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History's Mysteries Institute: Develop a Mystery for Your Own Classroom

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History's Mysteries unit illustration showing 5 lessons: What do Historians Do? What are Push and Pull Factors? Why Do People Move? What is a Refugee? and What was the Great Migration?
Mon, 07/25/2022

Watch for fall roll-out of History's Mysteries' next chapter as iCivics Private ‘i’ History Detectives (link). 

The History's Mysteries PD format is available as an in-district training on a contract basis (during the school year as 5 modules, or during breaks as 5 days). Please see the details below and contact us to explore possibilities. 

Description of Histories Mysteries Institute format: 

Fully online. Five days delving into the techniques that makes History's Mysteries students' favorite part of the school day.  

"It was so fun to see each of my students have their 'aha moments' as we dug further into the mystery."

This five-day, 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, the free, easy-to-use inquiry curriculum units created by teachers Kelley Brown and Laurie Risler. Each grade-level unit (with click-and-play options for in-person, hybrid and remote learning) invites students to investigate a mystery grounded in the 2018 Massachusetts History & Social Science Framework. Units align closely to content and literacy standards across the U.S. Teachers in all 50 states are teaching with History’s Mysteries!

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 Brown and Risler’s 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.  See a syllabus from a previous offering of this 3-credit History's Mysteries course



Laurie Risler

Audience and Grade Level

Administrators and Teachers; Grades K-5


67.5 PDPs will be awarded to participants upon completion of all course requirements (as per DESE regulations awarding a PDP boost for graduate level work). Participants may choose instead to take this course for 3 graduate credits through Westfield State University for an additional cost. To earn PDPs or Graduate Credit, participants must complete all assignments.


This course is fully online. 

Virtual sessions will be held each morning of the class; Online office hours with the instructors will also be available. 

Upcoming Workshops

Fully Online: Course runs January 13 - February 22 , 2023. Social Studies and Humanities pose distinct challenges for struggling learners. Extensive discipline-…
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