Kentucky Government in Action:
Building Roads, Preserving Cultural Resources

Grade Level: 4th
Overview: Using class discussion and a power point presentation, students will explore basic functions of state government and rights and responsibilities of citizens, including citizen participation, through a case study of the East End Bridge Project north of Louisville. They will consider transportation needs and cultural resources of their own community. They will use analytical skills in analyzing one primary resource (a historic photograph) and comparing two map types (road and satellite).

Optional follow-up activities allow students to apply the essential questions to their own community and include the opportunity to conduct short research projects, write opinion pieces, and/or report on a topic to present an opinion. An additional follow up presentation introduces careers in Transportation Planning (Practical Living/Career Awareness).

This lesson plan can be used alone or as part of a unit including with How Geography Can Shape History. You could also include the power point from the fifth grade lesson, An Education for Our Children. As a unit, the lessons provide a case study of a rural, African American community in Kentucky and provide a springboard for exploring your local community through the lens of the Big Ideas in Social Studies. As an individual lesson, this can be used to provide an example of state government in action, of the role of transportation in society, and/or of the importance of civic participation. It is particularly timely when road construction, improvement, or maintenance activities (such as snow removal) are taking place in your community.

The lesson can be enhanced by inviting a presenter from the Kentucky Cabinet for Transportation’s Kentucky Engineering Exposure Network (K.E.E.N.) to make a presentation to your class. Please see attached description (KEEN Bridge Building Description).

Standards Addressed (detailed bullets in lesson plan):

  • Kentucky Core Academic Standards – Big Ideas in Government and Civics
  • Common Core in English Language Arts
  • C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards, National Council for the Social Studies

Essential Questions:
What is the role of transportation in society?
How does state government provide services to its citizens to accomplish common goals?
What are some rights and responsibilities of Kentucky citizens, including civic participation?


For each student:

Optional Follow-up Handouts

For a comprehensive analysis of the Harrods Creek community, see the African American Heritage Interpretive Plan for Jefferson Jacob School, Jacob School Road, James Taylor Subdivision & Harrods Creek Village at

Helpful websites for Optional Activity 1 are:

Helpful websites for Optional Activity 2 are:

Also check with your local historical society and local tourism offices for materials.

If you plan to use Optional Activities 1 or 2, contact your district KEEN coordinator from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. S/he can tell you if there are any current or planned highway projects in your community or any identified needs. You might also want to arrange a classroom visit. KEEN coordinators can discuss transportation planning and careers in transportation and provide a grade level appropriate, hands-on engineering activity.

Kentucky Highway Districts
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet divides the state into 12 highway districts to optimize building, accountability, & maintenance of the transportation systems within.

District 1
Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, Lyon, McCracken, Marshall, and Trigg Email District 1
Phone: (270) 898-2431

District 2
Caldwell, Christian, Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, Hopkins, McLean, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Union and Webster Email District 2
Phone: (270) 824-7080

District 3
Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson, Todd, and Warren Email District 3
Phone: (270) 746-7898

District 4
Breckinridge, Grayson, Green, Hardin, Hart, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, Taylor, and Washington Email District 4
Phone: (270) 766-5066

District 5
Bullitt, Franklin, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, and Trimble Email District 5
Phone: (270) 766-5066

District 6
Boone, Kenton, Campbell, Bracken, Pendleton, Grant, Owen, Gallatin, Carroll, Harrison and Robertson Email District 6
Phone: (859) 341-2700

District 7
Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Fayette, Garrard, Jessamine, Madison, Montgomery, Mercer, Scott, and Woodford Email District 7
Phone: (859) 246-2355

District 8
Adair, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Lincoln, McCreary, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Russell, and Wayne Email District 8
Phone: (606) 677-4017

District 9
Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas, and Rowan Email District 9
Phone: (606) 677-4017

District 10
Breathitt, Estill, Lee, Magoffin, Menifee, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Powell, and Wolfe Email District 10
Phone: (606) 677-4017

District 11
Bell, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Leslie, and Whitley
Email District 11
Phone: (606) 598-2145

District 12
Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Letcher, Martin, and Pike
Email District 12
Phone: (606) 433-7791

This lesson plan was developed as part of the African American Heritage Interpretive Plan for Jefferson Jacob School, Jacob School Road, James Taylor Subdivision & Harrods Creek Village Jefferson County, Kentucky