Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana University Libraries

Education & Outreach

WYLIE HOUSE overlaps with several other local cultural institutions in its ability to offer solid content support in the areas of early U.S., Indiana, and local history. This pre-1840s house and its surrounding heirloom gardens, however, offer a unique and direct connection to mid-and-late 19th century domestic life and insights into IU′s early institutional and academic beginnings.

In addition to our extensive collection of 19th century furniture, china and textiles, our rich collection of family letters, diaries, drawings and shop ledgers detailing Wylie family expenses provide wonderful insights into everyday aspects of 19th century life and the larger burning political and economic issues of the time.

We have developed the following Outreach and Onsite programs for your review and use. They are geared to the Indiana State Academic Standards for a 4th grade curriculum but they can also be adapted for use by other age groups.

Please Note: Due to staffing reductions in early fall of 2011, our OFF-SITE educational outreach programs have been suspended until further notice. However, we still welcome school groups who can come to the museum for tours and will make every effort to accommodate those needs.

  • 19th Century Jeopardy at Wylie House
    Student and teachers can play this game to sharpen their observational skills. We've selected 21 items that a visitor can see at Wylie House and arranged them into 4 categories; the kitchen, tools for writing, the toilette & miscellaneous. Like the usual jeopardy game, we tell the player what the item does or what people used it for. Your job is to name it!

    Like "Math and the Mercantile" below, some of the items on the jeopardy board can be touched and explored either on site after a tour or beforehand during a visit from to your classroom by a Wylie House staff member or volunteer. Contact us and….form up your teams!∗

    To play in your browser (opens with Adobe Reader), click here. To download the Powerpoint file to play on your computer, right-click here and choose "Save Link As."

    [NOTE FOR TEACHERS: This Powerpoint file version of this game works best when used on a MAC platform. The numbers on the game board will change alerting the player to the items that have been visited. It's more complicated for PC users, though. The numbers will change but only when players leave "slideshow" mode and then return to it. ]
    Our thanks to Heather Dalsing and Margaret Elliot, IU student volunteers, for their assistance in the development and creation of this game.

  • What if Your House Became a Museum?: Reading a Historic House Site
    What if your home were preserved as a museum for visitors in 2150? What would people in the future think about the way families live now and about the youth of your generation? Will kids 100 years from now think they have more or less in common with you? You might be better able to answer these questions if you took a look at how children lived in a particular home here in Bloomington over 100 years ago.

    We can extract important messages about the past by “reading” the historic fabric of older homes. By observing a home′s architecture, its design or layout, its construction techniques and technologies, we can gain important insights into the use and meaning of family spaces and things. When comparing these insights about the past to our own homes and how we use them now, we can learn even more about the present.

  • Math and the Mercantile: Fourth Grade Math Problems Derived from the Andrew Wylie Family Accounts
    The McCalla brothers operated a general dry goods store (also called a "mercantile" ) in downtown Bloomington during the mid 1800s. They kept a record, or account, of all the things Andrew Wylie, or members of his family, bought at the store. We have taken a snapshot Booklet Coverof purchases made over a two year period (1840-41) and devised over a dozen math problems that involve graphs, frequency tables, rounding, adding, subtracting, fractions and "write a problem" sentences. This program has been designed to be used in the classroom in conjunction with a visit to Wylie House. We can, however, bring or provide a traveling kit with several of the items mentioned in the account ledger when a field trip is not possible. For some examples from this booklet, click the booklet cover image.

  • Land Sales and Settlement: the Wylie Family as a Case Study
    Like many of his contemporaries, Andrew Wylie purchased approximately 230 acres of land involving five Seminary Lots and two Seminary "Outlots." Students will work with primary resources (including plat maps, deed and probate records) to trace the history and development of Wylie lands and land sales. They will discover the transformation of the original Seminary lots into numerous additions that gradually extended Bloomington´s streets out from the town center creating some of the city´s first neighborhoods.

  • From the Public Domain to the Seminary Lands
    Provides an overview of the legislation and local activities that lead to the surveying and purchase of the "Seminary Public Lands" in what is now called Perry Township. By researching and utilizing original plat maps along with GIS technologies, students will discover how public lands were sold and utilized to fund the State′s first institution of higher education. Students will also consider the role that water resources and transportation systems played in the selection of Seminary Square as the site of Indiana′s first state college.

  • Seed Saving: How and Why to Do It
    The Wylies were dependent on the land. In addition to raising and processing livestock they also grew, harvested and preserved their own food from their gardens and orchards. The Wylies had to know how to collect and save seed, and winter plants over till spring.

    Our Outdoor Interpreter, Sherry Wise, will help students explore and observe the living environment that remains a part of Wylie House. They will learn about the differences between heirloom and hybrid seeds and collect and package them. Our interpreter can also work with school garden clubs onsite either after a visit to the Wylie gardens or in lieu of.

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