The BIG History Lesson began here at the Michigan Historical Museum and received a 2000 Certificate of Commendation from the American Association for State and Local History. The week’s lessons are correlated with state standards, and assessment tools are used throughout the experience.
Activities during The BIG History Lesson week are teacher-led and student-centered and can include speakers, behind-the-scenes tours and students working cooperatively on research. Children participate in presentations, discussions, drama, writing, sketching and a variety of other interdisciplinary lessons while at the museum.
Cost for the one-week BIG History Lesson in the 2012-2013 school year is $300. The fee allows the BIG History Lesson teacher to use the museum as a classroom for five consecutive days and covers the cost of one museum-provided presenter per day. All fees are nonrefundable.
To prepare, teachers participate in a BIG History Lesson planning and professional development workshop, where they learn about the museum and its resources. (Cost for first-time BHL teachers, $60; returning BHL teachers, $25.) The workshop emphasizes object-based learning, thematic study and the use of community resources as teaching and learning tools. Teachers work with the program coordinator to develop a unit of study, including activities, resources and museum support needed for their BIG History Lesson week. This is mandatory for first time teachers.
Other costs typically incurred by BIG History Lesson classes and not covered by the $300 fee include transportation to and from the museum each day, BIG History Lesson t-shirts and incidental school supplies. Teachers often find funding for BIG History through their parent/teacher organizations and local service clubs.
For more information about The BIG History Lesson at the Michigan Historical Museum, telephone Laurie Catherine Perkins at (517) 241-0731 or send e-mail to PerkinsL1@michigan.gov.