WELOME TO THE HISTORY TRAIN!
The History Train is an online gathering place and resource for children, parents and schools/libraries interested in U.S. history. We offer book ideas that meet education standards, and we encourage a safe place online for children to rate, review and “talk history” about those books. What makes us unique is that we encourage, and provide recommendations and information on the historic sites featured in the books and places like them in the community. Activities based upon the sites, whether visited in-person or virtually, are a large part of The History Train.
The History Train is a free and safe for children and their parents to register and has specific goals for kids, including:
–Sharing a love of U.S. history including the books they are reading and the places they are visiting
–Engaging with their friends in lively, safe and kind online discussion
–Visiting their communities, areas, states and regions to see museums, events and historic sites
–Winning prizes when they finish books, start and join discussions and visit sites. Bonus activities include reports, projects, and more
PERFECT FOR SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL LIBRARIES!
Libraries (both in schools and in the community), as well as teachers, can get on board The History Train too. The website will foster a group of “Conductors” passionate about reading, and encouraging those young people to become researchers, and historians-in-training in their schools and neighborhoods.
Readers get excited about U.S. History when they can talk to others about it, and by sharing those reviews and having lively discussions. What a great way to learn writing and debate skills, ways of researching and of course, learning first-hand about the varied and exciting history the United States offers! School and libraries can utilize The History Train when they have such a severe decrease in their time devoted to Social Studies. The books we promote and the sites we highlight can be integrated in many different subjects throughout the school day, freeing up their daily schedules and aiding in the creation of their daily lesson plans!
WHAT WILL THE MONEY BE USED FOR?
–A more robust website. The site will have all of the necessary forms, include login/password, keep track of points and allow the Conductors to “purchase” their prizes.
–Defray some of my expenses as I visit schools and libraries presenting on and explaining how to use The History Train in their classrooms, schools and communities.
–Recruit others to input the information on the history-related books and historic sites into the database of the website so we can have a large variety of books to choose from and activities that meet NCSS standards.
WHY GIVE THE HISTORY TRAIN THE STEAM IT NEEDS TO SUCCEED?
The History Train is a free resource for students, parents, schools and libraries. The ability to visit the historic sites represented in these books (as we partner with more and more of them) helps educators instill a sense of place into their students, gets homeschoolers out of the home classrooms, and connected the historic sites with students all over the country. And isn’t that what the study of history is all about?
HOW ELSE CAN YOU HELP?
–Spread the word!
–Help libraries get the books on our website onto their shelves if they do not have them already
–Put a History Train Reading Program going in your neighborhood or community
–Donate lesson plans and activities based on our lists of books. These will go in our Teacher Resources/Schools & Libraries Train Car.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Founder Kristie Poehler is a published author, educator and Civil War historian. To her credit are the creation of the PBS award-winning documentary New England and the Civil War. She was the owner/editor of Battlefield Journal for more than a decade and published two books: Gettysburg National Military Park: The Monuments & Their Stories and The Cause (available where all books are sold).
She has taught history classes to young and old alike and has lectured everywhere from Maine to Rhode Island at teacher training conferences, Civil War conferences, round tables, museums, elementary class rooms, and more. Kristie has a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Education.