Major new exhibit opens
After 5 years in the making, the History Center's Open House exhibit opens this month. This major new exhibit tells stories of the families who have lived in a single house on St. Paul's East Side--from the German immigrants who built it, through the Italian, African American, and now Hmong families who succeeded them.
Visitors become detectives, piecing together lives of those who have lived at 470 Hopkins Street. "History is something every family lives," says Dan Spock, Head of Exhibitions. "If you dig around a bit, your family can be a vehicle for historical exploration." The discovery of stories is at the heart of this hands-on exhibit.
The exhibit will connect beautifully to your lessons about immigration, labor, industry, and the Great Depression. Your students will respond to the stories of real people who lived through every event of the 20th century. A free curriculum for grades 4-12 will be online next month.
Book your field trip now. Fill out a request form or call 651-297-7258. Scope it out first and celebrate with us at the Open House Block Party on Jan 14.
hISTORIC MINNESOTA MAPS NOW ONLINE
"Teachers are a critical audience we want to reach," says Bob Horton, the Society's Acting Director of Library and Collections. "We hope our new IMLS funded project, Geography and History Online, is the first of many collaborations with them." The Minnesota Maps web site, which went online last month, is the one step in a long-term effort to make geography more accessible. Maps include:
- Plat maps and Atlases. These are easier to search than the survey maps. Is your community one of the lucky few to be the first online?
NoRTHERN LIGHTS FOR STUDENTS with disabilities
Do you use the Northern Lights curriculum to teach Minnesota history? Have you been looking for ways to adapt it for students with disabilities? We are pleased to let teachers know about the Communication Center of MN State Services for the Blind, an agency that provides audio and Braille versions of the new Northern Lights.
If your students register in the Communication Center's grant-funded program, audio materials are provided free. Otherwise, schools pay fees for cassettes and CDs. (Even so, the Center still covers the majority of production costs.) For more information, contact Ellie Sevdy, Supervisor of Audio Services, at 651-642-0849.
MCSS launches new web site
Be one of the first to visit a brand-new web site. See what the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies has in store for you. If you're a teacher, administrator, or curriculum developer who believes in social studies education, join the new network. Become part of the dialogue.
Sign up for the MCSS mailing list, and find out more about the 2006 spring conference. This year's theme is important for you and your students: Documents/Dialogue/Disciplines/Democracy.
Nominations are being accepted now for MCSS 2006 Teacher of the Year and the Bill Mainerich Memorial Scholarship (for high-school seniors). Hurry! Entries must be submitted in January.
1930s NEWSPAPERS up for grabs (Yes, for free)
A small stash of historic Twin Cities newspapers is available to the first teacher who responds to this article. Recently given to the Society, the papers date from 1929 through 1940. These particular papers are not necessary for our collection because they already exist on microfilm. Both the St. Paul Dispatch and The Minneapolis Sunday Tribune are represented.
You won't have to wear dresses made out of newspaper, as these women did (ca. 1935), but your students will find the papers useful just the same.
Articles discuss 5-cent air postage bills, Civil War veterans, a plea to maintain St. Paul's reputation as "The Christmas City," and a full-page 1940 war map of Europe. The ads are just as fascinating, including dental plates, college recruitments, and medicinal soap.
Send an email to request these newspapers (first come, first served). Depending on response rate, we may offer similar items in the future.
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With our study of pre-contact Minnesota, we have glacier water and caveman cookies. We invite parents, grandpas, grandmas, aunts, uncles, and whoever else students want to bring. The kids make "pre-contact murals" to hang in the hall. We do a mini lesson on glaciers and pre-contact animals and man (skeletal remains have been discovered very close to us near Pelican Rapids). We culminate the activity by serving caveman cookies. The kids bake the cookies--an oatmeal and chocolate chip concoction.
--Woody Blasing, 4th Grade Teacher
Frazee-Vergas Elementary, Frazee, MN
Do you have a classroom idea you'd like to share with other educators? Please contact us with your idea. If your idea is chosen, we'll send you a free book from the Minnesota Historical Society Press.