Library Digital Content Access

McLean Train Yard Brochure

Created By: Michael Marassa, Edison Middle School (Champaign, IL)
Grade Level: 7th-8th
Content Area: Language Arts/Social Studies
Database Integration: Students will find the two copies of the McLean Co. train yard on the TDC database, using the search tool. Student will print out the older copy of the map for this assignment.

Illinois Learning Standards Achieved

Standard Achieved

Activity that Meets this Standard

State Goal 3B: Compose well-organized and coherent writing for specific purposes and audiences. Students create three paragraphs reflecting proper paragraphing structure.
  Students create a Powerpoint slide, implementing text created and manipulating graphics from TDC database.



  1. Students find the two maps and print out the first copy.
  2. Students observe and identify locations on the map.
  3. Students make inferences as to purposes of buildings and places on the map.
  4. Students make inferences as to the time the map was created using purpose statements and artifacts in map.
  5. Students make inferences as to map's primary use.
  6. Students are taught layout of a supporting paragraph in an expository essay - topic sentence, supporting details, transition or conclusion sentence.
  7. Students brainstorm ideas for three supporting paragraph topics - supplies, parking your train, and getting your engine serviced.
  8. Students write three supporting paragraphs about this map, under the assumption that they are creating a brochure for a train engineer visiting the yard for the first time.
  9. Students have paragraphs edited by peers and teacher.
  10. Students go to the computer lab, open Powerpoint, and create a brochure of this information. On one side of the slide is the text teacher and students drafted, and on the other side is the picture of the train yard.

Click here to view an example of this assignment.


Students will be assessed upon completion of the three paragraphs. Each paragraph will be evaluated for topic sentence, supporting sentences, and transition or concluding sentence. After looking at each of these three parts, the paragraph will be given a score of exceeds (5), meets (4), improving (2), or needs improvement (1). The Powerpoint slide will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis for text box creation and graphics manipulation.