Driving Down the Highway: Billboards in Nebraska
Time: Two 50-minute sessions
Lesson Introduction: The
Western Trails Project
has photographs from
Nebraska. Using the Lincoln Highway Exhibit billboards as examples, students
will design a billboard promoting/advertising a city in Nebraska.
Proficiency will be demonstrated by the 11x17 billboard which will be
created and by the presentation of the billboard to the class.
Nebraska Social Studies:
Students will demonstrate historical research and geographical skills by:
- Identifying, analyzing, and interpreting primary
and secondary sources and artifacts.
- Validating sources as to their authenticity,
authority, credibility, and possible bias.
Students will develop skills for historical analysis, such as the ability
- Analyze documents, records, and data, such as
artifacts, diaries, letters, photographs, journals, newspapers, and
- Evaluate the authenticity, authority, and
credibility of sources.
AASL/AECT Information Literacy:
The student who is information literate
accesses information efficiently and effectively
Formulate questions based on information needs
Develops and uses successful strategies for locating information
3. The student who is information literate uses
information accurately and creatively.
Organizes information for practical application
Integrates new information into oneâ€™s own knowledge
Produces and communicates information and ideas in appropriate
- Examine and interpret the map of Nebraska
- Examine the physical geography of Nebraska
- Strengthen student inquiry and critical observation
- Gather and analyze data from photos and maps and form
- Develop presentation skills, using visual prompts
- A class set of Nebraska maps
- 11x17 sheet of white paper for each student
- Computer for each student to research the towns in
- Show the students the billboard photographs from
the David H. Trail Lincoln Highway Collection of the Western Trails
Project. To locate the Collection, go to the
Project. Click on
Exhibits. Scroll down and click on Lincoln
Highway. Scroll down and click on David Traill Album.
- Look through the David Traill Album of
billboards. Show the students a variety of the billboards, especially
those with indicators of where the towns may be located.
- Each student will locate a town in Nebraska from
their Nebraska map. Make sure the town located has a web site by
looking at Nebraska's Department of Economic Development site. Look at the map to determine relative location, land features,
latitude and longitude. Click on the town to look through the town's web site to determine
the important services and/or tourist attractions that one would want to
emphasis when creating an advertising billboard for the town. Why would
anyone want to visit this community? You will be trying to convince us
to visit this community. What makes this town/community special?
- Create a billboard advertising the
town/community. Include the characteristics of the town/community which
make it special and inviting.
- On the billboard, the student will also describe
the location of their community. (Use the billboards from the David
Traill Album to show examples). Example: 63 miles north to Grand
Island, 23 miles west to Franklin, with the Republican River flowing
past = Red Cloud.
- Students will use note cards to take notes about
the important qualities and highlights of their communities.
- Each student will then present their billboard to
the rest of the class, describing the location and having the others in
class locate the town on their own maps.
- The final product will be a billboard design.
- Proficiency will be demonstrated by the studentâ€™s
presentation to the class after creating the design. The
will be used to guide the students to include the elements needed for a
- Students will be asked to write a one-page
description of this process, including why they selected the town and
what characteristics they looked for in describing it.
Citation Information Available through Search:
On any Nebraska Western Trails page, click on "Search" in the
banner to access the database search screen. The student should type
billboards in the box and
click on the Search button.
At the next screen the student should click on the link David
H. Traill Lincoln Highway Photograph Album to bring up the record,
which includes citation and rights information.
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