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Introduction
  
Activity
TeachingTip
  
  
1
  

While many of the ideas we present in The Illinois Chronicles Educator's Guide correspond to specific articles or events in The Illinois Chronicles, this activity proveds general suggestions on introducing and using the timeline in the classroom.  There are many points of entry into this engaging feature and we hope you discover some of your own along the way!

K-4 Classroom Activities
  • Choose six articles from The Illinois Chronicles (or events from the timeline) and read these articles aloud—perhaps at specified intervals, such as every Friday or every other day. After each article is read aloud, each student should create an illustration of the event (with a descriptive sentence or two, where able). After all six articles have been read, engage in a class discussion and ask the students to arrange their illustrations and descriptions of the six events in order, forming their own mini timelines. Students can share their timeline with a partner or in small groups before sharing with the whole class, practicing using ordinal terms.
  • Shared Inquiry Extension: After completing their timeline, have the students choose their favorite event(s) to explore. Small groups of students can learn more about a particular event using books or digital resources in a shared research project. The event or subject can be described or summarized in a drawing, written report, or other presentation form.
  • My Timeline: Create an intergenerational timeline using events from three different generations (grandparent/senior, parent/adult, and events from your own life). Include three important or significant events that happened during each person’s lifetime and plot on a timeline. (Be sure to emphasize that if the student does not have access to information about other generations, they can interview neighbors, friends, or consider community resources like nursing homes, in order to allow all students the ability to interview adults and seniors.) Find and add at least one event on the Illinois timeline that connects or adds value to your intergenerational timeline. Explore your trajectory and your role in history by predicting three significant or important events that will be a part of your future, and can be added to your timeline.
  • Predict: What will Illinois look like in 2218, 200 years from now, in regard to the various categories color-coded on The Illinois Chronicles timeline (science, culture, sport, etc.)? What event(s) might you plot on a timeline marking notable changes within one or more of those categories? Write and/or draw about your prediction(s) and share with your classmates. Sort the class predictions into the appropriate color-coded categories. Additional connections can be made to the “My Timeline” activity above, by adding their predictions to their intergenerational timeline.
  • Time Capsule: After exploring some key Illinois history events and figures, gather artifacts, objects, and symbols representing Illinois and place them in a time capsule. Imagine this time capsule will be opened in 200 years and you want future Illinois residents to know our history. Be sure to “make the case” for each object as space will be limited.
Bicentennial
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Chicago hosted two World’s Fairs just 40 years apart. Both exhibitions featured technology displays and sights previously unseen, but which are still used today. The 1893 Columbian Exposition, or World’s Fair, debuted Mr. Ferris’s great wheel. The modern wheel on Chicago’s Navy Pier, just a few miles from its debut location, pays homage to the original. The 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair brought to life “dream cars” and “homes of tomorrow” for thousands of visitors to this dynamic display of culture and technology, and homes throughout the world don features proposed in the “Rainbow City”. In addition to the two themes suggested below, consider the many STEM-based articles in The Illinois Chronicles as a snapshot of 200 years of Illinois engineering marvels.

K-4 Classroom Activities

  • Explore the engineering principles which formed the basis of the Ferris Wheel.  How did Mr. Ferris engage in the design and engineering process? What trials and previous designs existed? How did he choose materials and what skills did his laborers need to execute his plan? Integrate the Arts: design a poster or advertisement encouraging fair-goers to give The Great Wheel a whirl!
Bicentennial
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The ideas we have presented in this guide, combined with your diverse classroom experiences, preferred learning strategies, various disciplines, and personal creative concepts, are just what we need to make State history a dynamic and engaging area of study. We envision classrooms across the State delving into forgotten places and taking a deeper look at key figures and events throughout the school year. Consider the culmination of all these classroom explorations a celebration of our great State and your influence in creating leaders for the next 200 years!

K-4 Classroom Activities

Create a birthday party atmosphere and celebrate our State with everything from facts and figures to cake and ice cream! Invite community members to engage in the celebration and learn more about the events students have explored.

  • Invite key characters from The Illinois Chronicles, have students dress up or role play those characters and present their role in State history.
  • Make a cake in the shape of our State and decorate it with symbols of our legacy.
  • Create an oversized map of Illinois and highlight places of significance throughout the State as referenced in The Illinois Chronicles articles or timeline.  Indicate the places on the map where the events took place with an image or symbol to represent the event or its significance. Be sure to include not only the locations highlighted on the back of the timeline but track other events discussed in your study of Illinois!
  • Create bunting or garland decorations using key moments from the timeline on each individual flag. On one side put an image to commemorate that moment and on the other a brief description of the event and its significance. Complete and hang the bunting up in time for the day of the birthday party.
  • Ask students to work in groups to summarize the six subject-area themes from the timeline (sport and adventure, conflict and tragedy, science and engineering, commerce and architecture, culture and heritage, and politics and civil rights). The groups can then create a presentation or dramatic representation that showcases the importance of those events.
  • Have students create a multiple-choice quiz of 10 or so events from Illinois history. Encourage them to quiz their classmates, teachers, and parents/adults, and graph the results for display at the party. For quick reference, make sure a copy of the The Illinois Chronicles timeline is readily accessible—or even mounted on the classroom wall. As an added bonus, if community members join the party, test their knowledge about Illinois history, too!
Bicentennial
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The ideas we have presented in this guide, combined with your diverse classroom experiences, preferred learning strategies, various disciplines, and personal creative concepts, are just what we need to make State history a dynamic and engaging area of study. We envision classrooms across the State delving into forgotten places and taking a deeper look at key figures and events throughout the school year. Consider the culmination of all these classroom explorations a celebration of our great State and your influence in creating leaders for the next 200 years!

5-8 Classroom Activities

Celebrate Illinois Statehood in your classroom—or even your whole school by throwing a birthday party! Invite a local government representative to come and speak to your classroom or even address the entire school!

  • Have students design their own Bicentennial logo or flag. What would they include?
  • Celebrate our State by researching historical anniversaries and official State events. Share informative writing and personal perspectives in a variety of ways. This could be done by creating posters, advertisements, mock-social media (fake Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) or a webpage. Share what students have created across real social media platforms.
  • Create commercials/infomercials about significant contributions in Illinois history. Perform or play recordings of these advertisements at the celebration.
  • In 1925, the Illinois General Assembly signed an act making the song “Illinois” (lyrics by Charles H. Chamberlain and music by Archibald Johnson), the official State song. Divide students into groups and create a new theme song for the Illinois Bicentennial, which could be performed live at a school function or recorded to share on social media.
Bicentennial
2
5
  

The ideas we have presented in this guide, combined with your diverse classroom experiences, preferred learning strategies, various disciplines, and personal creative concepts, are just what we need to make State history a dynamic and engaging area of study. We envision classrooms across the State delving into forgotten places and taking a deeper look at key figures and events throughout the school year. Consider the culmination of all these classroom explorations a celebration of our great State and your influence in creating leaders for the next 200 years!

9-12 Classroom Activities

Celebrate Illinois Statehood in your classroom—or even your whole school by throwing a birthday party! Invite a local government representative to come and speak to your classroom or even address the entire school!

  • Have students design their own Bicentennial logo or flag. What would they include?
  • Celebrate our State by researching historical anniversaries and official State events. Share informative writing and personal perspectives in a variety of ways. This could be done by creating posters, advertisements, mock-social media (fake Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) or a webpage. Share what students have created across real social media platforms.
  • Create commercials/infomercials about significant contributions in Illinois history. Perform or play recordings of these advertisements at the celebration.
  • In 1925, the Illinois General Assembly signed an act making the song “Illinois” (lyrics by Charles H. Chamberlain and music by Archibald Johnson), the official State song. Divide students into groups and create a new theme song for the Illinois Bicentennial, which could be performed live at a school function or recorded to share on social media.
Bicentennial
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Throughout the timeline and within the articles of The Illinois Chronicles we meet many noteworthy (and sometimes notorious) individuals. Here’s an opportunity to explore the shining stars among the broad cast of characters in Illinois history. Roll out the red carpet! It’s time for the…Oscars of Illinois!

K-4 Classroom Activities
  • Have students nominate individuals from The Illinois Chronicles or timeline to form an “honor roll” of nominees and then campaign for those candidates using speeches, advertising, and other persuasive arts.
  • Classify the nominees into the color-coded categories from the timeline and have students vote within each category. Students should defend their vote through written arguments, class discussions, cooperative learning or debates.
  • Once the winners have been chosen, ask students to present the awards in partners or groups, including writing and delivering acceptance speeches.

Tip: The Academy Awards (or Oscars) take place in the Spring each year. To align with this popular event, late February or early March can be a recommended target date for your very own “Awards Ceremony”.

View all activities for Heroes of Illinois

Bicentennial
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The Illinois Chronicles captures a range of historical events and figures. Consider heroes, villains, agitators, inciters, victims, and bystanders to gain a more complex understanding of Illinois’s contributions to social justice and reform.

5-8 Classroom Activities
  • Identify a social justice issue presented on the timeline. Use news events which have happened since to document how much progress we have (or have not) made, and speculate on some of the reasons why.
  • Review the social justice issues addressed in The Illinois Chronicles and describe which have changed and identify if any are no longer controversial. As an extension, think about new issues that have arisen in your lifetime and predict which social justice issues might capture headlines in the future.
  • What have we learned from the past based on social justice issues and how might YOU (as an individual) or ILLINOIS (as a State) make contributions? Look for community resources and groups which are currently working on a social justice issue and develop an action plan in moving the issue forward. Or, hold a
    mock community forum to discuss the issue across various interest groups.
Bicentennial
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8
  

The Illinois Chronicles captures a range of historical events and figures. Consider heroes, villains, agitators, inciters, victims, and bystanders to gain a more complex understanding of Illinois’s contributions to social justice and reform.

9-12 Classroom Activities
  • Identify a social justice issue presented on the timeline. Use news events which have happened since to document how much progress we have (or have not) made, and speculate on some of the reasons why.
  • Review the social justice issues addressed in The Illinois Chronicles and describe which have changed and identify if any are no longer controversial. As an extension, think about new issues that have arisen in your lifetime and predict which social justice issues might capture headlines in the future.
  • What have we learned from the past based on social justice issues and how might YOU (as an individual) or ILLINOIS (as a State) make contributions? Look for community resources and groups which are currently working on a social justice issue and develop an action plan in moving the issue forward. Or, hold a
    mock community forum to discuss the issue across various interest groups.
Bicentennial
3
10
  

While many of the ideas we present in The Illinois Chronicles Educator's Guide correspond to specific articles or events in The Illinois Chronicles, this activity proveds general suggestions on introducing and using the timeline in the classroom.  There are many points of entry into this engaging feature and we hope you discover some of your own along the way!

5-8 Classroom Activities
  • What’s Left Out?: Explore the timeline, research State history, and identify a major event in Illinois history that is not included in The Illinois Chronicles timeline. Make a case for WHY it should be included (or excluded), especially in the context of the events which are currently represented.
  • Identify which events from The Illinois Chronicles timeline had ripple effects throughout the nation and/or the world. Find corresponding news articles from various perspectives (local, national, global) to make connections and note disparities between the way the event is presented in this account and in the articles found.
Bicentennial
2
11
  

While many of the ideas we present in The Illinois Chronicles Educator's Guide correspond to specific articles or events in The Illinois Chronicles, this activity proveds general suggestions on introducing and using the timeline in the classroom.  There are many points of entry into this engaging feature and we hope you discover some of your own along the way!

9-12 Classroom Activities
  • What’s Left Out?: Explore the timeline, research State history, and identify a major event in Illinois history that is not included in The Illinois Chronicles timeline. Make a case for WHY it should be included (or excluded), especially in the context of the events which are currently represented.
  • Identify which events from The Illinois Chronicles timeline had ripple effects throughout the nation and/or the world. Find corresponding news articles from various perspectives (local, national, global) to make connections and note disparities between the way the event is presented in this account and in the articles found.
Bicentennial
3
12
  

Chicago hosted two World’s Fairs just 40 years apart. Both exhibitions featured technology displays and sights previously unseen, but which are still used today. The 1893 Columbian Exposition, or World’s Fair, debuted Mr. Ferris’s great wheel. The modern wheel on Chicago’s Navy Pier, just a few miles from its debut location, pays homage to the original. The 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair brought to life “dream cars” and “homes of tomorrow” for thousands of visitors to this dynamic display of culture and technology, and homes throughout the world don features proposed in the “Rainbow City”. In addition to the two themes suggested below, consider the many STEM-based articles in The Illinois Chronicles as a snapshot of 200 years of Illinois engineering marvels.

9-12 Classroom Activities
  • Evaluate which technologies showcased at the fair came into use, which did not, and why? Do you know anyone with a personal helicopter pad, for instance?
  • 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 arethey adveritising in commercials and at car shows today?
  • 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.
  • Imagine you are the lead planner in designing the next Century of Progress World’s Fair. Propose exhibits for the fair demonstrating forthcoming or new technologies.
  • Invite guest speakers to illustrate how their company incorporates aesthetics, functions, and innovation into their product(s).
Bicentennial
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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. For young learners, we recommend learning more about two Prairie State agricultural inventors who improved quality of life for generations. For older grades we hope to facilitate discussions focused on nuclear science, beginning with its birthplace in Illinois in 1942 through its impact on the world today and tomorrow.

K-4 Classroom Activities
  • Explore the engineering successes of John Deere and Cyrus McCormick as two of Illinois’s most dedicated inventors. Discuss how their contributions dramatically increased yields and cultivated Midwest prairies into the rich farmland that crisscrosses the State. Today, Illinois is a major producer of corn and soybeans, dozens of agricultural commodities, and even some specialty crops such as grapes, pumpkins, and Christmas trees.
  • Mechanical Reaper: Have students try to gather and bundle objects such as straws or toothpicks with their hands. Afterward, try utilizing a variety of tools such as a brush, comb, scoop, etc., to see if they can improve upon the process. Connect this hands-on experience to the ease and efficiency with which the reaper allowed farmers to bundle wheat.
  • Steel Plow: Discover why the steel plow was an improvement from the wooden one. Try digging in the ground outside with wooden tools (e.g. a wooden spoon) versus metal tools (e.g. a trowel). Discuss why steel was a stronger and more durable material, better suited to help farmers cut through the hard Illinois soil.
  • “Shark Tank” Inventions of the Future: Have students think about an invention they believe would make life easier for individuals or businesses. After creating a concept, students can take their design (depending on time) through various phases of development and testing.
  • Online: Check out http://www.agintheclassroom.org/ for USDA Agriculture in the Classroom resources and materials.
  • In print: Take a look at John Deere, That’s Who!, a picture book biography by Tracy Nelson Maurer, published by Henry Holt & Company (2017).

View all activities for Inventing in Illinois

Bicentennial
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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. For young learners, we recommend learning more about two Prairie State agricultural inventors who improved quality of life for generations. For older grades we hope to facilitate discussions focused on nuclear science, beginning with its birthplace in Illinois in 1942 through its impact on the world today and tomorrow.

9-12 Classroom Activities

In addition to hosting the world’s first nuclear reactor, Illinois is the home to two dedicated nuclear facilities, as well as the Atomic Science Bulletin. The historical relevance of these places and events combined with modern concerns and perspectives will foster meaningful discussion of the impact of nuclear science.

  • Engage in 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. Debate/discuss the merits of such advances and develop an ethics plan for managing nuclear science discoveries.
  • Study the movement of the Atomic Scientists’s Doomsday Clock and speculate what types of world events might move the clock forward or backward in time. Or, design your own “Doomsday Clock” and determine what events may influence the clock in the future.

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

DID YOU KNOW? The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum offers an online collection of resources for teachers, including hands-on activities, vocabulary, research topics, critical thinking questions, and references to additional resources. Check out the website “Under His Hat” for materials to accommodate classroom use at various grade levels.

K-4 Classroom Activities
  • It’s All in a Hat: Use a Lincoln hat to collect or draw artifacts, objects, and symbols that represent moments in Illinois history, taking inspiration from the timeline. To do this, have students take turns identifying a moment from the timeline and identify the significance of that event or moment. Students should then select or draw an artifact, object, or symbol to represent the moment, which can be added to the hat. This could be done at regular intervals or on a schedule.
  • Create a Lincoln Exhibition: While learning about the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln, have students gather or 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, or living museum figures all coordinated to summarize why Lincoln is one of the most memorable Presidents of all time.
  • 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 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.
Bicentennial
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In the Land of Lincoln, you’ll find this Presidential figure around every corner. From extensive academic resources to accessible site visits, Abraham Lincoln’s physical presence in the State of Illinois presents dynamic opportunities for us to engage with this legendary figure.

DID YOU KNOW? The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum offers an online collection of resources for teachers, including hands-on activities, vocabulary, research topics, critical thinking questions, and references to additional resources. Check out the website “Under His Hat” for materials to accommodate classroom use at various grade levels.

5-8 Classroom Activities

For older students, the complexity of Lincoln’s speeches and character can be more fully explored. Here are a few starting points to begin discussing concepts of agency, authority, and identity.

  • “Translate” a section of an historical speech into contemporary language.
  • Adapt the Gettysburg Address, or portions of it, to present across social media platforms.
  • Extract quotes from Lincoln’s speeches to show how sound bites and info bites can be used in different contexts, by more than one party, and with divergent intentions.
  • Study how Abraham Lincoln evolved politically throughout his life using primary sources, such as quotes and speeches, to note changes.
  • 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.
  • Determine a topic which divides the country today and make suggestions on what type of leadership, actions, and persuasive techniques would be required to unite us. Present your own Plan of Action or draft your own “Gettysburg Address” to persuade the nation.
Bicentennial
2
17
  

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

DID YOU KNOW? The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum offers an online collection of resources for teachers, including hands-on activities, vocabulary, research topics, critical thinking questions, and references to additional resources. Check out the website “Under His Hat” for materials to accommodate classroom use at various grade levels.

9-12 Classroom Activities

For older students, the complexity of Lincoln’s speeches and character can be more fully explored. Here are a few starting points to begin discussing concepts of agency, authority, and identity.

  • “Translate” a section of an historical speech into contemporary language.
  • Adapt the Gettysburg Address, or portions of it, to present across social media platforms.
  • Extract quotes from Lincoln’s speeches to show how sound bites and info bites can be used in different contexts, by more than one party, and with divergent intentions.
  • Study how Abraham Lincoln evolved politically throughout his life using primary sources, such as quotes and speeches, to note changes.
  • 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.
  • Determine a topic which divides the country today and make suggestions on what type of leadership, actions, and persuasive 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
18
  

“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 Classroom Activities
  • Capture your students’ imaginations with a controlled mold-growing experiment. Utilize existing lesson plans from reputable sources that use bread, fruit, and other readily-available materials. We recommend the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) lesson plan called “Hold the Mold” for its coverage of this topic. The downloadable PDF guide they provide includes a “Student Mold Growth Observation Worksheet” to easily document student engagement.
  • Research where in the natural world we find fungi, and the roles they play in food webs. Investigate why mushrooms so often appear near trees and on forest floors.
  • Explore how fungi develop symbiotic and pathologic relationships with plants (mycorrhiza). How has this relationship affected life on earth, in particular, the colonization of life on land 400 million years ago?
  • Analyze 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?
  • Create a timeline of six key inventions or turning points that influenced the outcome of WWII, in addition to the development of antibiotics as a treatment for allied troops.
  • Invite guest speakers to the classroom to explore modern careers related to how we grow and utilize fungi, as well as to explore initiatives in harnessing the power of fungi 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
1
19
  

“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 Classroom Activities
  • 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.
  • Why are antibiotics important? Predict what might have happened during WWII had antibiotics not existed. Evaluate the impact of antibiotics and how they have affected healthcare.
  • Investigate how bacteria adapt to make antibiotics less or even ineffective over time. Research antibiotic resistant bacteria cases and discuss various outcomes. Speculate how this will influence the future of medicine and human health.
  • Write a dystopian short story or letter to a friend describing a future where modern antibiotics have become ineffective against bacterial colonies of “superbugs”.
Bicentennial
2
20
  

“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 Classroom Activities
  • 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.
  • Why are antibiotics important? Predict what might have happened during WWII had antibiotics not existed. Evaluate the impact of antibiotics and how they have affected healthcare.
  • Investigate how bacteria adapt to make antibiotics less or even ineffective over time. Research antibiotic resistant bacteria cases and discuss various outcomes. Speculate how this will influence the future of medicine and human health.
  • Write a dystopian short story or letter to a friend describing a future where modern antibiotics have become ineffective against bacterial colonies of “superbugs”.
Bicentennial
3
21
  

Reading and responding to the news has long been a part of our cultural landscape and is closely tied to our understanding of the First Amendment. The Illinois Chronicles and timeline present dozens of opportunities to illustrate how we have historically responded to news and events, and how students today can take informed action in regard to topics across a 200-year continuum.

K-4 Classroom Activities
  • Choose an article in The Illinois Chronicles and highlight keywords and phrases. Use those words and phrases to summarize the article.
  • Create a comic strip to comment on one of the news articles using three to five panels of artwork and/or dialogue.
  • Create two columns on the board labeled “facts” and “opinions”. Read an article aloud and pull out the sentences or ideas representing opinions, and those representing facts, and note them in the appropriate column.
  • After reading aloud two or three articles, have the students discuss or write about which article they find the most important or impactful (or which had the biggest impact on people at the time). Ask them to include why they chose that article and what may have been different had the event never occurred.
  • After learning about how newspapers include letters to the editor, respond to an event from the timeline as if you were alive during the event. Write a letter to the editor in response to the news including what you thought of that event and how it made you feel.
Bicentennial
1
22
  

Reading and responding to the news has long been a part of our cultural landscape and is closely tied to our understanding of the First Amendment. The Illinois Chronicles and timeline present dozens of opportunities to illustrate how we have historically responded to news and events, and how students today can take informed action in regard to topics across a 200-year continuum.

5-8 Classroom Activities
  • The Illinois Chronicles presents a range of controversial issues. Respond to a single news article by writing a letter to the editor from an assigned perspective. For example, in the article “Illinois Women Win the Vote,” students could be assigned to write from multiple perspectives such as a female suffragette, an opposition female, a male supporter, a male dissenter, a politician, or even as a business owner.
  • Political cartoons and advertisements attempt to distill big ideas into a single image or short message. Create a political cartoon or ad on a topic presented in The Illinois Chronicles or timeline and note what considerations were made in addressing your topic.
  • Choose an article from The Illinois Chronicles that may be controversial and offer a solution to the problems presented in the article. Create a sample social media feed informing others about this event and sharing your opinions with the world.
Bicentennial
2
23
  

Reading and responding to the news has long been a part of our cultural landscape and is closely tied to our understanding of the First Amendment. The Illinois Chronicles and timeline present dozens of opportunities to illustrate how we have historically responded to news and events, and how students today can take informed action in regard to topics across a 200-year continuum.

9-12 Classroom Activities
  • Evaluate an article for its historical and contemporary effect on the immediate community, as well as through a broader lens (e.g. from a state, national, or global point of view). What concerns are the same at each level, and how do they change as each larger group is included in understanding the issue?
  • Compare an article to the same topic as described in more recent news. Describe what actions have taken place since then and evaluate the motivations of the sources as described in perspective, context, authority, point of view, origin, structure, and context.
  • Independently research a topic. Locate information which disagrees with the account in The Illinois Chronicles and compare the news as presented from alternate sources.
  • Choose an event from The Illinois Chronicles or timeline and summarize how this issue has changed over time. Research individuals and organizations which have addressed this topic. Outline the current debate surrounding this subject and cite multiple sources to show contemporary differences in opinion and note why this issue is still newsworthy.
Bicentennial
3
24
  

Chicago hosted two World’s Fairs just 40 years apart. Both exhibitions featured technology displays and sights previously unseen, but which are still used today. The 1893 Columbian Exposition, or World’s Fair, debuted Mr. Ferris’s great wheel. The modern wheel on Chicago’s Navy Pier, just a few miles from its debut location, pays homage to the original. The 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair brought to life “dream cars” and “homes of tomorrow” for thousands of visitors to this dynamic display of culture and technology, and homes throughout the world don features proposed in the “Rainbow City”. In addition to the two themes suggested below, consider the many STEM-based articles in The Illinois Chronicles as a snapshot of 200 years of Illinois engineering marvels.

5-8 Classroom Activities
  • Evaluate which technologies showcased at the fair came into use, which did not, and why? Do you know anyone with a personal helicopter pad, for instance?
  • 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 arethey adveritising in commercials and at car shows today?
  • 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.
  • Imagine you are the lead planner in designing the next Century of Progress World’s Fair. Propose exhibits for the fair demonstrating forthcoming or new technologies.
  • Invite guest speakers to illustrate how their company incorporates aesthetics, functions, and innovation into their product(s).
Bicentennial
2