Teaching Guide

Teachers should also read the Life on the Prairie: A History of Illinois module Teaching Guide for further information.

Also refer to the Standards Chart for this lesson.



The theme of this tour is the importance of the settlement and civil rights movements in Chicago at the turn of the century. The tour explains the hardships people faced, especially the poor, women, and children, including lack of employment, dangerous work and living conditions, and sexism. Students follow the life of a young immigrant girl, Maria, as she grows up and develops into an educated young woman who believes in equality for all people.

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This tour explores a rich part of Illinois and Chicago history. It is important for students to learn about key figures of Chicago, such as Jane Addams and other involved in the early civil rights movement, and how their work had worldwide influence. Students learn about the social issues surrounding poverty and the prejudice poor and immigrant families faced, then, as now. The struggle for civil rights has a long history and is ongoing today.

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This tour is designed for fourth-grade students in the Chicago Public Schools. Private school students or any other young people or adults interested in Illinois history or the pioneer experince could also use it.

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•Reading at a 4th grade level
•Use of Internet browsers
•Use of mouse

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Subject Matter

The subject matter of this module includes the following:

•The immigrant experience at the turn of the century.
•Social reformers of the early 20th century.
•Issues of labor, housing, education, and prejudice faced by the poor.

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Internet-connected computer with browser (version 5.0 recommended) for each student or group of students; or a projector with a large group of students.

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Instructional Plan

It is recommended that teachers preview this tour to find any concepts or vocabulary that may need to be covered before the students begin. Teachers may wish to create a vocabulary/spelling list for using the terms found in this tour.

Teachers are strongly encouraged to set up a discussion time for students after each session so that they can reflect and give feedback on what they have experienced so far in the tour.

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Learning Objectives

Illinois State Goals

This tour is designed to specifically address Goals 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 of the Illinois State Learning Standards:

•State Goal 14: Understand, analyze, and compare political systems, with an emphasis on the United States.
•State Goal 15: Understand, analyze, and compare economic systems, with an emphasis on the United States.
•State Goal 16: Understand and analyze events, trends, individuals and movements shaping the history of Illinois, the United States and other nations.
•State Goal 17: Demonstrate a knowledge of world geography, as well as understanding the effects of geography on society, with an emphasis on the United States.
•State Goal 18: Understand, analyze, and compare social systems, with an emphasis on the United States.

This tour addresses Language Arts standards through reading and answering online journal questions; in addition, the section called Additional Activities and Web Links extends the tour to address other standards. Refer to the standards chart for detailed information.

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Assessment and Evaluation

Students should answer questions that are presented in the tour as part of the online journal. The questions can be printed as a form of captured assessment. Journal questions embedded in the tour are as follows:

1. What are some your family customs? Do you have friends or neighbors who have different customs? What are they?
2. What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you have to do to accomplish this goal?
3. Describe your neighborhood and explain the similarities and differences between your neighborhood and Maria’s neighborhood.
4. Do you think it was okay for Susan B. Anthony to break the law in order to make a point about voting rights for women? Why or why not?
5. Are there any laws you think should be in place or need to be created?
6. What are some foods you like that come from other countries?
7. Have you ever helped out a neighbor? What did you do?
8. Do you think Jane Addams was given the job of garbage inspector as a reward or a punishment? Explain your answer.
9. Do you think rights are more equal today than they were in 1910? Explain your answer.
10. What group of people was helped by the fifteenth amendment? (African-American men, especially former slaves)
11. Why is it important to vote?
12. What do you think “power of the press” means?

Quiz (also available as a PDF)

1. Maria was an immigrant. What is an immigrant?
A. A girl who is poor.
B. A person who moves from one country to live in another country.
C. A factory worker.
D. A person who fights for women’s rights.
Answer (B)

2. A sweatshop is:
A. A shop where people go to sweat and burn calories, like a gym.
B. A place to buy candy.
C. A great place where children can work and earn lots of money.
D. A dirty, dark place where children work for barely any money.
Answer (D)

3. Maria explains that she is “Mama’s tongue.” What does she mean?
A. Maria speaks for her mother because her mother does not speak English.
B. Maria eats food for her mother because her mother can not taste food.
C. Maria can not speak so her mother talks for her.
D. Maria lives inside her mother where her mother’s tongue used to be.
Answer (A)

4. What was the purpose of Hull House?
A. To provide a place where women could get an education.
B. To provide weekly clubs to help women with skills.
C. To provide a safe place where women could leave their children.
D. All of the above.
Answer (D)

5. The woman who opened Hull House is:
A. Ida B. Wells
B. Jane Addams
C. Elizabeth Cady Stanton
D. Susan B. Anthony
Answer (B)

6. Why was Florence Kelley angry that Maria’s 8 year old brother was working in a factory?
A. He is too old to be working.
B. He should be working on a farm.
C. He is too young to be working and he should be in school.
D. He is making too much money for an 8 year old.
Answer (C)

7. What does it mean to have equal rights?
A. All men and women have the same opportunities in life.
B. Men get to vote but women can not.
C. Women stay home and can not get a job even if they want one.
D. Only men can own businesses.
Answer (A)

8. What did the 15th Amendment do?
A. Allowed women to go to college.
B. Allowed women to vote.
C. Allowed men who were freed slaves to vote.
D. Made it against the law for children to work.
Answer (C)

9. True or False: The Civil Rights movement began in the 1960s with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, and others.
Answer (false)

10. True or False: NAACP stands for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Answer (true)

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