Pre-visit Activities

Pre–visit Lesson:

Teacher Preparation: View website (see lesson item one, below) prior to lesson
Time required: 40–60 minutes
web resources, computer with internet connection and projection capability, or computer lab for independent study


  1. Go to
  2. Read about the Erie Canal.
  3. Click on the video clip icon.
  4. Click on the slide show icon. Once you have studied the map, click on Excavation on the bottom left of the map.
  5. Then go back to the main map, using the back button in the upper-right-hand corner, and click on Aqueducts.
  6. Go back to the main map and click on History.
  7. Go back to the main map and click on Locks.

Additional sites and activities:

  1. Erie Canal–Journey Through History (postcard images): 
    1. Go to:
    2. Click on “Launch a Canal Tour” for a short video on the canal.
  2. Go to:
    1. This site describes how a lock works, explains the size of locks, and shows historical images of locks.
  3. Go to:
    1. Click on Learn About Locks and find out how they work.
    2. Then return to the previous page and click on restart the game. Play the game, which simulates how lock doors open and close and allow ships to pass through.