Students will learn about the Towpath Trail, which follows the Ohio and Erie Canal through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. They also will learn about primary and secondary sources of research materials.
Grade 6, Social Studies — Skills and Methods
B. Organize historical information in text or graphic format and analyze the information in order to draw conclusions.
Y2003.CSS.S07.G06-08.BB.L06.I02 / Thinking and Organizing
02. Analyze information from primary and secondary sources in order to summarize, make generalizations and draw conclusions.
Y2003.CSS.S07.G06-08.BB.L06.I03 / Thinking and Organizing
03. Organize information using outlines and graphic organizers.
Grade 8, Social Studies — Geography
B. Define and identify regions using human and physical characteristics.
Y2003.CSS.S03.G06-08.BB.L08.I01 / Places and Regions
01. Compare places and regions in the United States as they existed prior to 1877 with the same places and regions today to analyze changes in land use and population, political, social and economic characteristics.
Computers with Internet access
Pictures of the Towpath Trail, canal and Valley Railroad are available at www.generationscvnp.org/photos.aspx.
- Introduce the concept of primary and secondary sources:
- Primary Source: A document, recording or other source of information that was created at the time being studied by an authoritative source, usually one with direct personal knowledge.
- Secondary Source: A document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere.
- Show some examples of primary source material:
- Use the following information to introduce the students to the Towpath Trail:
The Towpath Trail follows the Ohio and Erie Canal through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Horses and mules used to travel the trail as they pulled the canal boats from place to place. It is now used by people as a means for recreation and exercise. People ride bikes, walk, jog and enjoy nature along the trail. Along the way they can learn about the history of the area by looking at the old locks of the canal system, reading outdoor exhibits or visiting the many historical sites along the way.
- Distribute the Towpath Sites chart.
- Have students work with a partner. They need to find information about the past and the present of the Frazee House and Valley Railroad.
- Using the Internet and available resources, have students find the necessary information to fill out the Towpath Sites chart.
- Depending on the amount of time available for this lesson, you could have students share their information with the class in multiple ways. If you have the time, students could produce PowerPoint presentations with the information and pictures.
Enrichment: The best way to end the lesson would be to take the students on the Towpath Trail to several of the locations they researched.
Depending on how much time you spent on this lesson, you could use the Towpath Sites chart as an evaluation. If you had students do presentations of any kind, those could be evaluated as well.
Towpath Sites Rubric
||4: Above Standards
||3: Meets Standards
||2: Approaches Standards
||1: Below Standards
|Evidence and Examples
||All of the evidence and examples are specific and relevant, and explanations are given that show how each site to visit supports the author’s position.
||Most of the evidence and examples are specific and relevant, and explanations are given that show how each site to visit supports the author’s position.
||At least one of the pieces of evidence and examples is relevant and has an explanation that shows how the site to visit supports the author’s position.
||Evidence and examples are not relevant and/or are not explained.
|Grammar and Spelling
||Author makes no errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.
||Author makes one or two errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.
||Author makes three or four errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.
||Author makes more than four errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.
|Capitalization and Punctuation
||Author makes no errors in capitalization or punctuation, so the essay is exceptionally easy to read.
||Author makes one or two errors in capitalization or punctuation, but the essay is still easy to read.
||Author makes a few errors in capitalization and/or punctuation that catch the reader’s attention and interrupt the flow.
||Author makes several errors in capitalization and/or punctuation that catch the reader’s attention and interrupt the flow.