The Instructional Technology Team has gathered some resources for those teaching Michigan history and geography. You are encouraged to view the resources prior to using them in class. Please note, the list is only current as of the date listed at the top of this page.
Michigan Kids: State Symbols and Facts (Resource) – Maintained by Michigan.gov, this list contains links to different links about Michigan’s state symbols.
Michigan Kids: Michigan in Brief (Resource) – A brief overview of the state of Michigan from Michigan.gov.
Michigan Kids: Government & Laws (Resource) – This site is maintained by Michigan.gov and has resources about Michigan government and laws.
The Mitten (Publication) – The Mitten is a publication intended for 3rd and 4th grade about topics specific to Michigan from Seeking Michigan. They are 4 pages total in length and include content, graphics, vocabulary and an accompanying activity (word search, puzzle, fill-in-the-blank). Topics include (but are not limited to): the Fur Trade, the Three Fires, and different resources (ie Copper, White Pine, Iron ore, etc.)
Getting to Michigan (Publication) – This edition of Michigan History Kids (via Seeking Michigan) looks at how people journeyed to Michigan, what it was like to be an early settler, and what a day was like in a one-room school. Included is also an activity discussing state symbols.
Seeking Michigan: State Capital’s Nerd Room (Resource) – This site contains different infographics about how Lansing became the capital of Michigan.
How Michigan Became a State (Video) – From the Michigan History Center, this short video talks about the road to statehood and how a disagreement with Ohio could have cost Michigan statehood.(via Seeking Michigan)
How Lansing Became the Capital (Video) – From the Michigan History Center, this short video talks about why Michigan’s state capital moved from Detroit to Lansing. (via Seeking Michigan)
Building Detroit (Digital Activity) – Practice “Building Detroit” by either examining the city’s historical timeline or play a game as five generations of a family while you help build the city. (Via the Detroit Historical Society) Note: Activities currently work in the Firefox browser but not in Google Chrome.
Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes (Virtual Connection) – Did you know you can video chat with the rangers of Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes? You can sign up on the National Park Service website and view their different program offerings. We have connected with them in the past and they have been excellent! At the time of this post, they are currently updating their conferencing equipment and may not be able to connect.
Virtual Trip of the Michigan State Capitol (Digital Activity) – students can pan around the capitol building and see the rooms that houses the Michigan state government.
Example Lesson Ideas created by the Instructional Technology Coaches
(Linked material currently only available to WWCSD)
Create a Tour of Michigan – A visitor from another state/country/planet has come to Michigan. They only have a few days to visit the state and learn why it’s so amazing – what are the Top 10 places you would recommend they visit to show off your state pride?
- Google Tour Builder (View Google Tour Builder) – This resource allows the students to create a virtual “tour” using Google Maps and Streetview. Students are in charge of the content, including text, pictures and 360° images for their tours. This application requires a Google account and can be shared via link in Google Classroom.
Map the Mitten! (Digital breakout game) – In this Digital Breakout, students will have to help Oscar retrieve his family’s tickets for their next adventure in Michigan by solving Michigan geography themed clues!
- Breakout Game – Similar to an “Escape Room”, Breakouts challenge students to work under a time limit to solve clues to open a locked Breakout Box (or in this case, fill out a Google Form). The game focuses on cooperation, collaboration, and creative thinking while giving a different twist on how students demonstrate knowledge of content.
- Topics covered in this Breakout: the Great Lakes, major Michigan Bridges, state geography, and cardinal directions.
- Required to play: 1 web-enabled device per group/student, some prior knowledge is recommended.