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About this Lesson

This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration files, “Baltimore & Ohio Transportation Museum and Mount Clare Station,” “Thomas Viaduct, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad,” “Carrollton Viaduct,” “Ellicott City Station,” and other source materials on the development of 19th-century transportation. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country. 

Where it fits into the curriculum

Topics: This lesson is useful for units aimed at teaching about the process of westward expansion and industrialization during the 19th century. It focuses on the geographic challenges faced by the nascent railroad industry and the technology employed to surmount these challenges. The activities are designed to reinforce student skills of observation, critical thinking, and interpretation related to the history of transportation and technology.

Time period: Early to mid 19th century
 
Relevant United States History Standards
Grades K-4
Topic One: Living and Working Together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago
Standard 2A: The student understands the history of his or her local community.
Standard 2B: The student understands how communities in North America varied long ago.
Topic Two: The History of the Students' Own State or Region 
Standard 3D: The student understands the interactions among all these groups throughout the history of his or her state.
Standard 3E: The student understands the ideas that were significant in the development of the state and that helped to forge its unique identity.
 
Grades 5-12
Era 4: Expansion and Reform (1801-1861)
STANDARD 2: How the industrial revolution, increasing immigration, the rapid expansion of slavery, and the westward movement changed the lives of Americans and led toward regional tensions.
Standard 2A: The student understands how the factory system and the transportation and market revolutions shaped regional patterns of economic development. 

Relevant Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum Standards for Social Studies Education
Grade 3
Standard 3.0 Geography: Students will use geographic concepts and processes to understand location and its relationship to human activities.
3.0A. Using Geographic Tools
Indicator 1.Use geographic tools to locate and construct meaning about places on Earth
Objective a. Describe the purposes of a variety of maps and atlases, such as transportation maps, physical maps, and political maps
Objective c. Identify the location of communities, major cities in Maryland, United States and the world using a globe, maps, and atlases
3.0B. Geographic Characteristics of Places and Regions
Indicator 1. Compare places and regions around the world using geographic characteristics
Objective b. Identify natural/physical and human-made features of places and regions
3.0C. Movement of People, Goods and Ideas
Indicator 1. Describe how transportation and communication networks link places through the movement of people, goods, and ideas
Objective a. Explain how transportation and communication networks connect places, people, and ideas
3.0D. Modifying and Adapting to the Environment
Indicator 1. Explain how people modify, protect and adapt to their environment
Objective a. Describe how people in a community modify their environment to meet changing needs for transportation, shelter and making a living
Standard 5.0 History: Students will use historical thinking skills to understand how individuals and events have changed society over time.
5.0A. Individuals and Societies Change Over Time
Indicator 2. Investigate how people lived in the past using a variety of primary and secondary sources
Objective a. Collect and examine information about people, places, or events of the past using pictures, photographs, maps, audio or visual tapes, and or documents
Standard 6.0 Social Studies Skills and Processes
6.0A. Read to Learn and Construct Meaning about Social Studies
Indicator 1. Use appropriate strategies and opportunities to increase understandings of social studies vocabulary
Objective a. Acquire and apply new vocabulary through investigating, listening, independent reading and discussing a variety of print and non-print sources
6.0B. Write to Learn and Communicate Social Studies Understandings
Indicator 1. Use informal writing strategies, such as journal writing, note taking, quick writes, and graphic organizers to clarify, organize, remember and/or express new understandings
Objective a. Identify key ideas
 
Grade 4
Standard 3.0 Geography: Students will use geographic concepts and processes to examine the role of culture, technology, and the environment in the location and distribution of human activities and spatial connections throughout time.
3.0A. Using Geographic Tools
Indicator 1. Use geographic tools to locate places and describe the human and physical characteristics of those places
Objective a. Construct and interpret a variety of maps using map elements
Objective b. Use photographs, maps, charts, graphs, and atlases to describe geographic characteristics of Maryland/United States
3.0B. Geographic Characteristics of Places and Regions
Indicator 1. Describe similarities and differences of regions by using geographic characteristics
Objective a. Compare physical characteristics of different places and regions of Maryland and the United States including natural/physical features, weather and climate, soil, vegetation, minerals and animal life
3.0C. Movement of People, Goods and Ideas
Indicator 1. Describe and analyze population growth, migration, and settlement patterns in Maryland and regions of the United States
Objective b. Explain how changes in transportation and communication led to the growth and development of towns and cities in Maryland and United States
Objective d. Describe the transportation and communication networks for the movement of people, goods, and ideas to, from and within Maryland such as Bay Bridge, National Road, B & O Railroad, the Port of Baltimore, and C & O Canal
Standard 5.0 History: Students will examine significant ideas, beliefs, and themes; organize patterns and events; and analyze how individuals and societies have changed over time in Maryland and the United States.
5.0C. Conflict between Ideas and Institutions
Indicator 2. Explain the political, cultural, economic and social changes in Maryland during the early 1800s
Objective b. Describe the importance of changes in industry, transportation, education, rights and freedoms in Maryland, such as roads and canals, slavery, B&O railroad, the National Road, immigration, public schools, and religious freedoms
Standard 6.0 Social Studies Skills and Processes: Students shall use reading, writing, and thinking processes and skills to gain knowledge and understanding of political, historical, and current events using chronological and spatial thinking, economic reasoning, and historical interpretation, by framing and evaluating questions from primary and secondary sources.
6.0A. Read to Learn and Construct Meaning about Social Studies
Indicator 1. Use appropriate strategies and opportunities to increase understandings of social studies vocabulary
Objective a. Acquire and apply new vocabulary through investigating, listening, independent reading and discussing a variety of print and non-print sources
6.0B. Write to Learn and Communicate Social Studies Understandings
Indicator 1.  Use informal writing strategies, such as journal writing, note taking, quick writes, and graphic organizers to clarify, organize, remember and/or express new understandings
Objective a. Identify key ideas
 
Grade 5
Standard 3.0 Geography: Students will use geographic concepts and processes to examine the role of culture, technology, and the environment in the location and distribution of human activities and spatial connections throughout time.
3.0A. Using Geographic Tools
Indicator 1. Use geographic tools to locate places and describe human and physical characteristics in Colonial America
Objective a. Use map elements to interpret and construct a variety of maps
Objective c. Use photographs, maps, and drawings to describe geographic characteristics
Standard 6.0 Social Studies Skills and Processes: Students shall use reading, writing, and thinking processes and skills to gain knowledge and understanding of political, historical, and current events using chronological and spatial thinking, economic reasoning, and historical interpretation, by framing and evaluating questions from primary and secondary sources.
6.0A. Read to Learn and Construct Meaning about Social Studies
Indicator 1. Use appropriate strategies and opportunities to increase understandings of social studies vocabulary
Objective a. Acquire and apply new vocabulary through investigating, listening, independent reading and discussing a variety of print and non-print sources
6.0B. Write to Learn and Communicate Social Studies Understandings
Indicator 1. Use informal writing strategies, such as journal writing, note taking, quick writes, and graphic organizers to clarify, organize, remember and/or express new understandings
Objective a. Identify key ideas
 
Objectives for students
1. To describe the extremely difficult obstacles workers of the B&O Railroad faced while building the railroad
 
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The map and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
  1. One map of the regions impacted by the B&O Railroad.
  2. Three readings about the origins of the B&O and its competition with other transportation technologies.
  3. Five images illustrating the concept of road to rail transportation technology and the birth of the B&O Railroad.
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