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Activity Overview


Teachers can expose students to posters advertising for labor on the construction of the railroad as well as the advertisements after construction that promoted the new line and travel from coast to coast. Students can learn how many people sought opportunity working on the railroads and towns and businesses sprung up along its construction. They can also see how the completion of the railroad allowed people to travel much faster for business or pleasure. Looking at primary sources gives students a deeper understanding of the time period. They can pay special attention to the graphics and fonts utilized as well as the language used to entice potential workers or travelers.

In this activity, students will create an advertisement for the Transcontinental Railroad. They should include a headline, tagline (catchy slogan) and description of the services. They should also include a background scene or pattern as well as any other appropriate items, characters, maps, symbols, or scenes to illustrate their advertisement.


Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Due Date:

Objective: Create a poster advertising the transcontinental railroad.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click “Start Assignment”.
  2. Using the poster template, write a compelling headline, tagline and short description to describe the amazing features and possibilities the new railroad provides.
  3. Include scenes, items, symbols, maps, and/or characters to enhance your advertisement.

Requirements: Headline, tagline, short description and images.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-8

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/3] Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/1] Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/7] Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/9] Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/WHST/6-8/2/B] Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.

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Transcontinental Railroad




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