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Teacher Information

Evergreen Cemetery Walk School Tours: Commemorating the Centennial of World War I

The McLean County Museum of History is pleased to announce that all students participating in the School Tours of the 2017 Evergreen Cemetery Walk will attend for FREE. We are committed to reaching out to diverse communities and removing barriers so that we can help as many students as possible discover our local history. Through the generosity of this year’s sponsors, Evergreen Memorial Cemetery and Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, and support from our members, admission fees for students and chaperones to attend the 2017 Evergreen Cemetery Walk have been waived.

The Museum offers four days of the Evergreen Cemetery Walk specifically for students in grades 6-8, 9-12, and college (public and private schools, and home school families) in McLean County and Central Illinois. The dates for the 2016 School Tours of the Evergreen Cemetery Walk are October 2, 3, 4, and 5, 2017. Three tours are offered each day (8:45 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m.) and are 75 minutes long. This is an excellent opportunity to teach your students about individuals who have contributed to Central Illinois’ rich and colorful history.This program will also help students understand how and why it is important to preserve and respect cemeteries. Bring your classes to participate in this fascinating, award-winning outdoor theatrical program.

This year’s Evergreen Cemetery Walk will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the United States entrance into World War I. Each of the individuals to be featured played a part in the war effort—whether at home or abroad on the field of battle. Each story will illustrate the important role McLean County citizens played in “the war to end all wars.”


Registration for the 2017 School Tours of the Evergreen Cemetery Walk is now full.


Please remind your students to eat breakfast/lunch the day of the walk, and encourage them to stay hydrated.


Teacher Packet

Below you will find links to pdfs of a variety of information that will be useful in preparing to bring your students to your scheduled tour of the Evergreen Cemetery Walk. These PDFs include:

  1. Teacher/Student/Chaperone information
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Information about the history of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery/Monument materials and styles/Cemetery symbolism
  4. Biographies of this year's featured characters
  5. Classroom activities
  6. Primary and secondary sources
  7. Illinois Learning Standards your participation in the Cemetery Walk will help you meet
  8. Suggested general activities.

  • Teacher, Student, and Chaperone Info
  • Download Teacher Information Sheet here

    Download Chaperone Information Sheet here

    Download Student Information Sheet here

    This section includes information for teachers, chaperones, and students to review before attending the Evergreen Cemetery Walk. The handouts below include information on location of event, teacher check in at the event, student and chaperone expectations, appropriate behavior guidelines for students, inclement weather policies, photography policy, parking information, and more.

    Teachers, please make sure you copy and distribute the student and chaperone information sheets to all students and chaperones who will be attending the Evergreen Cemetery Walk.

  • Vocabulary
  • Download the 2017 Cemetery Walk Student Vocabulary Sheet here

    This section includes words that may be unfamiliar to students who participate in the Evergreen Cemetery Walk. Words included in this document can be found in the character biographies (found in the teacher packet) and those that will be heard during the performances at the Cemetery Walk. Words are divided by character, including a separate list of cemetery/monument related terms. Words are defined according to Merriam-Webster dictionary unless otherwise noted.

  • Cemetery History, Symbolism, and Monument Information
  • Download Cemetery History, Symbolism, and Monument Information here

    This document includes a brief history on the evolution of cemeteries and a history of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. Also included is information on monument materials, cemetery art and symbolism, monument types, and cemetery structures, of which many can be found in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. This information will be very useful in helping to prepare students for participation in the Evergreen Cemetery Walk.

  • Carl Vrooman
  • Carl Vrooman (1872-1966)
  • Download student version of Carl Vrooman's biography

    Download full length annotated character biography here


    Carl and Julia Vrooman were certainly one of the preeminent power couples of their day. Carl served as Secretary of Agriculture under President Woodrow Wilson. He is perhaps best known for his agricultural work during World War I in particular helping to launch the War Garden program. Julia, who was very active in philanthropic work, decided she too wanted to help with the war effort in some way. While she and Carl were in Europe, Julia began working for the YWCA with American soldiers at the front. In no time at all, she formed a jazz band of soldiers of the American Army of Occupation in Europe to entertain and improve the morale of troops in France, Germany, and Belgium. Featured with Julia Scott Vrooman

  • Julia Vrooman
  • Julia Scott Vrooman (1876-1981)
  • Download student version of Julia Scott Vrooman's biography

    Download the full length annotated character biography here


    Carl and Julia Vrooman were certainly one of the preeminent power couples of their day. Carl served as Secretary of Agriculture under President Woodrow Wilson. He is perhaps best known for his agricultural work during World War I in particular helping to launch the War Garden program. Julia, who was very active in philanthropic work, decided she too wanted to help with the war effort in some way. While she and Carl were in Europe, Julia began working for the YWCA with American soldiers at the front. In no time at all, she formed a jazz band of soldiers of the American Army of Occupation in Europe to entertain and improve the morale of troops in France, Germany, and Belgium. Featured with Carl Vrooman.

  • Edward Bynum
  • Edward Bynum (1895-1954)
  • Download student version of Edward Bynum's biography

    Download full length annotated character biography here


    Serving alongside one another on the battlefields of France during World War I, Edward and Lincoln Bynum fought heroically in America’s (the Allies’) defense. So fiercely did they fight, that the all African American 370th U.S. Infantry quickly earned the nickname “The Black Devils” from German troops unfortunate enough to encounter them in battle. Though the men were treated much better by French soldiers than their American counterparts, when the Bynums returned home in February 1919, they were greeted by their father and thousands of grateful Americans who lined the streets of Chicago to show their respect for this brave band of brothers. Featured with Lincoln Bynum.

  • Lincoln Bynum
  • Lincoln Bynum (1900-1977)
  • Download student version of Lincoln Bynum's biography

    Download the full length annotated character biography here


    Serving alongside one another on the battlefields of France during World War I, Edward and Lincoln Bynum fought heroically in America’s (the Allies’) defense. So fiercely did they fight, that the all African American 370th U.S. Infantry quickly earned the nickname “The Black Devils” from German troops unfortunate enough to encounter them in battle. Though the men were treated much better by French soldiers than their American counterparts, when the Bynums returned home in February 1919, they were greeted by their father and thousands of grateful Americans who lined the streets of Chicago to show their respect for this brave band of brothers. Featured with Edward Bynum.

  • Ethel Hamilton Hanson
  • Ethel Hanson (1882-1920)
  • Download student version of Hanson's biography

    Download the full length annotated biography here


    A popular member of society circles and active in educational and charitable work in the community, Ethel Hamilton Hanson began her adult life teaching math, first in Wisconsin and then later at Bloomington High School. At the age of 28, she married Frank Hanson, and while she left behind her teaching career, marriage did not stop Hanson from her civic obligations. When the U.S. entered World War I, this selfless young woman became an “ardent war worker,” working tirelessly to help organize the Women’s Committee of the Council of National Defense in McLean County, and was active in Red Cross and YWCA work.

  • Roland Read
  • Roland Read (1895-1954)
  • Download student version of Read's biography

    Download the full length annotated character biography here


    Rejected three times for volunteer service in the U.S. Army, and then called up in the draft during World War I only to be rejected due to defective eyesight, Roland Read persevered and joined the American Field Services for transport duty in France. However, while Read was on his way overseas, the American Field Services was taken over by the United States; and upon his arrival in France, he was once again rejected for service. A tenacious young man and true patriot, Read then applied to, and was accepted by, the French Army. During the next tumultuous year, duty would take him from Paris, France to Saloniki, Greece where he served as a First Lieutenant in the Serbian Army.

  • Carolyn Schertz Geneva
  • Carolyn Schertz Geneva (1892-1992)
  • Download student version of Geneva's biography here

    Download the full length annotated character biography here


    Born in Hudson, Illinois, Carolyn Schertz Geneva entered Brokaw School of Nursing when she was about 19 years old. During the three-year training program, she participated in hands-on practical and theoretical courses. Upon graduation in 1914, Geneva was made head nurse for the surgical department, which coincided with the outbreak of World War I in Europe. Three years later, Geneva began working for the recently founded Bloomington chapter of the American Red Cross. There she taught classes in surgical dressing and, in August 1917, joined an Army Medical Unit and was stationed in tents set up along the west coast of England for six perilous months.

  • Standards and Educational Goals
  • Download Educational Goals and Standards

    Suggested General Activities 


    The Evergreen Cemetery Walk is a great educational program for students to participate in. It is our intention that students will develop an understanding and appreciation for cemeteries as a source for history, that students will begin to understand our local history and its importance, and that students will understand the natural connection between history and the arts. In addition, the Cemetery Walk will help teachers meet a variety of History and English related ISBE Learning Goals and Common Core Standards. 


Biographies

To read biographies of past cemetery walk characters, visit the biographies page of our online resources.


Questions? Please contact the Museum's Education department 309-827-0428 or via email education@mchistory.org.