Chicago History Minute

On July 24, 1915, the Eastland, a steamer loaded with Western Electric employees, capsized into the Chicago River, killing 844 people –the worst loss of life in the city's history.
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Transportation History

Grades 3 to 5

Explore Chicago's prominent role in the history of the railroads through transportation artifacts—both past and present.

The Golden Spike

Students will read a historical fiction story called Joseph's Railroad Dreams to learn about the history of the railroads. They will then explore and interpret railroad artifacts and write their own inscription for the ceremonial Golden Spike.

> Download The Golden Spike (PDF 276 KB)

Working on the Railroad

Students will learn about the challenges of "working on the railroad" and create their own railroad posters. They will also learn about the establishment of time zones and plot their own time zone trip.

> Download Working on the Railroad (PDF 250 KB)

Transportation Through Time

Students will explore and analyze artifacts representing various modes of transportation used throughout Chicago's history. They will write a short adventure story illustrating the past and imagining the future of transportation in our city.

> Download Transportation Through Time (PDF 269 KB)

"L" Stands for eLevated

Students will play a Chicago "L" trivia game to learn about the history of our city's public transportation system. They will also create their own construction paper "L" car and write advertising slogans for Chicago's elevated trains.

> Download "L" Stands for eLevated (PDF 428 KB)

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