Recent News

Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Classroom

April 16, 2021 - 12:23 PM
For several years, I have encouraged pre-service teachers to incorporate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into their classrooms.  The UDHR provides ethical criteria for students to use when assessing historical and current events.  This morning I had the great pleasure of joining the South Carolina Social Studies Supervisors Association, to share a bit about using the UDHR in the classroom.  Please check out the UDHR introductory presentation PowerPoint, and consider using the Declaration in your own classroom.  Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions about how to incorporate this powerful document into your own practice.

Bringing History Home in 2021

April 16, 2021 - 12:06 PM

Since its beginning 20 years ago, Bringing History Home has had profound positive impacts on teachers and children.  It has not, however, continued to spread to new districts since federal funding for Teaching American History grants ended in 2012.  After the conclusion of BHH's final TAH grant and during my seven years as the Social Studies team lead for Western Governors University, I have felt a sense of work left undone.  Accordingly, with a joyful sense of mission, in 2021 I said farewell to dear colleagues at WGU, so that I could return full time to working for and with in-service teachers.  It's time to renew and expand the positive impact BHH has on children, teachers and families.  

As a first step in this new phase of Bringing History Home's (BHH) development, I have applied for federal 501(c)(3) status, and registered BHH as a non-profit corporation in South Carolina.  As we move ahead, I look forward to meeting curriculum directors, teachers, methods faculty, and historians across the Carolinas and the nation, to collaborate and continue sharing BHH research-proven strategies for engaging children in doing history. 

BHH has always been about teachers inspiring teachers, and students inspiring teachers.  Twenty years after the first Bringing History Home project began, here's to continuing that tradition of inspiration through a new decade and beyond.  

Bringing History Home 2011-12

November 15, 2011 - 11:09 AM

Bringing History Home is now in all K-5 classrooms in the Cedar Rapids CSD and Prairie College Community ISD!   We're excited to see the student learning in these districts over the coming years as teachers introduce the SOCC method to their children.  SOCC gives students a simple process for analyzing visual and written historical evidence.  As they become proficient with the model, children's general information literacy skills and analytic thinking skills should also be developed and enhanced.  The BHH leadership will be seeking ways to assess the extent of this learning during the 2011-12 school year. 

2011 Summer Workshops

July 6, 2011 - 3:26 PM

Bringing History Home is off and running to help teachers bring history to their classrooms in the 2011-12 school year.  On June 13-16, we conducted three 2-day workshops.  More than 150 elementary teachers from Cedar Rapids CSD and Central City CSD attended.  While project director Elise Fillpot, assistant director Kim Heckart and project historian Catherine Denial led the whole group activities, eighteen teacher mentors from Prairie ISD and CRCSD led lengthy grade-level sessions in which they shared how to do history where the rubber hits the road; that is, in the actual K-5 classrooms.   Huge thanks to the BHH mentor team!!

We're excited for the next round of workshops coming up on August 1-4.  It will be another great week dedicated to stretching the boundaries of what children can do when they study history with rigor and integrity.

The Bringing History Home 2011 Mentor Team:

Joan Viet

Lauren Stark

Catherine Metz

Nicole Greazel

Cher McAllister

Kathy Severson

Susie Stark

Jennifer Schaffer

Jennifer Klekar

Mary Beth Wagemester

Amanda Tieskotter

Stephanie Stulken

Teresa Drtina

Angela Patterson

Josie Norton

Tracy Woodell

Catherine Metz

Susie Stark

Kathy Severson



Reviews of BHH Lesson Plans on the NHEC

August 5, 2010 - 11:29 AM

The National History Education Clearinghouse has reviewed two Bringing History Home units. The reviews assess the BHH First Grade unit My History at School and Fourth Grade unit The Progressive Era for alignment with the Clearinghouse's criteria for determining the quality of U.S. History lesson plans. 


BHH in College History Classrooms!

July 14, 2010 - 4:07 PM

Dr. Catherine Denial of Knox College has been the BHH lead historian since the project began in 2001.   She uses the BHH Five Processes in her own classes at Knox, and has now provided descriptions and examples of her strategies for teaching history at the college level.  We're excited about this resource for history TA's, new faculty, and seasoned historians seeking to invigorate their teaching and engage students in history as an interpretive, evidence-based discipline.  It may also be a helpful resource for TAH grant directors and guest historians as they plan professional development for K-12 teachers. 

Thank you, Dr. Denial!


Bringing History Home in 2010

June 9, 2010 - 2:05 PM

BHH teachers began a new year and continued exploring history with their students.


BHH director Elise Fillpot attended the annual Technical Advisory Group meeting for the National History Education Clearinghouse.

Santa Fe teachers in Grades 3-6 explored the BHH Five Processes in a workshop funded by TAH. 


The University of Iowa Center for Evaluation and Assessment designed assessments for the BHH 5th grade pilot of a unit on the Columbian Exchange.  The unit was adapted by BHH staff and teachers from National Endowment for the Humanities Edsitement lessons titled "What was Columbus Thinking?"


Kyle Longley, Snell Family Dean's Professor of History at Arizona State University, led a two-day Grant Wood History Institute workshop for middle and high school teachers on the Vietnam War. 

In a session at the American Education Research Association annual conference, distinguished Social Studies and History education faculty Keith Barton, Linda Levstik, Kelly Woestman, Jack Zevin and David Gerwin analyzed and discussed classroom video footage of BHH lead mentor Kim Heckart leading a discussion during one of her predict and infer units. 


Elizabeth Ridgway, Library of Congress Director of Educational Outreach, and her colleague Anne Savage visited Prairie Ridge Elementary School to observe Kim teaching 3rd grade history via her predict and infer model.

5th and 6th grade teachers in Anchorage, Alaska explored the BHH Five Processes during the annual Anchorage School District Summer Academy. 


140 Cedar Rapids teachers will attend their first BHH workshop.


60 Prairie ISD and 18 Cedar Rapids teachers will attend their second BHH workshop.

Kim Heckart travels to Boston with teacher participants in the St. Clair County Regional Office of Education TAH grant.   When they return to Illinois, Kim will help the teachers use BHH strategies to design lessons based on their learning during the trip.


110 Cedar Rapids teachers will attend their first BHH workshop. 


BHH teachers begin a new school year.  First year teachers will implement their initial BHH unit.  Second year teachers will implement both BHH grade level units. 


Elise joins Sarah Brooks of UVA and Jason Endacott of Keene College for a National Council of the Social Studies College and University Faculty Assembly panel presentation on affective learning in history.   



BHH welcomes The Library of Congress!

May 11, 2010 - 10:09 AM

Elizabeth Ridgway, Director of Education Outreach for the U.S. Library of Congress, and Anne Savage, Education Resource Specialist for the LOC, travel to Cedar Rapids this week to observe Kim Heckart's Predict and Infer model in action.  For the visit, Kim is teaching a new predict and infer mini-unit that incorporates visual and written sources on the early 20th century era of the women's suffrage movement.  The accompnaying read aloud for contextualization and connections is A Time For Courage: The Suffragette Diary of Kathleen Bowen, Washington, D.C. 1917 (Dear America Series) by Kathryn Lasky (2002).




New Predict and Infer Model

April 28, 2010 - 3:06 PM

We have added an exciting new instructional design to the website.  Kim Heckart's Predict and Infer model, piloted in 2009, engages children in emergent inquiry and sparks their motivation to read.  To explore this activity, Click here or use the Predict and Infer link in the General Resources view.

Cedar Rapids 2010 Workshops

April 9, 2010 - 1:04 PM

Welcome Cedar Rapids CSD teachers! Please click here for your Participant Application

GWHI Spring into Teaching 2010

April 1, 2010 - 9:40 AM

The Grant Wood History Institute invites all future and current history teachers to a very special event on April 17-18.  Please follow the link below for information:

A Professional Development Event for Future and Current History Teachers

BHH Summer Events

April 1, 2010 - 9:31 AM

Bringing History Home faculty and teacher mentors are excited about the full slate of workshops we have in the hopper for Summer 2010. 

Teachers at Prairie ISD in southeast Cedar Rapids and lead teachers for Cedar Rapids CSD have been implementing their first BHH units during the 2009-10 school year.  Their 2nd-year workshops are scheduled for July, and will be held again in the Prairie Ridge commons room.

July 26-27
1.  All Heights teachers
2.  Crest teachers -- Kindergarten, 2nd and 4th grades

July 28-29
1.  All View teachers
2.  Crest teachers -- 1st and 3rd grades
3.  Creek teachers -- 5th grade

All new Cedar Rapids CSD BHH teachers will begin the two-year workshop sequence this summer.  Their events are scheduled for June and August with locations to be determined.

June 14-15

June 16-17

August 2-3

August 4-5

If you are not a member of the Cedar Rapids school district but would like to attend or observe one of the first-year workshops, please contact Elise Fillpot for additional information. 





Watch Bringing History Home in action!

January 26, 2010 - 12:37 PM

If you've wondered what "doing history" might look like in the middle elementary grades, wonder no more.   BHH is now providing video examples of both individual students and entire classrooms exploring historic evidence and accounts. 

Throughout six weeks in the spring of 2009, Bringing History Home lead mentor Kim Heckart filmed her Iowa third grade class studying Industrialization.   This video archive offers an unprecedented and rich resource for teachers and researchers in history education.  Teaching strategies, students' historical thinking, examples of history heuristics and sociocultural tools identified in education scholarship...Kim's classroom footage includes vivid examples of many dimensions of history teaching and learning.

As we begin a new year, BHH students, teachers and staff are excited to share excerpts of this footage via the National History Education Clearinghouse website and the BHH Youtube channel.  Various video clips are already available for view on these venues.  During the coming months, BHH director Elise Fillpot will also be posting brief essays to highlight the examples of history teaching and learning that are illustrated in the excerpts.

As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts about, responses to and experiences with BHH resources.  And we extend a huge THANK YOU to those who created these BHH video this case, Jonathan Burian, our brilliant videographer and Youtube channel manager; and Kim Heckart, whose excellence and commitment to students and history learning are ever inspiring.

Iowa City West High students win Iowa state We the People competition

December 5, 2009 - 2:22 PM

Congratulations to the Iowa City West High We the People team!   After three months of dedicated study and preparation, the students participated in the Iowa state We the People Constitutional history competition, and won a berth to compete nationally next spring in Washington D.C.

The team's faculty leader, Gary Neuzil, has been a member of the Grant Wood History Institute since 2007.   His technology expertise, high spirits and unfailing support have been an indispensable part of that program, and he brought the same great qualities to mentoring his We the People team. 

Thank you, Gary.  You're an amazing advocate for history education. 

BHH sends out a bit WOOT! for your Constitutional history stars!

Postsecondary History and K-5 History

December 5, 2009 - 2:11 PM

It’s Elementary:
Focusing on History Teaching, K-5

In the November issue of Perspectives, the newsmagazine of the American Historical Association.



Recent News

Bringing History Home in 2021

Since its beginning 20 years ago, Bringing History Home has had profound positive impacts on teachers and
Read More

Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Classroom

For several years, I have encouraged pre-service teachers to incorporate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into

Read More
Grant Wood History Institute