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BEFORE YOU WATCH: Railroads and the Industrial Revolution

Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below (next in the lineup!). If you want to learn more about this strategy, click here.

First read: preview and skimming for gist

Before you watch, you should skim the transcript first. The skim should be very quick and give you the gist (general idea) of what the video is about. You should be looking at the title, thumbnails, pictures, and first few seconds of the video for the gist.

Second read: key ideas and understanding content

Now that you’ve skimmed the video transcript and taken a quick peek at the video, you should preview the questions you will be answering. These questions will help you get a better understanding of the concepts and arguments that are presented in the video. Keep in mind that when you watch the video, it is a good idea to write down any vocab you read or hear that is unfamiliar to you.
By the end of the second close read, you should be able to answer the following questions:
  1. How did widespread railways help bring the Industrial Revolution to more people?
  2. How did railroads shape our ideas of space and time?
  3. What were some arguments that people in the Long Nineteenth Century used against railroads?
  4. What effect does John Green argue industrialization had on our worldview about progress?
  5. How does John Green argue that the Internet is like the railroad?

Third read: evaluating and corroborating

Finally, here are some questions that will help you focus on why this video matters and how it connects to other content you’ve studied.
At the end of the third read, you should be able to respond to these questions:
  1. Do you agree with John Green that railroads changed the way that humans think about time and space? How do your ideas about time and space change if you’re walking, driving, or flying to a place?
  2. John Green argues that trains made people read more and that their windows might have even prepared people to watch television many years later. Do you believe him? How has the way we travel changed the entertainment we consume? What impacts has this had on our communities?
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to watch! Remember to return to these questions once you’ve finished watching.

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