Programs for Students | Newberry

Programs for Students

Image from “The Myriopticon: A Historical Panorama: The Rebellion,” issued by Milton Bradley shortly after the U.S. Civil War.

Newberry Traveling Collections

Can’t come to the Newberry? Let our research library come to you!

The Newberry is pleased to offer two new opportunities for teachers and high school students to work with original primary sources in their own classrooms.

The Civil War

Newberry staff will bring a traveling collection of original Civil War documents and images to your classroom. Highlights include illustrated copies of Harper’s Weekly, Union and Confederate soldiers’ letters, and The Liberator. Learn how both mass media and personal documents shaped Americans’ understanding of the Civil War. Students learn to engage in close reading and primary source analysis to better understand the Civil War.

World War II

Newberry staff will bring a traveling collection of original World War II documents and images to your classroom. Highlights include propaganda posters, a newspaper from the Heart Mountain Japanese internment camp, newspapers reporting on the Pearl Harbor attack and the D-Day invasions, and personal letters and photographs. Your students will learn to interact with primary sources ranging from the war front to the home front. Whether you seek World War II-era content or just want to introduce students to primary source analysis, this collection provides a unique experience for students to interact with historical documents.

This program, generously funded by the Mazza Foundation, is free for Chicago Public Schools and Big Shoulders Fund schools.

Hear what students from John Hancock High School have to say about this traveling collections program!

“My favorite part was interacting with the actual sources instead of looking at pictures of them or only being able to see them from afar.”

“It felt like a time machine.”

“I loved how old the documents were. It was a first-hand experience.”

What to Expect during a Traveling Collection Visit

Upon registering for the program and scheduling a visit, the Teacher and Student Programs team will send you a short document, written by a subject specialist, explaining important background context for the historical period we will cover in the traveling collection. You are free to assign the document or incorporate into your lesson planning however you wish. The day of the visit, we will arrive with a selection of historical artifacts to display, discuss, and engage with during your class. Your students are welcome to touch the items and take pictures. Following a brief analysis and discussion of the items as a large group, we will branch out into a small-group analysis activity, which will allow your students to practice document analysis skills first-hand. We strive to adjust the curriculum to best suit your class size, time allotment, and population needs and abilities.

Registration for 2019-2020 will open September 6, 2019. Register here.

Exhibition Tours at the Newberry

With generous support from the Walter E. Heller Foundation, the Newberry provided exhibition tours of The Legacy of Chicago Dance (Spring 2019) and will continue hosting school groups for What is the Midwest? (Fall 2019). These tours, led by exhibition curators and docents, are open to Chicago Public School groups. Bus transportation is free for participating schools. (Please note, however, that the Newberry is unable to offer substitute teacher coverage.)

What is the Midwest?

The American region generally known as the Midwest has also been referred to as “the Heartland” and “flyover country.” Its identity is a puzzle, beginning with its geographical borders. This exhibition encourages the study of the Midwest, along with recognition of its rich complexity. There is no simple answer to the question, “What is the Midwest?”, and this exhibition does not propose one. Instead, it explores two broad, closely related themes: the Midwest’s peoples and its environment. Visitors will find resources from the Newberry collection that stimulate further questions and offer clues to answering them.

Registration for What is the Midwest? will open Friday, September 6, 2019. Register here.

More information about What is the Midwest? exhibition can be found here.

Field Trips to the Newberry

Class field trips at The Newberry offer high school students the unique opportunity to explore the library’s rotating and permanent exhibitions; collaborate with subject specialists; learn more about class research opportunities; and experience first-hand the library’s extensive collections of books, manuscripts, maps, ephemera, and more. These class visits allow students to learn about best practices for handling collection items and using archival materials in class research projects. They also encourage the practice of other valuable skills, including historical contextualization, collaborative discussion, and visual and textual analysis, as well as personal observation, reflection, and evaluation.

The Newberry has collaborated with subject-area specialists to create the following field trips, which are aligned with Common Core standards.

Bus transportation will be provided.

No field trips are currently planned for Fall 2019. Please check back in 2020 for more updates!