With Art & Industry: 1890-1920

Teachers Level One

Learning Goals and Objectives--Grades 3 - 5

Voices and Choices--Carmella Gustaferre
Note: It is a good idea to print Level One for easy reference.

Voices and Choices

Carmella Gustaferre is a 15-year-old immigrant from Italy. She has begun to take English classes at Chicago's Hull House. She has been asked to write an essay about her dream house and must decide how to furnish it.


These themes can be explored with either a social studies or language arts curriculum. Use these themes to tie in other resources to your class discussion, i.e., other books, other cultures, students' own lives.


What do you think?

These questions, which come at the end of each story (minus "the answer"), can be used to start class discussions or be assigned as homework.

What does it mean to be an immigrant?

An immigrant is someone who comes to a country to settle permanently.

Is Carmella an immigrant? Where did she emigrate from? And where does she live now?

Carmella emigrated from Italy. She now lives on the West Side of Chicago. She is attending classes at Hull House. In 1889, Jane Addams had opened Hull House in the worst slum district on the West Side of Chicago. Addams and her associates developed programs to educate and improve the living conditions of immigrants--about half the population of Chicago at the time.

What is Carmella writing an essay about? Who do you think she is writing it for?

She is writing an essay about the kind of home she would like to have. She is writing it for her English class at Hull House.

Describe Carmella's house in Italy as you imagine it.

You may want to show students books of photography of Italy to give them a sense of Carmella's birthplace. Students may want to draw Carmella's house as they imagine it.

Describe where Carmella lives now. What did Chicago look like in 1914?

Carmella would have lived in the Italian immigrant section of Chicago's southside. Students can also read the story of Ruby Livingston and George Curtis and look at Side by Side to find more photographs of the poorer areas of Chicago at the beginning of the 20th century.

If you could have your dream house, what would it look like? Would your house be out in the country or in a city? Would your house be in the mountains or by the ocean?

Students may want to draw their dream house or even create a collage of their dream house using cut-outs from magazines.



These are suggested classroom activities and student projects that you may want to use with your students or as models to create your own.

1. Geography activity

Using a world atlas and an atlas of the United States, compare a map of Italy with a map of Illinois. You might want to make a comparison chart like this:

country size geographic features bordered by population agricultural products

2. Dioramas

3. Art in the Home Activity

Teco vases, 1895-1922


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