Wisconsin Historical Society

Classroom Material

Hands-On History

Bring the museum experience to your classroom!

Hands-On History | Wisconsin Historical Society
Enlargemammoth tooth 

Hands-On History brings the objects of the past directly to your students through hour-long interactive sessions. Students engage with these objects the way that historians and archaeologists do, by asking questions and drawing conclusions for themselves:

What can we learn from objects?

What questions do we ask?

How do objects help tell the story of the past?

Tied directly to the 4th grade Wisconsin Standards for Social Studies, these sessions are designed to enhance your classroom study of Wisconsin's past in meaningful, measurable ways.

Additionally, Hands-On History endeavors to bring aspects of local history to each site visited, from rural northern Wisconsin to the metropolis of Milwaukee.

Hands-On History sessions are currently available for the following subject areas and are best suited to a 4th grade audience:

Wisconsin 101

Explore the history of Wisconsin from the end of the last Ice age to the creation of the state. Discover the early history of the First Peoples of Wisconsin, encounter the Fur Trade, dig through our lead mining past and learn the lore of the lumberjacks as we burrow into Badger history through hands-on exploration of images and artifacts from our collections.

Wisconsin 102

Explore 160 years of Wisconsin history, from the creation of the state through the modern Civil Rights era. From lead to aluminum and wheat to dairy, discover the stories of Wisconsin's American Indian tribes, Swedes, Germans, Latinx, African Americans and more through the exploration of images and artifacts from our collections.


Immerse your class in the discovery of a historic site through hands-on small group interactive work. Students take the on the roles of artist, recorder, digger and site leader as they explore layers of Wisconsin history.

First Peoples

From the end of the last Ice Age to European encounter, discover the flora, fauna and lifeways of the earliest inhabitants of the land we now call Wisconsin.

Email Education School Services for more information on programming and scheduling.

Funded in part by the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.