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History Activities and Lesson Plans

  Web interactive activities: History   

Image from Applique Quilt Activity
Applique Quilt Activity

Put patriotic motifs onto the quilt top, position or rotate them, and color them to create an applique quilt like those that Helen Gilchrist, age 17, did in 1842. Based on the Gilchrist bedcover in the Museum's collection.

This activity requires a flash plugin on your computer, which may be downloaded for free on the Macromedia site.




Image from State Symbols Web Exhibit and Game
State Symbols Web Exhibit and Game
Play a State Symbols Identification Game and learn about all the Illinois State symbols.



  Web-available Lesson Plans: History   

Image from Analysis of Historical Photographs Lesson pdf
Analysis of Historical Photographs Lesson pdf
Learn techniques in analyzing historical photographs for cultural and personal information using the photographs by Frank Sadorus.


Image from Analyze an Historic Object: Secondary Level Lesson pdf
Analyze an Historic Object: Secondary Level Lesson pdf
Use the form to write about your analysis of the form, content, style, and other aspects of an object.


Image from Applique Bedcover Design Lesson
Applique Bedcover Design Lesson
Using 17-year-old Helen Gilchrist's 1840s applique bedcover as inspiration, and the Classical Revival Period motifs, design your own applique quilt top.


Image from At Home in the Heartland lesson plans for 1890-1910
At Home in the Heartland lesson plans for 1890-1910
1890-1910 marks the era of mass merchandising and mail order catalogs.


Image from At Home in the Heartland lesson plans for 1920-1950
At Home in the Heartland lesson plans for 1920-1950
Lesson plans and activities for three levels in language arts and social studies


Image from At Home in the Heartland lesson plans for 1950 to present
At Home in the Heartland lesson plans for 1950 to present
Lesson plans and activities at three levels in language arts and social studies


Image from At Home in the Heartland Lesson Plans, 1800-1850 a.d.
At Home in the Heartland Lesson Plans, 1800-1850 a.d.
Lesson plans and activities for three levels of students in social studies and language arts


Image from At Home in the Heartland Teacher Lesson Plans, 1700-1800 a.d.
At Home in the Heartland Teacher Lesson Plans, 1700-1800 a.d.
Lesson plans and activities for three levels of students in social studies and language arts


Image from Be a Pioneer Lesson
Be a Pioneer Lesson
In this Harvesting the River Online lesson, middle schoolers will play roles of pioneers and make decisions along the way to Illinois and their new home in the mid-1850s.


Image from Beautiful and Sublime Landscapes in Illinois
Beautiful and Sublime Landscapes in Illinois
 This lesson from Lewis and Clark in Illinois describes the 18th and 19th century aesthetics that influenced Lewis and Clark when they went West. Look at three of the Museum's 19th century landscapes, then create you own using this aesthetic.



Image from Commercial and Sport Hunting Lesson
Commercial and Sport Hunting Lesson
This lesson from Harvesting the River Online asks students to look at the abuses of market hunting in the early 20th century led to new laws, which in turn led to sport hunting.


Compare and Use Maps

Compare and Use Maps lesson shows how maps and other geographic representations and instruments are used to gather information about people, places and environments.

Go To RiverWeb, Mississippian, Technology Activities and scroll to the bottom. Click on the pdf link. 




Image from Comparison of Political Life: Native American Lesson pdf
Comparison of Political Life: Native American Lesson pdf
Complete a Venn diagram after studying the characteristics of political life of the Illini tribe, Eruo-settlers, and modern Americans.


Image from Crazy Quilt Block Lesson
Crazy Quilt Block Lesson
Create a hand-sewn crazy quilt block of scraps, ribbons and embroidery.


Image from Decoys - Foul or Fair?
Decoys - Foul or Fair?
This discussion lesson introduces students to critical analysis of historical artifacts. Discuss, using photographic examples from the decoy collections of several museums, just how life-like decoys need to be, and which physical characteristics of waterfowl are considered by decoy makers when they create their carvings for hunters to use.


Image from Demise of the River Lesson Plan
Demise of the River Lesson Plan
In this Harvesting the River Online lesson, students will listen to the audio and video interviews of river people in the Web module's archives and find out what changes these people think led to the end of the fishing and musseling industries and the general degradation of the Illinois River in the 20th century.


Image from Design a Piece of Furniture
Design a Piece of Furniture
Each style period of the 19th century contained its own motifs. After veiwing the Web exhibit and the labeled drawings of a piece from each period, students will look at other pieces of furniture (print sources, home, at stores), identify motifs, and select some to use to create their own unique piece of furniture.


Image from Discussion and Experiments in Photography Lesson pdf
Discussion and Experiments in Photography Lesson pdf
Compare and discuss the photographic styles, approaches, and techniques of Lerner and Sadorus. Then take your own photographs and talk about your purpose and techniques.


Image from European and Native American Mappping Activity
European and Native American Mappping Activity
European and Native American Mapping Activity from Lewis and Clark in Illinois helps students understand how different peoples have different cultural traditions about subjects even as seemingly "scientific" as measuring the land. Lewis and Clark consulted several sources for maps and brought with them scientific tools for measuring land and making maps.


Image from Finding Historical Design Motifs Lesson Plan pdf
Finding Historical Design Motifs Lesson Plan pdf
Study historical and modern furniture styles through images and find historical motifs in modern furniture. Discuss why designs of the 19th century and before persist today, and whether they are worth saving.


Image from Flower Symbolism Lesson Plan
Flower Symbolism Lesson Plan
Lesson Plan for grades 4 and above on flower symbolism webquest and research


Image from Forms for Exhibit Creation Lessons
Forms for Exhibit Creation Lessons
In the Classroom Exhibit lesson for the Behind the Scenes module, students can print out and use forms to keep records of the objects or specimens they are planning to exhibit.


Image from Frank Sadorus Collection Lesson Plan on Analyzing Photographs
Frank Sadorus Collection Lesson Plan on Analyzing Photographs
Lesson plan for middle school and older students on the historical analysis of photographs


Image from Frank Sadorus Collection Lesson Plan on Artists and Farms
Frank Sadorus Collection Lesson Plan on Artists and Farms
Artists in the 19th century portrayed farm life in the west with the romance of the Great Westward Movement. During the Great Depression artists looked back with nostalgia or with bitterness upon the farms that they remembered.


Image from Frank Sadorus Collection Lesson Plan on Coming of Age
Frank Sadorus Collection Lesson Plan on Coming of Age
Lesson Plan for grades 8 and above using photos from the Sadorus Collection and a Richard Peck novel.


Image from Frank Sadorus Photograph Collection Lesson Plan on Farm Jobs
Frank Sadorus Photograph Collection Lesson Plan on Farm Jobs
Lesson plan for all ages on the 1910 era farm photographs of Frank Sadorus; identify all the tasks involved in early 20th century farming.


Image from Frost Trade Bead Collection Lesson Plan on Loom Weaving
Frost Trade Bead Collection Lesson Plan on Loom Weaving
Lesson plan for grades 5 and up on loom weaving of beads based on the beading designs of Native Americans as seen in Native AMerican beaded objects in the Museum's collection online.


Image from Frost Trade Bead Collection lesson plan on sewn beading
Frost Trade Bead Collection lesson plan on sewn beading
Lesson plan on Ojibwa sewn bead designs for grades 5 and up


Image from Genre Painting Lesson pdf
Genre Painting Lesson pdf
Learn how artists portrayed everyday life in the nineteenth century by painting landscapes peopled with humans and animals doing many activities at once to illustrate the life of the farm or family they were painting.


Image from Hand-molded Pottery Lesson pdf
Hand-molded Pottery Lesson pdf
Learn the techniques of coiling, molding, and hand-building clay to make vessels.


Image from Hexagon Pieced quilt design lesson
Hexagon Pieced quilt design lesson
Albert Small used tiny hexagons to create marvelous quilts. Bertha Stenge used traditions hexagons to create oriental-style designs for her quilts. See their quilts on the Keeping Us in Stitches quilt module, then make your own.


Image from Historical Object Research Form pdf
Historical Object Research Form pdf
Historians use forms to record information they find out about their historical objects. Students can use this when doing their research on objects of their own for their classroom exhibit.


How to Use FaunMap Lesson

After looking at the Midwestern United States 16,000 Years Ago Web exhibit, learn how to use the Museum's online FaunMap to discover where species lived in the Ice Ages compared to today. (pdf)(High school)

The url of the Museum's Online Research Program <a href="/research/faunmap/">FaunMap</a>




Image from Identify an Historic Object: Elementary Level Lesson pdf
Identify an Historic Object: Elementary Level Lesson pdf
Use the form with questions to analyze an historic object to learn about its use, construction, and style.


Image from Interviewing a Quilter Lesson pdf
Interviewing a Quilter Lesson pdf
Part of a history unit including quilts might emphasize the human side of quilting. Invite a quilter to the classroom and ask her/him questions about quilting. List and organize your questions to cover the quilter's life, family, reasons for quilting, etc.


Image from Land Survey Lesson Plan pdf
Land Survey Lesson Plan pdf
Surveyors went through Illinois in the early 1800s, measuring and recording the land and marking it into townships so that the land could be sold to farmers and other settlers.



Image from Log Cabin Quilt Block Lesson
Log Cabin Quilt Block Lesson
The Log Cabin section of the Museum's Keeping Us in Stitches Quilt module contains many versions of the Log Cabin Block and sets. Play the computer interactive version and/or print out the grid and color your blocks.


Image from Make a Model Wigwam Lesson Plan
Make a Model Wigwam Lesson Plan
Illustrated instructions for making a model of an Eastern Woodlands Native American wigwam. Learn about how Illinois Indians made wigwams in the Native AMerican Web modules.


Image from Mechanization of Farming Lesson Plan pdf
Mechanization of Farming Lesson Plan pdf
The many agricultural inventions made by Illinois and other farmers and inventors made farming much more efficient. Learn just how much in this exercise.



Image from Mississippian Regalia Lesson Plan pdf
Mississippian Regalia Lesson Plan pdf

Mississippian natives in Illinois wore special clothing for ceremonies. We know about theses costumes through artefacts found that depict dancers.




Native American Foods and Recipes

Students can plan a weeks meals based on wild and cultivated resources available to a Mississippian farmstead in the early summer based on information provided in The Mississippian Saga of ISM's River Web module. An extension activity would be for students to cook a recipe using these ingredients.

Go to RiverWeb, Mississippian, Economy Activities, and scroll to the bottom and click on the pdf link. 




Image from Native American Pictionary pdf
Native American Pictionary pdf
Play pictionary to learn Native AMerican vocabulary.



Image from Native American Plum-stone Dice Game pdf
Native American Plum-stone Dice Game pdf
Native Americans played many games, including games of wager. This one uses painted plum stones to use as dice.



Image from Native American Recipes Lesson
Native American Recipes Lesson
Learn about Native American foods and find Web sites with recipes.


Image from Ojibwa Sewn Bead Designs Lesson Plan pdf
Ojibwa Sewn Bead Designs Lesson Plan pdf
Native Americans sewed glass beads onto leather and cloth to decorate clothing and objects. Learn how to sew seed beeds on felt, and go on to decorate your own clothes!



Image from Patriotic Applique Design Lesson pdf
Patriotic Applique Design Lesson pdf
In the mid-nineteenth century, quilters sometimes used patriotic images in their applique quilts. Given one made by 17-year-old Helen Gilchrist, students will choose their own patirotic motifs and create a paper quilt top. There is also an interactive appplique quilt top activity on our web site.



Image from People at Work Lesson Plan pdf
People at Work Lesson Plan pdf
Work was one of the five themes that WPA artists were asked to use in their work. View artworks by the WPA artists on this theme, and create your own painting using the types of jobs we see today.



Image from Photographic Family Tree Lesson Plan pdf
Photographic Family Tree Lesson Plan pdf
Use photographs of your family, either in print or digital media, to create a family tree of several generations.



Image from Polymer Clay Trade Bead Lesson pdf
Polymer Clay Trade Bead Lesson pdf
View the Museum's Frost Trade Bead Collection Online and the Morton Barker Paperweight Collection online to find out how millefiori beads were made from glass, and hos they were traded in America. Create your own beads from polymer clay.


Image from Polymer Clay Trade Beads Lesson
Polymer Clay Trade Beads Lesson
Using the Frost Trade Bead Collection Online and the Barker Paperweight Colleciton online, students will learn how millefiori beads are made from glass and will learn to do a similar technique in ploymer clay.


Image from Portrait Painting Lesson pdf
Portrait Painting Lesson pdf
The Museum's Folk Art Web Exhibit contains early Illinois portraits by itinerant painters. Learn how they ran their art businesses in the 19th century.


Image from Prairie Quilt Lesson Plan pdf
Prairie Quilt Lesson Plan pdf
Create a cloth quilt or a digital quilt using scanned images of prairie life.



Image from Predicting the Past: Historic Journals and Archaeology Lesson Plan
Predicting the Past: Historic Journals and Archaeology Lesson Plan
This lesson has students be historians by using journal entries and archaeological finds to understand the nature of anthropological study.


Image from Prehistoric Pottery Methods Lesson Plan pdf
Prehistoric Pottery Methods Lesson Plan pdf
Learn to build a pot of clay by molding, coiling, and pinching.



Image from Research an Object Lesson Plan pdf
Research an Object Lesson Plan pdf
Learn to use the Internet to find out about objects with the help of a set of guidelines for researching objects.



Image from Research Form for Historical Object Analysis
Research Form for Historical Object Analysis
Use this form to fill in information about your object that you find online or in reference books.



Image from Someone's in the Kitchen
Someone's in the Kitchen
Learn about Native AMerican foods and find recipes you can make.



Image from Take Oral Histories Lesson
Take Oral Histories Lesson
Learn how to record oral histories to preserve your family  or community history.


Image from Theorem Painting Lesson pdf
Theorem Painting Lesson pdf
In the nineteenthe century, theorem paintings were often done by young ladies practicing their painting skills.



Image from Unit Plan for Harvesting the River Online
Unit Plan for Harvesting the River Online
A unit plan helps high school students explore the social and economic history of the river towns. Each student will role-play an individual in the community while researching a vocation and its place in the community, then write a first person report on their findings. Students can use the audio and video files as well as the Web site narratives as resources in their research.


Image from Urban and Rural Life: WPA Art Lesson pdf
Urban and Rural Life: WPA Art Lesson pdf
Students will analyze a WPA art work on a rural or urban theme and explain how the artist used the elements of art (line, space, value) to emphasize the theme or mood of the art work.


Image from Weaving Beads on a Loom Lesson Plan pdf
Weaving Beads on a Loom Lesson Plan pdf
This lesson from the Museum's Native American module focuses on bead weaving techniques. You can buy or construct a bead loom and, using a needle and thread and seed beads, weave a bracelet, ring, or even a necklace.



Image from Webquest: Flower Symbolism pdf
Webquest: Flower Symbolism pdf
This lesson plan comes from the Barker Paperweight Colleciton online. The lampworked paperweights have floral designs that would have had special meaning when they were made in the nid-mineteenth century. Victorians used the gift of flowers to send messages to people -- messages of love, sympathy, and other emotions. The Internet has many sites dedicated to this idea. You can find the meaning in some of the Museum's decorative arts motifs, or in the floral motifs of your own objects or art.



Image from WPA People At Work  Art Lesson Plan
WPA People At Work Art Lesson Plan
Lesson plan in art based on the WPA theme People at Work for grades 5-12


Image from WPA Themes in Art Lesson pdf
WPA Themes in Art Lesson pdf
Work, stolen moments, American scene, modern sensibility, and social realism were themes that American artists used in their work for the WPA. Look at some examples and create your own painting on one of the themes.



Image from Writing from a Point of View Lesson pdf
Writing from a Point of View Lesson pdf
Read a story written from the point of view of a piano's life with a family and then try your hand at writing from the point of view of an inanimate object.



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Last updated 2006-01-31, 11:33 by eks