History Activities and Lesson Plans
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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>
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Theorem Painting Lesson pdf
- In the nineteenthe century, theorem paintings were often done by young ladies practicing their painting skills.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.