Fun Across the Generations Museum or Web Exhibit
After discussing what today's kids like to do for fun, interview someone
in your parents and grandparents' generation to find out what kinds
of things they did for fun when they were kids. You can use one of these
- Use the Family Fun Interview (below) to get information on the same topics from everyone.
- Use this Oral History Interview process to learn how to conduct your own more open-ended interview.
your interview borrow old family photographs, artifacts (like
an old ball mitt, board games, collections, etc.), records, or magazines
that show how your family members like to have fun. Take very good
care to pack and move these family treasures gently.
the information and materials you've collected to help you discover
the story they are telling: How having fun stayed the same over
the years? How has it changed? What activities cost money? What
don't? What fun stuff does everyone in your family enjoy? How is
everyone different in what they enjoy?
a museum-style exhibit--in real life or on the web--from the
material you've collected showing how your family has had fun over
For a more complete picture, combine you story with everyone in your
class to make one large museum or web exhibit. Discuss:
- What does
the whole class exhibit tell you that your family exhibit doesn't?
[are some families sports fans, others like collecting or making things,
- How do
different cultures have fun in different ways? How is everyone similar?
- How do
these questions suggest different ways of organizing your exhibit?
Good exhibits combine different types of materials to tell their stories.
Start with the artifacts and photographs you've collected, then write
text to tell your story and labels to tie your materials into the story.
You might even use edited portions of your interviews on audio or video
tape in your exhibit.
Family Fun Interview
time your family gets together, ask several generations to tell you
their stories about having fun growing up:
did your family do for entertainment? What sports were played or
enjoyed as spectators?
your family often? Who did you visit? What did family or friends
do during visits?
pets were kept? What are the funniest stories about pets in your
me about the children's favorite outdoor games? Tell me about the
children's favorite indoor games?
outside games and sports were played at school? What inside games
were played at school?
were some favorite rhymes, chants, jokes, or songs you remember?
kinds of collections did you have when you were growing up?
of music did you listen to? What were your favorite radio or TV
were children's duties at home? What traditions did the family have
for making chores fun, if any? How did the kids invent ways to have
fun doing chores?
the adults in the family invent ways to have fun on their jobs or
during their chores? Or didn't they?
trips did your family take? What form of transportation did you
use? Why? What family trip do you remember best?
holidays or festivals did your family celebrate? What holidays were
most important? Why?
these holidays celebrated? What was "traditional" about
these celebrations? What new ways did your family "invent"
to celebrate the holiday?
special times like birthdays, anniversaries, new jobs, etc. celebrated?
where were marriages, funerals, christenings, bar mitzvahs and other
"once-in-a-lifetime" celebrations held?
were the "fun spots" in your community? What events did
the community hold for fun?
Folklife Interview by Susan Donley originally for Toward
a Better Balance, Pennsylvania Ethnic Heritage Center, 1988.
Kennywood Yesterday and Today: 100th Anniversary Map
Sebak shows you around the grounds, right here online in our interactive
map of Kennywood, illustrated by David
Coulson and originally published in Pittsburgh
many of these rides and attractions do you recognize? Ask parents, grandparents,
aunts and uncles to share their memories of this grand old trolley park!
the interactive map (255k graphic) and click on a numbered park
feature to get more information.
to Rick's WQED-FM Sunday Arts Magazine
interview about Kennywood.
you're strolling from ride to ride, watching people and savoring snacks,
be on the look out for those photogenic details that distinguish Kennywood's
historic buildings and landscaped grounds.
Print out the paper versions of the 36 cards
included here preferrably with a color printer on stiff paper and
cut them apart. Or teachers may request a free deck of printed cards
by emailing PHLF's Education Coordinator (include teacher name, school name, address, and daytime phone number).
Amusement Park Physics
Park Physics: What are the forces behind the fun?
Those old amusement parks, which trolley companies started a hundred
years ago to drum up weekend business, are a great place to watch the
laws of physics showing off right in the open!
Pittsburgh History Series features several old amusement parks:
Use one or more of these video stories and a great web site by Annenburg/CPB
Park Physics: What are the Forces behind the Fun?" to prepare
for a field trip or class picnic at an amusement park! (NOTE:
These are off-list links, so use your browser's "back" button
to return to this page.)
The online exhibit includes explanations, a physics glossary, and experiments
Fast as roller coasters go, you might assume that a powerful engine
is propelling them. But after they are hauled up the first hill, 'coasters
move entirely on their own power, converting potential energy to kinetic
energy all the way around the track. Design a roller coaster and have
it evaluated for both fun and safety. Go
straight to the roller coaster page.
Those almost out-of-control carousels! A combination of centrifugal
force and acceleration makes carousels a fun, feel-safe first ride.
Maybe that's why they never lose their popularity! Adding the motion
of horses makes a carousel a much more intricate balance of forces than
you might think. Go
straight to the carousel page.
The colliding, jolting fun of bumper cars is brought to us by Newton's third law of motion, the law of interaction or action-reaction:
When one object exerts a force on a second object, the second object
exerts an equal force on the first object in the opposite direction.
Predict the outcomes of bumper car collisions based on mass, acceleration, and the law of interaction. Go
straight to the bumper cards page.
Many amusement use free fall, which is what happens when an object in
moving under the force of gravity alone. Galileo introduced the idea
in his famous experiments of dropping balls of different mass of the Tower of Pisa. Newton later formalized Galileo's ideas about mechanics into his laws of motion. Play with the law
of acceleration with the Weightless Water Trick. Go
straight to the free fall page.
amusement park rides rely on free fall for their thrill?
Pendulum rides, like a simple swing, let you feel what it's like to
fly! The height of the arc of the pendulum increases the velocity of
the downward swing. Learn about weightlessness motion sickness and try
a pendulum simulation with variable variables! Go
straight to the pendulum page.
- What supplies
the swing-like "pumping" action for your favorite pendulum