Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum more

Enjoy the Museum anytime and anywhere!

Choose from fee-based Virtual Student Workshops or free Gallery Tour Videos.

Virtual Student Workshops

Bring the Museum to your students with our virtual student workshop experiences!

Museum staff facilitate these interactive programs using your video conferencing platform or our Zoom account. Workshop fees cover pre- and post-program resources, a short informational meeting in advance with workshop facilitators, and workshop facilitation. Please review the Virtual Student Workshop Information Sheet in advance. Workshops can be delivered to a range of teaching situations including full remote, in person, and a mix of both.

Download our Virtual Student Workshop Information Sheet.


Painted Memories: The Great Chicago Fire

Recommended for students in grades 3‒5
40-45 minutes; maximum 35 students per session
Cost: $50 per session

There are no known photographs of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but artists’ vivid depictions of it help us understand this important event and its lasting impact. Via videoconferencing, this workshop engages students in a close reading experience with Julia Lemos’s painting Memories of the Chicago Fire and her written account of the disaster. Students share their responses to the painting and the artist’s words through writing, drawing, discussion, and movement. The workshop wraps up with a discussion around the effects of disasters and the lessons we can learn from the Great Chicago Fire to help us manage similar situations today. The session concludes with time for student questions.

Reserve your virtual workshop


Facing Freedom

Recommended for students in grades 6-12
Length: 50-55 minutes; maximum 35 students per session
Cost: $50 per session

Based on the Facing Freedom in America exhibition and companion website, this workshop offered via videoconferencing encourages critical thought about freedom and issues of social justice, particularly in the areas of workers’ rights, public protest, and race and citizenship. Students analyze and discuss primary source materials and share contemporary freedom issues that are important to them.

Choose one of these five topics for your workshop experience:

Reserve your virtual workshop


Gallery Tour Videos

These videos can serve as a virtual visit to the Chicago History Museum, or as a pre- or postvisit tool. Our videos explore stories based on the Chicago: Crossroads of America exhibition, which explores Chicago’s changing economy, challenging crises, diverse neighborhoods, and groundbreaking innovations.

We plan to grow this video library and need your feedback to make it the best it can be. To access the videos, please take a moment to complete a short survey. Upon completion you will be provided with a link to the video. Your ideas will help us fine tune future videos and determine the next videos to complete!


Lessons from the Great Chicago Fire

Recommended for grades 3-5
Running Time: 11 mins 20 secs

Students are asked critical thinking questions throughout this video as they discover not only the events of the three days of the fire, but also consider how people were impacted and the sometimes unjust decisions made during the recovery efforts. Explore the lasting legacy of the fire and the lessons we can learn from the past when we face similar challenges today.

Take survey and download video


These additional resources support use of the video in classroom instruction.


Impacts of Stockyards and Meatpacking

Recommended for grades 6-12
Running Time: 9 mins 27 secs

Takes a close look at how Chicago’s stockyards and meatpacking industries affected everything in the city from immigration and migration, to changing neighborhoods to workplace safety, public policy and labor organizing. Students will be asked to consider these impacts, how work shapes a city, and what the future of work may look like in Chicago.

Take survey and download video


These additional resources support use of the video in classroom instruction.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories