*Use with permission, Historical photographs of IWU

A. Stimulate Your Senses:

What is this place? What is available in this place?

It might be a fraternity/house at IWU, because the back row looks to be all men. It might be mother's day, so their mother's were invited?

Who is in the photo? What is that person doing?

It looks to be college boys with their mother's taking a picture for mother's day.

Where is this place? When was the photo taken?

At a house at IWU a long time ago - the picture is in black and white and all the mother's are wearing dresses.

When does it appear this photo is taken? Now? in the Past?

It appears to be taken on a summer day outside the house that all the boys live in. It was taken in the past.

This is a house, more specifically a fraternity called Beta Kappa. This place provided housing for the Members of Beta Kappa while attending Illinois Wesleyan University. You can be a part of this fraternity too if you pledge and you are a male who is enrolled in IWU. The photo is a picture of the members of Beta Kappa with their mothers on Mother's Day. My guess is that they are all dressed up as if they are about to go to a banquet of some sort. This fraternity is in Bloomington, Illinois near Wesleyan's campus. This photo was taken on May 8th, 1932. Judging by their clothing, hair styles, and the photo quality, it looks as if this photo was taken awhile ago.

B. Change:

What's changed? What's still the same? What replaced this scene and why?

There are many house at IWU that still look like the house in this picture. It looks like one of the sorority houses today.

Beta Kappa is no longer a fraternity at Illinois Wesleyan, but the idea of fraternities and sororities still exists and is thriving. We still celebrate Mother's Day and gentleman still treat their mothers on this holiday. It is also common for us to get dressed up and take photos on holidays in order to create memories.

C. Imagine You Are There:

Write a letter about how your day was when this picture was taken.

Dear Mom,
I am so glad that you could make it to Beta's Mother's Day celebration! All my friends thought you were hilarious and that your cookies tasted delicious. We also enjoyed the care package that you left us... We haven't had real "mom" cooking in forever. We also kind of enjoyed how you cleaned our entire room. My roommates think you are just amazing for doing so and Greg apologizes for his obnoxious amount of dirty laundry that was spread around the room.

Hope to see you soon and LOVE you very much :)

- a boy in the picture.

Dear Son,

I was very happy to come to the mother's day celebration! It was a pleasure meeting all of your friends, and you know how much I enjoy cooking for you! I know you're taken care of that way. But maybe next time you'll already have your room clean by the time I get there. And I mean clean by my standards, sir. (I'm partly kidding.) You're a grown man now, off in college. I am so proud of you.

Things are well at home. We hope you can come to visit us here next time. We miss you and love you lots!


This was one of the most memorable days of my life. I was able to spend a wonderful mother's day with my son. I couldn't believe he was all grown up. It just seemed like yesterday when I was pushing him in a stroller. It was a beautiful day too. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and there was a perfect breeze. I could smell the roses and lilacs, which evoked a memory of my childhood when my mom would bake me apple pies. It was as if I could taste the apple pie. I was just so proud of my son and so honored to be there with him on that day.
I am so happy that you got the opportunity to visit your son at Illinois Wesleyan University. He seems to be growing into such a nice young man. Your Mother's Day sounds memorable; I wish I could have been there to experience it myself. Tell your son and husband I say hello.