Live! Student thoughts on Chicago…

We’re watching “Chicago’s Western Suburbs: From Prairie Soil to Prairie Style” by PBS/WTTW’s Geoffrey Baer. It’s one of my favorite PBS shows (as all Baer shows are) and is a great intro to the Chciago unit and western ‘burbs. Kids wiill recognize lots of great places and learn some really interesting history on how our suburbs grew. We’ll share our thoughts here!

Here’s a map of the western burbs to help you navigate as we watch.

More info on Geoffery Baer is available here:,9

Your local library certainly has copies of his excellent DVDs. This is where I’ve borrowed mine!


299 thoughts on “Live! Student thoughts on Chicago…

  1. Hunter

    Al Capone is DA BOMB!!!!! Did you know his real name is Angelo? He didn’t want anyone to know he was Italian because the Italians were thought of as “lower class”. This was because they were immigrants. Back in his time. Weird huh, he had an interesting life, look him up or check out a book. DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Elizabeth Prazak

    Love and have been to the Brookfeild Zoo and the Morton Arboredum!!!!
    I have been on the Metra train going to Chicago with my grampa, mom, and sister.

  3. Mike Fortin

    i remember seeing the stack of cars a ton of times when i went to visit my grandma and granpa when they lived in berwin

  4. Kally S.

    my grandma was born in cicero and she grew up there when she was little and said there is alot of history there

  5. Jax B.

    Something in the video I liked was the houses that frank loid wright built and structured. Also, I like that they showed pictures from the the old days and the music was ok. I loved the different sculptures of cars, and the parades were cool.

  6. Ryan Ferreri

    Brookfield zoo opened in 1994….one of the first zoos open in chicago………The lady let open the zoo cage nd the zebras ran away..nd later she got bit by her cobra nd died

  7. Arabella z

    i remember studying frank loyd wright in prairieview. haha morris is a funny name for a cat.

  8. Leah C

    We studied Frank Lyod Write in art and about his houses. They look AWESOME!! wish i lived in one!! HAHAHAHAHAH ;0

  9. Joey James

    I used to live in berwyn it was very funn my house had a very big attic and my dad acted like a monkey and scared me

  10. Leah C

    We studied Frank Lyod Write in art and about his houses. They look AWESOME!! wish i lived in one!! HAHA LOL ;0
    But before that…..y did they take all of that cool stuff down in Berwyen? know because they wanted a shopping place but y not put it some where else??

  11. joe

    al capone has a bar he used to go to in my old camp ground town. al capone shook hands with my grand father.

  12. Samantha B.

    Both of my parents went to the same high school in hillside. but they didn’t know it until they got married. lol!

  13. Arabella z

    i read a book about this guy that was a serial killer and during the world trade fair he would lure women in his shop and kill them. it was a really creepy book.

  14. Marissa repole

    The same people that planned the town riverside planned new york’s time square. I LOVE NEW YORK!!!!!

  15. Leah C

    I wish that THESe laptops HAd liGHTs on THEM bc i AM raNDOLY hitting STUFF, hints y ThIs loOKS sO WEIrd!!

  16. Natalia P

    ziggy the elephant is adorable!!!!! And a lody opened one of Chicagos firts barless Zoo’s! Ziggy attacked and almost killed his keeper!!! :( Bad elephant!!!! HaHa.I LOVE GIANT PANDAS!!!! :D

  17. Leah C

    If ziggy was soo bad and like aLMOST KILLED people…..y did he end up in a PUBLIC, OUTDOOR, WITH MANY PEOPLE zoo?? SAme with that drinking, smoking, human bitting monkey?

  18. peter fish

    i have learned alot about who wat we do can change how we learn and the technology that we can use to learn alot better and to actually be able to learn more progressively

  19. Taylor Koutny

    My aunt lives in Riverside, and her house is 4 houses down from the Frank Loyd Wright house. It’s pretty cool, because everytime I go there to visit her, we always check out the house. It’s actually really nice.. [:

  20. Prince B.

    The fathers of the Twinkie, Mars Bar, and Kool-Aid were all fro River Forest are you kidding me Kool-Aid is from Chicago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Taylor Koutny

    i always ride on the Metra train, because my dad works downtown in the city, and sometimes he takes me with him. But i go downtown pretty much every other weekend. it’s like my second home, :) hahahaahaa

  22. Alexis G.

    cicero reminds me of when we read that book in 6th grade :) and one of my cousins had to go through the cicero stop for school!

  23. peter fish

    ME AND JOEY PLAYED SOCCER IN RIVERSIDE FOR OUR TRAVEL SOCCER TEAm!!!!!the chicago inter……. we played on the astroturf field right outside the brookfield zoo paRKING LOT.

  24. Tyler F

    DOwners grove is my home town :D i like it in Chicago i go there a lot because my parents work there

  25. Sharon T

    the train that goes to brookfield has artificial rocks like the one at the zoo. I think that was a neat idea and very creative.

  26. Shaliyah T.

    Almost every telephone was made in cicero Illinios woow!!! Also there is a chezxh festival and they get to select a queen. It’s amazing btw chezxh means GOOBIE!!!!!:D lol

  27. Alexis G.

    Who wouldn’t want those innocent cuties called animals?! thats baaaaad. Ziggy is the cutest elephant I’ve ever seen! I would take the panda home :) SOOOO cute

  28. Sheryl J.

    1934 was the year brookfield zoo opened. Some animals that came there were unwanted pets, mostly alligators.

  29. siymon

    i thought it was cool that lyons was pretty cool ausment park and party place alltho it went down because of pollution in the clans

  30. Andrew P


  31. Max M

    My mom did medical care for one of Al Capone’s mistresses. she had pictures and secret passages in her house. Kool Aid is the bomb also

  32. bryan

    My grate Grandma met Al Capone when she was walking and he gave her money to go buy candy HA HA HA ha ha ha ha

  33. Yo, Al Capone was born on January 17, 1899, in Brooklyn, New York. Thats 3 Months and 9 Days from mine. So this means me and Al Capone are very Alike. How?, Well I don’t really know but i like his name so yeah…

  34. Emily q


  35. Joe S

    my mom lived in Cicero. i used to take the train to Chicago all the time over the summer and i remember seeing all of the people with suits and iphones and i just sat down with my draw string backpack haha.

  36. Alana C

    The Chicago and Northwestern is the oldest railroad.

    Al Capone’s headquarters was in Cicero

    Almost every telephone was made in one factory.

    As of 2000, the population of Cicero was around 70% Hispanic.

    They looked for a name for the city Berlin in the train timetables.

  37. erin m

    my cuzin lived in chicago a few years ago it was cool to go into the city she lived by some pretty cool places. i remember going to the zoo

  38. Mike T

    Bears like marshmallows? My Mom brought my cousin when he was 5 to Brookfield Zoo every week about in the summer.

  39. HANNAH S

    i luv to ride the train into chicago!! my dad rides the train to the city everyday for work!! its pretty awesome:)

  40. Marisa

    My Grandma lives in berwen and my mom grew up there!! And my dad grew up in cicero!!! :) (i think)That car thingy is gone now :(

  41. Tylorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorl

    Most of those kinetic statues are really cool. And that car spread out like animal skin is extremely awesome. Where can i buy one?

  42. Jenna S.

    I didn’t know Cicero made telephones! And I use to live Cicero/Berwyn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-D P.S. I always saw those sculptures!!! There AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. Julia P

    Some of those sculptures are really cool. I like all of the cars stacked on top of each other. How do they stay up? Do you think they’d fall during a tornado? (P.s whoever did the music is a really good clarinet player)

  44. Tylorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorlorl

    How ironic. He designed the Asylum and was then put in it.

  45. Jasmine Maldonado(:

    Whopee roller coaster is lame just for 5 miles per hour sux for those people back then!!! lol hahaha

  46. Cyrus Santiago

    The tower of cars and the other sculptures look really cool. I’ve never seen them close up but I would like to.

  47. Julia P

    EEEEEWWWWWW! They used a river as a sewer!

    I wouldn’t want to go on the Whoopee. It looks scary.

    Yuck! People are riding boats on the sewer river.

    The lady who founded the zoo was PSYCHO!!!!

  48. Yvonne

    what a psycho! who leaves dangerous animals’ cages open??? idiot…

    soo that’s where ziggy came from huh?

  49. Lara P.

    awww, i know how ziggy the elephant died. in a book about the history of brookfield zoo it said he fell into the trench surrounding his exhibit. :(

  50. Julia P

    Ok, the first woman currater was psycho too. Why the heck would you leave the cage doors open?

    How do you fit an elephant in a taxi? Poor Ziggy. No wait, Ziggy was murderous. Never mind.

    Ewww, a smoking monkey. Man, lotsa animals came from the Zigfield circus.

    Mr. Gross was very selfish. he named everything after himself, like Alexander the Great did.

    ha, the polar bears escaped! Yeah polarbears.

    I read an article about cookie the cockatoo once. She’s old.

  51. Jasmine Maldonado(:

    i love Brookfield Zoo!!! i love there animals!! and the zoo open in 1994..!! WOW!! years and years that zoo been open!! Ziggy killed his owner!! hahaha… the very first panda came in the zoo in 1937… this zoo have over 3,000 animals !! WOW alot!

  52. sean ryan

    Cicero contained the headquarters of Al Capone.

    Berwyn was started when a pair of men built a train station at no cost the the train company.

    The entire city of Riverside is a national landmark.
    The people that planned the city of Riverside also planned Central Park in New York, NY.

    There was once a rollar coaster called the Whoopiee coaster. You had to use your own car and the speed limit was 5 mph.

    Brookfield Zoo was based off of Edith Rockefeller McCormick idea of a bar less zoo. She lost interest in it after donating the land.

    The first panda in the US was kept in Brookfield zoo but was eventually taken back.

    Cookie the Cockatoo is the only living animal in the zoo from the first day the zoo was open.

    Brookfield was originally called Grossdale after the founder, who was a a cival war commander.

  53. Marjorie

    My Great Uncle has a Franklord Right replica house he lives in. This must be dated old because kiddie land is closed. my friend lives in Oak Park! She was able to do a very good report on alcapone and how he was a major gambler who was in jail for Eight Years!

  54. Jonathan Alvarez

    Al Capone’s headquarters was in Cicero.

    Cicero”s population is 77% Hispanic.

    Berwyn had many cars scewered on a pole.

  55. Georgia B.

    There is a lot of art in Chicago including the Spindle which has ben taken down. It was also featured in a movie.

  56. Cassidy Dresden

    I’ve learned from the video that most lands & important places have been replaced with buildings. Also, my dad works for BNSF. Hehe. (:

  57. Jonathan Alvarez

    Berwyn had fine gardens.

    The Houby Parade is the only parade to celebrate a mushroom.

    Riverside was one of the first plain cities.

    Frank Loyd Wright designed homes in Riverside.

  58. jacqualine

    almost every phone was made in Cicero. the cars that were scerwed are gone now. The Hobi festival is Czech for mushrooms. Frank Lyod Wright bulit many houses and they are still her today. GO SEE THEM! lIONS LIKE TO DRINK.

  59. Cassidy Dresden

    I walked through the neighboorhood to go to Brookfeild, & I rode the train. You gotta love Brookfeild. Ha.

  60. i was born in LaGrange& dance theree!!(:

    wow that car sculpture in Berwyn is cool!!

    Riverside has really pretty neighborhoods(:

    Hoffman towers is 8 stories tall, and the interior was never completed.

    Ogden Avenue was called the Illinois& Michigan canal.

    Eideth Rockafeller McCormic donated land for Brookfeild Zoo in 1919

  61. bradley

    cicero has had a major ethnic change

    berwyn car statue was in wanes world and mushroom paraide

    river side has many land maks, salt creek, village hall 1895, well house is now a muesume

    ogen ave used to be route 66

    brookfield zoo opened in 1934 made of natural looking rock filled with some unwanted pets ziggy the elephant destroyed two houses and almost killed his trainer died in 1975, cigarette smoking monkey, 7 polar bills escaped but were taken back,

  62. Meg w

    Morris the cat looks like my cat, that is if she had hair. I didn’t know there was a Burlington in Illinois. There is one in Iowa and thats where my Grandma and Grandpa live. Riverside is a village that still uses gas lights. Lyons like to drink. The women who donated the land for Brookfield Zoo, died of cancer at age 60. Brookfield was one of the first bar-less zoo. Ziggy an elephant tried to kill his owner and was confined inside, but children campaigned to get him a safe outside enclosure. Tropic world opened in 1982. A cockatoo named Cookie is the only animal still alive, from when the zoo opened.

  63. Emily B.

    Cicero was used for Al Capone’s head quarters.

    Riverside was one of the first suburbs.

    Riverside’s street lamps are still gas.

    in 1932 the Brookfield zoo was opened, and was one of the first bar less zoo and in 1933 animals had begun to house animals.

    Brookfield was one of the first zoos to have a panda but, it was latter returned.

  64. Jack Villa

    I liked the stacked cars, I think the owner should have kept it, it was great art.
    Since 1920, Riverside has been preserved because of an ordinance.
    I didn’t know that a woman was curator for the zoo. Also, why did she leave cage doors open?
    Ziggy was returned to the circus, then sold to the zoo again.
    There was a cigarette smoking monkey… cool.
    I have played in some of the places for baseball.

  65. Georgia B.

    Ziggy was a 250 pound elephant that was kept at Brookfield Zoo.

    Ziggy once jumped at his keeper.

    Ziggy died in 1975. :(

    Chicago was filled with great art including a bunch of stacked cars that were once included in a movie.

    Riverside still has gas lights.

    Almost every light back in the twentieth century was made in Cicero.

    Brookfield Zoo was one of the first barless zoos.

    Ogden Avenue used to be a river called the Illinois And Michigan Canal. Mr. Little said that it’s practically in our backyard!

    There was a smoking monkey.

    Brookfield Zoo was one of the first zoos to have pandas, but it later got returned.

  66. Andrew P

    Hey mr little this is a soccer related question. ms shwnkel said i might be able to buy green socks from you for the season. Is this possible? If so how much for them?
    Thanks alot

  67. Andrew P :

    Hey mr little this is a soccer related question. ms shwnkel said i might be able to buy green socks from you for the season. Is this possible? If so how much for them?
    Thanks alot

    I’ll obviously talk to you today – didn’t see this last night! No, I don’t have any, but you can pick them up at Soccer 2000 in Downers Grove, or pretty much any athletic store (Sports Authority, for example).

  68. joey e

    i also think they should lower the blood alcohol level to only about one drink because if u want less people to get hurt you have to try and do the minimum

  69. Ltsa

    I went to the Dominican Republic for Spring Break and it was amazing how little all of the people had there.

  70. Jasmine Maldonado(:

    These Kids Really Want Their Town Or Community To Change!! Wow Every One Has Some Good Experiences!!/: So Indian Helps Their Town By Cleaning!

  71. Rachel D

    If because of drinking this is happening drinking should be banned and its a realy good thing that these kids have the hearts for a change

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