Student Activities

Traveling the National Road - Decline and Rebirth of the National Road (Unit 6)

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Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Social Studies


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 materials packet contains teacher background information, a student reading and two activities.


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?

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

Additional Resources

Map of the National Road

Toll Rates

National Road Timeline



Download Activity Materials

Last updated: January 11, 2016