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August 14, 2015 | 2:22 PM

Know Before You Go: Chicago Classroom Resources

Written by Brightspark Travel


Planning a Chicago student tour? These resources from top Chicago museums will help you plan activities and lessons that prepare students for the many cultural and historical sights they will see.

History: Chicago History Museum

Regardless of whether the Chicago History Museum made it onto your itinerary, its plethora of classroom resources provide excellent insights for any student traveler interested in Chicago’s history and culture. 

The Great Chicago Stories website teaches topics such as “Progressivism, Hull House and Immigration” and “Great Migration and Jazz Age” in a hands-on manner. Students can explore stories of fictional characters and interactive maps that feature photos and artifacts from the time period. Each story has correlating questions and unit plans.

Teen Chicago is an oral history collection featuring interviews from teens growing up in Chicago throughout the 20th century. Exploring everything from racial tensions to music, the downloadable interviews are complemented by a curriculum guide filled with relevant questions and activities.

Art: The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute’s Artwork Resource Packets highlight specific pieces from the museum’s millennia-spanning collections. With 38 different packets available, students can study anything from 10th century religious sculptures to 20th century photography. Packets pair information about the work’s social, cultural, philosophical and artistic influences with questions, vocabulary and creative activities.

Science: The Field Museum

This natural history museum's exhibition-related packets cover subjects such as climate change, dinosaurs and the ancient Americas. Many of these resources include overviews on the major themes of the exhibitions, guiding questions that can be answered in the galleries themselves, as well as pre- and post-visit activities. 

Topics: Chicago

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