America on the Move Classroom Activity Guide

Classroom Activity Guide

This activity guide accompanies the exhibition America on the Move. It delivers a variety of historical primary-source materials from the exhibition directly to your classroom. Through these documents and activities, students can build a deeper understanding of how transportation shaped American commerce, communities, landscapes, and population migrations. These documents are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may want to start with the Table of Contents and learning standards.

Unit One: 1880s

Agricultural Nation: Foods and Families on the Move

Subtheme: immigrant and migrant workers

  • To the Teacher Instructions:

  • Six images with analysis questions
  • Clues sheet with contextual and image information
  • Mapping the Big Idea—map activity
  • Taking a Deeper Look—higher-level primary-source document; debate questions and projects
  • What about Your Neighborhood?—apply themes to students’communities

Unit Two:1920s

Industrial Nation: Workers and Products on the Move

Subtheme: struggle for racial equality

  • To the Teacher Instructions:

  • Six images with analysis questions
  • Clues sheet with contextual and image information
  • Mapping the Big Idea—map activity
  • Taking a Deeper Look—higher-level primary-source document; debate questions and projects
  • What about Your Neighborhood?—apply themes to students’communities

Unit Three: 1930s and 1940s

Early Highways that Bind the Nation: Families on the Move

Subtheme: depression, Dust Bowl, post–World War II

  • To the Teacher Instructions:

  • Six images with analysis questions
  • Clues sheet with contextual and image information
  • Mapping the Big Idea—map activity
  • Taking a Deeper Look—higher-level primary-source document; debate questions and projects
  • What about Your Neighborhood?—apply themes to students’communities

Unit Four: 1950s and 1960s

Suburban Communities on the Move

Subtheme: cities versus suburbs

  • To the Teacher Instructions:

  • Six images with analysis questions
  • Clues sheet with contextual and image information
  • Mapping the Big Idea—map activity
  • Taking a Deeper Look—higher-level primary-source document; debate questions and projects
  • What about Your Neighborhood?—apply themes to students’communities

Unit Five: 1970s–2000

The World’s People and Products on the Move

Subtheme: globalization of workforce

  • To the Teacher Instructions:

  • Six images with analysis questions
  • Clues sheet with contextual and image information
  • Mapping the Big Idea—map activity
  • Taking a Deeper Look—higher-level primary-source document; debate questions and projects
  • What about Your Neighborhood?—apply themes to students’communities
Additional Resources
  • Term definitions, bibliography, webliography.
  • Acknowledgments