Friday, February 28, 2014

Train Unit Schedule and Lesson Plan

I really only planned a unit on trains because there's a model railroad festival in Ogden every year, and one of my Young Women told me a long time ago that she and her family liked to ride FrontRunner (our commuter train) to Ogden, then get off and see the model railroad festival and the train museum at Union Station, and then ride FrontRunner home.

That sounded fun, and I had been wanting to plan a unit around it, but I didn't really think there was that much to learn about trains. Ha! Little did I know. We are now all train "enthusiasts" (as the English would call us) and we're so glad we got to learn more!

Throughout the unit we watched several good vidoes---the boys' favorite was a TV show called "Extreme Trains." There are 8 one-hour episodes, each featuring a different train (freight train, high-speed train, circus train, etc.) and they are really fun. They show a lot of interesting "how-it-works" type of stuff, and though they tend toward the dramatic (lots of footage of the host saying "AWESOME!" or "This is serious business!"), we really liked them. I got the entire first season (I guess there only WAS one season) from the library.

We thought this movie about a train in India was pretty interesting too.

And this video, about our own FrontRunner trains, was very good---we were happy we watched it before riding FrontRunner.

Here's a news video about a real runaway train (Sam and I saw a movie about this awhile ago---it was intense).

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