Outline KWasosky

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Perspective

This is written for a hybrid class. Students will meet in the classroom for notes and discussion for the unit Westward Expansion.  They will simultaneously be reading assigned material on their own as well as engaging with the lessons online and completing them as assigned.

Objective (Goals):

  • Students will establish a  personal philosophy about the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.
  • Each student will coherently express both the positive and negative forces of its affects on the different groups of people involved either directly or indirectly with its construction.
  • Once they have completed their research, students will describe the effects that each group  experienced.
  • Students will then support their original philosophy or that of a newly acquired  perspective due to research in the form of an essay, power point presentation, or a poster.
  • They will clearly express whether or not the Transcontinental Railroad was a positive or negative project in the long run.
  • They will use gathered information from three different groups researched to support their opinion.

Lesson 1: Introduction

  • Was the Transcontinental Railroad a Positive or Negative Force in the U.S. in the late 19th century?
  • Look at a map of the U.S. in 1863 with the route of the railroad from California to Nebraska. Answer given questions based on observation of the map.
  • Students will answer based on prior knowledge, if any. They will revisit their answer at the end of the lesson.

Lesson 2: What Groups of People Were Affected by the building of the railroad?

  • Identify the different groups on the given chart.
  • Visit pre-set websites to gather information on each group.
  • Take the quiz at the end of the first website
  • Use one other source of the students choosing to gather information.
  • Fill in the chart as you gather information about each group.

Lesson 3: Listing the Pros and Cons of the Railroad with Respect for Each Group

  • Using the information you have read about and recorded, make a pros and cons chart of how the Transcontinental Railroad affected the lives of the people involved.
  • Who benefited? How did they benefit?
  • Who didn’t benefit? Why not?

Lesson 4: Choose a final Assessment

Choose one option to demonstrate the answer to the initial question, “Was the Transcontinental Railroad a Positive or Negative Force in the U.S. in the late 19th century?”

  1. An essay stating what your original thoughts were and whether or not you have changed your mind or continue to agree with your first thoughts. Give details on why by mentioning the groups of people who support your perspective.
  2. A Poster create illustrations which clearly demonstrate whether or not the Transcontinental Railroad was a positive or negative force. Include references through words or illustrations to the groups which support your belief. Use color.
  3. A Power Point Presentation develop a power point presentation that describes how the Transcontinental Railroad affected the different groups of people who would support your belief of whether it was a positive or negative force in the U.S.

How this Module will be completed:

  • Students will access schoology to gain access to the websites, observe the U.S. Map and the chart to fill in throughout the lesson.
  • Students will also utilize google.docs to complete written assignments and share with instructor to show progress of research.
  • Due dates will be provided for each lesson and the final assessment.
  • A rubric will be provided for each assessment option which will include the completion of the chart consisting of gathered notes from research.

10 thoughts on “Outline KWasosky”

  1. I used to love teaching about the Railroad expansion in AP US
    I think your module looks awesome. Google maps comes to mind– it would be a great mini-geography lesson to have them at the front create their own google map where they chart the course they would have picked for the railroad.

    Play pos-it would also come in as a handy tool also– there are some great scenes in The Men who Built America and the History of US– where they show some great aspects about the building of the railroad that could be clipped into a great video activity- particularly the scene where they are carrying nitro-glycerin comes to mind.
    One thing I do think the kids might enjoy and benefit from is to have their final assessment incorporate an ability to produce something online– maybe a prezi – that shows some aspect of the railroad……. or have you seen where they can take a PPT template and build a virtual museum or museum room which incorporates some great historiography skills– my kids did this one year for the early American period– happy to share some samples if you like.

    1. Great ideas, Brooks. I have not seen the PPT template that can be made in a virtual museum, but I would really like to know more about that. I love Google Earth and Google Maps!!! We pulled up the coordinates to Daniel Freeman’s first homestead on google earth to see where it was. It was really cool. I have added some prezi sites to my research for the students. Thanks for the insight.

  2. I guess I should use the word affected and not involved with the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Just a note to myself 🙂

  3. I’m excited to see what you do with this Kim. I am also leaning towards assuming my module will be a hybrid as well between face to face instruction and online learning. I am wondering if you could have the students gather the statistics you are talking about and maybe create their own chart or graphs to come to the conclusions you are hoping they will come to.

    I use C-SPAN Classroom frequently in my government classes and they have a great platform called “deliberations”. It might be a good resource for you to take a look at to help with setting up the argumentative assignment where students determine if the transcontinental railroad project was positive or negative. I doubt they would actually have a lesson already done on the topic, but just exploring this website has helped me when designing such instruction. Just a thought!

    1. Thanks, Amanda,
      I like the idea of C-SPAN. Lord knows, these 7th graders love a good debate.
      I could request they graph their own data, but I am not sure I want to go too deeply into this just for the sake of time.
      If I had more of it, I would consider adding that into the project for sure.

  4. Thoughts:

    1. “This is written for a hybrid class. Students will meet in the classroom for notes, discussion, and to read about the facts of Westward Expansion” – wouldn’t reading about the facts be better handled on their time outside of class?

    2.”Students will identify the perspectives of different groups of people who are directly or indirectly involved with the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Once they have researched each group through various given materials, they will determine whether they think the Transcontinental Railroad was a positive or negative project in the long run. Students will support their opinion by showing how some groups were affected.”

    So could you rephrase this into distinct learning goals? for example….

    – Students will describe the perspectives of different groups of people who are directly or indirectly involved with the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.
    – Students will develop a personal philosophy about the Transcontinental Railroad and articulate both the positive and negative elements of its effect on……something something something
    – Students will describe how different groups were effected by the TR…..

    Just ideas, but I want to get the learning goals as tight as we can, so that we can clearly develop measurements.

    Thoughts?

    1. Okay. I will tighten them up. You are right. They wouldn’t read in class because they have the text online and it can be audio for those who have difficulty reading. Thanks for the input on this.
      Have a good night.
      Kim

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