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How Did Railroads Change Cities in Texas Forever? A Case Study: El Paso

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The Texas State Library and Archives Commission offers a lesson plan exploring the effects of railroads in Texas on population and industry in the late 19th and early 20th century. The lesson plan prompts students to explore the transformative effects of the railroad on El Paso. First, students compare a 19th century and a 20th century depiction of El Paso to discern the changes that occurred during the period. Then, students explore secondary source material that documents the development of the railroad and the accomplishments of the El Paso economy in the 20th century. Finally, students are given the option to create a timeline or storyboard of the key events that transformed Texas cities. The lesson plan includes primary source material, a graphic organizer, technology applications, and student choice in the final product. The lesson plan utilizes these educational best practices to effectively provide an overview of the transformative nature of railroads in Texas.

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