April 11-14, 2007
San Francisco, California

Demonstrations: Description

Great Chicago Stories

Heidi Moisan, Chicago History Museum, USA

Great Chicago Stories, is a two year grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. This project is a collaboration between the Chicago History Museum, area classroom teachers and their 3rd-12th grade students, historians, authors, and an advisory board. Great Chicago Stories is an online resource for teachers that provides a suite of historical fiction narratives and support materials. Area educators selected topics, wrote unit plans, and tested the narratives and the online interactive with their students. The online interactive Story Map, encourages students to explore each story's location through a city map, photographs from the past and present, an artifact tray, zoom tools, and audio narrative excerpts. The site is slated to launch at the end of January 07. Currently the online interactive can be explored on the test site of Educational Web Adventures at

We would enjoy sharing the site with our peers and exploring the nature of managing a multi-year, complex collaborative project. We have learned how to use pilot testing results, teacher feedback, author input, and expert review to shape a high quality resource. This type of process requires that participants remain open to new ideas, while at the same time move forward in meeting the grant requirements. The online interactive uses our Museum's collections in a new and innovative fashion and illuminates the city of Chicago in ways that teachers and students have responded positively to. Narrative topics for the elementary level include: Early Chicago: Trading Mystery, Entertainment and Leisure: Best of the Fair, Transportation: Joseph's Railroad Dreams, Economics and Culture: Hot Dog! At the high school level topics include: Labor and the Haymarket Affair: His Father's Namesake, Progressivism, Hull House and Immigration: Angelo's Saturday's, Great Migration and the Jazz Age: It's a Long Way from Home, and Political Activism and the 1968 Democratic National Convention: Peace. We look forward to the opportunity to share some of our best practices by demonstrating this new site.

Demonstration: Demonstrations - 1 [Close-Up]

Keywords: Chicago, stories, history, teacher, education, student