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.
of the Big Shoulders" appears in the poem, Chicago, by Carl
"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.