Posted by: history591seventeen | June 13, 2009

Madison, Wisconsin

Friday, June 016

Wisconsin was a wonderful place to visit.  I really enjoyed the presentation done by the lady at the State Historical Museum. When she went over the “Think Like a Historian” chart, I knew she would have great resources.  She gave me a  class set of those and I plan on using those in my classroom for History Day, as I already use something similar; she defiantly had much better resources! 

Friday, June 022 

She also showed us around the museum and explained how she uses a mural in the museum to explain to her visitors about how it is a primary source just like a document would be which of course gives a different perspective.  Most students prefer pictures and cartoons to reading anyway.  I would like to use this idea more in my classroom.

 She also showed us a modern day room and explained that she tells students to pretend that this is their room and to think about the most important thing to them in the room.  “Then think of removing that from your room.  Now if an historian went into your room, would they know you and your whole story without that item in your room?”  She said the kids say “NO WAY! Not without my —- in the room.  You can’t know me.” I thought that would be a great lesson to use with my students.  It would help them understand that it is impossible for any historian to know everything 100%.

I learned a lot from John Pollack as well.  He introduced the Naturalization Forms and explained to us how guidelines had changed over time, which was very interesting.  That would be another fabulous lesson to show students.  I’m sure I could adapt this lesson for use for other items and time periods.

Don't Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water

Don't Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water

Then we got the privilege of looking at different archives that Harry Miller pulled out for us.  I was really interested in the photographs taken by Lewis Hine.  He created a lot of reform for child labor through the use of his photos.  My students will love seeing these, and there are so many ways I can use them.  I may use them as warm-ups to begin some of my immigration units. 

Lastly, Dr. Stan Schultz gave us a lecture on the Progressive Era.  He really made it make more sense to me, which I really appreciate.  I liked the way he related the movement to today, which will be a good way to present it to my students.  He talked about how educated women were the ones heading up the social programs that were began and we talked about how these were the same women who had been active In different ways during the Civil War.  I just wonder if these women were active in the Progressive Era for reasons like the fact that in some areas, there were fewer men around to marry, so they found other ways to fill their time.  Time that would have been spent on family life went to social programs.  Just a thought.

Friday, June 076I also found these two photos intriguing.  They are from the Lewis Hine collection, showing two families at dinner.  This would be a good comparison for students to see; they look like two different ethnic groups and there are some things similar and somethings that are very different.

Friday, June 077



  1. Dana,
    You had a lot of valuable information in this blog. I like the detail you added of how the mural was used as a primary resource. My students, of course, would rather interpret a mural or picture v. reading a document. At least it would spark their interest a bit before reading a document. I also liked how she used the modern room to show how historians try to piece together a peoples history and how anything missing would not give a perfectly clear picture – I agree, it explains why historian can’t always see 100% of the picture. I plan on using that in my classroom as well. I also liked her shoebox idea for an archaeology dig. What did you think?

  2. Chris,
    I really don’t remember her shoebox idea, could you explain it to me again? Thanks, Dana

  3. Hi Dana
    Could I get a copy of the Think Like a Historian Page I think I missed it or refresh my memory of what it looks like.

  4. Amy,
    Sure I’ll give you one of the pages I have.

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