Museum brings literary history to life for the smartphone generation

CHICAGO — Visitors say a museum celebrating American writers in downtown Chicago is like an amusement park for people who love literature and writing.

Teachers from around the area visited the American Writer’s Museum Sunday  to learn how the two-year-old literary locale can inspire even the youngest among us. Allison Sansone, American Writer’s Museum, said the museum offers opportunities for field trips and writing exercises.

The museum’s "Write-In" program provides support to help teachers bring students from elementary through high school in for a 90-minute field trip and lesson plans.

"You have that space where you feel connected, and I think that’s why its so important for the kids to come in and see and that leads them to read more," said Sonal Shukla, American Writer’s Museum.

For some like Nicole Tsamoulos, seeing the famous names and faces of writers, examining the actual implements used by Jack London, Ernest Hemingway and others, and finding the joy in using a typewriter, is just the start.

"Giving them this experience to see the evolution of writing and showing them that they can be writers, even at second grade is something that’s very appealing about this museum," said Nicole Tsamoulos, Bell School.

These links to the past hope to make history relevant to a generation more used to smartphones than typewriters.

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