When studying about fire safety, fire, and firefighting in your homeschool, it is also a great time to teach your kids about the Great Chicago Fire. These free resources for learning about the Great Chicago Fire can help.
No one is exactly sure why this devastating fire started. This enormous fire in U.S. history started on October 8, 1871, in Chicago, Illinois, and burned for two days until October 10, 1871. It finally ended because of the rain that came to this day.
Once firefighters got to the fire, it was little they could do.
It began as nine completely separate fires that ended up destroying 3.3 square miles and $192 million in property damages. About 100,000 people were left homeless and three hundred people died.
It is rumored and is a legend that the fire started from… a cow. It is said that a cow knocked over a lantern in Catherine O’Leary’s barn on De Koven Street.
That isn’t the only story about how the fire started. Some say it started with some gamblers in the barn, maybe someone stealing milk from the barn, or even a meteor shower.
This is a hard fact that brings a lot of concern because there was a large fire the night before, firefighters were too tired to quickly put out the fires. They even were said to have been sent to the wrong home originally.
How grievingly sad is that?
There are some other interesting facts your kids will learn about the Great Chicago Fire, like the location being home to the Chicago Fire Academy now.
Thankfully, since this horrific fire, there have been significant innovations and improvements to prevent and deal with fires.
In this time period, the homes were mostly made of wood. Today, fireproof homes have since been created and are in line with the national fire code.
Explore these free resources for learning about the Great Chicago Fire:
FREE Timeline Worksheet: October 8, 1871, Peshtigo Fire | Write Bonnie Rose
The Great Chicago Fire: FREE Upper Elementary Resources | Laura Candler’s Teaching Resources
Weather History: The Great Chicago Fire 1871 (Video) | HappyMario64
The Chicago Fire of 1871 and the ‘Great Rebuilding’ | National Geographic
Lessons from History: The Chicago Fire of 1871 (Video) | WeAreTeachers
The Great Chicago Fire FREE | The Social Studies Place
Did Mrs. O’Learys Cow Really Cause The Great Chicago Fire? Lesson | Education World
The Great Chicago Fire Facts & FREE Worksheets | kidskonnect
I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871 Teaching Ideas | Book Units Teacher
US History The Great Chicago Fire and FREE quiz | Ducksters
Great Chicago Fire facts for kids | Kid.Kiddle
Grab these general fire and firefighting resources and activities to go alongside your lessons:
Teaching Fire Safety: FREE Resources to Spark Learning (Also Here) | Laura Candler’s Teaching Resources
Fireman Activities for Preschool | Living Life and Learning
FUN Fire Safety Lessons for Kids! | The Homeschool Resource Room
Theme: Fire Safety for Toddlers and Preschoolers | News with Naylors
DIY Fire Extinguishers | Brilliant Little Ideas
Foil Painted Campfire Craft | Crafts on Sea
Preschool: Fire Safety Unit | Mrs. Plemons’ Kindergarten
Fire Prevention and Safety Puzzle Pack – with Bonus Activity Set FREE | Reading Club Fun
It is important for families to emphasize the need of being knowledgeable in fire safety around the home. Kids should feel comfortable with what to do should fire dangers arise. They also should learn to not live in fear but to be aware and stay prepared.
With the many fires that have devastated many places like Australia and California in 2020, kids may be hearing about fires, and its important for us to teach kids well about them. Studying with these Free Resources for Learning About the Great Chicago Fire is a great place to start.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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