Let's Do History

Welcome to the Let’s Do History Tour Page

Thank you for using the Smithsonian’s Let’s Do History Tour page on History Explorer! On this page you will find the resources that we provided on the tour, additional information about our challenge, the Thinkfinity Community, and other resources available to you. We encourage you to share this page with your colleagues.

About the Tour

The Let’s Do History Tour is part of the A. James Clark Excellence in History Teaching Program. The program is intended to energize and transform the teaching and learning of American history by introducing K-12 educators to exciting and effective techniques, powerful online tools, and authentic content that they can use in their classrooms.  The program brings National Museum of American History (NMAH) staff to ten communities nationwide for teacher training that shares the Museum’s interdisciplinary approach to teaching with its focus on everyday objects, people-centered stories, and dialogue.

In this blog post, Mark Moore from the West Virginia Department of Education describes his experience bringing the Let's Do History Tour to his state. 

A few sample teacher comments: 

 “My expectations were wildly surpassed. Best in-service I’ve attended in the past 5 years.”

 “Next time a 5-day conference would be best! :-) This was great!”

 “Knew that it would be different and interesting and invigorating and it was!”

Large Session Resources

If you attended either the elementary or secondary large group session, you’ll find the accompanying resources below. With the exception of the Primary Source Guide and theater videos, you will need to join the Let's Do History group in the Thinkfinity Community to access the resources.

Small Group Workshop Resources

If you attended the small group workshop, you’ll find the accompanying resources below. 

Teachers debate with John Brown

 Teachers in Charleston, WV debate John Brown's legacy

Parent Night Resources

If you attended the parent night, you’ll find the accompanying resources below. 


Our Challenge

We invite all teachers to participate in our challenge. All participants will receive one of three teaching resources--a hard tack cutter, a replica Star-Spangled Banner, or a CD of American protest music

Challenge:

  • Implement a lesson or activity that uses Smithsonian resources
  • Tell us about it at http://s.si.edu/dIe75
  • Then you will receive a free replica object for your classroom

We also invite you to upload evidence of how the activity worked in your class. This upload is not required to receive a teaching object though we appreciate seeing anything that will better demonstrate your students’ response to the activity. Some ideas for uploads include a photo or video of students participating in the activity; actual student output or photo of student output; video, sound recording, or transcript of students describing their experience with the activity.

Join the Thinkfinity Community

While you will not need to create a profile to use Thinkfinity.org to search for lesson plans and activities, we recommend joining the free community to connect with educators across the country.  Start by becoming friends with museum educators CarrieAtAmericanHistory, NaomiAtAmericanHistory, and MattAtAmericanHistory. We’d love to hear from you.

Other Resources

  • We also recommend the following articles:
    • Looking at Artifacts, Thinking about History” by Steven Lubar and Kathleen Kendrick 
    • VanSledright, Bruce A. “Fifth Graders Investigating History in the Classroom: Results from a Researcher-Practitioner Design Experiment.” The Elementary School Journal  103.2 (2002), pp. 131-160.
    • Wineburg, Samuel S. “Historical Problem Solving: A Study of the Cognitive Processes Used in the Evaluation of Documentary and Pictorial Evidence.” Journal of Educational Psychology 83.1 (1991), pp. 73-87.
  • Use the links below to find the History Explorer team and the National Museum of American History on our social media channels on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.
  • Sign up for our email newsletter or send us a message at historyteachers@si.edu with comments, suggestions for new resources, or questions about our site or materials!

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Let’s Do History Tour Schedule

More dates and locations will be announced as they are finalized.

Date

Location

March 14 & 16, 2013

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

May 30-31, 2013

Lawton, Oklahoma

October 2013

Jefferson and Lafayette Parishes, Louisiana

Featured Artifact

Hessian Miter Cap

The Fusilier Regiment von Knyphausen was one of the regiments of the Second Division of troops from the German principality of Hesse-Cassel. It served as an auxiliary troop...