September 25, 2003

Trolley Lesson Plan... This is not a detailed lesson plan rather it is a combination of web resources I used to follow-up with my children after our first trolley ride today. The information crosses age groups, some providing more details than others. I basically wanted my children to have some information on the history of streetcars and trolley's (including some specific to their state) and be able to see pictures of a variety of them and then have a project they could do to help them remember. I think it could easily be developed into a full blown Streetcar Lesson Plan if you add a few of the primary sources listed on these pages. I figured I already did all the work I might as well put it together for you to use sometime if you want. I would recommend using some of this BEFORE riding the trolley (especially with older children) but I did not have that much foresight this time so we did it after (which is still better than not at all). I think a combination of before, riding the trolley, a trolley museum (if available) and then a follow-up might be better.

This is the basic definition and overview of a trolley/streetcar. If you are looking for a more detailed general history or for information about some specific trolley's try those sites. Some nice pictures and slideshows can be found at: The Seashore Trolley Museum (this site includes foreign streetcars as well) and Trolley Photos by Joe Lance. If coloring pictures are what you are looking for check out: Shoreline Trolley Museum and PBS Kids: Mr. Rogers.

Finally many states have their own trolley museums or local transportation museums, these can provide a wealth of specific local information along with general histories. If you happen to live in Minnesota you can check out The Minnesota Transportation Museum and the Minnesota Historical Society. The Historical Society site also has a nice listing of primary and secondary sources for further research. I especially enjoy their Visual Database which has a large variety of photos and descriptions.

Well I hope you enjoy the information as much as we did. Be sure to include a real trolley ride if you can, our kids really enjoyed it. Also if anyone finds any good sound files online please let me know so I can add them here.


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