Transcontinental Railroad: The Challenge of Bridging a Continent
Graphing Railroad Riders

Instructional Time: 45 minutes on Day 3, 30 minutes on Day 4

Students will be placed in groups of 4, and will receive a set of data showing the number of people who rode the Transcontinental Railroad to California in its first year of service. The riders will be identified by their home state. Each group will then be asked to create a graph showing its data, and recording the median, mode, and any outliers.


On the second day, groups will make a presentation to the "U.S. government" to show their results. Based on its graph, each group must decide which states need to have a larger advertising campaign to encourage their citizens to ride the train.

To see a sample, please view the Graphing Railroad Riders assignment.


Checking for Understanding

Observation, Student Work, Presentation



MA.4.1.2. Identify the mode(s) for sets of categorical data and the mode(s), median, and any apparent outliers for numerical data sets.
Mathematical Reasoning
MA.4.2.0 Students use strategies, skills, and concepts in finding solutions:
MA.4.2.3. Use a variety of methods, such as words, numbers, symbols, charts, graphs, tables, diagrams, and models, to explain mathematical reasoning.