Virtual Field Trips — Westward by Rail
For Grades 4, 5, and 6
All aboard! Come explore the technological advances made during the westward expansion of the 19th century and their impact on history of the United States. Learn about the economics of railroad building, the challenges faced by both railroad companies, and see for yourself the lasting legacy of the Transcontinental Railroad.
South Carolina Social Studies Standard (5-2.1)
Analyze the geographic and economic factors that influenced westward expansion and the ways that these factors affected travel and settlement, including physical features of the land; the climate and natural resources; and land ownership and other economic opportunities.
South Carolina Social Studies Standard (5-2.2)
Summarize how technologies (such as railroads, the steel plow and barbed wire), federal policies (such as subsidies for the railroads and the Homestead Act), and access to natural resources affected the development of the West.
South Carolina Social Studies Standard (5-2.3)
Identify examples of conflict and cooperation between occupational and ethnic groups in the West, including miners, farmers, ranchers, cowboys, Mexican and African Americans, and European and Asian immigrants.
National US History Social Studies Standards (NSS-USH.5-12.4 ERA 4)
Expansion and Reform (1801-1864)
National US History Social Studies Standards (NSS-USH.5-12.6 ERA 6)
The Development of the Industrial United States (1870-1900)