Student Page

The Task

You will work in a small group, pairs, or individually. You will choose a type of transportation or have it selected by your teacher. There are four parts to this project:

  1. Model of transportation type.
  2. Map where transportation was used.
  3. Written speech of history of transportation and person involved creating it.
  4. Presentation of model, map, and speech dressed as the character.

The Process

  1. Collect information on your transportation type, location, and person.
  2. Build a model.
  3. Draw a map.
  4. Write a speech.
  5. Prepare a costume and presentation.
  6. Present to the Theme Park Selection Committee.
Step 1: Collecting Information

Begin by making a folder to organize your information. You will collect information on the history of your transportation, where in the U.S. this transportation was used including nearby mountains, rivers and states, and investigate who was responsible or famous for using this transportation. You will explore Internet links, use encyclopedias, books, and your textbook for information. Have fun but be sure to put all the information you collect into your own words. If you are running short on computer time print out the Internet page to use at your desk. You may want to print or sketch drawings of your transportation, person, and a map. If this is a group project, share with your co-workers daily any new information you collected. Begin by reading the background link and then investigate the links specific to your transportation type.



Step 2: Building the transportation model

You now need to be resourceful and gather building materials for your model. Each model should have a maximum size selected by the teacher. For example all models need to be no larger than 18 inches. Any type of materials can be used. Ideas are: popsicle sticks, scraps of wood, cardboard, construction paper, clay, styrofoam, fabric and plaster paris. Try to paint the model as realistically as you can. Tempera, acrylic, markers, or even watercolors could be used.

Step 3: Drawing the map

Investigate the following sites before you begin your map.


Draw or use a blank outline of the continental United States. Label the following locations and items on your map. Print in neat letters and use 12" x 18" off white paper.

Step 4: Write a speech

You want to be selected as the tour guide of the ride so you need to be prepared and knowledgeable. Write the speech in the first person. This means that you pretend you are the character and you are actually talking or telling a story. Tell about who you are and some of your history. Talk about the transportation and how you were involved in creating it or using it. The speech should be about one typed page long and can include pictures.

Step 5: Preparing costume and presentation

Look carefully at historical pictures of your famous person. Now analyze each piece of clothing he is wearing. Look in your closet for clothes that can be modified to match. Work with others in your group to find parts of your costume. Thrift stores are good sources for men's jackets, women's aprons, etc. Be creative! Once you have a costume get ready to get into your character's personality. What type of person do you think they were? Were they soft spoken or tough talking? Practice your speech out loud in character. Memorize it by going over and over the lines.

Step 6: Present to the Wilderness Ride Theme Park

Now is the exciting moment! Who will be selected to create the rides, map sets, and be the guides? In your group, pairs, or individually work out your presentation. Who will share the model, the map, and give the guide speech? Listen carefully to others because you may be questioned to see how well you are prepared and can think on your feet.


Expansion by Americans from the Atlantic to the Pacific took many years and the vast land was both foreboding and inviting. To cross this land new channels of transportation were created and an explosive transportation revolution followed. Roads, canals, rivers, and the first railroads connected the new republic and these early systems of transportation wove the new country together.