Chicago History from the Portage Site to the Metropolis


The I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor Civic Center Authority has developed a new educational curricula about the early history of Chicago and the Chicago Portage National Historic Site. Titled "Swamp to City, Chicago History from the Portage Site to the Metropolis", the curricula was developed by the Chicago Metro History Education Center by nationally known scholars and local teachers.

Unlike some curricula, Swamp to City does not hand the student a simple story with a beginning, middle and end, the usual history filled with dates, people and places.  It provides teachers and students with tools to become explorers themselves and actively "do" the history of Chicago's beginnings using the "lens" of the Chicago Portage.

"Swamp to City" includes lesson plans, teachers notes, primary documents, overhead transparencies, and other printed materials.

The "Swamp to City" curricula was created through the generous efforts of Illinois State Senator Christine Radogno and the Illinois First Fund.

Project Benefits:

Read the Introduction to Swamp to City

Download the Table of Contents

Download Swamp to City units