Minnesota Historical Society Education: History Player in the Classroom Great Alternative to Field Trips

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

Quick facts: 


Minnesota Historical Society Education: History Player in the Classroom Great Alternative to Field Trips


History Player in the ClassroomImagine having a World War II Women Airforce Service pilot or one of Minnesota’s first public school teachers come visit school. The stories of these famous Minnesotans are alive and being told to students statewide thanks to History Player in the Classroom.

The Minnesota Historical Society offers 11 History Players who visit classrooms statewide in character and period attire. Players lead students through lively interactive 45-minute lessons that correspond with “Northern Lights,” Minnesota’s social studies textbook and curriculum.

History Players visit schools across Minnesota and are a great option for classes with limited ability to take field trips. They are also a hit with teachers and students. In a 2011 study by the Society, 95 percent of teachers stated that History Players in the Classroom supported their curriculum and instruction goals.

History Players include:

• Charley Goddard (1846-1868), teenage Civil War soldier

• Wanda Gag (1893-1946), award-winning storybook author and illustrator from New Ulm, Minn.

• Toni Stone (1921-1996), first woman to play professional baseball in the Negro Leagues

• Mary Dodge Woodward (1826-1890), domesticmanager on a bonanza farm

• William de la Barre (1849-1936), chief water engineer for Minneapolis with insights into how
Minneapolis became famous for flour

• Frederick McKinley Jones (1892-1961) African-American inventor and self-taught engineer

• Harriet Bishop (1817-1883), St. Paul’s first public school teacher

• George Nelson (1786-1859), fur trade clerk with stories of voyageurs, the Great Lakes fur trade and the exchanges between Dakota, Ojibwe and the Europeans

• Maud Hart Lovelace (1892-1980), author of the famous Betsy-Tacy series of children’s books

• Thomas Lyles (1843-1920), community activist and entrepreneur who fought against racial

• Virginia Mae Hope (1921-1944), World War II Women Airforce Service Pilot

All lessons are supported with curricular materials aligned with Minnesota state social studies standards.