Library Digital Content Access

Exploring The Columbian Exposition

Created By: Chris Bohne, Adlai E Stevenson II Elementary School (Bloomington, IL)
Grade Level: 4th
Content Area: Social Studies/Language Arts
Database Integration: For this project students will use the TDC database and other sources to research information related to the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and Chicago near the turn of the century.

Illinois Learning Standards Achieved

Standard Achieved

Activity that Meets this Standard

STATE GOAL 1 C: Comprehend a broad range of reading materials Students will search the Internet and the TDC database to access information about life in Chicago around the turn of the century 1890's.
STATE GOAL 2: Read and understand literature representative of various societies, eras and ideas. Students will read the book Fair Weather by Richard Peck. This realistic fiction novel shares the experiences of a country family that experiences the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.
STATE GOAL 3.B: Students will determine what questions have to be asked to compose well-organized and coherent writing for specific purposes and audiences. Students will generate a list of things people might have experienced at the Columbian Exposition.
STATE GOAL 5.A: Students will locate, organize, and use information from various sources to answer questions, solve problems and communicate ideas. Students will use the TDC database as well as other sources to research the people and events that were a part of the Columbian Exposition and Chicago in the 1890's.
STATE GOAL 5 B: Students will analyze and evaluate information acquired from a variety of sources. Students will work to check a variety of sources to check accuracy of information
STATE GOAL 16 A: Apply the skills of historical analysis and interpretation. Students will work to identify what life was like in Chicago in 1890's.



  1. Teacher will share the book Fair Weather by Richard Peck so students will get background information about what people and events were a part of the Columbian Exposition.
  2. Students will make a list of the people and events that they might have seen as a part of the Columbian Exposition.
  3. The class will choose a person or event from the list and do one of the following:
    • Dress as the person and give a 5 minute monologue about their person's experience at the Columbian Exposition.
    • Make a diorama of the booth or exposition event.
  4. Students will be introduced to the TDC site and search the TDC database for information on their person or event.
  5. Students will present their monologues or give a report about their exhibition event.


Student projects will be assessed on the following criteria:

  1. Monologues
    • a. Authenticity of costume as best as possible
    • b. Provide accurate information about Columbian Exposition
    • c. Give accurate details of person's life
    • d. Be approximately 5 minutes in length
  2. Dioramas
    • a. Use a variety of authentic materials (No Knex, Legos, etc)
    • b. Provide accurate information about Columbian Exposition
    • c. Show that student has spent some to creating
    • d. Have written report explaining the diorama and how it relates to the Columbian Exposition