Welcome to the Michigan Historical Museum "Teachers' Stuff." Topics are correlated to the museum's permanent galleries, so they make good pre- and post-visit resources. However, even if you are not planning a field trip to the museum, these resources can be used with any Michigan history unit. This page offers suggestions for use of the items marked "lesson plans."
How to Use the Lesson Plans
Main Concepts and Understandings
Use the "Main Concepts and Understandings" to guide your
choice of activities in these pages. They will also
help you decide where you want to spend time during
your museum visit. After the visit, let the concepts
guide how you measure your students' museum trip learning achievement.
Background notes provide information for your own Michigan history "refresher." Use this information to introduce the topic to the students. If the Lesson Plan also includes a vocabulary list, this is the time to introduce new words to the class.
Objectives and Social Studies Content Standards
Compare these to your curriculum goals. If they fill a need, the lesson plan is a good choice. If they do not appear to match your needs, read through the lesson to see if an objective not mentioned might also be covered before discarding the lesson. These lessons are designed to be used across the curriculum. Although the objectives and content standards listed here relate to social studies, it may be an appropriate way to bring Michigan history into a language arts, science, art or other unit.
Materials Needed and Directions
These sections provide basic steps in conducting the
activity with the students. Select and adapt activities
according to the abilities of the students and concepts
you wish to emphasize. Activities requiring a handout such
as a puzzle or map include a master for the handout. Some
activities require the teacher or students to provide items
needed, such as a highway map of Michigan, shoe boxes for
dioramas or corn for husking.
Questions for Discussion or Research
These questions can extend understanding of the concepts
in your class discussion during or following the lesson. They can also be used as oral or written work for "extra credit" or
with gifted students who want to explore a topic further.
At the Museum
"At the Museum" suggests special ways to pay attention to
things the students will see during a field trip to the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing. We do not recommend that
students bring handouts with questions to answer during
their visit ("scavenger hunt" or trivia question activities).
When students must answer specific questions they are distracted with a goal of filling in blanks rather than actively learning.
They miss much of what there is to be learned from the museum through higher level thought processes.
The text and/or online resources offered here will help you prepare to teach the lesson. Some may be at student level and can be used as further reading in the classroom.
Contact the Michigan Historical Museum.