Houdini

"Lives"

The Houdini Museum

Permission to copy pages in this book for school use only.

©1997 Houdini Museum


Table of Contents

Welcome!........................... From The Houdini Museum

Greetings From The Directors....Dorothy Dietrich and John Bravo.

Description of Intelligences.......Explains the Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory of Dr. Howard Gardner.

Goals of this Guide................Guidelines and suggestions for an effecctive program.

What to expect on a visit..........Rare films, tour of the exhibit and a wonderful magic show.

Houdini Biography..................Houdini history. Local and worldwide.

Area Background...............................The commerce that made Scranton a major city in its early decades

Theater History...................Scranton as a major city brings top vaudeville stars to the Area.

Appendix...........................Handout suggestions. True-False questions, magic tricks, etc.

Bibliography........................Excellent resources and field trip information

Models..............................Sampling of schools using these methods

Conclusion..........................Our future and our children's

Activities: for each grade........Activities featuring the 7 intelligences and the 6 pillars of character:

Verbal-Linguistic; Logical-Mathematical; Interpersonal; Intrapersonal; - Musical-Rhythmic; Visual-spatial; Body-Kinesthetic

Rare films, tour of exhibit and a wonderful magic show.


Welcome!

Dear Educator:

The guide contains activities which, to the best of our abilities, represent each area of the Multiple Intelligences theory of Dr. Howard Gardner, of Harvard University. Each page in the guide contains special strategies for applying verbal-linguistic; logical-mathematical; interpersonal; intrapersonal; visual-spatial; musical; and body-kinesthetic activities. The activities are developmentally appropriate for students in early childhood, elementary and middle educational levels. Teachers requiring adapted or enrichment activities should refer to either a higher or lower section of the guide.

This Multi-discipline Thematic Unit is intended to orient students prior to visiting the Houdini Museum and to reinforce concepts presented on-site. The guide provides pre-visit, on-site, and post-visit activities.

On with the Show!

Dorothy Dietrich

Curriculum Specialist,

Director

Houdini Museum

Program Coordinated By:

Dorothy Dietrich

John Bravo

Developed By:

John Bravo

Director: Houdini Museum

Dorothy Dietrich

Director: Houdini Museum

Graphics:

From the collection of

The Houdini Museum


From the Directors of The Houdini Museum

Dear Educator:

We believe you will find both this guide and your visit to the Houdini Museum one of the most interesting, fun, and educational experiences you can have with students of all grade levels.

We found that the material for this guide was very exciting to put together since both the art of magic and magicians have

entertained their audiences using the various principles of

Multiple Intelligences for centuries. Multiple Intelligence theory and magic are a perfect blend. They were made for each other. The art of magic has been used to entertain and amaze audiences throughout the decades by means of;

1) Magic uses verbal communication and misdirection on stage and in written promotion to the world.

2) Magic uses of the principles of science and mathematics.

3) Magic uses interpersonal communication with its audiences.

4) Magic creates illusion via audience's intrapersonal feelings giving a feeling of wonder achieved in no other art form. Another prime intrapersonal example would be the reaching within brought on through what is known as the power of positive thinking or the power of suggestion, has its roots in the magic arts. These are the keys to self esteem and a belief in oneself.

5) Magic uses the knowledge of spatial and visual principles.

6) Magic utilizes the body-kinesthetic dexterity of sleight of hand and quick change.

7) and of course magicians have always added the mystery, excitement and fun of music to their presentations.

Houdini was a master of using all these intelligences to entertain and amaze the world, and it is much of the reason his legend lives on today. He was a master athlete, knowledgeable in the principles of science, and mechanics. His ability to communicate verbally as a performer and as a writer of his own publicity is without question. His interpersonal relationships with his audiences reached heights not achieved since. Likewise his close interpersonal relationships with his family are well documented. He has mesmerized millions of people even to this day with a feeling of amazement and wonder all created through methods so obvious that they are hidden from view.

The Houdini Tour is designed to give a great understanding of our area, the people, its history and culture, and the economic climate, all with a view toward building the self-esteem of our impressionable students.

John Bravo Dorothy Dietrich

Director Director

Houdini Museum Houdini Museum


The Seven Intelligences


Howard Gardner is the noted author of many important works including "Frames of Mind", "Multiple Intelligences", and "Creating Minds". He won in 1981, a MacArthur Prize Fellowship. In 1990 became the first American to win the University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Education.

History is full of anecdotes of extremely successful people who were misfits and failed in school entirely, or in English or mathematics and yet reached great heights of success surprisingly often in those very intelligences, as well as in other non related intelligences of music, dance, art, sports, public speaking, politics, etc.

Howard Gardner, well known educator and researcher, states that the school system's view teaching must be changed to use a youngsters complete range of human intelligences. Otherwise those who excel in these other areas can be plagued with frequent failure that slowly erodes self-esteem, and makes them doubt their own special abilities which are then reinforced by low grades. Educators must encourage children's unique story telling, musical, physical, intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligences and not just the verbal and mathematical abilities. Additionally, they can learn the basic verbal and mathematical skills through these other intelligences. Many previously out of place students, take an entire new interest and creative turn when these teaching methods are used.

Action needs to be taken to apply what is known to benefit our children. Teaching of arts every day in elementary schools is the single most important tool presently available to teachers to motivate children, enhance learning, and develop higher order thinking skills. Elementary schools immensely increase their effectiveness at little extra cost, according to evidence from schools that have added arts to their basic programs, and it is very cost effective

Learning through the arts engages children in two modes of "doing" that are normally beyond the kind of study that is done in the traditional classroom: first, they require performance, whether painting, dancing or reciting a script, which is quite different from answering a quiz or taking a multiple choice test; and second, they require creative action to be taken by the youngster, to visualize what to paint as well as paint it or to choose tempo, dynamics and phrasing while performing music. Arts bring an excitement to learning from experience and observation, which are in addition to traditional study, and transforms the learning environment of the entire school. A youngster's discovering their capability in these other intelligences reinforces their self-worth and builds confidence. A child's discovering their ability in these other intelligences reinforces their self-esteem and builds their confidence.

The strongest skills of many children lie in these other five areas, which are frequently ignored in traditional schooling. When children learn through their strengths, they become more successful at all learning, including the so called "basic verbal and mathematical skills."

Gardner believes that the seven intelligences he has identified are independent, in that they develop at different times and to different degrees in different individuals. They are, however, closely related, and many teachers and parents are finding that when an individual becomes more

proficient in one area, the whole world of intelligence benefits.


The Seven Intelligences (2)


The following are the seven intelligences as delineated by Howard Gardner along with examples. The examples are by no means complete, and many more may come to mind.

Verbal / Linguistic Intelligence

Reading, writing, speaking, and conversing in one's own or foreign languages. Can be experienced by reading interesting books, playing word, board or card games, listening to talks, and participating in conversation and discussions.

Logical / Mathematical Intelligence

Number and computing skills, recognizing patterns and relationships, time lines and order, and the ability to solve different kinds of problems through logic. Can be experienced by playing number and logic games, scientific experiments, and solving various kinds of puzzles.

Visual / Spatial Intelligence

Visual perception of the environment, the ability to create and manipulate images. Can be experienced by graphic and plastic arts, sharpening observation skills, solving mazes and other spatial tasks, and exercises in imagery and active imagination.

Bodily / Kinesthetic Intelligence

Physical coordination and dexterity, using motor skills, and expressing oneself or learning through physical activities. Can be experienced by playing with blocks and other construction materials, dancing, pantomime, playing various active sports and games, participating in plays or make-believe.

Musical Intelligence

Understanding and expressing oneself through music and rhythmic movements or dance, or composing, playing, or conducting music. Can be experienced by listening to music, engaging in rhythmic games and activities, and singing, dancing, or playing various instruments.

Interpersonal Intelligence

Understanding how to communicate with and understand other people and how to work cooperatively. Can be experienced by cooperative games, group projects and discussions, multicultural books and materials, and dramatic activities or role-playing.

Intrapersonal Intelligence

Understanding one's inner world of emotions and thoughts, and growing in the ability to control them and work with them consciously. Can be experienced by participating in independent projects, reading illuminating books, journal-writing, day dreaming, imaginative activities and games, and finding quiet places for reflection.


The Goals of this Guide


Our main goal as will be evidenced by even a casual reading of this guide is SELF ESTEEM and CHARACTER BUILDING. These are first and foremost. In order to have self esteem youngsters must have a sense of pride in themselves, their family, their values and their community. Houdini is just about the perfect role model. We point up these various areas of importance to youngsters. Loyal to family and friends almost to a fault, loyal to his country, loyal to himself being sure to be physically fit and having self educated himself to the point Houdini is considered by many as one of the geniuses of the 20th century. Houdini lived by his motto, "My brain is the key that sets me free!"

Houdini remained with his wife through both the early and the successful years, he allowed his bother to do all of his sensational stunts as a competitor, he supported those in need, and took care of his mother and others in the family throughout their lives. Houdini volunteered for the draft when we went to war and when was turned down due to age, took a year off to sell war bonds. He taught our soldiers who might be captured how to get out of handcuffs, giving away his treasured secrets. He amassed the largest library ever collected by an individual on theater and the magic arts, and rather than keep the valuable collection for monetary gain for him or his family, he gave the entire rare and priceless collection to the Library of Congress so that future generations might have it available for study. When he found deep sea divers were loosing their lives underwater he invented a deep sea diving outfit from which he could escape from instantly. Rather than claim any supernatural powers, he exposed those who did often at great expense to himself. He was an inventor and pioneer aviator who took care of his body through exercise and never smoked, drank or took drugs. A study of Houdini encourages youth to make positive choices. A study of Houdini emphasizes the concepts of trying new things without fear, creative problem solving and the rewards of constant practice.

Character Counts. A study of Houdini will drive home the importance of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. The six pillars of character. Houdini teachs the lesson of self-worth through hard work. The youngsters learn the true stories of Houdini who overcame great obstacles to achieve success. They also get lessons in using the imagination to see beyond their current boundaries and where their hard work might take them. Through Houdini youngsters learn to be proud and respect the contribution prior citixens have made to the growth of our great nation. Their ancestors are what built this country and made it run. Nothing could have been built, or invented, or kept livable without their contribution.

The fun atmosphere cultivates willing listeners. Those who have won the ear of youth know that when they are engaged, they will listen. When they listen, they will learn! Youngster always retain more when they are having a good time

Family values are high and the relative amount of crime is low. Youngsters learn about how each individual can make a difference and how working together, individuals can change the world. students not to succumb to drugs, alcohol, hate or prejudice.

They must learn and understand the importance of keeping it that way. These assets will make them rich beyond compare.


What to expect if you visit


Step back in time...

Upon entering The Houdini Museum your group will be transported to the beginning of the 20th century. There will be posters, music, props, pictures, video, a gift shop, demonstrations, etc. The students will learn of local history and of the life of Houdini, and of his special appearances here through their various intelligences.

Music...

As the students enter ragtime music fills the air capturing their musical sensibilities. During one of the breaks the hit songs of the 1920's of Al Jolson will be played for contrast to their current sense of popular music.

Visual / Spatial...

The students eyes fill with the visual impact of antiques, old time posters, and artifacts, many of which date back over a hundred years. The students will see and in some instances touch artifacts such as an iron rail manufactured here, a straight-jacket, wooden barrels, a metal milk can, etc.

Verbal... The students will hear stories and see and hear actual film footage of that era.

Logical...

The students will learn a few secrets to understand the need for logic in solving problems and unraveling puzzles and mysteries. The students will even see some magic performed.

Body / Kinesthetic...

The students will imagine what it would be like to be a magician, to wave their hands, say the magic word and something amazing occurs! The students will use their imagination to understand what it would feel like to work at their age in a factory, or to be confined working deep in a mine, or to be famous.

Interpersonal and Intrapersonal...

The students will have an opportunity to interact with each other and the professional magicians on staff. There will be a question and answer period and a group discussion where the students can ask the experts all manner of questions about local history, Houdini, magic, etc.

The visit can be for two hours up to a full day depending on your schedule, budget, etc. The Houdini Museum can hold up to two bus loads at a time. Should you have a larger group we can coordinate with other area attractions to flip-flop the groups from place to place.


Houdini Biography


Houdini's actual name.

Houdini's actual name was Ehrich Weiss.

Houdini's actual birthplace and date.

The performer known world wide as Harry Houdini was born on March 24, 1874 in Budapest. Although Houdini often claimed to be born in Appleton, Wisconsin, Houdini actually came to the United States when he was four years old. To this day many connected with the small town of Appleton still claim the untruth that Houdini was born there mostly for promotional purposes. It is clear from copies of birth records and early family records on file at the Houdini Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania in the Pocono region, that Houdini was in fact born in Budapest, on March 24, 1874. Historians are in agreement on this fact. Houdini said in later years about Appleton, "the greatest escape I ever made was when I left Appleton, Wisconsin."

Houdini's early years.

Houdini's father was Mayer Samuel Weiss. Houdini's father was a Rabbi. His father for a short time was Rabbi for the German Zoin Jewish Congregation in Appleton. His mother's name was Cecilia Steiner Weiss. Houdini's original family pictures are on display at the Houdini Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania in the Pocono region. His parents basically spoke only Yiddish, Hungarian, and German. The family was quite poor so most of the children began to work at an early age. From the age of eight, young Ehrich (Erik Weisz) sold newspapers and worked as a shoe shine boy. At the age of 12, young Ehrich left home in an attempt to make his way in the world in an attempt to help support his family. This was a great sign of independence, contrary to those who incorrectly claim he was overly obsessed with his mother.

Houdini moves to New York City at the age of 13.

Young Ehrich traveled the country for about a year, finally joining up with his father in New York City. His father died about five years later on October 5, 1892, This is the move that would change his life and introduce him to the world of big time magic. The family moved to New York in the hope of finding a better life there. In New York, Houdini worked as a messenger, then as a cutter in a garment center sweat shop, Richter & Sons, a tie factory to help support his family. He was very athletic and won awards in swimming and track.

How Houdini gets his name.

Houdini began performing magic as a teenager first calling himself Eric the Great. Always a reader, two books would change his life. As a teenager in New York, he read "Revelations of a Spirit Medium" by A. Medium, which exposed the tricks of phony psychics, who after being tied up would secretly release themselves to make ghostly things happen in darkened rooms. The second book was "The Memoirs of Robert-Houdin," the autobiography of one of the greatest magicians of the day. Influenced by what he read and learned about the internationally known magician Robert Houdin, young Ehrich changed his name to Houdini, hoping to be in some way like his new found mentor.

Houdini's early shows.

Houdini's first magic shows consisted of card tricks and other simple magic. Houdini early on called himself "The King Of Cards." Soon Houdini began experimenting with hand cuffs and using them in his act. Houdini performed with another young man who worked with him in the tie factory in New York. They called themselves the Houdini Brothers. Soon Houdini's younger brother Theo took the place of the boy in the factory. Houdini's father died when Houdini was a teenager. Erich and his brother Theo, tried to succeed as the Houdini Brothers. Their first performances included shows at amusement parks, beer halls, "dime museums," and at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893.


Houdini Biography


Houdini meets his life long love.

In 1894, Houdini met Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner, who was singing and dancing in an act called the Floral Sisters. After knowing each other only two weeks they were married in the month of July. Bess, as she was called, worked and traveled with Houdini and helped by singing, dancing, and performing the Metamorphosis exchange which Houdini invented. Bess took Theo's place in the act that would now be called "The Houdini's". He then travels throughout the United States and then the world for the next thirty three years. Needless to say he leaves mom behind again proving his independence from his mother, though he did love her greatly. His early travels take him to North East Pennsylvania for two seasons with the Welch Brothers Circus which traveled throughout the area. He would return in later years to the Scranton area as a major star. His brother Hardeen would also appear in the area as well.

Houdini invents the challenge escape act.

Houdini began offering rewards to anyone who could successfully restrain him, first in handcuffs and later in all manner of objects. Houdini escaped from handcuffs, leg irons, straightjackets, jails and prison cells, a mail pouch, packing crates, a giant paper bag (without tearing the paper), a giant football, an iron boiler, milk cans, coffins, and the famous Water Torture Cell. In most of these escapes, upon later examination, there was never a sign of how Houdini accomplished the release, that added to the mystery. Some of Houdini's escapes, such as the Straight Jacket or being tied with a hundred feet of rope, Houdini would do in full view of the audience. To help draw crowds and sell tickets, Houdini would do escape challenges, often at police stations with newspaper reporters present, guaranteeing a headline story in the local newspapers.

Houdini is discovered.

Martin Beck, Vaudeville's most important booking agent caught Houdini's act in 1899 and was impressed with his dynamic personality and booked him as a "challenge escape artist," a new form of entertainment. Martin Beck booked the Orpheum circuit, the largest chain of vaudeville theaters in the country and booked all of the stars of vaudeville and so had a trained eye for talent. He immediately placed Houdini in big time vaudeville as a supporting act. Houdini soon begins to headline in several theaters. Houdini having invented a new form of entertainment, "The challenge escape" soon would become an international star.

Houdini goes to Europe at the age of 26.

After some moderate success in the United States Houdini decided to go to Europe in the year 1900, on the advice of friend of the greatest coin magician of all time, T. Nelson Downs. Houdini created a sensation in London, England and went on to travel throughout Europe for five years as a headliner. Houdini had so much work in Europe that he summoned his brother Theo to work there under the name Hardeen.

Houdini's fame continues to grow throughout the world.

Houdini returned to the United States, determined to become an even bigger star in the country he loved. He would travel between Europe and the United States going where he could get the biggest offers. On one trip here he purchased a building in New York City on 113th Street that was to become his residence for the rest of his life. As imitators popped up to take advantage of Houdini's tremendous success, Houdini began to originate new and more difficult and dangerous escapes. Houdini invented the underwater packing crate escape as a fabulous publicity stunt that was copied by many others. He was the first person to do the Straight Jacket Escape as well.


Houdini Biography


He introduced the sensational Milk Can Escape in St. Louis on January 27, 1908.

He was a pioneer aviator, a fact not well known, he was the first person on record to fly a plane in Australia a feat he accomplished at Digger's Rest in 1910. Some claim he was one of the first 17 record breaking aviators of the day. After those series of flights he would never fly again. In 1913 he introduced his legendary Chinese Water Torture Cell. This was the same year his mother died which was a great shock, as he was in Europe and not aware of his mother's illness. He was also the first to do the largest stage illusion to that day, making the largest object - an elephant disappear. This was done in 1918 at the Hippodrome in New York City. According to Houdini the elephant Jenny, weighed 10,000 pounds. Houdini was an innovator who introduced and invented many magic tricks that are depicted at the Houdini Museum in the Scranton, Pennsylvania Pocono region. After escaping underwater Houdini would often hide under a dock forcing people to think he might have drowned. At the opportune moment Houdini would make his reappearance. Houdini had great strength and agility that he used in accomplishing his stunts. Houdini also spent many hours studying, practicing, exercising and conditioning. For Houdini's underwater stunts, Houdini would practice holding his breath in the bathtub for up to four minutes. He also stayed in an underwater "coffin" for over an hour.

Houdini's film career.

In 1916 Houdini began a film career. This gave people all over the world a chance to see the great artist. Houdini made five major silent films up until 1923. He is the only magician in history to have starred in 5 films. He also wrote several of them. His films include "The Master Mystery," "The Grim Game," "Terror Island" and "The Man From Beyond." Houdini was given one of the first stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to the film industry. His star is in a prominent spot opposite Hollywood's famous Chinese Theater. Houdini was the first magician to be so honored. Houdini is the only magician in history to make five feature films, and the only one to have a full length feature film made about his life story. Houdini wrote and even directed several of his movies. Had Houdini lived longer he would have probably made more films, possibly a talking movie, as they were just coming into prominence. Houdini's film "The Man From Beyond," as well as "Terror Island" is on constant view at the Houdini Museum in the Scranton, Pennsylvania Pocono region. Both are also available from the museum.

Houdini exposed cheats and frauds.

Throughout his career Houdini exposed cheats and frauds in the areas of gambling, spiritualism, and psychic frauds. Houdini never believed in spiritualism, but would often pretend to in order to gain entry to seances, etc. Early on he attempted to do a spiritualist act when he was down and out, but found it so distasteful that he stopped and would forever expose those who made such claims. Houdini would write many books and articles throughout his life. They included "The Right Way To Do Wrong," an expose of swindlers, "A Magician Among The Spirits," an expose of psychic frauds, and "The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin," which was up until that time the greatest book on the history of magic.

Death to Legend.

On October 22, 1926, Houdini was in Montreal performing at the Princess Theater. Houdini also gave a lecture at McGill University exposing spiritualism. In his dressing room at the theater, while lying on a couch backstage, an young athlete from McGill University, asked if Houdini could actually withstand punches to the stomach as he had heard. Before Houdini could prepare himself by tightening his stomach muscles, the student began to punch the legendary magician in


Houdini Biography


the mid section. Houdini did not know it, but his appendix was ruptured. Houdini did several more shows in Montreal and then headed for Detroit. Houdini did one performance there, then collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. Houdini did not die in an escape or fail in some final escape as many believe. The greatest "ghost buster" of all time died on October 31, 1926, Halloween. He died of peritonitis ( an inflammation (-itis) of the peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity), a kind of internal Gangrene. Houdini loved his fellow magicians and promoted magic and the Society of American Magicians all over the world. Houdini was its president for some ten years until the day he died. He also left quite a bit of money to the Society of American Magicians in his will (a copy is in the collection at the museum). He had the crest of the Society of American Magicians on his gravesite. He also throughout his life paid for the repair of famous magicians around the world whose graves were in disrepair. No other famous magician worked as hard as Houdini to promote his craft and those around him. Houdini today is one of the best known performers and promoters in theatrical and film history. Houdini's name has come to mean the ability to escape from any restraint or difficult situation. He always insisted that all he did was by natural means, and that he had no supernatural powers of any kind. One of his last inventions was to escape after being buried alive, a stunt he did very few times. For some twenty six years Houdini was a major headliner. Houdini not only earned a place in history but in the dictionary as well.


Museum Area Background


Historic Jewel of Northeast Pennsylvania

From 1840 to 1901, for some 59 years, Scranton was one of the largest producers of iron in the world. These were the years in which Scranton was a boomtown. The boom lasted till about 1919, or 10 years before the Great Depression. In fact it was in 1919 that National Geographic Magazine proclaimed, "no other city of its class in the world was richer than Scranton!" Because of this Scranton was one of the first cities in the United States to electrify its streets, even before New York City. Hence it was often called the Electric City. We were also the first city in the United States to have a commercial operating electric trolly.

Scranton's early years

There was a time when Scranton was the 37th largest city in the United States. Many believe that our area's going to the forefront as an industrial city was due to only to the coal mining industry. The main reason for SCRANTON'S early rapid growth was in fact the iron and steel business. For over 50 years from 1840 through the early 1900's Scranton was a major iron and steel producing area.

How Scranton got its name

The Scranton family were the first in the United States, or in this hemisphere for that matter, to acquire the technology to make iron rails for the burgeoning railroad industry. Between 1840 and 1860 five immense blast furnaces were built here. George Scranton, after some eight years of failure, finally succeeded in putting together a successful operation of making rails for the rapidly expanding railroad industry. At that time, the rail industry was the biggest business in the world. Remember there were no automobiles and few good roads. Prior to that accomplishment, rails had to be imported from England, which was a costly and cumbersome process. It is estimated that one out of every six pieces of rail road tracks anywhere in the United States was made in Scranton. In a typical boom year, 300,000 tons of steel would be forged in the area. It is because of this contribution to our area's progress that the city bears the Scranton name.

Also making the area an important part of our American history was the coal industry. For almost 100 years houses were heated with coal, factory engines ran with coal, trains and ocean liners ran with coal. It was the world's main source of energy.

Seldon Scranton

Joseph Scranton

Geroge Scranton


Area Theater History


Early theater history in Scranton and the Wilkes Barre, Pocono region

There was a time when Scranton was the 37th largest city in the United States. Vaudeville acts would travel from one major town to another 52 weeks a year. Scranton for one of those stops.

Big time vaudeville acts in those days traveled to a different major city each week of the year. Since Scranton was a major city at that time, that made us a major vaudeville stop. The biggest stars, who even today are household names, appeared here at the height of their careers, traveling on the leading vaudeville route in the country. Some of the stars included Mae West, W. C. Fields, Houdini, Will Rogers, Fred Astaire, Groucho Marx and the Marx Brothers, Fanny Brice, Harry Lauder, Buster Keaton, Ed Wynn, Pat Rooney, Walter Winchell in Gus Edward's "School Days," Fred Allen, Jack Benny, Billie Burke, Eddie Foy and The Little Foys, George Burns & Gracie Allen, Ben Blue, Ray Bolger, etc. Earlier stars who had performed in Scranton included Lillian Russell, John Philip Sousa, Lily Langtry, Buffalo Bill Cody, and others. A veritable who's who of show business. Horace Goldin, an early introducer of the classic "Sawing A Woman In Half," brought the attractions to Scranton's Poli theater during the same era.

Our area had two major vaudeville houses, one in Scranton and one in Wilkes-Barre, called the Poli theaters. The Poli in Scranton still stands. It later became the Comerford, and is now called the Ritz. None of its old grandeur remains. Old movies are now shown in what was a small part of the balcony and the lower level has been broken up into small stores, etc. If you stand across the street you can see how large the building is. The part of the building that is the highest is what is called the flies, where scenery would be raised or flown up out of the way until needed.

Scranton had a reputation in show business for being the toughest town on the big time circuit. Hence Scranton is mentioned in almost every movie about the show business and vaudeville era. The tough audiences were probably due to the gruff foundry workers and coal miners. Immigrants here did not assimilate as quickly as in the great melting pots of New York, Chicago, and other major cities. Many remained in enclaves with those of similar backgrounds, spoke in their native languages and kept their old world ways. This is now reflected in the rich ethnic culture that remains to this day, which has disappeared in other large cities.

Because of its tough audiences, Scranton was used as a trying out area for new acts that were making top dollar in what was called the "medium-time" vaudeville circuit, who wanted to get into the big time. Where would they be sent to... to Scranton. If the acts received a good report, the bookers would bring them into New York to have a look at them. Bookers would then decide if they were good enough to send on the rest of the big time circuit. Hence the well known saying evolved, "If you can make it in Scranton, you can make it anywhere!"


Houdini Museum Area Theater History (2)


The Poli Theater

The Poli Theater was completed in 1907 at a cost of $250,000.00, a huge fortune in those days. Dollar figures from those days must be multiplied by about 35 to 40 times to equate the numbers to today's inflated figures. The opening was a gala event with Mayor J. Benjamin Dimmick presiding. It was on the 200 block of Wyoming Avenue. It was considered one of the finest show houses in the country.The theater sat 2,000 people. It had a lower floor, a mezzanine and a first and second balcony. Admission was ten cents with shows afternoons and evenings. A small part of the theater is still being used as a dollar movie called The Ritz. The Poli Theater was part of a chain of important theaters on the East coast for 18 years from 1907 to 1925. He built a similar theater in Wilkes-Barre.

On Sundays theaters were closed due to "blue" laws put through by religious groups who did not want people to have entertainment available on the Christian day of worship. This was convenient for show people as it enabled them to travel to and from cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, etc., and get rested in time for a Monday opening. The theater originally featured only live entertainment, and later films along with the live entertainment. The Poli Theaters in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre were acquired by the Union Theater Company in 1924. They were operated by the Comerford Amusement company for over a year until they were taken over by a new enterprise headed by Fred Hermann, who had worked with

Comerford for years. In 1927 the theater ended it's era of vaudeville and showed films only. It was soon renamed The Ritz. In 1930 it was remodeled and renamed the Comerford. Recently it was again renamed the Ritz. It still stands, though much has changed.


Pre-K to 2nd Grade

Verbal-Linguistic


In School

Teacher can ask students:

Did the students ever see a magician at a birthday party? Did the students ever see one anywhere else? Have the students seen one on TV?

Have the students ever heard of Houdini?

Discuss how difficult it would be to move to another country as Houdini did at the age of four. Discuss how all of our ancestors did just that to come to America. Ask each youngster what they would want to bring with them on such a move. Remind them that they would not have very much space.

What do the following words mean? Magic? Magician, Trick? Illusion? Escape? Fooled? Famous? Music? Stage? Acting? Theater?

Explain that people would often have to change their name when they moved to America.

Discuss other languages. Have any of the students ever heard anyone speak in a foreign language? Who was it and could they understand any of it. Do any of the students know any foreign words?

Houdini's parents did not speak English. Yet Houdini spoke and wrote English quite well. How do the students think they talked to each other at home?

Have each student learn at least one trick from the Verbal-Linguistic section of the appendix.

On-Site

The students will hear stories and see and hear actual film footage of the era.

Post-Visit

Discuss the trip. What did the students like? What was the most fun? What taught them the most?

Have each student learn at least one more trick from the Verbal-Linguistic section of the appendix.


Pre-K to 2nd Grade

Logical-Mathematic


In School

Have the students learn at least two tricks from the Logical-Mathematic section of the appendix. Much of magic is based on mathematics, science, and/or a lapse of logic.

On-Site

The studetns will learn a few secrets to understand the need for logic in solving problems and unraveling puzzles and mysteries. The students will even see some magic performed.

Post-Visit

Have the students learn at least two more tricks from the Logical-Mathematic section of the appendix.

Which tricks or escapes do the students think they figured out the secret of? Which ones could the students not figure out? Just because they could not figure it out, does that mean it was real or was it still a trick?


Pre-K to 2nd Grade

Interpersonal


In School

Have the students learn at least two tricks from the Interpersonal section of the appendix.

Explain the difference in communication in Houdini's day. There was no TV and no movies. There were only live shows.

On-Site

The students will have an opportunity to interact with each other and the professional magicians on staff. There will be a question and answer period and a group discussion where the students can ask the experts all manner of questions about local history, Houdini, magic, etc.

Post-Visit

Have the students learn at least two more tricks from the Interpersonal section of the appendix.


Pre-K to 2nd Grade

Intrapersonal


In School

Ask if any of the studentst have any collections. Sports cards, toys, dolls, etc. Explain the concept of a museum. What is a museum? What do they do and why? What different kind of museums are there. Why is the Houdini Museum in Scranton? What do they each expect to see? How will they get there?

Harry Houdini's real name was Eric Weiss. Ask the students how it would feel to change their name. What would their mother and father call them, by the new name or the old name. What do the students think Houdini's parents did.

Have the students ever thought of going on stage? How would it feel?

On-Site

The students will have an opportunity to imagine what it would be like ....to be a magician. .....to be famous.... to be confined..... to work in a sweat shop.... or factory..... or coal mine - at their age.

Post-Visit

How would it feel to be a magician?

How would it feel to be famous?

How would it feel to be confined in a box or a can?


Pre-K to 2nd Grade

Musical-Rhythmic


In School

Play different music from Houdini's era. Ragtime, dixieland, polkas, tarantellas, waltz. Can the students dance to any of them? What are the differences?

Play the magic ball. The magic ball goes round and round, etc, etc., etc. Why do they think the song is called the magic ball when there is no magic?

On-Site

As the students enter ragtime music fills the air capturing their musical sensibilities. During one of the breaks hit songs from the 1920's of Al Jolson will be played for contrast to their current sense of popular music.

Post-Visit

How does the music of Houdini's day compare to modern music? Do the students like it?

Is there room for both kinds of music?

Would the students like to hear the old time music again?


Pre-K to 2nd Grade

Visual-Spatial


In School

Have each student draw what they think they will see.

Have the students learn at least two tricks from the Visual-Spatial section of the appendix.

On-Site

The students eyes fill with the visual impact of antiques, old time posters, and artifacts many of which date back over a hundred years. The students will see and in some instances touch artifacts such as an iron rail manufactured locally, a straight-jacket, wooden barrels, a metal milk can, etc.

Post-Visit

Have each of the students draw a picture of what they saw.

Discuss how big the stagewas.

Have the entire class draw a large mural of the museum.

Send all the drawings to the museum.

Have the students learn at least two more tricks from the Visual-Spatial section of the appendix.


Pre-K to 2nd Grade

Body-Kinesthetic


In School

Have the studetns learn at least two tricks from the Body Kinesthetic section of the appendix.

Houdini was an expert swimmer. He used that skill throughout his career in many of his escapes. How many students can swim? How did you learn? If you don't swim, do you think you will learn?

On-Site

The studetns will imagine what it would be like to be a magician, to wave their hands, say the magic word and something amazing occurs! The students will use their imagination to understand what it would feel like to be confined in a box, or to work at their age in a factory, or to be confined working deep in a mine, or to be famous.

Post-Visit

Have the students learn at least two more tricks from the Body Kinesthetic section of the appendix.


Grades 3, 4, 5

Verbal-Linguistic


In School

The Teacher can ask the students:

Did the students ever see a magician perform live? Did thestudents ever see one anywhere else? Have the students ever seen one on TV?

Have the students ever heard of Houdini?

Explain that people would often have to simplify their name during the imigration period when they moved to America. People often took names that reflected their profession.. Can they think of any? Carpenter... Steel... Wood... Farmer... Silver... Gold... Goldsmith.. Painter... Pressman... Fisher ...Coleman... Barber... Archer... Butler... Butcher... Carver... Porter

Discuss other languages. Have they ever heard anyone speak in a foreign language? Who was it and could they understand any of it. Do any of the students know any foreign words?

Houdini's parents did not speak English. Yet Houdini spoke and wrote English quite well. How do the students think the family talked to each other at home?

Have the students learn at least one trick from the Verbal-Linguistic section of the appendix.

What do the following words mean? Vaudeville? Magician, Trick? Illusion? Escape? Fooled? Famous? Stage? Acting? Theater?

On-Site

The students will hear stories and see and hear actual film footage of the era.

Post-Visit

Discuss the trip. What did the students like? What was the most fun? What taught the students the most?

Have the students learn at least one more trick from the Verbal-Linguistic section of the appendix.

Write a press release or letter to your local newspaper editors about the trip and encouraging them to visit.

Discuss how difficult it would be to move to another country as Houdini did at the age of four. Discuss how all of our ancestors came to America. Ask each student what they would want to bring with them on such a move. Remind the students that they would not have very much space.


Grades 3, 4, 5

Logical-Mathematic


In School

Have the students learn at least two tricks from the Logical-Mathematic section of the appendix. Much of magic is based on mathematics, science, and/or a lapse of logic.

Discuss the value of money. When Houdini earned $125.00 a week it was like $5,000.00 today. Something that now costs $4.00 today, might have been only 10 cents in Houdini's day. See food price list from Houdini's day in the appendix.

On-Site

The students will learn a few secrets to understand the need for logic in solving problems and unraveling puzzles and mysteries. The students will even see some magic performed.

Post-Visit

Have the students learn at least two more tricks from the Logical-Mathematic section of the appendix.

Which tricks or escapes do the students think they figured out the secret of? Which ones could thestudents not figure out? Just because they could not figure it out, does that mean it was real or was it still a trick?


Grades 3, 4, 5

Interpersonal


In School

Have the students learn at least two tricks from the Interpersonal section of the appendix.

Discuss the difference in communication in Houdini's day. There was no TV and no movies. There were only live shows. Was it a better life?

Have any of the students ever seen a show or concert? Discuss how it takes many people backstage to cooperate and run a big show. Ask the students to list a few. Some are... ticket sellers, ticket takers, ushers, security guards, stage hands, back-up musicians, advertising writers and artists, book keeping, printers, carpenters, electricians, telephone staff, etc.

On-Site

Thestudents will have an opportunity to interact with each other and the professional magicians on staff. There will be a question and answer period and a group discussion where the students can ask the experts all manner of questions about local history, Houdini, magic, etc.

Post-Visit

Have the students learn at least two more tricks from the Interpersonal section of the appendix.

Discuss in what ways Houdini gave back to the community, his family, other magicians, his country, etc. Some of these are covered in the true-false test in the appendix.

How did Houdini and his wife cooperate in his career? Was she in the show?


Grades 3, 4, 5

Intrapersonal


In School

Ask if any of the students have any collections. Sports cards, toys, dolls, etc. What is a museum, what do they do and why? What different kind of museums are there. Why are they important? Why is the Houdini Museum in Scranton? What do the students expect to see? How will the students get there?

Harry Houdini's real name was Eric Weiss. He changed it, as many immigrants did. Ask the students how it would feel to change their name. What would their mother and father call them, by the new name or the old name. What do the students think Houdini's parents did.

How would it feel to walk in front of thousands of people and try to communicate with them?

On-Site

The students will have an opportunity to imagine what it would be like ....to be a magician. .....to be famous... to work in a sweat shop....

or factory..... or coal mine - at their age.

How would it feel to be confined.... in a box?...in an iron tank?...in a straight jacket?

Post-Visit

How would it feel to be a magician?

How would it feel to be famous?

How would it feel to be confined in a box or a can?

Have each student pretend that they are Houdini and write a press release or letter to the newspaper about their show.

Ask the students to try to imagine how it would feel at their age to leave home and go to a big city alone, to get a job so you could send the money back to your family. What do the students think they would encounter? How would they feel?


Grades 3, 4, 5

Musical-Rhythmic


In School

Play different music from Houdini's era. Ragtime, dixieland, polkas, tarantellas, waltz. Can the students dance to any of them? What are the differences? Ask the students to ask their parents what kind of dances they like to do.

On-Site

As the students enter ragtime music fills the air capturing their musical sensibilities. During one of the breaks hit songs from the 1920's of Al Jolson will be played for contrast to their current sense of popular music.

Post-Visit

How does the music of Houdini's day compare to modern music? Do the students like it?

Is there room for both kinds of music?

Would the students like to hear the old time music again sometime?


Grades 3, 4, 5

Visual-Spatial


In School

Draw what the students think they will see.

Have the students learn at least two tricks from the Visual-Spatial section of the appendix.

On-Site

Thestudents eyes fill with the visual impact of antiques, old time posters, and artifacts many of which date back over a hundred years. The students will see and in some instances touch artifacts such as an iron rail manufactured locally, a straight-jacket, wooden barrels, a metal milk can, etc.

Post-Visit

Design a postcard, a poster, an ad, and a T-shirt for the Houdini Museum. Different students could volunteer for each category.

Have the students learn at least two more tricks from the Visual-Spatial section of the appendix.

Get a map or globe of the world. Where do you live? Houdini lived in New York. Where is that? He was born in Hungary, in Europe. Find Hungary. He worked in England, France, Germany, Russia, and Australia. Find where they are.


Grades 3, 4, 5

Body-Kinesthetic


In School

Have the students learn at least two tricks from the Body Kinesthetic section of the appendix.


Houdini was an expert swimmer. He used that skill throughout his career in many of his escapes. How many students can swim? How did you learn? If you don't swim, do you think you will learn?

On-Site

The students will imagine what it would be like to be a magician, to wave their hands, say the magic word and something amazing occurs! The students will use their imagination to understand what it would feel like to be confined in a box, or to work at their age in a factory, or to be confined working deep in a mine, or to be famous.

Post-Visit

Have the students learn at least two more tricks from the Body Kinesthetic section of the appendix.

Ask the students: "How long can you hold your breath?" "Don't cheat and breathe through your nose." Try holding your nose at the same time.


Grades 6, 7, 8

Verbal-Linguistic


In School

Did the students ever see a magician perform live? Did the students ever see one anywhere else? Have the students seen one on TV?

Have the students ever heard of Houdini?

Explain that people would often have to simplify their name during the imigration period when they moved to America. People often took names that reflected their profession.. Can they think of any? Carpenter... Steel... Wood... Farmer... Silver... Gold... Goldsmith.. Painter... Pressman... Fisher ...Coleman... Barber... Archer... Butler... Butcher... Carver... Porter

Discuss other languages. Have the students ever heard anyone speak in a foreign language? Who was it and could they understand any of it. Do any of them know any foreign words?

Houdini's parents did not speak English. Yet Houdini spoke and wrote English quite well. How do the students think the family talked to each other at home?

Have the students learn at least one trick from the Verbal-Linguistic section of the appendix.

What do the following words mean? Vaudeville? Magician, Trick? Illusion? Escape? Fooled? Famous? Stage? Acting? Theater?

On-Site

The students will hear stories and see and hear actual film footage of the era.

Post-Visit

Discuss the trip. What did the students like? What was the most fun? What taught the students the most?

Have the students learn at least one more trick from the Verbal-Linguistic section of the appendix.

Have the students write a press release or letter to your local newspaper editors about the trip and encouraging them to visit.

Discuss how difficult it would be to move to another country as Houdini did at the age of four. Discuss how all of our ancestors came to America. Ask each student what they would want to bring with them on such a move. Remind the students that they would not have very much space.


Grades 6, 7, 8

Logical-Mathematic


In School

Have the students learn at least two tricks from the Logical-Mathematic section of the appendix. Much of magic is based on mathematics, science, and/or a lapse of logic.

Discuss the value of money. When Houdini earned $125.00 a week it was like $5,000.00 today. Something that now costs $4.00 today, might have been only 10 cents in Houdini's day. See food price list from Houdini's day in the appendix.

On-Site

The students will learn a few secrets to understand the need for logic in solving problems and unraveling puzzles and mysteries. The students will even see some magic performed.

Post-Visit

Have the students learn at least two more tricks from the Logical-Mathematic section of the appendix.

Which tricks or escapes do the students think they figured out the secret of? Which ones could the students not figure out? Do all of the students agree on the method of the tricks? Just because the students could not figure it out, does that mean it was real or was it still a trick?


Grades 6, 7, 8

Interpersonal


In School

Have the students learn at least two tricks from the Interpersonal section of the appendix.

Discuss the difference in communication in Houdini's day. There was no TV and no movies. There was only live shows. Was it a better life?

Discuss how it takes many people backstage to cooperate and run a big show or concert. Ask the students to list a few. Some are... ticket sellers, ticket takers, ushers, security guards, stage hands, back-up musicians, advertising writers and artists, book keeping, printers, carpenters, electricians, telephone staff, etc.

On-Site

The students will have an opportunity to interact with each other and the professional magicians on staff. There will be a question and answer period and a group discussion where the students can ask the experts all manner of questions about local history, Houdini, magic, etc.

Post-Visit

Have the students learn at least two more tricks from the Interpersonal section of the appendix.

Discuss in what ways Houdini gave back to the community, his family, other magicians, his country, etc. Why is this important? Do they think this might be some of the reason he is remembered today? Some of these are covered in the true-false test in the appendix.

How did Houdini and his wife cooperate in his career? Was she in the show? Do the students think they worked as partners, sharing responsibility?


Grades 6, 7, 8

Intrapersonal


In School

Ask if any of the students have any collections. Sports cards, toys, dolls, etc. What is a museum, what do they do and why? What different kind of museums are there. Why are they important? Why is the Houdini Museum in Scranton? What do they each expect to see? How will they get there?

Harry Houdini's real name was Eric Weiss. He changed it, as many immigrants did. Ask the students how it would feel to change their name. What would their mother and father call them, by the new name or the old name. What do the students think Houdini's parents did.

How does each student feel it would be like to walk in front of thousands of people and try to communicate with them?

On-Site

The students will have an opportunity to imagine what it would be like ....to be a magician. .....to be famous... to work in a sweat shop....

or factory..... or coal mine - at their age.

Post-Visit

How would it feel to be confined.... in a box?...in an iron tank?...in a straight jacket?

How would it feel to be a magician?

How would it feel to be famous?

How would it feel to be confined in a box or a can?

Have each student pretend that they are Houdini and have them write a press release or letter to the newspaper about their show.

Have each student try to imagine how it would feel at their age to leave home and go to a big city alone, to get a job so that they could send the money back to their family. What do the students think they would encounter? How would each student feel?


Grades 6, 7, 8

Musical-Rhythmic


In School

Play different music from Houdini's era. Ragtime, dixieland, polkas, tarantellas, waltz. Can the students dance to any of them? What are the differences? Ask them to ask their parents what kind of dances they like to do.

On-Site

As the students enter ragtime music fills the air capturing their musical sensibilities. During one of the breaks hit songs from the 1920's of Al Jolson will be played for contrast to their current sense of popular music.

Post-Visit

How does the music of Houdini's day compare to modern music? Do the students like it?

Is there room for both kinds of music?

Would the students like to hear the old time music again sometime?


Grades 6, 7, 8

Visual-Spatial


In School

Have the students draw or paint what they think they will see. Explain that it can be abstract. Discuss abstract art.

Have the studetns learn at least two tricks from the Visual-Spatial section of the appendix.

On-Site

The students eyes fill with the visual impact of antiques, old time posters, and artifacts many of which date back over a hundred years. Th students will see and in some instances touch artifacts such as an iron rail manufactured locally, a straight-jacket, wooden barrels, a metal milk can, etc.

Post-Visit

Have the students design a postcard, a poster, an ad, and a T-shirt for the Houdini Museum. Different students could volunteer for each category.

Have the students learn at least two more tricks from the Visual-Spatial section of the appendix.

Get a map or globe of the world. Where do they live? Houdini lived in New York. Where is that? He was born in Hungary, in Europe. Find Hungary. He worked in England, France, Germany, Russia, and Australia. Find where they are.


Grades 6, 7, 8

Body-Kinesthetic


In School

Have the students learn at least two tricks from the Body Kinesthetic section of the appendix.

Houdini was an expert swimmer. He used that skill throughout his career in many of his escapes. How many students can swim? How did you learn? If you don't swim, do you think you will learn?


On-Site

The students will imagine what it would be like to be a magician, to wave their hands, say the magic word and something amazing occurs! The students will use their imagination to understand what it would feel like to be confined in a box, or to work at their age in a factory, or to be confined working deep in a mine, or to be famous.

Post-Visit

Have the students learn at least two more tricks from the Body Kinesthetic section of the appendix.

How long can each student hold their breath? The students should not cheat and breathe through your nose. Try it while holding their nose. Are the students aware Houdini did not smoke? Would that have enabled him to hold his breath longer?


Appendix:

Classroom

Materials


TRUE OF FALSE TEST Page 1

(1)TRUE____FALSE____At one point in history, Scranton was Americas's 37th largest city.

(2)TRUE____FALSE____First it was rail manufacturing, not coal mining, that put Scranton on the "map".

(3)TRUE____FALSE____How Scranton got it's name. The Scranton family were the first in America to develop the technology make railroad tracks. Before that rails were imported from England.

(4)TRUE____FALSE____Scranton's iron industry ended because people no longer needed iron and steel.

5)TRUE____FALSE____None of the railroad tracks that cross the United States were made here in Scranton.

(6)TRUE____FALSE____The first commercial electric trolly was in Scranton.

(7)TRUE____FALSE____Scranton was called the Electric City because it was one of the first in the world to electrify the streets, even before New York City.

(8)TRUE____FALSE____Houdini and his brother Hardeen did several historic challenges in our area.

(9)TRUE____FALSE____Scranton was not one of America's major theatrical cities.

(10)TRUE____FALSE____Top stars like Houdini, Will Rogers, W.C. Fields, Fred Astaire, Fanny Brice, Buster Keaton, The Marx Brothers, Ray Bolger, John Philip Sousa, and others came to Scranton at the height of their vaudeville careers.

(11)TRUE____FALSE____Houdini never made Hollywood movies.

(12)TRUE____FALSE____Houdini has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the film industry for his five feature films.

1T,2T,3T,4F,5F,6T,7T,8T,9F,10T,11F,12T


TRUE OF FALSE TEST Page 2

(1)TRUE____FALSE____Our area was a testing ground for performers to go from here to New York City? The saying was "If you can make it in Scranton, you can make it anywhere!"

(2)TRUE____FALSE____Houdini kept all of his wealth to himself.

(3)TRUE____FALSE____Because of family loyalty Houdini allowed his brother to do all of his escapes.

(4)TRUE____FALSE____Houdini was a star who smoked, drank, and used drugs

(5)TRUE____FALSE____Houdini was a pioneer aviator, the first on record to fly a plane in Australia.

(6)TRUE____FALSE____Houdini ran away from home as a youngster because he did not like his family.

(7)TRUE____FALSE____Houdini had the first robot ever in a movie.

(8)TRUE____FALSE____Houdini had many wives.

(9)TRUE____FALSE____Houdini did not believe in study. He read few books.

(10)TRUE____FALSE____Houdini's favorite saying was; "My brain is the key that sets me free!"

(11)TRUE____FALSE____Houdini was an honest man who did not like frauds and cheats.

(12)TRUE____FALSE____When Houdini learned that deep sea divers were

loosing their lives underwater he invented an outfit from which they could 'escape' from instantly, giving away an escape secret.

(13)TRUE____FALSE____Houdini was very careless and took lots of foolish chances.

(14)TRUE____FALSE____Although mostly self educated, he became a writer.

1T,2F,3T,4F,5T,6F,7T,8F,9F,10T,11T,12T,13F,14T


Logical-Mathematic

Body-Kinesthetic


Place as strip of paper on the ede of a glass and balance a coin on it, as shown at the top drawing. State that you can get the paper out without disturbing the quarter. Hold the strip as in the next drawing. Give the paper a sharp slap, and the coin will be left on the glass.


Visual-Spatial



Body-Kinesthetic


This can be done with a pencil, a cane, a ruler, or some similar object. It appears to be suspended in mid air as in the lower drawing. Is it magnetism? Explain that it is so difficult it puts a great strain on the hand, and it is necessary to grasp the wrist with the other hand. The upper picture makes the trick quite clear. Simply extend the index finger and hold the object in place.


Logical-Mathematic


In the center of a strong piece of paper make a hole exactly the size of a dime. Then tell your friends that you willpass a nickel through the hole without tearing or making the hole bigger. To do the trick, fold the paper in the center, as shown in the middle picture, so that the nickel is held with part of it sticking out, as shown above. Then bring your hands together as in the lower drawing. The hole will open into a narrow slot and the nickel will drop through.

Balance a card, on top of which is a dime, on the tip of your index finger. You can get the card out without dropping the coin by giving the card a sharp snap with a finger of the other hand, as shown in the drawing.


Verbal-Linguistic


Put a large object on the table like a hat, make a small hole in a piece of paper and announce., "I am going to push the hat through the hole." When they claim it is not possible, Take the paper as in figure 2, and "push" the hat with a pencil or other stick through the hole. You have pushed the hat through the hole as promised.


Visual-Spatial


A banana is needed for this amazing trick. It appears to be just an ordinary on. When you ask someone to peel it, after you wave your hands over it three times, it has been cut into three pieces from the inside.

Secret: Get a clean needle and insert it in the side of the banana and move the point around the inside of the banana, as in the illustration. It will cut the banana from the inside, and the banana will appear normal. Do this three times and the banana will be in three sections when opened.

Body or spatial

Ask if your subject can pick up a handkerchief by the corners and tie a knot in it with out letting go of the corners.

Secret: Fold your arms and then pick up the two opposite corners of the handkerchief. When you unfold your arms the handkerchief will be tied in a knot.

Body spatial math


Body-Kinesthetic


A coin is placed in your hand. When you open your hand the coin has disappeared. A piece of soft soap is placed on your finger nail as in the diagram. when you close your hand the sticky substance picks up the coin. This takes a bit of practice so you know where to place the coin on your hand so the soft soap picks it up. Do not let them see the other side of your hand


Visual-Spatial


A cord it tied lightly between your two wrists. A handkerchief is then tied around the center of the cord. You tell the spectator that you will remove the handkerchief with out untying the cord or the handkerchief. You turn around for a moment and the handkerchief is removed. A true Houdini mystery

Secret: When you turn around slide the handkerchief from the center of the cord up to your forearm. Then bring the handkerchief through the loop on your wrist.. It will be free of the cord. You can then put it back on the cord by reversing the process as in the diagram.


Interpersonal


A tooth pick or wooden match is placed in the center of a handkerchief. You then fold the handkerchief over the match, pick them up and let the spectator feel the match through the handkerchief. You then ask them to break the match. Yet when you shake out the handkerchief the match falls out completely restored.

Secret: Two matches are used. Unknown to the audience you have hidden a match in the hem of the handkerchief. You see to it that this is the match that is broken under the handkerchief. Hold the other one aside under the handkerchief. Of course, this is the one that falls out when you shake it out.


Verbal-Linguistic


You claim that you can read minds and predict the future. Two heaps of cards are on the table and a note is next to them. Tell your subject to pick one of the heaps and lo and behold that is the one predicted in the note.

Secret: Get four sixes from the deck before hand and lay them face down on the table. Then get six other cards and lay them face down next to the first pack. Write the words, "You will pick the six pile!" on a slip of paper and fold it with the writing on the inside. Place this next to the cards. Tell the person to pick one of the piles and then to read the prediction. No matter which one they pick it will always be the "six" pile. Only do this once and never repeat it for the same person.


Body-Kinesthetic



body role play


Logical-Mathematic



Logical-Mathematic


Three glasses are on the table. The center one is upside down. You tell your subject to pick up the glasses two at a time and after three times, the glasses should all be bottoms up.

Secret: First reverse 2 & 3. Then 1 & 3 and then 2 & 3 again. They will all be bottoms up.

Math or spatial


Bibliography


Books available at the Houdini Museum

anon. I Want To Do... Mystifying Magic. Chicago. Children's Press. 1975

Cannel, J. C. Secrets of Houdini. NYC. Dover Publications. 1973

Gibson, Water B. & Young, Morris. Houdini on Magic. NYC. Dover Publications. 1953

Houdini, Harry. Houdini Souvenir Program. NYC Harry Houdini. 1925

Houdini, Harry. The Right Way To Do Wrong. An Expose. Boston. Harry Houdini. 1906

Schindler, George. Magic With Everyday Objects. NYC. Reiss Games, Inc.1976

Silverman, Kenneth. Houdini!!! NYC. Harper Collins. 1996

Videos available at the Houdini Museum

Man From Beyond. Houdini, Harry. Silent film stars Houdini.

Terror Island. Houdini, Harry. Silent film stars Houdini.

Library of Congress-Houdini. Biography of Houdini

The following books are not available at the Houdini Museum

Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory

* Armstrong, Thomas. In Their Own Way. Los Angeles: CA. J.P.Tarcher, Inc., 1987.

* Armstrong, Thomas. Awakening Your Child's Natural Genius. Los Angeles: CA. J. P. Tarcher, Inc., 1991.

* Armstrong, Thomas. 7 Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Many Intelligences. NY: Plume (The Penguin Group), 1993.

* Campbell, Bruce. Multiplying Intelligence in the Classroom. On the Beam, Vol IX, No.2, Winter 1989, 7.

* Campbell, Bruce. The Research Results of a Multiple Intelligences Classroom. On the Beam, Vol XI, No.1, Fall, 1990, 7.

* Campbell, Linda, Campbell Bruce, and Dickinson, Dee. Teaching and Learning Through Multiple Intelligences. NY: Allyn & Bacon. 1996 (2nd edition)

* Comer, James. School Power: Implications of an intervention project. NY: Free Press. 1980.

* Costa, Arthur, Bellanca, James and Fogarty, Robin, editors. If Minds Matter: A Foreword to the Future. Palatine, IL: Skylight Publishing, 1992.

* Dickinson, Dee. Learning Through Many Kinds of Intelligence1994.

* Ellison, Launa. Seeing With Magic Glasses: A Teacher's View from the Front Line of the Learning Revolution. Arlington, VA: Great Ocean Publishers, 1993.

* Ellison, Launa. Using Multiple Intelligences to Set Goals. Educational Leadership, October, 1992, 69- 72.

* Enloe, W., and Simon, K. (Eds.). Linking Through Diversity: Practical Classroom Methods for Experiencing and Understanding Our Cultures. 1993.

* Fogarty, R., Perkins, D., and Barell, J. How to Teach for Transfer. Palatine, IL: Skylight Press, 1992.

* Gardner, Howard, Mindy L. Kornhaber, Warren K. Wake. Intelligence: Multiple Perspectives NY: Harcourt, Brace. 1996

* Gardner, Howard. Art Education and Human Development. Los Angeles: The Getty Center for Education in the Arts, 1990.

* Gardner, Howard. Art, Mind and Brain. NY.: Basic Books, 1982.


Bibliography (2)


* Gardner, H. and Perkins,D. (Eds.). Art, Mind, and Education. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. The Spring, 1988 issue of Journal of Aesthetic Education , devoted to the work of Project Zero, published in book form, 1987.

* Gardner, H. The Arts and Human Development. NY: Wiley, 1973.

* Gardner, H. Artful Scribbles: The Significance of Children's Drawings. NY:Basic Books, 1980.

* Gardner, H. Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity as Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Gandhi. NY: Basic Books, 1993.

* Gardner, Howard. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (10th Anniversary Edition). NY: Basic Books, 1993.

* Gardner, Howard. The Mind's New Science. NY: Basic Books, 1985.

* Gardner, Howard. Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice. NY: Basic Books, 1992.

* Gardner, Howard. To Open Minds.: Chinese Clues to the Dilemma of Contemporary Education. NY: Basic Books, 1989.

* Gardner, Howard. The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach. NY: Basic Books, 1991.

* Gardner, Howard, and Thomas Hatch. Multiple Intelligences Go To School: Educational Implications of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Educational Researcher 18,8 (November, 1989): 4-9. EJ 369 605.

* Gardner, Howard, and Tina Blythe. A School for All Intelligences. Educational Leadership April, 1990, 33-37.

* Gardner, Howard. Zero-Based Arts Education. Studies in Art Education , 30: 71-83. (1989)

* Goodman, N. Languages of Art: An Approach to a Theory of Symbols. NY: Bobbs-Merrill.(2nd ed.). Indianapolis,IN: Hackett, 1976.

* Hoerr, Thomas R. How Our School Applied Multiple Intelligences Theory. Educational Leadership , October, 1992, 67-768.

* Lipson, A. and Perkins, D. Block: Getting Out of Your Own Way The New Psychology of Counterintentional Behavior in Everyday Life. NY: Lyle Stuart Press, 1990.

* Margulies,N. Mapping Inner Space: Learning and Teaching Mind Mapping. 1993.

* McAuliffe, J., and Stoskin, L. What Color is Saturday?: Using Analogies to Enhance Creative Thinking in the Classroom. 1993.

* Nickerson, R, Perkins, D., and Smith, E. The Teaching of Thinking. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc., 1986.

* Oddleifson, Eric. A Fifty School Arts Education Demonstration Project. Boston, MA: Center for the Arts in Basic Curriculum, Fall, 1989.

* Perkins, D. Knowledge as Design. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc., 1986.

* Perkins, D. The Mind's Best Work. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1981.

* Perkins, D. Mindware: The New Science of Learnable Intelligence. NY: Free Press, (in press.)

* Perkins, D. and Lipson, A. Proactivity. NY: Oxford University Press, (in press.)

* Perkins, D. Smart Schools: From Training Memories to Educating Minds. NY: Free Press, 1992.

* Perkins, D., Wiske, M., Schwartz, J., and West, M. (Eds.). Teaching for Understanding with Technology: Cognition, computers, and school context. NY: Oxford Universtiy Press, in press.

* Rico, Gabriele Lusser. Writing the Natural Way. Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc.,


Bibliography (3)


1983.

* Sizer, Theodore. Horace's Compromise: The Dilemma of the American High School. NY: Houghton Mifflin, 1984.

* Sizer, Theodore. Horace's School: Redesigning the American High School. NY: Houghton Mifflin, 1992.

* Smagorinsky, Peter. Expressions: Multiple Intelligences in The English Class. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. 1991

* Swartz, B. and Perkins, D. Teaching Thinking: Issues and Approaches. Pacific Grove, CA: Midwest Publishers, 1989.

* Voss, J., Perkins, D., and Segal, J.W. (Eds.). Informal Reasoning and Education. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc., 1991.

* Wahl, Mark. A Mathematical Mystery Tour: Higher Thinking Math Tasks. Zephyr Press . 1988.

* Weber, Ellen. Creative Learning From Inside Out: A collaborative learning and teaching approach for high school. Vancouver, BC: EduServ Education Library. 1996. US Distributor is Zephyr Press in Tucson, AZ.

* Weber, Ellen. Curriculum for Success On the Beam. 1992.

* Weber, R. and Perkins, D.(Eds.). The Inventive Mind: Creativity in Technology. NY: Oxford University Press, 1992.

* Wiggins, Grant. A True Test: Toward a More Authentic and Equitable Assessment. Phi Delta Kappan, May, 1989, 703-712.

* Winner, E. Invented Worlds: A Psychology of the Arts. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982.

* Winner, E. The Point of Words: Children's Understanding of Metaphor and Irony. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988.

Write to the address below to order an informative packet of readings and information. Many of the articles cited above are listed in the Project Zero bibliographies and are available from Project Zero at a nominal cost. To contact Project Zero:

Project Zero Development Group Harvard Graduate School of Education 323 Longfellow Hall, Cambridge, MA 02138

You can obtain some of the resources in this bibliography, and information from Zephyr Press.


School models using Howard Gardner's Techniques


School

Elm Elementary

Milwaukee, WI

Ashley River K-8

Charleston, SC

St. Augustine (K-8)

Bronx, NY

Davidson (5-12)

Augusta, GA

FACE (K-11)

Montreal, Quebec,

Canada

Previous History

Bottom 10% (1979)

Start up 1984

About to fail 1984

Start up 1981

Start up 1981

Current Academic Status

#1 out of 103 schools in the district in eight of the last ten years.

#2 in the county (second only to a high school for the academically gifted); waiting list of 1200 students.

96% of the students' reading and math scores are at grade level (only three public schools in the Greater New York area can claim this); 99% minority students.

#1 in the county. 520 students.

Waiting list of many hundreds. Out of 39 subjects tested recently,

FACE students achieved higher scores in two thirds of the exams than five other high schools combined. Additionally, FACE students test on average 20% higher than other Canadian students, even though the school is non-selective. The FACE school objectives state in part: FACE is not an "elitist" school intending to produce musicians, artists or dramatists. It is a school program based on the premise that a program rooted in the arts can provide for positive change in cognitive and affective development. Skills in reading, writing and arithmetic will evolve and be developed naturally or in harmony with the fine arts core program.


School models using Howard Gardner's Techniques(2)


School

Eliot Elementary (K-5)

Needham, MA

Key School (K-5)

Indianapolis, IN

Roosevelt Middle

School

(K-6) Milwaukee, WI

Anza

Los Angeles, CA

Previous History

Arts emphasis started 1983

Start up (1988)

Switched to Arts Focus

(1984)

Switched to Arts Focus (1984)

Current Academic Status

Focus is on developing critical and creative thinking skills, with the Arts taught both as stand alone subjects and integrated into the curriculum. Kids in the school are "average". Third grade test scores are in 97th to 99th percentile. Fourth graders tested first in the state in critical thinking skills.

Viewed as possibly the best elementary school in the country by the National Education Association.

59% minority. Proportion of students achieving competency in reading increased from 30% to 80%, in math from 10% to 60%. Attendance 92%. Suspension rate dropped from 50% to lower than 10%.

After three years the school's test scores in reading, vocabulary, and writing have doubled. The school now has the highest test scores in the district. A dramatic increase in oral vocabulary has also been experienced.


Conclusion


Thank you for your interest in the Houdini Museum, its Tours and shows. This was funded by your admissions and the proceeds from our very successful School Assembly Programs. It is a pleasure to provide this curriculum as a supplement to the permanent exhibit. The tours and shows are exciting, fun and educational. In addition to learning about Houdini everyone who visits gets a a sense of pride in our rich culture and heritage.


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