Chicago History Museum (CHM) Student Literature Symposium
by: Natalie Vazquez
Just recently Clemente’s AP Literature and Composition class visited the Chicago History Museum Student Literature Symposium. This meeting included several schools from across the state including Roberto Clemente Community Academy. The symposium started at 10:00A.M. where our Wildcats heard general remarks by the CHM staff as well as the keynote address by Peter Alter, CHM Historian. During his remarks, all of the students were asked to keep an open mind and explore Chicago through four different lenses:
- A window to take in a bird’s eye view of Chicago
- The door that steps into Chicago’s homes and communities
- A keyhole for the city’s secrets
- And a mirror to make us reflect on being Chicagoan
The Great Books Foundation staff led a discussion where all participants analyzed and evaluated the poem “Kitchenette Building” by Chicago author Gwendolyn Brooks (1945). All of the students including our Wildcats had the opportunity to share their thoughts about the poem. Every table shared their answers privately on a handout. This activity helped students develop a deeper understanding of this historical text. The students also did a postcard activity with several pictures of Chicago scenes. Students had four options to choose from and they were able to write about anything that came to mind. Some of our Wildcats wrote poems while others wrote simple notes to fellow Chicagoans.
During the final session, several Wildcats participated in the open microphone portion of the symposium. The Wildcats that were featured were Charly Sandoval, Michael Glenn, and Jocelyn Ramirez, and Ivan Vasquez. Clemente looks forward to future Wildcats attending the Chicago History Museum Student Literature Symposium next year.