Lesson Plan

Pride in Our City Museum - Project developed with the Northside Tech Ninjas

This project will instill pride and teach students about their city while also developing their design and presentation skills.

Students will be able to...

  • Identify how a museum organizes its collections
  • Analyze why they love their city
  • Understand and use basic elements of design for a web page
  • Work collaboratively with a small group that will contribute one exhibit for the larger class digital museum of our city
  • Create a digital exhibition full of curated and created artwork showcasing pride in their city
  • Deliver an oral presentation
English Language Arts
reading comprehension
Social Studies
civic engagement
cultural understanding
historical figures
Grades 3 - 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Exploring

Preparation: View the museum web site in advance to select pages to review with students before they begin their scavenger hunt.  Prepare the scavenger hunt items either digitally (e.g. Socrative or Google Form) or as a worksheet to complete with a partner. 

Instruction: Project the chicagohistory.org website (or other local museum) and identify common areas of the website where they will "hunt."


Student Instructions

Students will work in pairs to complete the scavenger hunt. Sample questions: What tabs are found under kids and family? Name two exhibits currently at the museum. How many exhibits are there? What do you notice about how the exhibit topics are organized (ie. themes, time periods, events, etc...)?

2 Direct Instruction

Following the scavenger hunt, guide discussion around both content and design of the site.  Sample questions: What makes the website appealing ? Was it easy to navigate? How do you think they decide what to include in an exhibit? If you could make your own tab, what would it be? What was your favorite and least favorite part of the website and why? Was there anything you would like to know about Chicago that you did not see on their web site?  Did you learn anything new about your city?

Student Instructions

Students will work in small groups to create a concept map about what types of exhibits their museum will have as well as what would be shown within each exhibit about our city.  Use a mapping web site or app that is available to your students such as Mindomo, Popplet, Kidspiration, or SimpleMind.  


3 Guided Practice

Field trip to Chicago History Museum (or local museum) to meet with Curator(s).  Guide students to develop questions that will help them understand the decisions curators and museum directors make in regards to their exhibits.   Also discuss and model etiquette for interviewers (shaking hands, eye contact, thank you, etc...)

The instructor may or may not want to have a list of suggested topics/themes/events for students to choose from for their exhibits upon return to school. 


Student Instructions

Create Q & A for curator using GAFE. Film interview with iPads (or any digital mobile device). Each small group of students should have their own list of at least three questions prepared in advance and will do their own recording of the interview.  

Following the trip, each group will decide what aspect of their city they would like to focus on for their museum exhibit. 

4 Independent Practice

Each group will design a virtual exhibition for their Chicago Pride Museum.  Allow the class to brainstorm and vote on the name of their museum.  Each small group will name their own exhibit based on its content.  

Provide time for a guided "App Playground" to try out all tech tools they will have the option of using. By end, groups will choose one tool and begin the designing and curation process.

Student Instructions

Students may use Prezi, Shadow Puppet, Weebly, or whatever is available at your school site to create their digital museum. 


5 Wrap-Up

Museum Grand Opening (for classmates, teachers, and parents)

Prepare students for exhibit by practicing presentations. Optional: Peer review and record practice presentations.

Assess using rubric such as the Read Write Think rubric or try Rubistar to develop your own. 

Student Instructions

Students showcase exhibits on City Pride Museum Grand Opening Night where fellow classmates, teachers, parents, and staff are invited. Afterwards, all exhibits will be posted on classroom or school website for people to visit virtually.