Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In

Skip Navigation LinksSampleLessonPlans

  
  
Introduction
  
Activity
TeachingTip
  
  
1
  

​Illinois has long been an incubator of inventions ranging from tools so commonplace as to now be considered rudimentary to one of the most dangerously bold energy advances in human history. Some of these inventions laid groundwork for agricultural advances and engineering marvels, while the Century of Progress World’s Fair of 1933 presented bold concepts and practical applications. Celebrate the inventions of our past and dare your students to dream our future.

K-4

​1837-1851, Explore the engineering successes of John Deere and Cryus MCormick as two of Illinois most dedicated inventors. Discuss how their contributions dramatically increased yields and cultivated midwest prairies into rich farmland which criss-crosses the state. Today, lllinois is a major producer of corn and soybean, dozens of agricultural commodities and even some specialty crops such as grapes and Christmas trees.

Bicentennial
1
2
  

​Illinois has long been an incubator of inventions ranging from tools so commonplace as to now be considered rudimentary to one of the most dangerously bold energy advances in human history. Some of these inventions laid groundwork for agricultural advances and engineering marvels, while the Century of Progress World’s Fair of 1933 presented bold concepts and practical applications. Celebrate the inventions of our past and dare your students to dream our future.

5-8

The 1893 Columbian Exposition, or World's Fair, debuted Mr. Ferris's great wheel. At 264 feet high and carrying as many as 2,000 people at a time it was sure to have been a wondrous sight to the fairgoers on Chicago's south side.

  1. Explore the engineering principles which formed the basis of the Ferris Wheel.
  2. Discuss the importance of shared spaces, such as parks and museum exhibits, and how they enhance our cultural history and experiences.

The 1933 Century of Progress World's Fair, brought to life “dream cars" and “homes of tomorrow" for thousands of visitors.

  1. Evaluate which technologies showcased at the fair came into use and which did not and why? Do you know anyone with a personal helicopter pad, for instance?
  2. Explore what has changed about a particular device or tool from 1933 to today. For example, what features did Cadillac unveil in 1933 and what features are they advertising today?
  3. If you were to design a home (or city) of the future, what features or inventions might you dare to dream and incorporate into your design? Consider all three major design principles; aesthetics, function and innovation in your proposal.

​Consider inviting guest speakers to illustrate how their company incorporates aesthetics, functions and innovation into their product(s). Or, create a poster or advertisement for your design/invention of the future. Integrate the arts.

Bicentennial
2
3
  

​Illinois has long been an incubator of inventions ranging from tools so commonplace as to now be considered rudimentary to one of the most dangerously bold energy advances in human history. Some of these inventions laid groundwork for agricultural advances and engineering marvels, while the Century of Progress World’s Fair of 1933 presented bold concepts and practical applications. Celebrate the inventions of our past and dare your students to dream our future.

9-12

In addition to hosting the world' first nuclear reactor, lllinois is the home to two dedicated nuclear facilities, as well as the Atomic Science Bulletin.  The articles “Nuclear Age Dawns" and “Hiroshima Atom Bomb Dropped by Quincy Pilot" can be juxtaposed to foster meaningful discussion.

  • Explore the historical and contemporary investigations of the Fermilab or the Argonne National Laboratory and consider each location for site visits and as opportunities to connect with nuclear scientists.
  • Consider the benefits of nuclear energy against the dangers of nuclear proliferation and atomic warfare and develop an Ethics plan for managing nuclear science discoveries.
  • Study the movement of the Doomsday Clock and speculate what types of world events might move the clock forward or backward in time.
Bicentennial
3
4
  

1943, Peoria, IL

“Moldy Mary” was so nicknamed for her contribution to the discovery of the miraculous mold removed from the rind of a cantaloupe, which was potent enough to mass produce penicillin, heralding the dawn of the age of antibiotics.

K-4

Moldy Bread: Use a loaf of bread to illustrate what spurs the growth of mold and teach an important lesson in hand-washing at the same time! 

Have students wear food-safe gloves to move a slice of bread from a fresh loaf of white bread to a plastic bag and then mark it “no hands”. Have students use their bare (and assumedly) dirty hands to remove a slice of bread, pass it around the classroom and then mark it “dirty hands”. Hang experiment in plain sight, make predictions, and compare results as the bread grows mold at different rates.

Bicentennial
1
5
  

1943, Peoria, IL

“Moldy Mary” was so nicknamed for her contribution to the discovery of the miraculous mold removed from the rind of a cantaloupe, which was potent enough to mass produce penicillin, heralding the dawn of the age of antibiotics.

5-8

Ask students to identify where in the natural world we find fungus and what roles it plays in life sciences. Explore the potential good and the known harm molds cause as both hosts and toxins. What properties of fungus was the Department of Agriculture seeking as a catalyst for growing penicillin and how were samples procured and evaluated?

Consider inviting guest speakers to the classroom to explore modern careers related to how we grow and utilize fungus, as well as to explore initiatives in harnessing the power of fungus for potential problem-solving in health sciences and agriculture. Consider a Cheesemaker, a Mushroom Farmer, or a Mold Remediation Technician in addition to Mycologists, Toxicologists and Bacteriologists.

Bicentennial
2
6
  

1943, Peoria, IL

“Moldy Mary” was so nicknamed for her contribution to the discovery of the miraculous mold removed from the rind of a cantaloupe, which was potent enough to mass produce penicillin, heralding the dawn of the age of antibiotics.

9-12
  • Explore the research, development and applied sciences of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Military and the pharmaceutical industry in producing penicillin and other fungus-based resources as tools for major health initiatives and military efforts.
  • Evaluate the impact of antibiotics both during World War II and through the present day.
  • Explain how bacteria adapt to make antibiotics less or even ineffective over time and speculate on what this means for the future of medicine and human health.


Bicentennial
3
7
  

In the Land of Lincoln you’ll find this Presidential figure just around every corner. From extensive academic resources to accessible site visits,  Abraham Lincoln’s physical presence in the State of Illinois presents us with dynamic opportunities to engage with the man of legend.

Did you know?

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum offers a digitized collection accessible online including hands-on activities, vocabulary, research topics, critical thinking questions, and references to additional resources. Check out Under His Hat for materials to accommodate classroom use at various grade levels.

K-4

It’s All in a Hat: Use a Lincoln hat to collect “artifacts/objects/symbols” that represent moments in the timeline. Have students take turns identifying moments in Illinois history and add to the HAT at regular intervals or on a schedule.

Create a Lincoln Exhibition: While learning about the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln have students gather/create “artifacts” or “symbols” of his Presidency and use these as the basis for curating an exhibit on Lincoln.  The exhibition may include text introductions to “artifacts”, verbal presentations, and could summarize why Lincoln is one of the most memorable Presidents of all time.

Bicentennial
1
8
  

In the Land of Lincoln you’ll find this Presidential figure just around every corner. From extensive academic resources to accessible site visits,  Abraham Lincoln’s physical presence in the State of Illinois presents us with dynamic opportunities to engage with the man of legend.

Did you know?

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum offers a digitized collection accessible online including hands-on activities, vocabulary, research topics, critical thinking questions, and references to additional resources. Check out Under His Hat for materials to accommodate classroom use at various grade levels.

5-8

Integrating the Arts: Abraham Lincoln had many nicknames before, during and after his Presidency, among them were; Honest Abe, The Great Emancipator, The Ancient One, and the The Rail-Splitter.  Determine what events or characteristics attributed to these nicknames and present your findings in an artistic rendering, such as a drawing, painting, cartoon, sculpture, avatar, or video.

Power of Persuasion: After reading and examining a few of Lincoln's speeches, have students engage in the power of persuasion through various activities.  Here are a few examples:

  • Read-Aloud a speech to see how delivery affects the dynamic of presentation.
  • Identify a persuasive speech and report on what elements of the speech are persuasive.
  • Write a short persuasive speech on a modern topic as if you were Abraham Lincoln and you goal is to unite disparate parties.
  • Take a classroom vote on a controversial topic to identify a baseline. Write motivational speeches to convince your classmates to change their vote. Cast a second-ballot following the presentations and evaluate what was effective in various speeches and why.
Bicentennial
2
9
  

In the Land of Lincoln you’ll find this Presidential figure just around every corner. From extensive academic resources to accessible site visits,  Abraham Lincoln’s physical presence in the State of Illinois presents us with dynamic opportunities to engage with the man of legend.

Did you know?

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum offers a digitized collection accessible online including hands-on activities, vocabulary, research topics, critical thinking questions, and references to additional resources. Check out Under His Hat for materials to accommodate classroom use at various grade levels.

9-12

Power of Persuasion: After reading and examining a few of Lincoln's speeches, have students engage in the power of persuasion through various activities.  For older students, the complexity of Lincoln's speeches and character can be more fully explored

  • “Translate" an historical speech into contemporary language.
  • Adapt the Gettysburg Address to present across social media platforms.
  • Extract quotes from Lincoln's speeches to show how sound bytes and info bytes can be used in different contexts, by more than one party, and with divergent intentions.
  • Study how Abraham Lincoln evolved personally and politically throughout his life using primary sources such as quotes and speeches to note changes.
  • Determine a topic which divides the country today and make suggestions on what type of leadership, actions and persuasion techniques would be required to unite us.  Present your own Plan of Action or draft your own “Gettysburg Address" to persuade the nation.


Bicentennial
3