Nearly overnight, COVID-19 has turned many parents into homeschoolers and full-time care providers. If you’re looking for fun, new ways to educate your kids (or simply just keep them entertained), these resources can help kids learn about — and have fun with! — the railroad.
Union Pacific Coloring Book
The Union Pacific Coloring Book shares fun facts about the railroad and provides 11 full-size pictures for kids to color, featuring locomotives, landscapes, animals and even teddy bears. Just print the PDF to get started!
Union Pacific Museum Teacher Resources
The Union Pacific Railroad Museum offers downloadable toolkits with information and images from its collection. Although originally intended for teachers, they work for parents, too! These include:
- The Great Race to Promontory – Read the story of the first American transcontinental railroad, complete with historical photos.
- Standard Time – Learn how railroads in the United States and Canada implemented a system of times and time zones and get related activities by grade level for K-8th grade students.
Durham Museum Learning at Home and Livestream Field Trips
The Durham Museum, which is located in a former railroad station, offers livestream field trips as well as no-cost digital learning programs. These interactive classes follow National and State Social Studies Standards and feature artifacts, videos and photographs.
National Railroad Museum Activity Zone
The National Railroad Museum Activity Zone has activities for all ages, like coloring and counting to science and math. Don’t’ forget to scroll down to get links to Virtual Storytime with Engineer Alyssa and see episodes of Mr. Bob’s Railroad Workbench.
NEA Transcontinental Telegraph and Railroad Lessons Plans
The National Education Association Transcontinental Telegraph and Railroad page offers resources to teach kids in grades K-5 about the transcontinental railroad and telegraph. These include:
Operation Lifesaver Resources for Kids
Help kids learn about railroad safety with Operation Lifesaver’s activities for kids, which are sorted by grade level:
- Kindergarten-Grade 2: Trains and Tracks
- Grades 3-5: Train Safety Savvy
- Grades 6-8: Mainline Middle School
Operation Lifesaver Resources for Teachers (and Parents!)
Operation Lifesaver Teachers page offers teachers and parents lesson plans to help students from Pre-K through High School stay safe.
- Five Big Freight Trains Lesson Plan and Fingerplay Activity
- She'll be Riding 'Round the City Lesson Plan
- The Circus Train Lesson Plan and Activity
Kindergarten - 5th Grade
- A Little Birdie Told Me Lesson Plan
- Measure Up to Safety Lesson Plan
- More Resources for Grades Pre-K-2
- More Resources for Grades 3-5
6th Grade - 8th Grade
- All Aboard Lesson Plan and Worksheet
- Is Seeing Believing Lesson Plan and Worksheet
- More Resources for Grades 6-8