Explore lessons drawing upon themes from current and past major exhibitions. These suggested activities can be used to support distance and classroom learning, or supplement a museum visit.

Andrew J. Russell, East and West Shaking Hands at Laying Last Rail, 1869. Imperial collodion glass plate negative, 10 x 13 in. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California, Museum Purchase. Photo: Ben Blackwell

Andrew J. Russell and the Building of the Transcontinental Railroad Curriculum (Grades 8 and 11)

Uncover the history behind the building of the Transcontinental Railroad and practice visual literacy skills, using the online tool Picture This to closely examine historical photographs from the Oakland Museum of California’s Andrew J. Russell Collection. Curriculum includes:

  • Four document-based lessons that guide students through an inquiry process to explore themes of westward expansion
  • Sixteen photographs from the Andrew J. Russell Collection that probe key topics, such as Native Americans in the West, the environment, working conditions, and technological advancement

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This curriculum was made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

National Endowment for the Arts