Issue your students an invitation to visit the past by introducing them to those who inhabited familiar spaces and places in your community. "Celebrating Everyday Life in Wisconsin History" is a 60-page resource and planning guide designed to help upper elementary and middle school teachers and their students research, plan, and build classroom exhibits (actual or virtual) that explore state history by focusing on and celebrating the history that occurs closest to home. We have chosen five themes as areas of daily living to create a focal point for student exploration and design:
These thematic areas relate directly to resources available at the local level, including students' family members and adult acquaintances, local historical societies, libraries, and historic preservation organizations. The idea is to choose one theme as the conceptual center that will give students the opportunity to do an in-depth historic investigation. Each theme contains three specific topics to give teachers suggestions for fruitful research possibilities.
"Celebrating Everyday Life" uses oral history as one of the major thrusts of conducting local research. We have developed sample interview questions for students that stimulate them to compare and contrast the past and present.
Local historian Debbie Kmetz has contributed a step-by-step outline for planning a long-range project. This guide could easily become a principal resource of your Wisconsin social studies curriculum.