History class should be fun, engaging and effective. Learning science and psychological research have provided invaluable insights on how young people learn best: through individual inquiry, experiences, play and hands-on learning.
In order to spread these practices, we have created templates for each of these pedagogical approaches that any educator and any institution can adapt to the content or assets with which they want to engage young people.
Opportunities to create, lead and connect their learning to the real world.
Learning through play.
Transformative, immersive and mind-opening learning moments.
Learning driven by their curiosity and by finding answers to questions.
As the Learning Collaborative, we want to make these methods of learning the norm. We are not building a full-blown learning library on this site. We are collecting and sharing templates to showcase what this kind of localized, inspiring learning can look like. See Composer Education for a vast collection of learning-science based resources from civic ed providers.
We also host learning learning sessions and conduct workshops to help institutions adapt these to their needs. See our events page to see how we can help you adapt these to your own learning environment. There are many educators already using these models in their classroom and spaces. If you are one of them: please join the network and share your story!
Use the filters below to find the learning tools by category, grade, and subject. Click "Reset Filters" to return back to the full list.
This project is a model for engaging students with their community, connecting classroom learning with community governance and school history. The students will be a part of a special committee that is being formed to gather historical information about the history of the Fort Osage School District and specifically about the one-room schoolhouse, where the current district offices are housed. The students will develop a sense of community and connection as they research the story of a building that is central to their school's past and present. The students will create a storyboard to be presented to the community decision-makers at the dedication ceremony.
This project is an example of how students can connect historical narratives and exhibits to their own stories and current affairs. The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum is asking students to come up with original art to help publicize the grand re-opening of the site. This project allows teachers to find ways to creatively infuse their curriculum with the programming available at a museum or community institution.
This project template provides an outline for how students can work with a museum to create tours with a specific theme. The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum is asking students to help create and design new museum tours to use for upcoming middle school field trips focused on STEM. Our vision is to use President Trumans’ life and legacy to inform, inspire, educate and engage. What better way to do that than ask middle school students to create tours for middle school students.
This is a generic template that teachers and museum educators in Kansas City have used to create "Client Connected Projects" that fulfill the requirements of a Market Value Asset required by the Diploma Plus standards. The point behind this template is to enable the co-creation of learning experiences that fulfill three goals: 1) developing core 21st century competencies and skills 2) providing relevant, real-world learning for students and 3) allowing students to create tangible value-add for community organizations.
In this project, students are connected with an ongoing Local History project at the university, and work together with graduate students to craft descriptions of sites that will be uploaded into a tour-app, designed by the University. It is a powerful example of town-gown-school collaboration, and allows students not only to engage with primary research, but to connect directly with an institution of higher education.
In this project, students are asked to help conduct research and create content on local tours that will connect members of our community with the sites and assets of our city and state. These tours can be part of an app, a website or an institution’s tour collection.
During this project module, teens learn about the inner workings of cultural institutions, explore a topic of interest to them, and produce an exhibit (or other project) within the space on that topic. Using this guide, you will be able to justify this program to your co-workers; prepare for the arrival of your group; guide your group through a fun, intellectual, and community-building program; and evaluate your results.
In this project, students are asked to conduct research and create a proposal and presentation for an original virtual exhibit that could be displayed on www.kansascityfed.org/moneymuseum. This activity is hosted by the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
This inquiry, designed by a Middle School teacher and a contemporary art museum, leads students through an investigation of Ancient Mesopotamia to have them consider the importance geography had on its development and how this is relevant to them today. It is important to note that these characteristics are relevant to all River Valley Civilizations, and these questions could be asked of Egypt, India, and China as well.
This inquiry, designed by a high school teacher and a Presidential Library, leads students through an investigation of presidential power and how that power has changed over time by exploring the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, as well as famous executive orders and Supreme Court cases during the Presidency of Harry S Truman.
This inquiry, designed by a high school teacher in partnership with the Public Library, leads students through an investigation of Chicano culture, identity, history, and resistance to discrimination and cultural assimilation. By exploring the compelling questions about the importance of cultural identity students will consider their own cultural identity and then in turn, analyze Chicano culture in America. Students will investigate the conditions facing Mexican-Americans from the time of the Mexican-American War (1848) through the 1960s.
This inquiry, designed by a high school teacher and a local history society, leads students through an investigation of the causes of the American Civil War through a study of national and local (Jackson County, MO) history. Students will make connections between the current issue of removing Confederate statues to the history of the division between slave and free-soil states prior to the Civil War.
This inquiry, designed by a high school teacher in partnership with the Dole Institute of Politics, leads students through an investigation of how 18-year-olds were given this right during a time in history where they were being asked to fight and die for their country yet were unable to elect the people who were deciding to make them do so.
This inquiry, designed by a middle school teacher and the local history society, leads students through an investigation of the history of the Fort Osage School District, how it got its name and why this is important to them today given the social and political climate around the use of Native American names and symbols.