Lesson Plan

I've Been Working on the Railroad

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Grade Level:
Lower Elementary: Pre-Kindergarten through Second Grade
Subject:
Literacy and Language Arts,Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
30 Minutes

Essential Question

What were some of the main challenges involved with maintaining and operating locomotive engines during the steam era?

Objective

This engaging ranger-led program is designed for early childhood students, Pre-K to second grade.

Students will learn about the many people who used teamwork to keep the trains running - the engineer, the conductor, the brakeman, and more. They'll tour a steam locomotive and several railroad cars and will learn about the function of each one. Incorporates storytelling, music and railroad safety. 

Approximately 45 minutes.

Background

Standards:

1.2. Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting Text
. 1.2.PK.D - Use illustrations, clues and story sequence to infer and predict what happen next in a story.


1.5. Quality of Writing- 1.5.PK. B. Generate ideas for a picture, story, or shared writing.

1.6 Speaking and Listening - 1.6. PK. A. Listen attentively and respond in conversation.

Preparation

A few days before your field trip to Steamtown:

Go over the list of Vocabulary Words and Read the book "Locomotive," by Brian Flocka. Please find the book in your school or local library. If you cannot find the book, please email a Park Ranger as Steamtown may be able to mail you a copy. If that is the case, please bring that copy back to the park at time of your visit. 

Watch the video "
Steel & Steam" to learn about the history of railroading in this region and get a sample of what you will be learning on your visit to the park.

Materials

Download Lesson Materials

Procedure

Steamtown NHS Education Program


Pre-K-2 
Program and Tour

Working on the Railroad

Goal 1: It took many people and many different types of jobs to run an American Railroad in the past, present and future.

Goal 2: How did railroaders work and communicate together to keep the railroad running.

Goal 3: Railroaders used many different types of tools to do their job.

Goal 4: What are the differences and similarity between a freight and passenger train jobs.

Goal 5: Railroaders always put safety first, students should too.
 

Pre-visit Program


Standards met:

1.2. Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting Text. 1.2.PK.D - Use illustration clues and story sequence to infer and predict what happen next in a story.

1.5. Quality of Writing- 1.5.PK. B.  Generate ideas for a picture, story, or shared writing.

1.6 Speaking and Listening - 1.6. PK. A.  Listen attentively and respond in conversation.


A few days before your field trip to Steamtown:

Go over the list of Vocabulary Words and Read the book "Locomotive," by Brian Flocka. Please find the book in your school or local library.  If you cannot find the book, Steamtown may be able to mail you a copy. If that is the case, please bring that copy back to the park at time of your visit.  

 

Steamtown NHS On-Site Education Program
Pre-K - 2

Working on the Railroad


On-site Program with Volunteer or Ranger
(30-45 minutes : depends on age of students)

Introduction in STEAMTOWN classroom
1. Ask students if they live near a railroad or railroad tracks.

2. Importance of trains - spreading population and carrying goods

3.Types of trains - use models to show difference between steam and diesel engines.
 Talk a little about trains running in the present day.

4. Use mural in classroom to show difference between passenger and freight trains.

5.It took many people to keep trains running. Have students name some jobs.  Review from Pre-Visit activity.

6. Have students guess what railroad tools and clothing go with each particular railroad job. Show railroad props from touch table.


*  STOP 1 - Engine #790
1. Explain how a steam engine works

2. Talk about Engineer and Fireman jobs and show tools and clothing that go with the job. Teach Whistle signals.  Have class go inside the engine to get a better view and possibly ring the bell. (depends on the time and class size)

* STOP 2 - Caboose in Technology Museum
1. Explain job of the Conductor and her crew.

2. Go inside the caboose and explain what it was used for. Teach hand signals.  Show tools and clothing of this job.

* STOP 3 - Box Car
1. Re-emphasize the difference between freight and passenger trains.

2. Talk about different freight cars and who worked on them.

3.  Talk about the life of a  Hobo and some of the jobs he did on the Railroad.

* STOP 4 - Roundhouse
1. Explain the function of the roundhouse

2. Talk about Master Mechanics job - show tools  (large size wrench and ball-peen hammer

3. As you walk through, ask them what it would like to work there.

* STOP 5 - History Museum
1. Talk about Erie Business Car and what it was used for.

2. Talk about the Porter's job..  Walk through the car.

*STOP 6 - Baggage Handler

* STOP 7 -  Railway Post Office mail car and the postal worker job.
 Walk through the car.

SUMMARIZE PROGRAM  *  Gather in the "People's Gallery."
1. Show job cards that they used in Pre-visit activity.
Have them find the statue pictured in the card.
Ask them what they learned about each job.











 

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