Consider the Source

Using Primary Sources to Teach the Evolution of Transportation

Horse Drawn Stage in Front of Wells Hotel 1906

Horse Drawn Stage in Front of Wells House, ca. 1906

View of several tourists riding on a horse-drawn stagecoach that has stopped in front of Wells House, a hotel at Pottersville in Horicon, Warren County, N.Y. in the Adirondack Mountains. The date is unrecorded, but may be 1906. This image may have been created to record the camping and tourism activities of the New York State Forest, Fish, and Game Commission.

Lesson Idea 2

Setting the Stage: Have students view this video from PBS Learning Media on changes is transportation.

Document Analysis: Then have them complete the graphic organizer for analyzing photographs.

Assessment: Ask students to write a paragraph answering the compelling question using evidence from the document. 

Compelling Question:
How does access to transportation change what people can do?

Lesson Idea 1

Setting the Stage: Ask students to draw a picture or write a paragraph describing how they traveled on their most recent family vacation.

Document Analysis: Ask students to list all the people, animals, and objects they see in this image.

Making Inferences: Using their analysis as evidence, ask students to write one or two sentences about what might be happening in this photograph. 

Drawing Conclusions: Ask students to compare their drawing or description of their travels to their description of what is happening in this photograph. How would their vacations be different or similar to the one shown in the photograph? How do changes in transportation change the way we do things?

Photograph Analysis