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History's Mysteries has GREAT NEWS to share!

Published on Wed, 01/05/2022

a collage of 6 photos with a cartoon character instructing "Circle something that looks familiar, draw a box around something that is new to you" images include a capitol dome, a painting of a young woman wearing a crown and sash with medals, a speaker behind a podium with a US emblem, a man with a feathered headdress.
History’s Mysteries 2nd Grade mystery, “What is Culture?” (one of 4 in “How Does Culture Impact the Way We Live?), click-and-play slide on Government.

Guest Post by Kelley Brown and Laurie Risler, creators of History's Mysteries


Happy New Year to all of you!  

We wanted to share some special and great news with you.

1. We have four NEW units and three NEW "Introduction to Inquiry" mysteries available for use on our History's Mysteries website!  

Our newest units include: 

Grade 2: How does culture impact the way people live? (with a focus on forced migration and the story of the Clotilda Africans) (4 mysteries)

Grade 3: How did women participate in the American Revolution? (3 mysteries)

Grade 4: Why would people live in the Northeast? (4 mysteries)

Grade 5: Why is due process so important to American justice? (3 mysteries) 


Our three newest Introduction to Inquiry Mysteries are:

K-1: What can you learn from a hat? (focus on what we can learn from the hats people wear)

2-3: What are these children doing? (focus on a photograph of young people out of school during the 1918 influenza pandemic) 

4-5: What can we learn from someone's pockets? (focuses on the items in President Lincoln's pockets on the night he was assassinated)

If you have any questions about our new materials, including feedback, please reach out to us.  Feel free to email us at this email


2. We have partnered with iCivics to improve and expand History's Mysteries! 

iCivics has acquired History's Mysteries and is working hard to review all of our materials and improve them. Read the announcement!  We are so excited about what they are going to do to make our materials more accessible, easier to use and responsive to your feedback.  Nothing will change on our website until next year.  History's Mysteries materials will remain free and accessible for everyone, always. We will continue to work with them to develop new curriculum units in the future. 


3. Want to take your inquiry learning further?  Join us this Spring for the History's Mysteries Institute! 

This course runs from February 28 to April 4th.  Participants can elect to earn 3 graduate credits or 67.5 Professional Development Points.  This five-module, online workshop will deepen teacher skills with integrating social studies, language arts, and inquiry in remote and in-person learning using History’s Mysteries: Historical Inquiry for Elementary Classrooms. Educators will practice adapting the teacher-friendly click-and-play History's Mysteries curriculum, with editable slides and materials, to meet the needs of their students and teaching formats. Teachers will be introduced to core principles behind the selection of materials and presentation approach for the History’s Mysteries curriculum. Participants will receive coaching on extending the History’s Mysteries approach to other content, integrating picture books and other elements of the ELA curriculum into engaging, inquiry skill building activities. Participants will be prepared to support peers in their school and district.

Educators will have a choice between customizing one unit for classroom use addressing their unique classroom needs and creating a new History’s Mysteries-style lesson on a vital topic. If you are interested or know someone who might be, here is the Registration Information 


4. Do you know someone who needs an Introduction to History's Mysteries

Spread the word for educators new to History's Mysteries that we have an introduction to History's Mysteries Session on February 9th from 7:00-8:30 PM. This is good for new users and also good for those who have been introduced before.  We will be introducing our new resources as well. Join us if you want to know more about what's new at History's Mysteries, especially if you took our training in 2020! Let us know if you have questions! Here is the Registration Info.


We hope you have a good start to the new year!  As always, a HUGE "thank you" to all of you for your continued feedback and support.  Please reach out through this email with any questions, ideas or concerns.  We love to hear from you! 

Take care!

Kelley Brown and Laurie Risler



Alison Noyes

Manager, Emerging America
Alison Noyes is the manager of the Emerging America program at the Collaborative for Educational Services, where she leads the English Learner Collaborations project funded by a Library of Congress grant to the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies.