(Contenido disponible en Español está marcado abajo)
Happy International Museum Day! Museums make it possible for us to learn from the past, better understand our present, and plan for the future. We’re proud of our 163-year history and place as Chicago’s first public museum. So, today, we’re taking a look at a part of our 350,000-piece collection. Keep reading to explore our collections and make your own museum!
Learn about one of our early naturalists!
Our senior director of collections, Dawn, recently pulled out some beautiful plant specimens dating from the 19th century. Click here to watch the video and learn more about the amazing Elizabeth Atwater!
Guiding Question: What do you notice about what Elizabeth collected? Do you think it was unusual for her to be collecting those items? Why or why not?
Make a museum in your yard!
(Disponible en español)
You don’t need a big building to have a museum! You can create a museum in your yard, courtyard, or park to share with your friends and family. Click here for a full list of instructions in English and Spanish!
Teaching Tip: Get more ideas for making your own museum here.
What can collections tell us?
Historic specimens from hundreds of years ago have a lot to tell us about the past, but they can also help us navigate the future! Click here to take a behind-the-scenes look at our collections.
Teaching Tip: If your young explorer asks whether something in the video is real, this FAQ page might come in handy!
Visit our old building virtually
Many folks don’t realize that before we opened the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum building in 1999, the Chicago Academy of Sciences was located at the Matthew Laflin Building (now the Lincoln Park Zoo administrative building). Here’s a cool look at what our polar bear display looked like back in 1987! You can explore our interactive timeline here, and view a couple photos featuring exhibits in the 1980s here and here.
Animal Feeding with Opal & Onyx
One of the things that make our museum special is the opportunity to see our live animals! Want to find out what our ornate box turtles like to eat? Click here to check out our Animal Feeding.
Guiding Question: What do you notice about what the turtles eat? How is it the same or different from what we eat?
¡En el museo! (At the museum!)
(Disponible en español)
Do you know how to say museum in Spanish? How about turtle? Let’s explore a few museum-related vocabulary words in both English and Spanish!
- museo – museum
- tortuga – turtle
- mariposa – butterfly
- animal – animal
- planta – plant
Teaching Tip: Tie these vocabulary words back to our bilingual nature scavenger hunt and see what you can add to the list!
Behind the Scenes
There’s always something going on at our Collections Facility, and our senior director of collections, Dawn, does an amazing job cataloguing it. Check out some behind-the-scenes shots over on her Instagram.