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4th-5th Grade History Activity: How a Steam Engine Works

Steam engines were patented in the 1600s but were not incorporated into trains until the late 18th-early 19th century. Until this time, rail systems were used, but could be horse drawn or even powered by hand. Today, this same technology is used in nuclear reactors. Use the activity below to learn how the first steam engines were able to move locomotives.

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More 4th-5th grade activities

This activity is available in our American History B course

The second half of a detailed two-year survey of the history of the United States, this course takes students from the westward movement of the late 1800s to the present. Lessons integrate topics in geography, civics, and economics. Building on the award-winning series A History of US, the course guides students through critical episodes in the story of America. Students examine the impact of the settlement of the American West; investigate the social, political, and economic changes that resulted from industrialization; explore the changing role of the U.S. in international affairs from the late 19th century through the end of the Cold War; and trace major events and trends in the United States from the Cold War through the first decade of the twenty-first century.

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