Workshops at Chicago

The National Archives at Chicago offers a variety of professional development opportunities for educators. We invite you to discover the resources of the National Archives and explore ways to enrich your social studies lessons with primary sources, increase your historical understanding, and meet the Common Core.

All workshops are available upon request and can be tailored for in-service days and department meetings at your location or ours. Contact Us

Mining the Wealth: An Introduction to Online Educational Resources of the National Archives

Discover the online educational resources of the National Archives and learn how they can support Common Core standards and help build the literacy skills of your students. We will explore DocsTeach.org, as well as other resources on Historypin and iTunes U. Off-site only—In-service or department meetings

American Indians of the Great Lakes

Why did the Federal Government conduct a survey of American Indian families in 1923? What happened at American Indian boarding schools? This workshop will provide answers to these questions and enrich your understanding of the relationship between American Indians and the Federal Government during the 20th century with National Archives resources.

Chicago Waterways

Discover how human agency has changed and shaped Chicago’s physical environment, specifically its waterways from the 19th century to the present. In addition to reviewing documents, maps, and photographs from the National Archives, we will have the opportunity to learn about recent efforts to maintain and improve the health of the Chicago River and Great Lakes. Curriculum connections and ideas for classroom use will also be shared.

They Came From... Using Immigration Records

Photograph of Immigrants on a Ferry Boat Near Ellis Island Image Source

The United States is often called a nation of immigrants. In this workshop we will explore National Archives primary sources that can be used to help broaden your students’ understanding of the diverse nature of immigration from the early part of the 20th century. Documents featured will include Chinese Exclusion case files, Ellis Island photographs, and Board of Special Inquiry transcripts.

Baseball, Brats, and “the Bawdy”: Life During the Progressive Era

From the “outlaw” Federal League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, the Food and Drug Act and a taste of Chicago meatpacking, and the prosecution of obscenity through the Comstock Law, discover the Progressive Era through records at the National Archives at Chicago. We will also explore techniques to solicit deeper student understanding of this time period.

Over There, Over Here: The World War I Homefront

Coca-Cola War Announcement

Investigate what happens on the homefront when the United States entered the First World War. From complaints that the Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago was serving too much bread to investigations of Bolshevik activity, this workshop will enrich your understanding of the World War I home front through document examination and discussion. We will explore ideas for classroom use as well.

Image Source: Coca-Cola Streetcar Advertisement found with Correspondence between Judge George A. Carpenter, Harry A. Wheeler, Federal Food Administrator for Illinois, A.W. Wylie, The Coca-Cola Company, 09/25-28/1918; General Correspondence, June-December 1918 [114A-A3], Illinois Division; Record Group 4: Records of the United States Food Administration; National Archives at Chicago.

Prohibition and the Crimes of the 1920s

Detroit police inspecting equipment found in a clandestine underground brewery during the prohibition era Image Source

Culture clashes of the 1920s can be seen in the “noble experiment” of Prohibition. This workshop will highlight the underside of Prohibition through National Archives records. From the infamous Al Capone to a concerned house wife, we will examine documents that can be used to build your students time period insights and literacy skill set.

The Great Depression & The Civilian Conservation Corps

Photograph of Civilian Conservation Corps Enrollee Planting a Tree Image Source

During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) put millions of young men to work in natural resource conservation across America. Learn about the origins of this New Deal program and the lasting impact in our community today with examination of primary sources and a guided history walk at McDowell Grove, which was home to a CCC camp.

“Keep ‘em Shooting”: Activities of the World War II Midwest Homefront

Investigate the story of WWII mobilization and production efforts. From files demonstrating closed gate practices and the activities of the Fair Employment Practices Commission, to ordnance plant propaganda pieces, to OPA rationing efforts, this workshop will feature documents that highlight various aspects of the WWII Midwest home front, as well as curricular components.

Cold War

Photograph after detonation of the atomic blast in Operation Cue Image Source

Discover the tension and results of the Cold War. From measures designed to keep us “safe” to the prosecution of spies and communist witch hunts to the reaction after Sputnik, this workshop will explore the Cold War through National Archives documents. Curriculum connections and techniques to solicit deeper student understanding of this time period will also be discussed.

Seeking Justice and Equality: Women and the 1964 Civil Rights Act

Engrossing Copy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Image Source

Carolyn wanted to play baseball. Jo Carol and Susan wanted to stay in their classrooms and teach. Thelma, Helen, and Alice wanted access to jobs and equal pay. Learn about the stories of these Midwestern women and others who sought equality and justice through the federal courts after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In addition to reviewing relevant National Archives court documents, we will explore newspaper articles, selected memoirs, documentary clips, and relevant laws to gain a rich understanding of the journey these women took.

The Journey for Civil Rights

This workshop will explore the multiple efforts and components of the Civil Rights movement. In addition to reviewing documents from the traditional Civil Rights stories, such as Rosa Parks and Brown v. Board of Education for new insights, you will have the opportunity to examine National Archives sources that capture the fight for integrated schools, fair housing, and equal employment opportunities in neighborhoods around the corner and across the country.

“What was the whole world watching?”: The 1968 Democratic Convention and the Chicago 7 Trial

National Guard Units on Bridge North of Balbo Image Source

Yippies, National Guard, Dellinger, Rubin, Chicago Police, Mayor Daley, Hayden, Hoffman, Vietnam, Intent to Incite a Riot, Seale, Lincoln Park, Grant Park, “they are here to preserve disorder,” the Conrad Hilton Hotel, “the whole world is watching.” Perhaps these names and phrases bring back memories; perhaps they are things you have only read. Discover how they relate to the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the Chicago 7 Trial through National Archives records and explore techniques for classroom use.

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