The First Railroads


In our The First Railroads lesson plan, students learn about early railroads in the U.S. and about the Transcontinental Railroad. Students learn about the challenges that these early railroads faced, some characteristics of early railroads and how they differ from our modern railroads.


Our The First Railroads lesson plan introduces students to early railroads and the Transcontinental Railroad. In some parts of the country, seeing a train may be rare, so it is important for students to see how this early form of transportation brought the people of the United States closer together. During this lesson, students are asked to plan an imaginary trans-continental train trip in which they pick the cities and route; they are then asked to present their trip to the class, including reasons to stop in each place. Students are also asked to answer questions about the lesson material, demonstrating their understanding.

At the end of the lesson, students will define railroad and list characteristics of early railroads and identify the Transcontinental Railroad in the U.S., along with issues building the cross-country railroad.

Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.7

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