THE DIGITAL REPOSITORY FOR THE BLACK EXPERIENCE

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K-12 Education

The HistoryMakers has had a long and deep connection with K-12 teachers and classroom instruction since our beginning. Our educational initiatives and curriculum materials for K-12 education have included The HistoryMakers Digital Archive, ScienceMakers, Pioneers in the Struggle: The History of African Americans in the Illinois General Assembly (1877-2001), FutureMaker: Becoming a HistoryMaker, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Education Institutes and an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)-funded program that trained African American archivists.

In the K-12 classroom, The HistoryMakers Digital Archive has been used in a wide variety of manners, but has been impactful across the board. In today’s world, educational materials have increasingly focused on electronic access and digital literacy, and The HistoryMakers Digital Archive stands apart from other resources in this regard, in addition to filling a gap in the coverage of African American achievement and history. By using The HistoryMakers Digital Archive in the classroom, teachers and students gain access to:

  • An innovative “one of a kind” digital educational resource
  • Increased exposure to career paths and role models for students
  • Content critical to identity formation in underserved minority youth
     

AN INNOVATIVE “ONE OF A KIND” DIGITAL EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE

INCREASED EXPOSURE TO CAREER PATHS AND ROLE MODELS FOR STUDENTS

CONTENT CRITICAL TO IDENTITY FORMATION IN UNDERSERVED MINORITY YOUTH

CURRICULA AND TEACHING RESOURCES

We work with educators around the country to create unique and in-depth programs for a variety of educational levels and grades. See the lesson plans below to learn about programs you can bring into your classroom, or log in to the Digital Archives educational tools.

BECOMING A FUTUREMAKER
Grades 6-12

BECOMING A FUTUREMAKER

Becoming a FutureMaker is a five-lesson curriculum centered around self-guided use of The HistoryMakers Digital Archive. Designed to increase academic and creative skills, Becoming a FutureMaker guides students to reflect on issues of leadership, adversity, contributions, achievement, and community in their own lives and in the lives of HistoryMakers.

FROM LOSS TO THRIVING
Grades 6-12

FROM LOSS TO THRIVING

From Loss to Thriving is a six-lesson curriculum centered around curated use of The HistoryMakers Digital Archive and language arts. Designed to increase social and emotional learning, From Loss to Thriving focuses on the themes of trauma and resilience in the stories of HistoryMakers while encouraging students to engage in self-exploration and discovery.

Cover image of SCIENCEMAKERS TOOLKIT MANUAL
Grades K-12

SCIENCEMAKERS TOOLKIT MANUAL – VOLUME 1

The first volume contains biographies of 34 ScienceMakers and is packaged with a companion DVD including clips of each ScienceMakers’ interview. Featured ScienceMakers include Warren Washington, Larry Gladney, and Darnell Diggs.

cover image of SCIENCEMAKERS TOOLKIT MANUAL
Grades K-12

SCIENCEMAKERS TOOLKIT MANUAL – VOLUME 2

The second volume contains biographies of 73 ScienceMakers and five classroom activities per featured STEM discipline. Featured ScienceMakers include Neil de Grasse Tyson, Dawn Wright, and Shirley Malcom.

Cover image for SCIENCEMAKERS TOOLKIT MANUAL – VOLUME 3
Grades K-12

SCIENCEMAKERS TOOLKIT MANUAL – VOLUME 3

The final volume contains biographies of 96 ScienceMakers and extra fun facts about each ScienceMakers' work. Featured ScienceMakers include Charles Bolden, Lonnie Johnson, and Linnaeus Dorman.

Cover image for PIONEERS IN THE STRUGGLE
Grades K-12

PIONEERS IN THE STRUGGLE

Pioneers In The Struggle was a three-part educational package distributed free of charge to the Illinois public school system that included an engaging and informative documentary video, and interactive CD-ROM, and a teacher’s curriculum…

Programs and contests

kids in a class room raising their hands

Grades K-12

Back to School with the HistoryMakers

The Back to School With The HistoryMakers day of service is an annual nationwide volunteer initiative that takes African American leaders into schools across the nation, all on the last Friday of September, in order to encourage students of all races to commit to their education. By putting young people in direct contact with our HistoryMakers, the goal of Back To School With The HistoryMakers is to:

1 — Raise awareness of the achievements of accomplished African Americans in their local communities.

2 — Encourage student achievement, parental involvement, increased test scores, high school graduation rates, and successful college entry and matriculation.

3 — Bring African American leaders into schools to engage with the community and motivate students directly.

4 — Provide clear, culturally relevant examples of role models and career pathways for students.

5 — Encourage use of The HistoryMakers Digital Archive of oral history interviews.

Back To School With The HistoryMakers has featured HistoryMakers like former senior presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett, former Mayor of Philadelphia The Honorable W. Wilson Goode, renowned opera singer Denyce Graves, and NASA’s Glenn Research Center Director, Julian Manly Earls, among hundreds of others, visiting schools in their local communities. In most cases, educators and administrators at the schools who participate in the Back To School With The HistoryMakers program do not have the ability to reach out and contact the broad array of demographics and socioeconomic levels represented by the individuals interviewed for The HistoryMakers Collection. Through this program, students are able to draw concrete parallels with their own lives, and are inspired to explore more varied opportunities for their education and career.

portrait of competition winner and Julieanna Richardson

GRADES K-12

The HistoryMakers Digital Archive Competition

At The HistoryMakers, we believe that history is dramatic and relevant. To help show the public just how engaging history can be, we conceived of two fun and engaging competitions for K-12 educators and students to familiarize themselves with exploring and using The HistoryMakers Digital Archive. Prizes for teachers and students range from free trips to the corporate headquarters of some of The HistoryMakers sponsors, to cash, gift certificates, and LCD projectors.

The HistoryMakers Digital Archive Competition and The HistoryMakers ScienceMakers YouTube Oral History Competition have each produced extraordinary examples of students and teachers thinking critically and creatively in their interaction with The HistoryMakers content, while also allowing for deeper exploration into the resource, and chances for enriched learning experiences.

 

Past winners

Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center (Columbus, Ohio)

1st Place Teacher: Julie Kindinger; TV and Filmmaking Instructor
1st Place Student: Jalen Spencer (11th Grade)

K.B. Polk Center for the Academically Talented and Gifted (Dallas, Texas)

1st Place Teacher: Suzanne Kimbrell-Bauer;  5th grade Social Studies Instructor
1st Place Student: Paige Hounsel (5th Grade)

Student Work Examples

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Michael Diluzo

WALTHAM HIGH SCHOOL

Michael Diluzio’s classes conducted a comparative analysis of two different oral history stories from The HistoryMakers Digital Archive from a playlist that Diluzio had pre-selected, to supplement and enhance their study of World War II. Students recorded specific historical information…

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Mary Patton

WALTHAM HIGH SCHOOL

Mary Patton asked her students to do a research paper and directed them to use The HistoryMakers Digital Archive as the focal resource. Her objectives were to both provide students with an opportunity to practice their research skills (like Boolean search and identifying reliable sources) as well as…

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Juanita Douglas

LINCOLN PARK HIGH SCHOOL

Juanita Douglas, an honors social studies teacher at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago, Illinois, has been integrating The HistoryMakers content into her classes since 2001. She uses the rich storytelling available in The HistoryMakers Digital Archive to enhance her critical thinking pedagogy…

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Monny Cochran

WESTON HIGH SCHOOL

Monny Cochran’s class used The HistoryMakers Digital Archive as a tool for his students to explore the decade of the 1930s in U.S. history. He first asked students to define some key terms from the period, and recount what they already knew about the African American experience during…

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Robin Wanosky

WESTON HIGH SCHOOL

Robin Wanosky’s classes used The HistoryMakers Digital Archive in the context of their study of the 1920s. Students were asked to consider what they already knew about the 1920s in America, and were then asked to explore the contents of the archive by first searching “1920s” and searching within…