Northern Lights: Revised Second Edition
The Northern Lights revision is underway! The Revised Second Edition (R2E) will be released in phases, the first of which is slated to be available for the fall of 2013.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is a revision needed?
Like any curriculum that has been in place nearly 10 years, portions of Northern Lights could be enhanced through new and revised content. The passage of time calls for deeper exploration of Minnesota's late 20th-century history, and changes in technology have opened the door to digital delivery. Content experts and educators have had time to work with the Second Edition and provide valuable feedback about what works and what doesn't.
In what phases with the Revised Second Edition be released?
Phase 1: Print and Digital (2013)
Components include printed and digital Student Edition, printed Annotated Teacher's Edition, and worksheets delivered in digital form. Anticipated Release is in time for the fall of 2013.
Phase 2: Enhanced Digital Edition and Annotated Teacher's Edition (Summer 2014)
The exact timing and format(s) are to be determined based on statewide patterns of mobile device deployment. We have already created prototypes, of which classroom testing is underway.
Why Revise Northern Lights Now?
The State of Minnesota Department of Education recently approved a revised set of social studies standards for Minnesota schools. The new standards will take effect in the 2013-4 school year and Northern Lights is being revised to meet them. They mandate the following:
- Interdisciplinary Minnesota Studies benchmarks must be taught in all sixth grade classrooms in the state.
- Minnesota history is the lead discipline, to be covered in conjunction with citizenship and government, economics, and geography.
- Students are to learn about the unique role Minnesota played, and continues to play, in regional, national and global politics.
In what ways will the Revised Second Edition differ from the Second Edition?
Changes to the 2003 edition are based on the new standards, as well as feedback from teachers and content experts. Revisions include:
- A brand-new version of Ch.2, "The First Minnesotans"
- A sidebar in each chapter highlighting a modern connection to content
- A chapter on World War I (brand new)
- Enriched American Indian content
- Deeper exploration of late 20th-century history
- Enhanced coverage of Minnesota's connection to the nation and world
- Activities guiding students to explore related social studies disciplines - civics/government, economics, and geography
- Delivery of chapter worksheets in a digital format
In what ways will it stay the same?
- An Investigation activity accompanies each chapter.
- Curriculum components encourage an active process of inquiry.
- Hundreds of colorful primary sources, many from the Society's collections, are featured.
- Dave Kenney, author of the Student Edition chapters, will provide an engaging narrative style.
A Brief History of Northern Lights
The Minnesota Historical Society publishes the state's history curriculum, Northern Lights: The Stories of Minnesota's Past.
The first edition, published in 1989, included two hard-cover student books (a text and an activity book) and Teacher's Edition. While tremendously successful, teacher feedback led to significant revision for the Second Edition, which was published in 2003. That new curriculum included three books: a Student Edition, an Annotated Teacher's Edition, and a Classroom Resources Workbook.
Between the First and Second Editions, Northern Lights is being used in every county in the state.