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Gallery + Classroom Program: Legacy of the Fair

Dates Available: All school year

Grade Level: 6th–12th

Minimum Number of Students: 25 students

Maximum Number of Students: 60 students

Gallery Visited:   The 1904 World's Fair: Looking Back at Looking Forward

Program Duration: 2 hours

The World’s Fair wasn’t all ice cream cones and Ferris wheel rides. Fair makers, workers, visitors, and displays also faced many challenges. Students will investigate issues of race, gender, economics, and environmental impact as they critically assess the challenging legacy of the 1904 World’s Fair.

More About This Gallery + Classroom Program
This program challenges the nostalgic view of the 1904 World’s Fair and asks students to uncover the WHOLE story of the Fair. Students will analyze Museum choices and consider how adding new voices and artifacts provides a broader and deeper perspective regarding this historic event and its legacy in St. Louis.

In the Gallery

  • At Stop 1 students will consider the perspective of St. Louisans right before and after the Fair. By using headlines from contemporary newspapers, students will discover that not all St. Louisans wanted the World’s Fair in Forest Park. Additionally, students will evaluate the various arguments for and against the Fair, and analyze the long-term impact of the Fair on Forest Park and St. Louis.
  • At Stop 2 students will step back in time to experience the exhibitions and messaging of the Fair from the 1904 visitor's perspective. They'll examine what and how visitors learned when they came to the Fair. Specifically, students will critically analyze the problematic practice of displaying living people from other nations and cultures.

In the Classroom
Students will become curators and exhibition designers as they add a new section to our World’s Fair exhibition. They'll analyze additional primary sources and artifacts that aren't on view in the gallery to learn about seldom-told stories and diverse perspectives. Then they'll select a theme and objects that will best broaden the story of the 1904 World’s Fair to create their very own exhibition!

  Please read our K-12 Policiesbefore booking this program.

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Critical Thinking
Regardless of which field-trip experience you choose, all of our K–12 programs are designed to emphasize the critical thinking skills students use at museums, in the classroom, and as lifelong learners. Each one facilitates experiences in which learners can individually and collaboratively use Museum spaces, objects, and content to:

  • compare and contrast the past and the present
  • make connections between the people, places, and stories of history and their own experiences
  • comprehend and evaluate multiple perspectives and past choices
  • express and support their personal views on history

Here are some Pre-Visit Activities and other resources.

Program Modifications
We understand that many factors may cause your bus to be late. However, due to other group reservations and the schedules of our museum educators, we can't extend the length of your visit past your reservation time.

If you arrive late, we'll still do our best to deliver the program you reserved. However, modifications may be necessary depending on your arrival time. (NOTE: Excessively late groups can expect significant program changes.)

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