This lesson plan focuses on comparing the spread of information due to both railroads and the internet, and how they are similar, but also different. This lesson focuses on the Origins article “What the Internet Will Bring Us.” This article comes from 1999, prior to the internet’s mass spread. It gives the point of view of someone who had yet to see how much of an influence the internet may have on society. This article is a direct reflection of the article “What the Railroad Will Bring Us” by Henry George in 1868. This article looks at how much of an influence the railroad may have on American society. It was written in a time where the two coasts were being connected by the Transcontinental Railroad. Students will also have articles that are from a time after both the internet and railroads have made their mark on society, both in America and globally. By using these four articles, students will participate in a jigsaw where they read through excerpts of these articles to gain an understanding of what each perspective brings. Students will discuss with one another what people believed the railroad and the Internet will bring to society while also looking at how railroads and the internet eventually impacted the world they were created in. Students will compare and contrast the railroads and internet by looking at all four perspectives to see the similarities and differences that both had. Students will focus on how the railroads and internet allowed for a more connected society and created more communication between people that were originally far away from one another.
• Venn Diagrams