Lesson Plan

Traveling the National Road - Unit 2: Construction of the National Road

Painting of workers doing several jobs to build the National Road
Workers building the National Road
Federal Highway Administration by Carl Rakeman

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Grade Level:
Second Grade-Fourth Grade
Subject:
Commerce and Industry, Economics, Geography, Transportation, Westward Expansion
Duration:
45 – 90 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
Setting:
classroom
National/State Standards:
National Standards for History: K-4 Standard 3, 5, 8. Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: II, III, VIII. Common Core: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1.

Overview

In “Traveling the National Road (Construction of the National Road)” students will learn how the road was constructed, what tools were used, and what some of the difficulties were.  The teacher background information provides a concise two page overview of the construction.

The “Traveling the National Road” Teacher’s Guide is broken into ten units and is targeted for 3rd grade students.  Each unit can be completed independently. This is unit 2 and contains teacher background, a student reading

Objective(s)

Guiding Question: How was the National Road built? What were some of the tools they used? What were some of the difficulties they faced?

 

Critical Content: The road was built without the assistance of machines. It was very difficult to build the road in the mountains. Many workers were needed to construct the road.

 

Student objectives: Students will…

·        Describe how the road was built

·        Identify at least two types of construction jobs

·        Identify three construction tools

 



Background

The "Traveling the National Road" Teacher's Guide is broken into ten units and is targeted for 3rd grade students. Each unit can be completed independently. Units 1 - 6 each have teacher background, a student reading and two student activities. Unit 7 has fourteen biography cards of people associated with the National Road along with two student activities. Unit 8 has fourteen occupation cards of jobs that were associated with the National Road along with two student activities. Unit 9 discusses seven historic sites in Pennsylvania associated with the National Road. Unit 10 has other activities and an appendix. Additionally there are two posters: one is a map of the National Road and the other is a list of the historic tolls.

 

Check out the other units:

 

Unit 1: Overview of the National Road

Unit 2: Construction of the National Road

Unit 3: Travelers and Transportation on the National Road

Unit 4: Accommodation on the National Road

Unit 5: Workers Along the National Road

Unit 6: Decline and Rebirth of the National Road

Unit 7: Biography Cards

Unit 8: Occupation Cards

Unit 9: Historic Site Cards

Unit 10: Other Activities and Appendix

 

The Teacher's Guide is also available free on a CD or as a printed version in a three ring binder. Please email us if you would like to receive the Teacher's Guide in one of these formats.



Procedure

1.    Download the pdf

2.    Read the teacher background

3.    Make copies of the student reading for each student

4.    Make copies of the activities for each students

5.    Teach and discuss with the students

 



Park Connections

This lesson relates to the Mount Washington Tavern located in the main unit of Fort Necessity. The tavern was a 1830s stagecoach stop along the National Road that is now a furnished museum. It tells the story of travelers, transportation and accommodations along the road. This lesson will help students prepare for the "Travelers and Workers Along the National Road" field trip.

 



Additional Resources

Map of the National Road

Toll Rates

National Road Timeline