen to the CD and recognize the tune by raising their hand and tell what instruments are playing the tune.
In this environmental geography worksheet, students use graphic organizers to note 7 ways people in the United States and Canada have both created and solved problems through their interaction with the environment. Students also use a textbook map to respond to 2 short answer questions.
Students identify and explain major symbols on core map, read a railroad timetable, and evaluate the impact of railroads on the transportation in the West.
Students research the history of the Oswege-Midland Railroad and interview a guest expert about its impact on their community. They role-play as citizens writing persuasive letters for or against the railroad's construction.
Eleventh graders examine the importance of the Industrial Age in the United States. They explore the new inventions that helped promote big business. Working conditions from the past are compared with them today.
Students analyze Edward Hopper's painting and Hirsch's poem to explore the types of emotion generated by each work. In this literary and art analysis lesson, students discuss how Hopper establishes tone and analyze Hirsch's use of diction and imagery. Students write a comparison of two of the artworks from Picturing America.
Students explore the interaction and consequences of contact among different ethnic groups. Students examine a timeline and the important historical events in American History. They discuss immigration and migration.
Studetns study how biographers create characters and history of individuals in biographies. They complete a variety of writting activities to demonstrate understanding.
Eleventh graders compare and contrast the type of immigrant that came to America during the 19th and 20th centuries. They write letters as if they were immigrants coming to America and what they faced and their hopes for the future.
Students consider important structures in their community -- specifically, those structures that have had a great impact on the history of their community.
Fourth graders complete photographic exploration to study the See Family. In this photographic analysis lesson, 4th graders work in groups to study family photographs and complete a photograph investigation worksheet.