Contact: Kara O’Keeffe
Ashland, Wis. – The Wisconsin Historical Society will be bringing the museum education program, “Hands-On History” to students in Superior and Ashland in April and May. This unique program brings objects and other materials into the classroom to make teaching more engaging for students.
“From logging to the Civil Rights movement in Milwaukee, students will engage in history by investigating different objects and games of Wisconsin’s past,” said Kurt Griesemer, school services director at the Wisconsin Historical Society. “Letting kids hold objects and interact with them makes learning about history more fun.”
The “Hands-On History” program will be in classrooms in Superior, April 30 – May 4 and in classrooms in Ashland, May 15-18. For these classroom visits the “Hands-On History” program will be partnering with the Minnesota Historical Society’s “Inquiry in the Upper Midwest” program to bring primary resource study from the Library of Congress to the Northwoods.
The “Hands-On History” program brings solid foundations of museum education into the classroom through interactive presentations on Wisconsin’s history. Traditionally, students have to travel by bus to visit a museum or historic site to interact with history. Through the “Hands-On History” program it brings that experience directly to the classroom. This allows students to engage with historic objects without additional travel costs.
These lessons help develop critical thinking skills in students in relation to Wisconsin’s past, present, and future. By developing these critical-thinking skills, students learn to go far deeper than memorization of names, dates, and locations; they begin to make connections by analyzing primary sources and considering what those sources reveal about the individuals, groups, cultures, and societies that existed in the past. Through hands-on exploration of the images and artifacts provided by the program, students engage with their own ethnic heritage as they learn the story of Wisconsin’s past.
The “Hands-On History” program is funded in part by the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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