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        End of Track: The Impact of Transcontinental Railroad In Wyoming, Laramie & Frontier Justice

        Identify and discuss the impacts of the first transcontinental railroad line in Wyoming.  Students will describe and 'End of Track" town and list causes for the community situation, acquire and be able to use new, content specific vocabulary and demonstrate ability to analyze a non-text historic document.

        Lesson Summary

        GRADE LEVEL: 

        Middle School/High School 



        Three 50-minute class periods. 



         Students will identify and discuss the impacts of the first transcontinental Railroad line in Wyoming.



        1.Students will describe an ‘end of track’ town and list causes for the community situation.

        2.Students will acquire and be able to use new, content specific vocabulary

        3.Students will demonstrate ability to analyze a non-text historic document 



        ·Computer with projection capability and internet connection

        ·Cornell Note Guide – Click Here

        ·Vocabulary List - Click Here

        ·Student Computers for access to web site

        ·Photo Analysis Sheet - Click Here

        ·Vocabulary Quiz - Click Here




        Project the Google Earth .kmz file map compiled by Dave Keith (can by found at the following link and click on the .kmz file link in the second paragraph) On to “tour guide” bar at the bottom of the page, click Wyoming. Zoom on various pins, as directed by the students. Be sure to zoom very close and allow students to see the terrain. Points of particular interest are remains of the town of Sherman, Dale Creek Bridge, train on the track near Tie Siding, Wy., grade up the gang-plank out of Cheyenne, views of Elk Mountain. Follow the track to Laramie and zoom on the Laramie River, Territorial Prison. (Option-have students use individual  or small group computers. Direct students to zoom on the list of locations written on the board and explore other locations   along the Union Pacific line) When the students have had adequate time to explore the route of the TCRR, move to Activity 1.




        Activity 1-

        Instruct students to listen for unfamiliar words as they watch the clip. Play Video.

        Upon completion, teacher will write the first word from the Vocabulary List on the board. Students suggest possible meanings and synonyms. Teacher will scribe only correct meanings on the board.

        Distribute Vocabulary List.

        Repeat activity with each word on the list and have students copy meanings onto their own sheet, filling in the synonym list at the same time.

        Throughout the rest of the lesson, have students identify the vocabulary words.


        Activity 2-

        Review Cornell Note Taking

        Hand Out Cornell Notes Outline Sheet. Direct Students to take notes during the video clip Play Video clip.

        Collect notes for assessment


        Activity 3-

        Direct students to the web site - Insert Article/Picture Link Here 

        Instruct them to read the Laramie section of Wyoming Tails and Trails. This is a multi-page entry that includes many photos of early Laramie, including UP installations.


        Direct students to select one photo (more than one if time allows) and complete the Historic Document Analysis Sheet. Collect the sheets for evaluation.



        Activity 4-

        Administer the vocabulary quiz. Direct students to pay particular attention to the sentence portion as they take the short quiz.




        Project the Tales and Trails reading. Have the students find the photo they chose and briefly share their analysis of the photo. 


        1.Informal Assessment of class discussion of Tales and Trails photos and article

        2.Informal assessment of Cornell Notes

        3.Student photo analysis worksheets

        4.Vocabulary Quiz with word usage


        Contributor: This educational unit underwritten by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation

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