Moving Through Time

Social Studies

Students research how methods of travel have changed over time, then make posters demonstrating transportation "firsts."

What You Need

  • Reference books with information on transportation history
  • Poster board
  • Art materials

What to Do

  1. Ask students how they got to school today. List the different means of transportation they used on the chalkboard. Point out that walking is one means of transportation, as is a car and a bus. Explain that "transportation" is the way we get from one place to another.

  2. Ask students to work in teams to brainstorm types of transportation. Encourage students not to limit their thinking to wheeled ground vehicles, but to consider other ways of getting from place to place, such as sleds, planes, gliders, submarines, or skateboards.

  3. With the whole group, develop a class list of different means of transportation, eliminating duplication. Point out to students that when they thought of these ideas, they may have been picturing certain machines as they look now. Explain that early models of each type of mechanical transportation may have looked different in the past.

  4. Divide the class into small groups or pairs, depending on your class size. Then assign to each group one type of transportation. Tell students to use reference materials to research their assigned transportation method, then prepare a fact poster, that should include a drawing of the first, or an early model of the machine and a list of fun or interesting facts about it.

Teaching Options

  • Some students may enjoy drawing up-to-date models of the same types of transportation and adding that to the posters.

  • Children can write stories in which the characters of an earlier time get their first ride in the a particular type of transportation. The stories should focus on the characters' reactions to the new wonder.

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