Although very little text accompanies the artifacts in Railroad Maps, 1828-1900, there are creative ways to use these maps in a language arts program. The maps can be used as starting points and illustrations for biographies and book reports. They can also be used in conjunction with literature and songs in exercises in which the combination of these media enhance the meaning to be derived from each.
To aid in their understanding of the history of railroads, students can research and write a biography of an important contributor to railroads and railroad maps. They can browse the collection's Contributor Index to find maps they like and then research the cartographer. They can also read the special presentation History of Railroads and Maps to find the names of other figures in the history of railroads.
Their reports should include how the individual contributed to railroad development. They can also include information on the state of railroad transportation during this individual's life.
Images of the person they chose to research may be included in other American Memory collections. Search across the American Memory prints and photographs collections on the individual's name to retrieve images.