ALEX Lesson Plan


Transportation to the Western Frontier

You may save this lesson plan to your hard drive as an html file by selecting "File", then "Save As" from your browser's pull down menu. The file name extension must be .html.

  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Annie Cheatham
System: Huntsville City
School: Mountain Gap P-8
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 6851


Transportation to the Western Frontier


There were several modes of transportation for early settlers to use when they moved to the west. Students will research and document four modes of transportation using the Internet and print resources in the library.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
TC2 (6-8)
2. Publish digital products that communicate curriculum concepts.
Examples: Web pages, videos, podcasts, multimedia presentations
TC2 (6-8)
5. Use basic features of word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software.
Examples: word processing—reports, letters, brochures
spreadsheets—discovering patterns, tracking spending, creating budgets
databases—contact list of addresses and telephone numbers
presentation software—slideshow
TC2 (6-8)
9. Practice responsible and legal use of technology systems and digital content.
Examples: avoiding plagiarism; complying with acceptable-use policies, copyright laws, and fair use standards; recognizing secure Web sites
  • Identifying examples of computer crime and related penalties
  • Examples: computer crime—phishing, spoofing, virus and worm dissemination, cyberbullying
    penalties—fines, incarceration
  • Citing sources of digital content
  • SS2010 (6) United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
    1. Explain the impact of industrialization, urbanization, communication, and cultural changes on life in the United States from the late nineteenth century to World War I.

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will identify four modes of transportation used during the westward expansion. Students will access information from the Internet. Students will create a multimedia presentation using information from teacher-selected websites.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

    Students will relate the relationship between the different modes of transportation and the westward expansion.

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Reference materials on transportation in early American history

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computer with Internet access, printer, television, cassette tape player, overhead projector


    Students should have a general idea of the different modes of transportation settlers used during the mid 1800's and 1900's.

    1.) Engagement/MotivationActivity Introduce the Western Frontier to students by asking them what forms of transportation they think early settlers used.

    2.)Divide students into four groups. Assign or have each group decide whether it will work on a brochure or a slideshow presentation. Give groups that are working on a slideshow a story board to organize their information for the multimedia presentation. Show class the sample brochure and digital slideshow (see attachments). Share the rubrics for the two projects with the students so they will be aware of the requirements for the project.

    3.)Take students to the library or the computer lab to complete research. The teacher or media specialist should conduct a mini-lesson on the need for and method of citing sources in research projects. Kid-friendly search engines are listed below.


    6.)Students can do an image search at the Google web site. Tell them to first click on the "Images" link and them explain to them how to type in a specific keyword. Talk students through the steps of saving an image to a floppy disk once they have located images they wish to use in their projects.
    Search Engine

    7.)Allow students to work on research two days before creating a draft layout of the brochure or the slideshow storyboard. Students may use information from the social studies textbook and the Internet and import clip art from the Microsoft website or the presentation software, the Internet, and their floppy disks.

    8.)Assign dates for groups to share their brochure and slideshows with the class.

    **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

    Assessment Strategies

    Students may help each other with designing the brochure. The teacher will use the rubrics to grade the brochures and the slideshow presentation.




    Students who are not proficient with reading or technology should be given additional opportunities to complete the assignment with the help of the teacher or a peer helper.

    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.