Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Railroad Trains, Part 4: Parts of a Steam Engine and Wheel Arrangement

Alex labeled the parts of a train on a picture of a train
Parts of a Steam Engine
We took a look at some of the parts of a steam engine so we could be sure to get the terms right when we talked about trains. (Terms such as: cab, whistle, bell, smoke stack, headlight, firebox, steam pipe, boiler tube, smoke box. piston, drive rod, and connecting rod.)

Wheel Arrangements

We also learned that trains are classified by the number of small leading wheels, large driving wheels and medium-sized trailing wheels a engine has. The leading wheels help carry the weight and guide the engine. Driving wheels carry most of the weight. They are connected by a rod to the piston. Trailing wheels help carry the weight of the firebox and the cab. Some locomotives engines do not have leading or trailing wheels.
Quentin's multiplication sheet made from pictures from a B & O Museum brochure.
He counted the wheels and multiplied by two to get the total number of wheels the engine has.
Quentin practiced a little multiplication (or skip counting) to determine how many leading and driving wheels some of the trains have.
If you are going on a field trip, if you can get a brochure in advance, they can often lead to great learning materials.
We looked at some of the trains on display at the B & O Railroad Museum by copying and cutting out the pictures from an old brochure. We used these to notice their wheel arrangement.
 They wrote down the numbers of the wheel arrangements, putting in a "0" if there were none of that type wheel.
 I had also copied the descriptions of the engines, which included their wheel arrangements numbers in the upper left-hand corner. They matched the pictures with their descriptions by the wheel arrangement numbers.

and glued the description on the back of the card with the matching picture. They could look at the engine number (called the B & O number, in this case) on the picture and add that to the upper right-hand corner of the description.
These cards can be hole-punched on the corner and held together with a metal ring. Students can then take their own home-made train guide with them on their field trip. If you have a train museum near you, you can custom make your own museum guide for the trains they have on display at your museum.

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1 comment:

  1. Those will be fun cards to refer to.

    I agree brochures have so much possibility.

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