This page contains DBQs, lesson plans, and links to other useful resources and primary source materials. You'll find useful content for students throughout the LEARN section, including Fast Facts, 3D Tours of Canal Structures, Social Reform & Innovation, and Native Americans.
Document Based Questions
Use these worksheets to help students read and interpret images and documents to learn about the Erie Canal.
Seneca Lake Survey
Canal shipwrecks discovered in the deep waters of Seneca Lake provide a fascinating window into history, underwater archeology, bathymetry, invasive species, and water quality. Choose from a set of four lesson plans that combine teacher instructions, original source documents and images, and student worksheets.
Opening the Gates to Change: The Erie Canal and Woman's Suffrage
This 9-minute video and corresponding lesson plan explore the impacts of the Erie Canal on development of 19th century social reform movements, particularly women's rights. While it examines the history of the struggle for equality, it also compares past movements to contemporary issues and shows ways that young people are finding their voices in today's struggle for social justice.
The Erie Canal Adventure: Unlocking the Waterway Wonders
This 40-minute film explores the Erie Canal's impact on the development of New York and the significance of waterways in connecting communities across the state. Companion lesson plans give students the opportunity to learn about the types of fish that live in Western New York waters and test their design skills by building their own canal boat.
Building the Erie Canal
Lesson plan with pre- and post-visit activities for classes visiting the Albany Institute of History & Art as part of Ticket to Ride. Students will examine the work that went into building the Erie Canal and consider the political and physical barriers that were overcome to accomplish its construction.
Historical Photographs and Documents
Two Hundred Years on the Erie Canal
This online exhibition illustrates the incredible story of the Erie Canal with historical images and primary-source documents. From early concepts and plans to canal construction to its impact and lasting legacy, the exhibition provides a comprehensive visual resource of information for teachers and students.
Consider the Source New York
Free online community that connects educators across New York State to the valuable primary sources materials found in the churches, museums, historical organizations, libraries, and state and local governments with a series of highly-engaging learning activities designed to guide and encourage students at all grade levels to make discoveries using critical thinking skills. Includes Erie Canal source materials and lessons.
Erie Canalway itineraries make it easy for students and their families to visit the Erie Canal today and learn about its impacts on New York and the Nation. Download and share copies of our itineraries with students or share the link to our itineraries web page with students and their families.
THE ERIE CANAL
Devoted to the history of the Erie Canal through images, prints, and traces of past canal structures.
THE ERIE CANAL MUSEUM
Located in downtown Syracuse, NY, the museum engages the public in the story of the canal's transformative impacts.
THE ERIE CANAL SONG
History, lyrics, audio, and notes for guitar and piano of Low Bridge, Everybody Down written by Thomas Allen in 1905.
The Erie Canal Learning Hub is a joint initiative of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and the New York State Canal Corporation, with additional support from the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service.