Additional Activities

1. Assign students different jobs from the 1850s and have them research what they were like. Hold a day when students dress up like their occupations and have different stations in the classroom where they demonstrate their jobs.

2. "City of the Big Shoulders" appears in the poem, Chicago, by Carl Sandburg (1878–1967):

"Hog Butcher for the World, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler; Stormy, husky, brawling, City of the Big Shoulders."

Ask students what this passage means in light of what they have learned about Chicago in the 1850s. For example, what tools were made here? (reaper machine) What is meant by "Nation's Freight Handler"? (center for railroad commerce) Then have students draw a picture based on Sandburg's passage describing Chicago.