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Learning By Doing: Project-Based Approaches to Teaching Wisconsin and U.S. History

The four teaching units at left on Wisconsin and U.S. History were the products of an extension project of “Learning by Doing: Public History in the Classroom” (LBD), a graduate certificate program for U.S. history teachers in northwestern Wisconsin funded by two Department of Education “Teaching American History Grants in 2002 and 2204. The objective of the LBD program was to create a comprehensive project-based U.S. history curriculum based on the Wisconsin U.S. Academic History Standards.

These four units exemplify the three pedagogical goals of the LBD program:

  1. The use of local and regional history to teach the standard “grand” narratives of Wisconsin and U.S. history

  2. The engagement of students in project-based and active learning to increase retention and understanding of historical content, methods and interpretation

  3. The creation of teaching units which can be readily implemented into the classroom and which can also serve as instructional models for how to incorporate project-based and active learning in the teaching of Wisconsin and U.S. History

Each of these teaching units contains all the teacher resources necessary for classroom implementation. The entire units -- together with all associated primary sources, worksheets and assessments -- can be downloaded, printed or viewed online. The units also contain PowerPoint presentations designed to serve as research models and teaching aids.