Everyday conversations: The world’s largest children’s museum [audio]

This series of Everyday Conversations is about a family traveling to each of the 50 states in the U.S. Join the family members as they learn about local pastimes and history. These conversations are for intermediate-level English-language learners or higher.

In this conversation, the family is in Indiana, visiting the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. There is a guide talking about the museum.


Guide: This is the largest children’s museum in the world. Over 1 million people visit the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis each year.

Claudine: Sam and I obviously aren’t young children, so is there anything here that we’d enjoy?

Guide: Absolutely. We have a planetarium and a carousel that people of all ages enjoy.

Gina: Are there any exhibits that are particularly interesting?

Guide: We have a permanent exhibit featuring three famous children and the impact they had on the world. People seem to enjoy that exhibit quite a bit.

Paul: Do other exhibits rotate?

Guide: Yes. We have many rotating exhibits, and we are constantly thinking up ideas for innovative exhibits in the future. Let’s get started on the tour, and I can answer your questions along the way.

Now let’s review the vocabulary.

A guide is a person who shows and explains interesting things about a specific place to visitors.

A planetarium is a building or room with a high, curved ceiling on which images of stars, planets, etc., are shown.

A carousel (also called a merry-go-round) has a round platform with brightly colored figures of animals, such as horses. People sit on the animals, which go up and down as the platform turns in a circle at the same time.

An exhibit (or exhibition) is a collection of things, such as works of art, that are put in a space for people to look at.

Permanent means lasting for a very long time or forever. A permanent exhibit at a museum is an exhibit that stays at the museum forever.

Impact is the powerful effect or influence that something has on someone or something.

In this context, the verb to rotate means to be changed at regular periods of time. A rotating exhibit in a museum is an exhibit that does not stay in the museum forever. After some time, the exhibit is replaced by another one.

Innovative means having new and different ideas about how something can be done.

The American English website offers a variety of free resources for learners and teachers of English. The American English Facebook page posts learning materials for English-language learners daily. The American English for Educators Facebook page posts teaching materials for English-language teachers daily.

Everyday Conversations are developed by the State Department’s Heidi Howland, a senior program officer in the Office of English Language Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Learn more about planning a trip to the U.S. and applying for a tourist visa.