Recent News - Recent News

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



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!

2009 BHH Workshops Complete

August 5, 2009 - 9:54 AM

Yesterday we concluded the second of two BHH workshops for 2009. Participant teachers from Prairie ISD and Cedar Rapids CSD blew the doors off the event activities. Their intellectual engagement, curiosity, and postive energy made the events a joy and a pleasure. Given the teachers' enthusiasm for history and finding ways to make it meaningful for their children, I'm excited to see what happens in the classrooms this coming school year.

This year, we introduced a new emphasis in our document and image analysis -- SOURCING. Daisy Martin, associate director of the Stanford history education group, suggests using the phrase STOP AND SOURCEtohelp students remember to alwaysidentify information such as the author, date of creation, type ofdocument or image and place of creation...before reading or examining a document or image.Because sourcing is only truly meaningful when we have some understanding of the authorandthe time and place in which a piece of evidence was created, it may seem a bit gratuitous to introduce the concept to Kindergarten children. But I believe we develop good habits of the mind by practice. If children develop a habit of sourcing even before they can make sense of its information, they may become used to recognizing that information and be ready to make use of it when they have developed enough knowledge to do so. The Prairie and CR teachers that joined us for this summer's events expressed willingness to tackle this challenge-- so we'llsee what happens whenchildren STOP AND SOURCE across the grade levels.

All of which brings me to the reason for this post -- expressing my heartfelt THANKS to the teachers, mentors, faculty, and support staffwho came together thispast weekto study andprepare so that children in two more school districts will have the opportunity to grow through history.Youguys rock. Truly.If the excellence you brought to the workshops is any sign of the excellence that will go into the 2009-10 BHH unit implementations, I suspect we'll have some celebrating to dowhen we rendezvous again inthe summer of 2010.

To the teachers of Prairie and Cedar Rapids,I look forward toschool yearvisitswith you in your own classroom stomping grounds. Until then, best wishes toall for the remaining days of summer!

BHH Summer Workshops in July

July 12, 2009 - 8:43 PM

BHH is conducting two workshops this summer with the K-5 teachers of Prairie ISD.  Several teachers on the Cedar Rapids CSD Social Studies curriculum team will also participate in these events.  Mentors from Prairie's Ridge elementary school will team up with their grade level colleagues from other schools to help them navigate the BHH ropes.  History faculty from Knox College and The University of Iowa will also serve as guides through explorations in...

The History of Me (K)

My History at School (1st grade)

Immigration History (2nd grade)

Segregation History  (3rd grade)

The Great Depression  (4th grade)

The Columbian Exchange  (5th grade)

The workshop dates are July 30 & 31 and August 3 & 4.  Teachers attend one of the two events. 

The BHH staff, mentors and faculty are excited to meet, study with, and exchange education strategies with a brand new cohort of elementary history educators.   Teachers of Praire, you have a reputation for your innovative spirits and dedication to the children in your classes.  We're honored and thrilled to have this chance to collaborate with you. 

Best wishes for a glorious summer... and we'll see you soon!


BHH has a new look!

June 15, 2009 - 3:34 PM

We hope you enjoy the new BHH website look and navigation.  The new server format allows us to make changes to the site directly.  We will be adding content more often and hope to make the site a more dynamic destination for researchers, administrators and most importantly for teachers.

Whether you are a long-time BHH teacher or a newcomer to the site, please look around!  And please let me know what you'd like to see on the site.  We'll be adding elements and information to the General Resources view on an ongoing basis, so you may wish to keep that page bookmarked in addition to the home page. 

Thanks for stopping by...and please let us know how we're doing!

Best wishes,


Elise Fillpot

BHH Director







Kimberly Heckart named NCSS Outstanding Elementary Social Studies Teacher of the Year

May 27, 2009 - 1:26 PM

One of our Bringing History Home pilot teachers and mentors, Kimberly Heckart, has been recognized as the 2007 Outstanding Elementary Social Studies Teacher of the Year by the National Council for Social Studies.

Congratulations, Kim!

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