History Hunters Curriculum
The History Hunters Youth Reporter Program curriculum is closely tied to both Pennsylvania and District Standards and Core Curriculum for 4th and 5th grades, though it can be adapted to other grade levels. It focuses on literacy, with a strong writing element and “read to” component, while providing an overview of Pennsylvania history and an introduction to the five field trip sites that students visit during the year long History Hunters program. Previsit readings and activities prepare students for their visits and provide background information they will need as they assume the role of “investigative reporters” on site. Reporter “assignments” are provided as postvisit writing follow-up, and these projects can then be provided to the Program Coordinator (via mail or email) and uploaded to the History Hunters website.
How it works:
History Hunters provides a workbook for each student participating in the program. This workbook provides an overview of Pennsylvania History, while also gives preparatory reading and activities for each of the five field trips. Teachers are strongly encouraged to prepare students before the on-site visits, as this immensely increases the relevance and significance of the on-site content, and makes the field trips as interactive as possible. The copyrighted workbook is also available online, for free below.
Note: We made some changes to the workbook this year. If you picked up hard copies of the workbook, check inside the front cover for the date to see which edition you are using.
The Field Trips
Students participating in the full program will visit five historic sites: Stenton, Cliveden, La Salle University Art Museum, The Johnson House, and Wyck. The History Hunters curriculum covers a broad sweep of American history, while still focusing on the details of everyday life in the past. At Stenton, students learn about James Logan, William Penn, and Native American relations in early Pennsylvania, as well as exploring colonial life; at Cliveden, students learn about the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Germantown, and the paradox of slavery during this time period; at La Salle University Art Museum, students explore different mediums for portraits, as well as learn about Charles Willson Peale; at The Johnson House, students learn about the Underground Railroad and Abolitionism; and finally at Wyck, students explore overarching themes of Quakerism, sustainability, and the evolution of Germantown and Philadelphia. All site visits are focused on hands-on learning, and give students the opportunity to explore the past in a sensory, tactile way.
Post Visit Activities
Once students return to the classroom, they are encouraged to creatively show what they have learned. Post-visit activities often align with the theme of students as "reporters" and include projects like articles, letters, drawings, and comic strips. The History Hunters workbook includes suggestions for post-visit activities, though projects are of course not limited to these suggestions. Teachers are then encouraged to share student creations with the Program Coordinator, who will then upload student projects to our website.