Classroom-ready resources to support Minnesota's teachers and students. Browse lessons and activities featuring primary sources, for all grade levels.
Ready-to-go classroom activities
Kids in School (Extended)
An extended version of the “How has school changed over time?” activity.
Students learn about school gardens in the past and present.
Where People Live
Students ask questions about places people live, now and in the past.
Primary v. Secondary Sources Activity
Students use objects in their home to examine the difference between primary and secondary sources.
Primary Source Analysis: Before and After Photo
Historic photos inspire students to create a comic of what happened before and after the photo was taken.
Primary Source Analysis: How has school changed over time?
Compare school experiences past, present, and future.
Downloadable activity & coloring pages
Check out how-to videos, coloring sheets, and more as you explore the history, people, and places that helped shape our state’s one-of-a-kind story.
Explore Minnesota’s history, people, landscapes, wildlife, and culture in this fun—and free—activity book!
NEW! Using Data to Make Change
Students examine WEB DuBois's "African American Daily Life Charts" to understand how more information can lead to social change in our communities.
NEW! Photographs of Native Americans
In this middle-school version of the "Analyzing Photographs for Bias" activity, students consider the stories that photographs tell about Native Americans.
NEW! Resisting Slavery and the Status Quo
Students learn about various ways that people, Black and White, resisted slavery in antebellum America.
Monuments and Memorials
Students research and analyze the Christopher Columbus statue on the Minnesota State Capitol grounds and analyze different perspectives on the question of whether to reinstall the statue or to remove it.
Students draw connections between past and present ways of communicating about important issues and investigate a variety of protest banners from the Minnesota woman suffrage movement.
Analyzing Photographs for Bias
Students learn to examine photographs with an eye for bias.
Students examine birdseye maps of Minnesota cities and compare them to modern maps.
Students learn from a short video series about the Bohemian Flats neighborhood of Minneapolis.
Students analyze primary sources to broaden their understanding of colonialism.
Students consider ways youth can effect change, past and present.
Primary Source Analysis: What is your story?
Collect objects to represent yourself then analyze someone else’s objects.
Primary Source Analysis: Women and World War I
Students analyze an antiwar banner from the woman suffrage movement, then make their own.
Primary Source Analysis: War Technology Comparison
Students compare World War I technology to today’s technology.
Primary Source Analysis: Post-World War I Soldier
Students examine primary sources to answer a question about life after World War I for some soldiers.
Videos & online resources
Afternoon Tea with Primary Sources
Brief primary source video instruction for students grades 1-6.
“Strongman” videos with author Kenneth C. Davis
Learn about 20th-century dictators, in five episodes.
Episode 1 Benito Mussolini
Episode 2 Adolf Hitler
Episode 3 Joseph Stalin
Episode 4 Mao Zedong
Episode 5 Saddam Hussein
"In the Shadow of Liberty" videos with author Kenneth C. Davis
Learn about the enslaved people of four presidents, in five episodes.
Votes for Women
Dive into MNHS’s online exhibit about Minnesota women who fought for voting rights and related causes. Discover ways to integrate the stories of four of these women into your instruction.
Episode 1 Sabrie Akin
Episode 2 Nellie Francis
Episode 3 Bertha Moller
Episode 4 Marie Bottineau Baldwin
History is Now
We are living in a historic moment. Learn more and explore our stories.
Our Home: Native Minnesota
Watch videos and find resources connected to MNHS’s permanent exhibit at the History Center.