Teach PA History
Visit PA Regions
"The Greatest Show on Earth: Then and Now"

1. Based on what students now know about the first circus and the modern experience, have your class create a ten-question interview about the circus. Have them include questions that balance specific memories and sensations of their experiences with factual questions such as dates or frequency of going to the circus. Then ask your students to conduct the interview with an adult and record their responses. They will hand in their findings for assessment. 2. For a creative writing assignment: The year is 1797, and you are 10- years- old. Your dad has won two coveted tickets to go see the Ricketts Circus, and he is going to take you! Describe your experience. Will George Washington be there? What will you see, hear, taste? Include information using all five senses. 3. Have students read about the artist Alexander Calder and his miniature model of a circus made of wire. Using wire and other materials, students can create their own miniature model of John Bill Ricketts" circus. When showing their model to the class, they become the ringmaster making his circus come alive with John Bill Ricketts performing different equestrian acrobats such as Flying Mercury.

Field Trips

Hazel Kibler Museum 522 East Main Street Girard, PA 16417 Phone: (814) 774-4168
This museum, maintained by the West County Historical Society, features 19th century circus clown Dan Rice memorabilia in addition to other area cultural artifacts.

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