Teaching Cleveland
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Middle School Edition: 6-8

Lesson 37

Euclid Beach - A Cleveland Amusement Park of the 1890s

OBJECTIVE:

To provide students with a view of a summer amusement park of the 1890s and to compare and contrast with amusement parks and entertainment of the present.

INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS:

KEY QUESTIONS:

  1. What did people in Cleveland in the 1890s do for summer recreation?
  2. What was interesting and unique about Euclid Beach Park? How is it similar to or different from amusement parks today?

TEACHING PROCEDURES:

  1. Ask students to define "amusement park". List their suggestions on the board. Then ask them to identify amusement parks they have visited. Why do they go there? What are some of their favorite activities at the park? Explain to students that amusement parks were around over 100 years ago and in fact, Cleveland developed one of the nation's best known amusement parks in 1895.
  2. Distribute or read to the students the article on Euclid Beach in the 1890s. Ask students to list the various types of entertainment or amusements Euclid Beach offered in the 1890s. How are they similar? Different? Have students view the photographs of the rides that are mentioned in the article and compare with the rides of today. Have students view the various postcards from Euclid Beach in the 1890s. Notice the way the people are dressed. Compare and contrast with the dress of people today.
  3. Ask students to imagine Euclid Beach as if it were open today in the 1990s to entertain the people of Cleveland once again during the summer season. They are now to design a postcard that represents their image of the Euclid Beach of 1996. Encourage students to be creative and colorful with their designs. After students have completed their postcards, they are then to compose the message they would write about their day at "Euclid Beach" and write it on the back of their "postcard."
  4. An alternate group activity would be to have students design their own amusement park of today for Cleveland. Groups will need to identify the location in Cleveland, decide what types of amusements they would like to include, draw a blue print of the park, determine the means of transportation that would be available to get to the park, costs of amusements or park fees, name their park and then design a brochure to advertise the new amusement park of Cleveland.

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