5) Historical Research Capabilities
Set the following scene for students: "You are a railroad magnate who must plan for railroad expansion in the state of your choice. Using the Subject Index for the Transportation and Communication map category, select a state railroad map and find the capital city. Next, research the state and city at the time the map was made."
Students should find the answers to the following questions:
- What were the key industries?
- What were the important surrounding states and cities?
- What competing modes of transportation existed?
- Where were the railroads at the time?
Or, a student might take on the role of mayor of a town that does not have a train station and the task of persuading the railroad company to bring the trains to the town.