Guides - History}
Have students develop original stories based upon the information they gain.
An alternative activity is to have students build models or find pictures of a ride at different time periods or variations of the ride.
Encourage students to read The Great Wheel by Robert Lawson. This book is about the first Ferris Wheel and the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. A Newbery Honor Book, The Great Wheel includes great illustrations and a wonderful story that is easy for young readers to follow. The book makes an excellent class novel, or an individual reading project.
The story of the Irishman Conn Kilroy begins when he gets a fortune telling him to go west. He obeys and begins a journey filled with amazing stories and adventures. Kilroy is chosen as one of the men who constructs the Ferris Wheel, and eventually rides it, completing his fortune. Certainly a classic, this book makes history fun by telling a story of determination and hope in the struggle to build the greatest wheel the world had ever seen.
Another history resource is the Rick Sebak Group Video, Great Old Amusement Parks. The video runs for 60 minutes and is a learning tool that keeps students' interests with great footage of rides, interviews with park owners as well as park-goers, and wonderful suggestions for places to visit.
Some of the great parks you and your students will journey through include Playland, Holiday World, Cedar Point, and Coney Island.
The film includes facts about old wooden coasters and fun pieces like the restoration of a worn-out coaster with a man who normally restores furniture will captivate you. Lines like, "I just look at the coaster as a big piece of furniture. That's all it is to me!" will follow you long after the video is over. For more information on this video and ordering information, go to [http://www.shop.pbs.org/]
Also available from PBS
video is Coney Island, part of the American Experience. This
episode takes a look at the Coney Island of the past and today.
This video and the accompanying website are sure to come in as a
handy in-depth learning tool. The gallery with its old photos would
be handy for creating a bulletin board. For a more in-depth look at
this video, go to [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/coney/gallery/index.html]