Steps in the Process: • Learn the background of the Orphan Train Movement • Students are assigned an Orphan Train rider • Research rider • Write a script describing rider • Create a recording • Listen to other classmates' presentations • Complete a Pros and Cons sheet • Classroom debate - Do you think the Orphan Train Movement was a good or bad idea?
Background: Between 1854 and 1929 an estimated 200,000 orphaned, abandoned, and homeless children were placed out during, what is known today as the Orphan Train Movement. The name is derived from the children's situations, though they were not all orphans, and the mode of transportation used to move them across forty-seven states and Canada. When the orphan train movement began, it was estimated that 30,000 abandoned children were living on the streets of New York City. The children were transported to their new homes on trains which were eventually labeled “orphan trains.”