Ideas for Classroom Use

George Newton's Whale Show

Art Project

Imagine that you are putting something on display (it can be anything, from something in your house, to something that you make up) and are trying to bring a large audience to see it.  Create a broadside poster that emphasizes how exciting this will be.  Use creative language, as well as interesting imagery and style to make your broadside appealing to visitors.


Research Project

Sideshows such as George Newton's Whale Show were important in the development of the modern museum. Research the history of museums, from cabinets of curiosity, to sideshows, to contemporary museums.  Why did people want to put things on display?  Why did people want to visit them?  Why were these displays important then? Has the role of the modern museum changed much from the role of these early displays?  Share your findings in a paper, or through an oral or digital presentation.

Common Core State Standards Connections

Speaking and Listening, Grades 6-12

Standard 4 – Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

Reading standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Grades 6-12

Standard 1 (Grades 9-10) Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to  such features as the date and origin of the information.

Standard 7 (Grades 6-8)Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other  information in print and digital texts.

Writing standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Grades 6-12

Standard 1 (Grades 6-12) Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.

Standard 2 (Grades 6-12) Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes.

Standard 7 (Grades 6-12) 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.

Standard 8 (Grades 6-8) Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation./p>

Standard 9 (Grades 6-12) Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis reflection, and research.