About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file "Glen Echo Amusement Park" (with photographs) park planning documents, and newspaper and magazine accounts. It was written by Stephanie Gray, former Park Ranger at neighboring Clara Barton National Historic Site. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson could be used in American history units on the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era to explore religious and educational reform movements, and the impact of improved transportation systems on settlement patterns. The lesson also explores the issue of public segregation.
Time period: Late 19th century to modern day
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To describe the national social trends and technological improvements that influenced the settlement and continued use of the Glen Echo area.
2) To explain the social and economic needs Glen Echo Park was designed to serve.
3) To identify present or past gathering places in their
own community, and to identify factors that have
contributed to the continued use or the destruction of those places.
4) To determine the effect of segregation and discrimination on their own community.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) one map of Glen Echo, Maryland and the surrounding region;
2) two readings on the Chautauqua movement and trolley/amusement parks;
3) one drawing of Glen Echo Park today;
4) five historical and modern photographs of Glen Echo Park.
Visiting the site
Glen Echo Park, located at 7300 MacArthur Boulevard in Glen Echo, Maryland, is maintained by the National Park Service as an educational and cultural forum where artists, students, teachers, and visitors can meet and exchange ideas. Professionals in fields ranging from performing and visual arts to consumer-oriented topics are invited to move into the remaining amusement park buildings and to bring them back to life. In exchange, the groups agree to open those facilities for public classes and to provide demonstrations and performances. The park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. It is closed on Christmas and Thanksgiving Day. For further information write to the Superintendent, George Washington Memorial Parkway, in care of Turkey Run Park, McLean, VA 22101
or visit the park web pages.