Minnesota Historical Society Education: New Edition of "Northern Lights" Shines

For immediate release

Release dated: 
August 22, 2013
Media contacts: 

Julianna Olsen, Marketing and Communications, 651-259-3039, julianna.olsen@mnhs.org
Joanna Danks, Marketing and Communications,651-259-3149, joanna.danks@mnhs.org

Minnesota Historical Society Education: New Edition of "Northern Lights" Shines


Northern LightsA new student edition of “Northern Lights,” a high-quality, comprehensive social studies textbook and curriculum for Minnesota sixth graders, will debut in Minnesota classrooms this fall, offering enriched American Indian content and new content highlighting pre-contact Minnesota, World War I and late 20th Century history.

“Northern Lights” has been revised to meet all new sixth-grade state social studies standards, encompassing history, civics, geography and economics.

“Northern Lights,” created and published by the Minnesota Historical Society, is the only textbook devoted to Minnesota social studies. It features hundreds of primary sources and colorful images and engages students with a friendly narrative, interactive activities and stories told from multiple perspectives.

Teachers will find the new Revised Second Edition to be a single, comprehensive, high-quality and helpful resource that meets all new sixth-grade Minnesota social studies standards, which are required by the state. The new Annotated Teacher’s Edition of “Northern Lights” will be introduced in phases throughout the fall of 2013.

“You’re looking for valuable resources that you can use in your classroom to help your kids learn and without question, the single most important resource that I have is ‘Northern Lights.’” Ryan Olson, Anthony Middle School teacher, Minneapolis.

Northern Lights

“Northern Lights,” created and published by the Minnesota Historical Society, offers civics, economics and geography connections in addition to history, along with a new glossary of terms. Plus, new sidebars called “So What?” relate historical content to today’s world. End-of-chapter investigations allow students to analyze primary sources and practice historical methods, while primary sources from the Minnesota Historical Society’s collections bring state history to life.

New, Vetted Edition Available in Print and Digital
The new, Revised Second Edition of “Northern Lights” is also available in a digital format, which contains the same text and images as the printed textbook. The digital version may be accessed on PCs, Macs, eReaders, iPads and Android devices.

A fully-digital, interactive “Northern Lights” curriculum will debut in summer 2014. This enhanced eBook will be accessible via web browsers and handheld devices and will include video, audio, image slideshows, interactive maps and diagrams. Teachers and students can download a free iPad app of Chapter 8 of the Revised Second Edition, “Minnesota and the Civil War,” at bit.ly/civilwarapp.

The “Northern Lights” student edition contains 20 chapters and 524 pages, including more than 150 pages of new content. Author Dave Kenney wrote the narrative while content was compiled and vetted by a broad range of educators, historians and content experts.

The student edition covers Minnesota history starting thousands of years ago and ending with modern day. “Northern Lights” also features an appendix called “Minnesota Studies” that shows how economics, geography, civics and history work together to create this unique place called Minnesota.

Northern Lights Chapters

1. Studying Minnesota
2. Evidence from the Past
3. Early Dakota
4. Early Ojibwe
5. The Fur Trade
6. The Land Changes Hands
7. Minnesota’s Newcomers
8. The Civil War
9. U.S.-Dakota War of 1862
10. Sodbusters
11. Flour, Lumber, and Iron
12. Immigrants, Labor, Cities
13. The Common Good
14. World War I
15. Boom and Bust
16. World War II
17. Cold War, Warm Kitchens
18. Taking a Stand
19. Minnesota in the Modern World
20. Who We Are Today
Appendix: Minnesota Studies