McCormick House Resources

Welcome to our classroom resource section. 

These activities go hand in hand with our increased focus primary and secondary sources during school tours and would make great pre- or post-visit activities.

News and Political Cartoons

Check out the Janet A. Ginsburg Chicago Tribune Collection through Michigan State University and pick a paper from WWI or WWII then use our document analysis worksheet to take a closer look at how Chicagoans viewed the sinking of the Lusitania or the D-Day Landings.  Use the link below to examine a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoon from 1932 about the Great Depression and make comparisons to the recent economic downturn or use our political cartoon analysis worksheet to focus on interpreting cartoons such as the Colonel McCosmic cartoons at the bottom of the page.

The Pulitzer Prize Winning cartoon from 1932 can be viewed through this link to the Indiana Historical Society
(Link used with permission from the Indiana Historical Society)

Colonel McCormick was famous for being the owner and operator of the Chicago Tribune, that doesn’t mean that everyone in Chicago was a fan. Political cartoonist Cecil Jensen published a number of comics like these two in the Daily News.

This one is titled “Colonel McCosmic: I crossed the Delaware before Washington Did” and ran in 1934.
This cartoon is titled “Colonel McCosmic: The Indispensable Man” and ran in 1936.

(Comics used with permission from Sun-Times Media Production and the Chicago Sun-Times) 

A Chinese Immigrant Experience in the 1940s and 50s

An interesting way to introduce the idea of civics to your middle school classroom

Robert McCormick felt strongly about Democracy and American liberties such as freedom of speech.  On one of his trips to China, McCormick formed a friendship with the Governor of Taiwan- KC Wu.  This friendship would shape both families and their views on politics and freedoms.  Click here for a short story about the Wu family.  The lesson is designed to be printed front and back, with a page on vocabulary, one on the story, and an afterward.

Problem Based Learning

Does your school have a different curriculum?

The Robert R. McCormick House is willing to work with you on planning different types of lessons.  One example is a problem-based learning experience planned with District 41.  In problem-based learning, students are encouraged to seek out real life problems and propose ways to help.

Our proposed “problem” was that the museum would like to change the way we do school orientations and make it more kid friendly.  Middle school students from Hadley Jr. High produced this video as an example of how to shorten our orientations.

Another problem is that the museum wanted to add civics as an additional theme for school visits.  4th and 5th-grade students from Forest Glen Elementary adopted our problem and came on a field visit, created projects, then presented to a panel of experts. The museum hosted an evening event to showcase their work.  Students also donated a civics-related Jeopardy game and a student created word search, which you may download and use in your classroom.

If you are a teacher interested in a different type of lesson, please contact Stephanie Moyer, McCormick House Educator, to see if we can help plan a lesson or visit to the Mansion.

These types of special programs work better with smaller class sizes and may take time to organize.

Classroom Worksheets
News Literacy Resources​

The McCormick Foundation is a proud supporter of News Literacy.  If you are looking for resources to plan lessons around this topic please check out these three sites:

Digital Resource Center:  Center for News Literacy

The News Literacy Project

Learn more about other educator resources available through the McCormick Foundation.

​​Social Stories​

Did you know the Robert R. McCormick Foundation is a huge supporter of Civic Education?

Click here for Illinois Civic Education resources compiled by the McCormick Foundation.

Cantigny Park is a part of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.