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Chicago Blues History

Posted under Family Resources


Chicago is famous for a type of music called the blues. During the Great Migration, African Americans moved from southern states to northern states and brought blues music with them. As they settled into their new lives in cities, the music changed to reflect those places. In Chicago, it was electrified. Blues music became popular around the world, and for many years Chicago was a center for performing, recording, and producing blues music. Enjoy a week of activities based on the blues as you write, draw, and sing your way through music history!

Blues Music Comes to Chicago | Reading, Crafting

Eleven-year-old Penny and her family are part of the Great Migration, moving from Mississippi to Chicago. Their first day in the city is full of new sights and sounds and meeting extended family members. Read or listen to A Bronzeville Story, then make a scrapbook page of Penny’s first day in Chicago.

Blues Biographies | Reading, Crafting

Meet some famous Chicago blues artists and match their stage name to their biography. Then use our fun name generator to choose your own stage name and make a backstage pass!

Picture This! | Close Looking, Writing, Drawing

The photographs of Raeburn Flerlage capture the exciting blues scene in Chicago during the 1960s. Try the 3-2-1 technique to take a closer look at some of his images, then use your imagination to enter your favorite one and make music history!

Blues Bingo! | Close Looking, Game Playing

Use our images to make your own bingo cards all about blues music. Then have fun playing with your family and see how many times you can call out “Blues Bingo”!

Sing It! | Reading, Writing, Performing

“Sweet Home Chicago” is a famous blues song about the city. It’s your turn to be a star: use our templates to write your own version of “Sweet Home Chicago” and sing your heart out!

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories