The National Road: Pennsylvania



You will be working together as a group exploring web sites that your teacher has selected. You should start with the pages that are labeled 'Background Information' before dividing into groups. Each group has their own Task to complete and a separate set of web sites to use.
1. There are seven areas that will need to be included in the brochure.  These seven areas are divided into four roles.  Each member will need to choose one of the roles to complete the research.  Below is a list of roles and a description of each. 

·         The Tour Guide(s): Research historical towns and landmarks
·         The Geographer(s): Research scenic attractions and creates a map of the road
·         The Journalist(s): Writes the introduction of the brochure by summarizing the importance of the road to the development of our country
·         The Historian(s): Provides a timeline or summary of the history of the National Road, identifies famous people who traveled the road or was involved with the road

Be sure to view the Brochure Checklist to see what is required.

2. Once the roles are selected, each group member will research the given websites for all of the information and graphics needed to complete their job.  Read through the websites for your particular role. You can print out pages and underline the parts that you feel are important or cut and paste from the webpage into a word processor. 

3. When all of the information and images are gathered, the group members will need to sort through and select the most important pieces to include in the brochure. 

4. Next, each group member will begin the writing process for their section of the brochure.  Keep in mind that this is an informational brochure - your audience is someone who does not know about the local history in your area (southwestern Pennsylvania).  This information should be presented in an informative and descriptive manner so that you spark your reader’s interest and make them want to visit your area and tour the historic National Road.  Click on the link below to view characteristics and a rubric of informative and descriptive language.

5. Once the rough drafts are revised and edited, your group will need to create the brochure.  You can do this in several ways, but your group needs to choose one way and stick with it.

  • Physically – Using classroom supplies such as 8 ½ x 11 paper, you can fold the paper into a Z-fold or a Tri-fold.  You may type your information and print it out.  Then, cut and paste it on the paper by hand.  Or, you can write the information neatly by hand.  For graphics, you may draw them or print them from the sites to paste onto the brochure.

  • Electronically – You can create the brochure entirely through a computer program such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, or the online resources: ReadWriteThink Printing Press or My Brochure Maker.  In this way, you can type your information and cut and paste it electronically to the brochure or type in the given spaces.  Also, you can cut and paste graphics.

Click here to see a sample brochure

*Please note: The brochure may be presented on paper, PowerPoint, or Hyper Studio.  It depends on the availability of materials in your classroom and your teacher’s preference.

6. When the brochure is completed, your group will present it to the class.  Each group member will present his or her own section.  Your presentation should meet the requirements in the Presentation Evaluation Rubric (click to view rubric).

Phase 1 - Research Instructions:

1. Two members from each Web Quest group will explore one or more of the areas below depending on the role that you have chose to perform.

2. Read through the sites designated for your role. You can print out pages and underline the parts that you feel are important or cut and paste from the webpage into a word processor.

3. Remember to include the URL of the page you take information from so you can return to it and use it as a citation.

4. Focus what you've learned to answer the question(s) that relates to your role.

Phase 2 - Background Information

These sites are important because they will provide basic information about the topic as a whole. Everyone should explore these sites before starting your Task.  In addition to these sites, you may also use classroom or library resources that may help you.


Phase 3 - Explore Websites

Find the sites that are related to your role and search away!

Geography and Maps:

Use these links to help you develop a map of the National Road.

National Road History and Time Periods

Use these links to answer your questions.

1. What is the National Road?

2. When was the National Road built?

3. Why is the National Road important to the United States? 

Historical Landmarks and National Monuments:

Use these links to answer the following questions.

1. What historical landmarks or national monuments are located along or near the National Road?

Scenic Attractions:

Use these links to answer the following questions.

1. What scenic attractions are located along or near the National Road?


Famous People:

Use these links to answer the following questions.

1. What famous people traveled the road?

2. What famous people were involved with the development of the National Road?

Towns and Counties:

Use these links to answer the following questions.

1. What historical towns are located along the National Road?

2. What Pennsylvania counties does the National Road pass through?

Phase 4 - Reaching Consensus
You have all learned about different parts of The National Road. Now group members come back to the larger Web Quest team with the expertise gained by searching from your roles. You must all now create an informational brochure as a group.


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