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This lesson plan is designed to allow students to write a five paragraph essay about the Transcontinental Railroad in a creative way. The assignment uses creative writing by allowing the students to take the role of a newspaper reporter in Utah during the final days of construction on the Transcontinental Railroad. A grading rubric is included for the teacher.
Students will use the following websites to gather information about the Transcontinental Railroad.
Linda Hall Library
Central Pacific Railway Photographic History Museum
BBC Documentary on the building of the Transcontinental Railway
Each website is very student friendly. The student handout will guide students through the five paragraph essay format. Each paragraph will focus on a different topic such as:
Role of the Central Pacific Railroad
Chinese labor and discrimination/obstacles faced by Chinese Labor
Role of the Union Pacific Railroad
Irish American and Civil War Veteran labor and discrimination/obstacles faced
Importance of the Transcontinental Railroad