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1 Hour
1 Day
8th - 11th
1890 - 1980
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Academic Standards (1)

CCSS English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.11-12.7: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

NCSS C3 Framework

  • D2.His.1.9-12: Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.
Children play baseball inside a playground with large buildings in the background
“Playground Ball” at Marshal Swenie Playground in the Near West Side neighborhood, 1907    
Courtesy of Chicago Public Library


Key Terms and Concepts

  • migration
  • immigration
  • urbanization
  • ethnic enclave

Essential Questions

How does learning about borderlands help us better understand the causes and consequences of immigration and migration?
What happens to a community when borders are created?


A City of Ethnic Neighborhoods

Student will explain the changes in Chicago neighborhoods and their “imaginary” borders from 1900 to 1965 using primary and secondary resources to deliver an oral report to the class in groups.


Warm Up (1)

Mini-Lesson (1)

Provide context to students by explaining, By 1890 Chicago was booming with a population of one million; 80% were either foreign born or the children of immigrants. As in many cities, Chicago’s residents responded to increasing diversity in different ways. Some newcomers moved to neighborhoods with people of the same national origin or religion. As waves of people moved into the city, neighborhoods grew and transformed. Ethnic neighborhoods offered economic and social support. Over time, some residents transitioned to other areas of the city and into surrounding suburbs. New populations then moved into those neighborhoods and made them their own.

Group Research (1)

Exit Ticket (1)

Have each group report what they have learned about their Chicago neighborhood. Groups should be able to:

  • Show the neighborhood area on a map.
  • Describe who lived in the neighborhood between 1900-1965.
  • Address the issue of borders from step 3.
  • Share two additional things they learned about the neighborhood.