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September 2005

America on the Move
Theme driven site by the Smithsonian on transportation and its ramifications.
Grade Level: 3-12

This site from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History explores how transportation changed American “lives, landscapes, cultures and communities”. It includes an activity guide and over 1,000 artifacts and photos.
This well designed site is easy to navigate. From the main page users can enter any of the three main sections of the sites: The Exhibition, Collection or Theme. There are also links to the learning resources, games and to the museum site. Multimedia features require Macromedia Flash Player 6 or higher. Video clips require either Microsoft Windows Media Player or RealNetworks Real Player. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to download and view PDF documents.

Social Studies teachers and students will want to check out this site. It provides a wealth of materials and information on how transportation helped to shape America. The online exhibition takes users on a tour through America’s past to explore how transportation impacted various communities and the people who inhabited them from before 1876 to the present. Over 1,000 artifacts and photos are available in the collection that can be searched by region, time period, or type of transportation (air, rail, road, water), or type of vehicle. In the themes section museum staff and guest curators use the transportation collection to take users on a journey of America’s past through such themes as arts and culture, immigration and migration, technology, and work and industry. Educators will appreciate the learning resources that complement the site. Included are standards based lesson plans that are adaptable for grades 4-11 and include units on foods & families on the move (1880s), workers and products on the move (1920s), early highways (1930-40s), suburban communities on the move (1950-60s) and the world's people and products on the move (1970-2000). Additionally there are three interactive online games that help students better understand how transportation has impacted “the growth of American commerce, communities, landscapes and people."


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