What made St.
Louis a City in the 1850’s?
This lesson will allow students to identify the qualities and components
of a city in the 1850’s. With the technology and information on the
Virtual City Web Site, the student will have an understanding of how a
major city looked in 1850. Students will also have to utilize problem solving
strategies and apply them to urban complications such as industrialization,
population, urbanization, disease, and the removal of animal, industrial
and human waste.
After completing this lesson, students will:
- Students will gain experience navigating the St. Louis Virtual City Web
- Students will identify what is a city.
- Students will understand the concepts
of urbanization, industrialization, and economic growth.
- Students will analyze
data and make conclusions regarding population through the use of charts
on the site.
- Students will apply problem-solving strategies to common urban
dilemmas such as fire prevention; animal, industrial, and human waste removal.
will try to develop theories about what makes people move to, remain in,
and return to a city.
Show Me Standards Social
Studies 2,5,7 Goals: 1.4, 1.10, 2.1,3.1, 3.2, 3.6, 3.7, 4.2
will journal 5-10 minutes about where they live. Students should also address
if they plan on staying in St. Louis and why, if they know, their
family came to St. Louis.
- On the board, have students list
what components must be in place for an area to be classified as a “city”.
What is it based on? Industry, population, services, government, should
included in this model
for a city.
- Separate students into two isolated groups. One group should
look at a recent image of a major United States City and brainstorm what
city. The second group should observe a photo of St. Louis and also brainstorm
what they know about this city. When students have completed this short
activity (10 minutes) the class should be brought together as a whole to
oral or actual Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the two cities.
be placed on the compare aspect of the Venn diagram illustrating what successful,
growing cities have in common.
- Students will take a tour of the Virtual City model in 1850. While touring
the virtual city, students will make a list of the characteristics St. Louis
had developed by 1850 that qualified it as a major city.
- Students will also
look at the demographics on the 1850’s and 1950’s
web site and develop a theory consistent with the data on the changes in
population. Students should be asked to recreate the population figures on
a bar graph putting the city information side by side to discuss possible
theories of change.
- Students should note the different type of businesses
and buildings and make a class list of the different types of jobs available
in the city in 1850.
What buildings were used for government, industry, transportation, housing,
penal, health or mental institutions, as well as noting buildings used for
religious purposes or education.
- Students will list the positive
and negative aspects of living in a city like St. Louis in the 1850’s.
Students will make these observations as they observe and do a walking
tour of the
- In groups based on class size/computers, students will be given
an index card with the following typical problems a city in 1850 would
from their observations in the previous activity. Each group is responsible
for research and a short oral presentation on this specific problem faced
by a city like St. Louis. Possible raised topics could include:
Population, over crowding, death and disease, human, animal and industrial
fire, transportation and horse
- Students with a partner will
tour the virtual city and develop 10 questions about the 1850’s. Questions can be on
any area of the city. These “quizzes” would
be exchanged with other teams for a “contest”.
with a partner will tour the virtual city and will read the biographies
of the people posted on the 1850 cite. As a team, students will be
required to write an article in newspaper style format on one significant
in 1850. Students will then role-play with their partner the article
creating a mock interview with one student assuming the role of the
the other student plays the historical figure for the class.