Michigan History for Kids magazine teaches history of all Michigan's peoples


The Historical Society of Michigan (HSM) announces the release of Michigan History for Kids magazine and its accompanying website, www.michigankids.org. Aimed at children in third and fourth grades, where state history is taught in Michigan's schools, Michigan History for Kids goes beyond the textbooks, exploring the history and heritage of all Michigan's peoples.

The magazine, which was designed to be a supplemental aid in classrooms, also thoroughly integrates Michigan's Grade Level Content Expectations and other emerging standards into the content. Using both print and digital platforms and a racial-equity lens, each issue brings to life a different part of our state's past and features unbiased stories about the diverse people, places and events that have impacted Michigan over time.

"In every issue of Michigan History for Kids, we strive to cover all aspects of our state's history and also include stories of people of color, who are normally overlooked or often forgotten in traditional academic materials, so that students develop a more complete understanding of Michigan's history," said Larry Wagenaar, HSM executive director and publisher of Michigan History for Kids. "The diverse stories, along with thought-provoking questions and fun activities, engage students and make history meaningful to children throughout the state."

To ensure that Michigan History for Kids and www.michigankids.org are valuable resources for educators, HSM had them thoroughly evaluated and tested by several focus groups, including one that consisted of nearly 40 teachers and 1,400 third and fourth graders. To align with the school year and teachers' needs, the magazine is published bimonthly, minus the two major summer months when there are no classes, and the accompanying website provides interactive activities, expanded information and audio files that read the stories to students. Online lesson plans have also been created, which provide more detailed activities that can be used in the classroom. The lesson plans amplify the magazine's content and present additional information that enhance the students' learning experiences.

"The editors of Michigan History for Kids have especially sought out authors from underserved and minority communities," added Wagenaar, "which enables educators to teach Michigan's history from new perspectives."

Both classroom and individual subscriptions are available. Full information, along with sample content, is available at www.michigankids.org. Previously published by the State of Michigan from 2001 to 2009, the new Michigan History for Kids magazine was made possible by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The Historical Society of Michigan is the state's oldest cultural organization, founded in 1828 by territorial governor Lewis Cass and explorer Henry Schoolcraft. A nongovernmental nonprofit, the Society focuses on publications, conferences, education, awards and recognition programming, and support for local history organizations to preserve and promote Michigan's rich history.

Published: Wed, Sep 09, 2015