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The House that Jane Built read by Kiernan Shipka

The House that Jane Built is written by Tanya Lee Stone, illustrated by Kathryn Brown and read by Kiernan Shipka. This is the story of Jane Addams, the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, who transformed a poor neighborhood in Chicago by opening up her house as a community center.


Welcome to Storyline online brought to you by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. I’m Kiran and ship guy. And today I’m going to be reading you the house that Jane built, written by Tania Li stone and illustrate it by Catherine Brown. I’m very excited to be reading this to you all. A house stands on a busy street. Its doors are opened wide to all who come, emits good cheer to sun. It says abide. In 1889, a wealthy young woman named Jane Addams moved into a lovely, elegant house in Chicago, Illinois. But instead of moving lovely, elegant neighborhood, she picked to house that was smack in the middle of one of the healthiest, poorest parts of town. Why would a wealthy young woman do this when she could’ve lived anywhere? Jane was just six years old when she went on a trip with her father and notice that not everyone lived like her family did. She vowed that one day she would live right in the midst of little houses and find a way to fix the world. Jane was a strong soul from the start, and she was brave. When she and her step brother George were young, they would sneak away at night to explore the nearby caves. Once Jane lower George, over a cliff on a rope, spy on an owl and it’s Jane was smart. She read and read from her father’s book collection, which doubled as the town library. Most girls did not go to college then, but Jane’s father believed women should be educated. She went to Rockford Female Seminary in graduated at the top of her class. But when school was over, she wasn’t sure what to do with her life. That same summer, her father died. Jane was lost. About two years later, she and her friends traveled to Europe. They went to the feet are in the opera and many beautiful places. But then Jane saw something in London. She couldn’t forget. People in ragged clothes with outstretched hands begging a cart vendor to buy his leftover rotten fruits and vegetables that hadn’t fold up and spoiled food was all they could afford. What could she do to help? Long after her trip is over? The questions stuck in her mind. She remembered how she felt when she was six. Jane traveled back to London to learn about a place she had heard was helping the poor in a brand new way. At Toynbee Hall, the idea was to have rich and poor people live together in the same community and learn from each other. Instead of simply serving soup, for example, people could take cooking classes. Other skills were taught as well. Toynbee Hall was the first settlement house. It was called a settlement house because the well-off people who work there during the day didn’t go back to their own homes at night. Instead, they settled in and lift at Toynbee Hall, right in the same neighborhood as the midi. Jane now knew what to do. Friend Ellen Gates Starr, about her plan to build a settlement house in Chicago. It was as if a race horse had burst out of the gate free at last deport every ounce of energy into running. There was a glittery side to Chicago with its mansions, fancy shops and sparkling Lake Front. But there was a gritty side to 1 million people lived in Chicago in 1889. Most were immigrants, people who came from other countries. They came for a better life, but they didn’t speak English. That made it hard to find good jobs. Many needed help. Jane found the perfect house. Rooms with high ceilings and marble fireplaces. And it was in one of the worst neighborhoods in the city. Garbage, like rotting in the streets, piled high. Large families from crammed into tiny, ramshackle houses with no running water. The smell from back lot, outhouses hung in the air. Rough boys ran the streets, stirring up trouble because they had nothing to do. The house had belong to Charles J. Home. And he had left it to a wealthy cousin named Helen Culver. At first, Jane paid rent, but after she told Helen had in mind, Helen gave her the house for free and thanks. Jane named it whole house. Jane moved in on September 18th, 1889. The very first night she was so busy and excited that she forgot to lock a side door before going to sleep, but no one broke it. She decided to leave whole house unlocked from then on, so people would know they could come in at anytime. People who didn’t have enough to eat or had no shoes on their feet, or had just lost a job, began to find their way to whole house. Of course, it wasn’t always peaceful. Once a couple of boys the rocks at the house and broke a window. Getting upset. Jane took it as assigned to give the neighborhood kids something to do. She had her own way of looking at things. Another time, Jane discovered a man in the house looking for something to steal. He tried to jump out a window to escape, but she showed him the door so he wouldn’t get hurt when he broke. And a second time, she asked him why. He said he was out of work and he had no money. Jane told them to report back the next morning. When he did, she gave him a job. Jain spent her own money running whole house and asked other well-off people to donate to. She did not want to be paid for working there, even when people gave her gifts and gave them away. Her friends teased Jane about this. One friend gave her new underwear with her initials just so Jane couldn’t pass them on, but she did. Any problem. Jane discovered she tackled no running water in the house, but no easy way to bathe. This lead to sickness. So Jane put in a public bath. People flocked to it, which helped to convince city officials they needed to build more public baths, no safe place for children to play. Jane talk to wealthy men into giving her the lot he owns near whole house. Workman tore down the shabby buildings and turn the lat into a playground. It was the first one in Chicago. Kids home alone because their parents had to work 14 hours a day. Jane started a warning kindergarten and after-school clubs. She also set up afternoon classes for older kids who had to go to work during the school day. Jane did not do all this alone. Ellen Gates Starr was her partner from the start. Many other smart, generous people moved into whole house and helped. They taught literature, art, English, math, science, and cooking. Soon there was not just one building, but two. Then 34 and more. By 1907, whole house had grown into 13 buildings, including a gymnasium, coffee house, theater, music school, community, and an art gallery. By the 1920’s and more than 9 thousand people a week visited whole house. The house that Jane built brought all kinds of people together and helped those in need. It changed a bad neighborhood into a great and strong community. Whole house transform the lives of all who stepped inside. Today. Every community center in America and enlarge burden as Jane Addams to thank with them all that she did, both inside and outside the house that Jane built. Her childhood wish to help fix the world through. And the cool part about this story, which I love so much, is that it’s true. Reading is so magical for so many reasons that can bring you to amazing magical places that are beyond your wildest dreams. But it can also give you amazing, valuable, inspiring information like this. And I’m so happy this book exists and that I got to learn a little bit more about Jane today because she makes me want to be a better person. Thank you for watching Storyline online. Make sure to check out all our other videos. Keep watching and keep reading. (As provided by SchoolTube video transcript.)

Standards Alignment

Suggested Grade Level: 3-4

The standards listed below are for the third and fourth grades.

CCSS.SL.3.1, 3.2 CCSS.SL.4.1, 4.2, CCSS.RI.3.1, RI.3.2 CCSS.RI.4.1, 4.2, CCSS.RI.3.2 CCSS.RI.4.2, CCSS.RI.3.1 CCSS.RI.4.1, CCSS.W.3.2, and CCSS.W.4.2

View the activity guide here: thehouse

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