Instead of reading the book, Charlie Brown & company have a nice little video that covers this topic nicely, and will likely be remembered far longer then a few pages of dry, oversimplified text.
- Name the company that started building in Omaha, Nebraska?
- Name the company that started building in Sacremento, California?
- What did the Federal Government promise the railroad companies for building?
- Where did the two tracks join?
- What is the “Golden Spike”?
- When did building start? When did it end? How many years did it take to complete?
- Which President signed the order to start? Who was President when it was completed?
Central Pacific Railroad Museum
Today in History (a .gov website)
Golden Spike Photo & information (a .gov website)
PBS Documentary: American Experience Trans Continental Railroad
——- Video available on YouTube – Part 1 & Part 2
The book‘s explanation of a steam locomotive reads like something I’d read to my 3 year old nephew, not a 3rd grader.
“The steam presses on pipes inside the locomotive. It moves a special part that turns the wheels.”
So I found a video that explains it all in proper terms: piston, valve, etc.
So after watching the video, we can read the slightly less childish text on page 215 that describes the job of a fireman and the engineer.
- How is the fireman on a train different than a fireman in our neighborhood? How are they the same?
- What is the engineer’s job?
- What kind of problems might an engineer see on the tracks ahead?
- What movie can you think of where an engineer saw a problem on the tracks ahead?
Links for more information:
How the Steam Engine of the Locomotive Works
Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum