Study and Teaching Resources
Want to use the Centennial Exhibition Digital Collection to reinforce
study and teaching of standards? Here are some ideas.
Historical Thinking Skills
- Chronological Thinking
Students can use the photograph collection as a springboard for
learning about the Industrial Revolution. Photographs of steam
engines, factory-produced materials, mass transportation, etc.,
can lead students to study circumstances and effects of the Industrial
Revolution. Search on: Industrial Revolution, railroads, steam
engines, telephones, carriages, water works, glass industry, textile
industry, medical equipment, printers, or printing industry.
- Historical Comprehension
The Centennial Exhibition showcased a number of innovations and
Hall housed the 1,400 horsepower Corliss steam engine, an
early internal combustion engine, a compressor for refrigeration
and ice-making, and Alexander Graham Bells Telephonic Telegraphic
Receiver. Students can discuss the effects of these inventions,
and the inter-relationship between science, technology, and the
designed world. Students can choose an invention and design a
card or poster to advertise it.
Many photographs in the collection document contemporary lifestyle
of the 1870s, in connection with the Centennial, American life,
life in other countries, and in general. Students can study the
structures at the Centennial and review photographs of consumer
goods and interiors. Students can compare building sizes, styles,
and types to buildings in present day Philadelphia. Take the State
Buildings tour, or search on: Japanese dwelling,
Japanese bazaar, Furniture (including by country, e.g., FurnitureChina),
or clothing & dress.
- Historical Research Capabilities
Students can use the collection as a basis for research. For
example, students might formulate a hypothesis to explain differences
in food production, distribution and consumption. They might examine
differences in agricultural production, or packaging to formulate
a hypothesis. Using other sources, students can research reasons
for differences in food production, distribution and consumption.
Search on canned foods, confections, farm produce, fruit, meat,
Agricultural Hall, agricultural machinery, seeds, cheese, restaurants,
drinking fountain, wine, or beer.
- Historical Issue Analysis and Decision Making
Students can use the photographs to study how people of the 1870s solved
problems using the resources at hand. The photographs document peacetime
and wartime technology. Students can visit the U.S.
Government Building. Students can also search
on: military art & science, artillery, ships, arms & armament,
ordnance industry, Krupps guns, and cannons. What wars might have
been fought with these weapons? What other nations exhibited weapons?
Students also can explore transportation measures of the time. Students
can read about transportation in Frank Thomas diary, or search
on transportation, bridges, carriages, and railroads.
English Language Arts
- Students can use photographs from the collection to illustrate
stories, poems, songs, or first-person narratives about the Centennial
Exhibition. Students can then describe reasons why they chose
their particular photographs to illustrate the language arts selections.
- After reading the teenagers
diary, students can review photographs of fairgoers and trade
cards. Students can then write a piece from the point-of-view
of one of the fairgoers or the workers at the fair, using photographs
as illustrations. Students can be encouraged to write captions,
journal entries, short stories, letters, diaries, or autobiographical
sketches of subjects in the photographs. Students can then proofread
and revise their draft writings.
Thirty-seven nations exhibited at the Centennial. Students can
make a list of the languages an interpreter at the Centennial might
have needed to know. Visit the Foreign
Countries section in Exhibition Facts.
- As historians, students can be asked to study these artifacts
of the 18th Century:
Arm and Torch
Have students discuss what they see, for example, the structures,
the arrangement of the elements, the clothes, and the objects.
Students should avoid expressing personal feelings or interpretations.
Have students write an objective observation of one of these
image artifacts. Their description should help someone who has
not seen the image to visualize it.
- Reflecting on artwork: have students view a selection of images
of art. Search on art, jewelry, religious articles, sculpture,
or monuments & memorials. Have students observe, reflect and
value the characteristics, meanings, uses and merits.
Students can look at the record of expenses that Frank Thomas kept
during his trip to the Centennial.
They can total how much Frank spent on ice cream, or in total. Ask
them to estimate what their costs would be for a one-week trip to
Disneyland or Disney World. How much would transportation cost?
How much for admission? How much "spending money" would
Students can interpret data from the Exhibition Statistics.
What month had the most attendance? What month had the largest increase
over the previous month? Which building cost the most per acre?
Which took the longest to complete? Did the length of time of construction
have an impact on cost? Compare the statistics on the Vienna (1873)
and Philadelphia (1876) Exhibitions. Can students draw any hypotheses?
Students can count the number of pieces in the Free
Library of Philadelphia Centennial Sheet Music Collection. They
can search for more Centennial music, and listen to some, at the
Library of Congress site, Music for the Nation: American Sheet
Music, 1870-1885 at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/smhtml/smhome.html
Can students name any sheet music about current events or events
in their lifetime? Why was so much music written about or for the
Centennial? Who bought sheet music, and why?