History of Transportation


The lesson discusses the history of transportation with the students from the invention of the wheel to future space travel.  Most people, including kids, take transportation for granted and are unaware of the history behind the different methods of land, seas, and air transportation.  The students should find the information interesting and will appreciate the development of transportation throughout history.  It is recommended that the use the available videos in the resources to enhance the lesson.

History of Transportation Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about History of Transportation
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 1-4 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Throughout the lesson, students will understand the history of transportation and difficulties of travel that have been overcome with new technology.  Most students take transportation for granted and rarely think about the history of travel.  Starting with the invention of the wheel and going all the way to space travel, students will become familiar with various types of land, seas, and air transportation.  The students should find the information interesting and will appreciate the development of transportation throughout history.  Several video resources are included with the lesson to improve student engagement and interest.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Ask: How do you usually get from place to place?  What are other ways people can use to get from place to place?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. What are the methods called of getting from place to place? (Transportation)
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce the History of Transportation.
  4. Distribute History of Transportation content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  During the lesson, allow students to share their experiences on an airplane, boat, bus, subway, etc.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students.  Allow students time to discuss the modes of transportation and the advantages and disadvantages of each.  Help students get started with some examples:  pollutes the air, faster, better scenery, good exercise, etc.
  6. Once students have completed the activity, students share their responses with the class.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. Review the instructions.  The next day, check and review the students’ responses.  Students share their experience(s) with one or more of the modes of transportation.  Ask students if they can list other modes of transportation not listed.
  9. In closing, ask: If you had to choose one form of transportation to use the rest of your life, which one would it be and why? (Remind students they are not permitted any other forms.)
  10. Allow for responses and discussion.

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions.

Additional Resources: 

Many more teaching resources in Download!

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Additional information

Grade Level

1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade


Social Studies