A student using a touchscreen to engage with material at the American Writers Museum in Chicago, which now offers virtual field trips.

American Writers Museum Launches Interactive Online Education Program to Provide Young Writers with Virtual Field Trips and Inspire Storytelling

CHICAGO – The American Writers Museum (AWM) unveiled an interactive online education program featuring young, diverse and thought-provoking authors. The programming is designed to inspire young writers nationwide. The interactive program includes live, virtual sessions with AWM education staff and renowned writers as well as other digital resources tailored for students grades 3-12. The AWM received a $190,000 Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to assist with developing the program.

“We collaborated with teachers and educators to develop a program that is not only in line with Common Core standards, but also enhances students’ learning experience during this unique time,” said AWM President Carey Cranston. “As the only national museum dedicated to American writers and their works, we’re uniquely positioned to inspire the next generation of writers by showing them that writing is accessible, important and fun.”

The online education program includes Virtual Field Trips, which feature three new, live and interactive activities:

  • Mind of a Writer live activities: Mind of a Writer features staff-led interactive gameplay and pop quizzes about major literary works of the past and present, tailored to students’ grade-level. High school students can test their knowledge of American singers and songwriters and learn about literary allusions in their favorite music. Elementary school students can decipher Venn diagrams to learn about compound words and translate emojis into the titles of classic books.
  • Writer Wednesdays – Coming Soon: The Writer Wednesdays program will offer students a weekly standing opportunity to connect with a writer once a week for a 20-minute pre-recorded lesson and 30- to 40-minute live Q&A with a published author about the craft of writing. 

The educational program also offers downloadable curriculum for students to use at their pace, videos of renowned authors and more.

“We want young writers to know that despite all the challenges this year has brought about, they still have a voice,” said AWM Program Director Allison Sansone, “We designed each virtual resource to get students excited about writing by bringing them out of the typical academic setting.”

AWM is offering complimentary Virtual Field Trips to schools where more than 50 percent of students receive free or reduced-cost lunch. For all other schools, these tours are offered at a flat rate of $125 per class, with a maximum of 50 students. To schedule, contact AWM here

To explore the AWM’s new online educational programs, click here

For images, b-roll footage and logos for the AWM, click here.

AWM is currently open for visitors with strict COVID-19 safety measures in place. Learn more here

About the American Writers Museum 

The American Writers Museum is the first museum of its kind in the United States. The mission of the American Writers Museum is to engage the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, and our daily lives. The museum is located at 180 N. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60601, and offers something for every age group including permanent exhibits and special galleries highlighting America’s favorite works and the authors behind them. 
Tickets to the museum are $14 for adults, $9 for seniors, students, and teachers. Free for members and children ages 12 and under. Groups of 10 or more, including adults, student travel groups, and University students, receive discounted admission and an option of a guided or unguided tour. Inquire at https://americanwritersmuseum.org/visit/groups/ or call 312-374-8770. Museum hours are Wednesday – Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM. For more information visit http://www.americanwritersmuseum.org/ or call 312-374-8790

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