local history resources for teachers

We are working to develop more kits, mini-kits, and lessons for local teachers to weave into their curricula. Check back soon!

Do you have a suggestion or request for support materials? City Museum can help! Email Maggie Capettini, our Education Coordinator, with your special request: museumed@westchicago.org

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. (Grades 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)

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."