Lesson Plans for Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railway
All Aboard: History, Culture, and Innovation on the Florida East Coast Railway
Grade Level: Kindergarten | Across the Bridge on the Way to Key West
Students will understand basic structural concepts related to bridge building. They will learn about the geography of the Florida East Coast Railway, Key West Extension and the human connection to the railroad in the Florida Keys.
Grade: 1st | Operation Built a New Bridge
Students will be introduced to the Overseas Railway and will learn about different types of bridges (arch, beam, suspension, truss). They will work collaboratively to build a bridge that can hold weight.
Grade: 2nd | Gandy Dancers: Laying tracks
Students will be introduced to the Overseas Railway and will learn about what life was like as a Florida East Coast Railway Worker.
Grade: 3rd | Train Track Time Machine
Students will be introduced to the Florida East Coast Railway’s Key West Extension and learn what it would have been like to ride on the train to Key West.
Grade: 4th | A Good Foundation
Students will be introduced to the Florida East Coast Railway and engineering methods for building a bridge foundation under water. They will construct a cofferdam.
Grade: 5th | Building Bridges
Students will be introduced to the Overseas Railway and will understand structural concepts related to bridge building.
Grade: 6th | Load It Up
Students will understand basic structural concepts related to bridge building by learning about the forces of tension and compression and how shapes aid in strengthening a structure.
Grade: 7th | How the Railroad Went to Sea
Students will learn about surveying and the surveying expedition that determined the route of the Florida East Coast Railway’s Key West Extension. Students will then go on a surveying expedition of their own.
Grade: 8th | Bridging the Gap
Students will be introduced to the Overseas Railway and will learn about different types of bridges (arch, beam, suspension, cable-stay, truss). They will work collaboratively to build a bridge and test it to see how it holds weight.
Grades: 9th – 12th | How to do Something that’s Never Been Done Before
Students will be introduced to the Florida East Coast Railway’s Key West Extension and the marvel of engineering that it was. They will develop an understanding of perseverance, identify examples of it in Henry Flagler’s story and relate to the importance perseverance can play in their own lives.
Henry Morrison Flagler was an American industrialist and founder of Standard Oil. He was also a key figure in the development of Florida’s east coast and builder of the Florida East Coast Railway. This timeline will take you through Flager’s life and the construction of the Florida East Coast Railway and extension to Key West.
Seth Bramson: The Florida East Coast Railway
Seth Bramson, Florida East Coast Railway Company Historian, Barry University Adjunct Professor of History and Historian in Residence and Nova Southeastern University Lifelong Learning Institute Adjunct Professor of History, presents on the history of the Florida East Coast Railway.
Willie Drye: Storm of the Century – Labor Day Hurricane of 1935
Author and National Geographic News Contributing Editor Willie Drye unraveled the fascinating story of the most powerful hurricane in U.S. history in his highly praised book, Storm of the Century: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. The work of narrative non-fiction, which reads like a novel, has been hailed as the definitive account of this event. Drye’s riveting yet meticulously accurate portrayal of the horrific power of this long-ago monster storm also was praised by some of the nation’s most respected meteorologists. Drye explains how he compiled the story of this American tragedy, the people he met and interviewed along the way, and the many remarkable sidebars he uncovered that made Storm of the Century an unforgettable read. Diagrams and period photos will help the audience understand the impact of this incalculably intense hurricane.
Henry Flagler: Overseas to the Keys
Take a journey on the Florida East Coast Railway’s Key West Extension. Henry Flagler, the Standard Oil tycoon, spent over $30 million of his own money to build a railroad joining mainland Florida to Key West. While the tracks are forever gone, taken out by the most powerful hurricane to strike the United States, the rest became the right of way for the present-day Overseas Highway. Visitors learn how Flagler’s civil engineers invented new technologies to meet construction demands. Pictures, artifacts, film, and stories of Flagler’s arrival at the Key West station on January 22, 1912, illustrate the revolutionary moment that forever changed the Florida Keys.
Come experience 120 Historic Markers in the Largest Historic District of Frame Buildings in the United States. See photos and listen to the history and stories these buildings have to tell. Take a self-guided tour and discover a little piece of paradise.
With a collecting history that extends back to 1949, the Key West Art & Historical Society has unrivaled collections of contemporary and historic art and artifacts. Its collections, which number more than 35,000 works in all media, range from historical to present-day and span the entire Florida Keys.
For more information, contact the Society’s Education Specialist, Kassandra Collett at (305)295-6616 ext. 114, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org