Lesson Plan

Traveling the National Road - Unit 6: Decline and Rebirth of the National Road

A painting of stagecoach horses being spooked by the new form of transportation, the train
The stagecoach horses are spooked by the train - the new form of transportation in the 1850s
Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-50126

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Grade Level:
Second Grade-Fourth Grade
Subject:
Commerce and Industry, Economics, Transportation, Westward Expansion
Duration:
45 - 90 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
Setting:
classroom
National/State Standards:
National Standards for History: K-4 Standard 2, 3, 5, 8. Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: II, VIII. Common Core: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1, 3.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.5

Overview

In “Traveling the National Road (Decline and Rebirth of the National Road)” students will learn about the decline of the National Road as the railroad takes over as the main form of transportation and the road's later rebirth as cars start to use it.

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 6 and contains teacher background, a student reading and two activities.


Objective(s)

Guiding Question: What form of transportation caused the decline of the National Road? What two forms of transportation caused the rebirth of the National Road? How did the new transportation affect the road?

 

Critical Content: The National Road declined when trains came to the area. Within decades bicyclists and people with cars demanded better roads. The National Road was fixed up for these new forms of transportation.   

 

Student objectives: Students will…

·        List three changes to National Road after 1853

·        List two ways travel on the National Road changed

·        List three common sites associated with travel and transportation in the late 1800s and early 1900s

 



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 three 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. Pleaseemailus if you would like to receive the teacher's guide in one of these formats.



Materials

Unit 6: Decline and Rebirth of the National Road. This unit is a 14 page long pdf covering the decline of the National Road when the railroad arrives and then decades later the rebirth with the popularity of bicycles and people driving cars.



Procedure

 

1.    Download the pdf of the lesson plan

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 National Battlefield. The tavern was a 1830s stagecoach stop along the National Road and 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



Vocabulary

Railroad, Bicycle, Car