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Teacher Resource

Rolling on the River by NGA


English Language Arts (2005), Social Studies, The Arts (1996), English Language Arts (NYS P-12 Common Core), Social Studies (NYS K-12 Framework Common Core), Literacy in History/Social Studies (NYS 5-12 Common Core)

Grade Levels

Intermediate, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade


Students will explore how westward expansion increased the number of jobs available in the nineteenth-century, including being a flatboatman through a painting by George Caleb Bingham. Working in pairs, students will write a letter to their partner from the standpoint of a person moving westward. Then they will construct a poem in the guise of Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing” about a modern-day job.


Access this resource at: Rolling on the River

Content Provider

National Gallery of Art

The mission of the National Gallery of Art is to serve the United States of America in a national role by preserving, collecting, exhibiting, and fostering the understanding of works of art at the highest possible museum and scholarly standards.

Policies and procedures toward these goals are cumulatively set forth in the Gallery’s legislation, bylaws, trustee action, and staff guidelines. The following general definitions outline the goals of the Gallery.

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