Learning With History Detectives

Each episode of History Detectives is full of exciting learning opportunities. Are you looking for suggestions on how to help your students sharpen their research skills? Would you like them to conduct their own historical investigations? Or, would you like to create lessons tied-in to our current season? The following resources can help.


Teaching With History Detectives

History Detectives covers a range of historical eras, including the Civil War, the Gold Rush, the Industrial Revolution, World Wars I and II, and the Korean War. This season, we have created lesson plans that relate to four specific episodes and offer curriculum ideas in a variety of subjects. All meet McRel Content Knowledge Standards.

Lesson Plans

Women's History: Activity Pack Hold a history-based political convention, create visual arts designs, and do biographical research.

WWII: Activity Pack Research and write about Japanese internment camps, the air war, and propaganda.

Myth of the West: Activity Pack Untangle fact from myth by examining artifacts that encapsulate the spirit of the American West.

Family History: Activity Pack Use genealogical research and oral history interviews to dig deeper.

African American History: Activity Pack Explore the complexities of slave geneology, civil rights, and race relations during WWI.

Using Primary Sources: Activity Pack Analyze, question, and follow up on information contained in a variety of primary sources.

Civil War: Activity Pack Delve into the intersection of military and social history, and survey slave art and culture.

The Sixties: Activity Pack Investigate the role of cultural artifacts, in effecting cultural change.

Do It Yourself Investigations

Historical sleuthing involves a variety of methods to get to the bottom of a case. Whether your students are trying to trace their family history or uncover the story behind a photograph, our student-friendly Detective Technique Guides can help them get started. They provide step-by-step guidelines and suggestions for DIY Investigations, as well as companion printable PDF checklists.

Resources For Historical Research

We have compiled a directory of organizations, websites, and storytelling tools that students can use to research historical events and individuals and to present or share their historical investigations. Click here for more.


Your Turn 

Evaluate: Once students have completed their independent investigations, download and print our rubric, the Teacher Evaluation Checklist, to evaluate their work.

Share: Have you created lessons around History Detectives? Do you have class investigations or student discoveries you wish to share? Visit our Facebook page and share your ideas and resources with us. We always love to hear from you!

Go to PBS Teachers for more than 3000+ lesson plans and activities.