Lesson Plan

Carl Sandburg's Connemara (Grades 9-12)

The white historic home of Carl Sandburg sits on a hill as snow drifts down covering the ground.
Grade Level:
High School: Ninth Grade through Twelfth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
60 Minutes
Thinking Skills:
Understanding: Understand the main idea of material heard, viewed, or read. Interpret or summarize the ideas in own words. Analyzing: Break down a concept or idea into parts and show the relationships among the parts. Evaluating: Make informed judgements about the value of ideas or materials. Use standards and criteria to support opinions and views.

Essential Question

What inferences can you make about Carl Sandburg based on the objects he had in his home?


• Student will propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate current discussions to broader themes.
• Student will respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives and make new connections based on evidence and reasoning presented.
• Student will analyze how conflict and compromise have shaped politics, economics, and culture in the United States.


Carl Sandburg provided a popular voice for the American people of the twentieth century and still speaks to us through his words, activism, music and the beauty and serenity of Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. The home is like a time capsule of the 1950’s, and the family belongings and memorabilia give us insights into their daily lives.

The purpose of this lesson is for students to take a virtual tour of Connemara, the home where Carl Sandburg spent the last 22 years of his life.   Students will analyze objects found in the home and make inferences about Carl Sandburg based on the objects that he collected in his home. 


Upload the "Carl Sandburg's Connemara" powerpoint to google slides to push out to students virtually, or use in the classroom.


This Power Point file can be uploaded to Google Classroom as a Google Slide for use with digital learning.

Download Carl Sandburg's Connemara (Grades 9-12)


Procedure (Remote Learning)
Share the Carl Sandburg’s Connemara PowerPoint with your students so that they each have their own editable copy (can be uploaded as a Google Slide.) Students will watch a video and take a virtual tour of the Carl Sandburg Home NHS. Students will make inferences about Carl Sandburg based on the objects they see in his house.

Procedure (In Person Learning)

Activating Strategy
Show students the Carl Sandburg’s Connemara PowerPoint. Prompt students’ interest by encouraging students to make a connection with the essential question by asking a question (slide 2). “If you were to pick just one object to describe you what would it be?” Allow time for students to share responses.

Teaching Strategy

  • Explain that Carl Sandburg’s home was named Connemara when he moved there.
  • Show the students a video about Carl Sandburg’s Connemara which is narrated by his granddaughter, Paula (slide 4).
    • What do the students notice about the house?
    • How is the house similar or different from their house?
    • What do they notice about the objects in the house? Is there anything that surprised them?
  • Allow students to share what they noticed.
  • Show students the items in our museum collection on slides 5-7. Turn and talk about what they learn about Carl Sandburg from these three objects. Why are these objects important to Sandburg?

Summarizing Strategy
  • Show students the Virtual Home Tour by clicking the link on slide 8 or allow students to access it individually on their own devices.
  • As the students virtually tour the home, they need to select one object that they feel represents Carl Sandburg and explain what they think that object tells us about Sandburg.
  • Students will write to explain what they infer about Carl Sandburg based on the object that they select. Students will need to share their inferences with each other.

Contact Information

Email us about this lesson plan

Last updated: August 12, 2020