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Language Arts » Literature & Writers » Poetry

Carl Sandburg's Chicago: Bringing a Great City Alive

Carl Sandburg's 1916 "Chicago" is one of the best known works of 20th century American literature. Included in countless anthologies, this poem made famous the description of Chicago as "City of the Big Shoulders," celebrating its role at the time as the industrial capital of the United States. In this EDSITEment lesson students will look at Sandburg's poem in a literary, historical, and biographical context. (National Endowment for the Humanities)

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Interesting Fact:

The short, silent Edison film clip (provided in the Activity 1 of the lesson plan) shows the downtown street corner of State and Madison in 1897, dubbed it "the busiest corner in the world."
Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg

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