Library Digital Content Access

Transportation: A Student's Historical Explanation

Created By: Michael Marassa, Edison Middle School (Champaign, IL)
Grade Level: 7th-8th
Content Area: Language Arts/Social Studies
Database Integration: Students will research the TDC database, find a local examples of transportation, and explain the picture and its relevance and purpose to our community.

Illinois Learning Standards Achieved

Standard Achieved

Activity that Meets this Standard

State Goal 16: Understand events, trends, individuals and movements shaping the history of the U.S. and other nations. Research on the TDC database exposes students to historical modes of transportation and of development in the U.S. in comparison to current types. Student Presentations will provide in depth analysis of material researched during speech.
State Goal 18: Understand Social Systems, with an emphasis on the U.S. Content presented during individual speech.
State Goal 4: Listen and Speak effectively in a variety of situations. Strength of oral presentation (vocabulary, message to audience, eye contact)



  1. Brainstorm with students modern forms of transportation
  2. Discuss historical history only using student's current foundational knowledge. Take each of the following items and analyze student's background for each:
    • a. Airplane
    • b. Automobile
    • c. Railroad
  3. Use this information as informal assessment of student ability
  4. Explain assignment - student is to research TDC database using keyword transportation and select an artifact regarding local transportation. The artifact can be an advertisement, an example of transportation, etc.
  5. Teacher selects an example of an artifact and models assigment.
    • a. Show class artifacts, either on an overhead or via video projector
    • b. Explain artifact and its relevance to transportation for that time - point out details on the artifact
    • c. Explain what other forms of transportation were available at this time and why this example is used - what was it's general purpose
    • d. Based upon this purpose, why current forms of transportation serve that purpose now. If mode is different, what caused this change?
    • e. Extra credit can be earned for extended research on artifact - cost, manufacture, and similar artifacts found on other web sources besides DSD.
  6. Explain rubic to students. They will be graded on a 1-4 scale (Exceeds, Meets, Approaching, or Does Not Meet Standard) for each of the following categories:
    • a. Accuracy of Information
    • b. Explanation of Details on Artifact
    • c. Comparison to Current Use
    • d. Voice - clarity and confidence


Students will be presenting their artifacts individually to the class. Students will be graded using the rubric outlined above - a total of 16 points.