Port of Toledo: Then & Now Educator’s Exhibit Guide

This guide is for educators and parents to use with their students to get the most educational value out of our new online exhibit Port of Toledo: Then & Now: nmgl.org/portoftoledo. It includes information about the exhibit’s learning standards, an overview of the exhibit and student activities.

How is it educational?
This exhibit supports Ohio Learning Standards for Social Studies. The exhibit is ideal for students in grades 3 and 4, but would benefit students at other grade levels. The accompanying activity gives tools for analyzing and interpreting primary sources and incorporates Language Arts Standards for writing narratives.

Ohio Learning Standards Supported by the Exhibit:

  • Social Studies Strand: Spatial Thinking and Skills – accessing, reading and interpreting maps.
  • Social Studies Theme: Third Grade: Communities: Past and Present, Near and Far.
  • Social Studies Theme: Fourth Grade: Ohio in the United States.

Ohio Learning Standards Supported by the Activity:

  • Social Studies Strand: Historical Thinking and Skills – analyzing and interpreting primary sources.
  • Language Arts Writing CCR Anchor Standard 3: Writing narratives.

How does the exhibit work?
Port of Toledo: Then & Now is an online, interactive exhibit meant to capture the vibrancy and importance of the Maumee River and the Port of Toledo over time. The Port of Toledo: Then & Now online exhibit can be accessed for free by visiting nmgl.org/portoftoledo.

The exhibit’s landing page showcases a Port of Toledo map with icons indicating the location of various photos taken throughout history around the Maumee River. The exhibit is updated every two weeks with new images and stories. As new images are added to the map, the previous weeks images will remain available below the map. Visitors can click to learn more about each individual image and leave comments or share their own memories.

The initial exhibit focuses on the Port of Toledo “Then”. Still to come, the museum will explore the Port of Toledo as we know it now by showcasing collected and crowd-sourced images mirroring the historic story of the “Mighty Maumee”.

How can students get involved?
This is exhibit is a great tool for distance learning. Encourage your students (or children) to explore the exhibit and learn about their local history. They can even comment and share their memories or thoughts. All comments on the exhibit website are moderated by museum staff and email addresses remain private. Students can comment using their first name and last initial if they prefer. Later this summer we will be looking for current photos of the Port of Toledo. Students can share their images with us, helping us make history.


Port of Toledo: Then & Now Activity

What can historic images teach us about the past? In this activity, learn how to study and analyze historical images. This activity can be done using any of the images from the exhibit, for example the image below of Toledo from 1876. On a separate sheet of paper, answer the following questions:

What do you SEE?
Examine the image. What do you see? Write down as many details as you can find.

What do you THINK?
What do you think is happening in the image? Explain your ideas and be specific.

What do you WONDER?
What questions do you have about the image? How do you think you could learn more?

Write a Story
Write a story about what is happening in the image. Give it a beginning, a middle and an end. Use your answers from the activity to write your story. Be creative. Share your stories by email  to education@nmgl.org. You may see your story in the exhibit.

Choose a new image
Complete the activity again using another image from the exhibit.

Find more student activities at our Captain Scupper’s Kids Club page.