local history resources for teachers
Do you have a suggestion or request for support materials? City Museum can help! Email Maggie Capettini, our Education Coordinator, with your special request: email@example.com
Tackle History: Immigration This interactive, bilingual history kit gives children a look into the four main immigrant groups that settled West Chicago: English, German, Irish, and Mexican, as well as general history about immigration to the United States. (Grade 7) Printables from 7th Grade Immigration Kit
Railroad Trunk This educational kit contains maps, books, and artifacts that chronicle the early years of West Chicago. The early importance of the railroad is emphasized. A teacher’s guide contains suggestions on how to use the materials in the trunk. (Grade 3)
McGuffey Readers Check out our set of McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Readers, first published in 1879. The Readers show how students’ education was conducted from the 1830s to the 1920s when the Readers were used as the primary learning tool in classrooms across the country. Students can read the stories and complete the spelling, handwriting, grammar, and vocabulary exercises. (Grade 3-5)
These kits are housed entirely online. The purpose of these kits is to supplement your regular curriculum with fun activities that reinforce the concepts taught, while at the same time exposing students to the history of West Chicago.
Middle School Digital Mini-Kits
Lower Elementary Digital Mini-Kits
Traveling programs have been developed for school or youth groups and comply with state school curriculum guidelines and Boy Scout badge requirements. We can also host your group here in the museum for any of these programs.
Trains, Trains, Trains Equipped with artifacts, role-playing activities and more, a member of the Museum staff will present a program in the classroom on the jobs, signals, and work of the early railroads. (For grades 1-5, 45 minutes)
Josefina Story Quilt Using the children’s book The Josefina Story Quilt by Eleanor Coerr, a member of the Museum staff will introduce children to pioneer life and the importance of quilts as seen through the travels of a young girl. (For grades K-2, 45 minutes)
Daily Life: Then and Now Oh the times, they are changing. This program offers a look at the differences and similarities between the modern era and life around the turn of the 20th century. Numerous hands-on experiences are included in this fun-filled program. (Grades K-5, 1 hour)
Child’s Play A member of the Museum staff will bring the toys of yesteryear alive to your students. While children enjoy playing with a variety of wooden and metal toys, they are learning about our changing technology and the impact of this change on our life. (Grades K-5, 1 hour)
Economics: Then and Now Designed at teacher request, this program gives students hands-on experience applying economics concepts to the history of West Chicago. They identify ways in which being a railroad town shaped the goods and services available in Turner; compare and contrast goods and services available in West Chicago today with those available a century ago; compare prices of groceries historically to today; are introduced to the concept of inflation; and learn why certain goods or services have become obsolete. (Grade 3, 1 hour)
history explored through art
History Explore through Art (heART) is a fun and exciting interdisciplinary approach to West Chicago's history. Students are exposed to local history, art history + contemporary art, art-making processes, and creative self-expression. Lessons are grouped by age-level and can be adapted for use with a variety of media.
K-5 heart lessons
Railroad History/"I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold": We take trains for granted now, but they were once new, fast, and exciting! They gave birth to the town we now call West Chicago, and many of the families that immigrated here in the 1800s built the railroads. Artists will use Charles Demuth's painting "I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold" as inspiration for creating an abstract artwork representing West Chicago's railroad history.
6-8 heart lessons
Healthy West Chicago/Wayne Thiebaud: Looks at those delicious cakes! Gumballs! Ice cream cones! Thiebaud knows how to make sweets look delicious in his paintings. Artists will learn about West Chicago's history of healthy foods, and try their hand at creating an artwork where healthy food looks as delicious as Thiebaud's confections. (Click the title to download a PDF lesson).
9-12 heart lessons
De la Tierra Somos¡No Somos Illegales!: Chicago-based artist Carlos A. Cortéz explored social and political ideas using printmaking as a way to share messages. In this lesson, artists learn about the history of Mexican immigration in West Chicago, and create their own "artwork with a message."