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Inquiry Question

Historical Context





Table of

About This Lesson

This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Columbus Park" (with photographs). It was produced in collaboration with the National Park Service Historic Landscape Initiative. Julia Sniderman Bachrach, Preservation Planning Supervisor, Chicago Park District, and Jo Ann Nathan, Director, Jens Jensen Legacy Project, wrote Columbus Park: The Prairie Idealized. Jean West, education consultant, and the Teaching with Historic Places staff edited the lesson plan. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.

Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: The lesson could be used to teach units on landscape design, urbanization, and conservationism in the early 20th century, or in an interdisciplinary unit on indigenous regional plants and leisure time combining biology and sociology.
Time period: Early 20th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12

Objectives for students
1) To examine how the growth of American cities influenced the development and design of public parks such as Columbus Park in Chicago.
2) To explain the landscape philosophy of Jens Jensen.
3) To identify methods used to generate public opinion in support of the preservation of historic landscapes such as Columbus Park and other locales.
4) To conduct research about the plants, landscapes, and spaces of their own community and suggest strategies to promote their conservation.

Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a smaller, low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger version.
1) three maps of the site and surrounding area;
2) three readings on Columbus Park and Jens Jensen;
3) seven photographs of the site.

Visiting the site
Columbus Park, administered by the Chicago Park District, is located at 500 South Central Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. It is located off I-290, the Eisenhower Expressway, at exit 23. Consult schedules of Chicago Transit Authority buses and the elevated train for public transportation to Columbus Park. The park is open year-round although the field house is closed on Sundays. For information visit the Chicago Park District Web site.



Comments or Questions

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