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Big History

This program is expected to remain on hiatus through 2021. Information on 2022 programs will be posted later this fall.

Talking with historians and examining the lives of historical figures are all part of the weeklong learning experience called The BIG History Lesson. Students and teachers use the Michigan History Museum as their classroom for an extended, in-depth study of Michigan history.

The BIG History Lesson began here at the Michigan History Museum and, in 2000, received a Certificate of Commendation from the American Association for State and Local History. The week's expert-led lessons are correlated with state and national standards.

Activities during The BIG History Lesson week are teacher-led and student-centered and can include speakers, behind-the-scenes tours and students working cooperatively on research. Children participate in presentations, discussions, drama, writing, sketching and a variety of other interdisciplinary lessons while at the museum.

Cost for the one-week BHL in the 2020-2021 school year is $400 per class. The fee covers the summer planning/professional development workshop and allows the BIG History Lesson teacher to use the museum as a classroom for five consecutive days with up to three museum-provided presentations. All fees are nonrefundable and subject to change.

At the BIG History Lesson planning and professional development workshop, teachers collaborate with one another to develop a BHL plan that will best suit their students. The workshop emphasizes object-based learning, thematic study and the use of community resources as teaching and learning tools. Teachers work with the program coordinator to develop a unit of study, including activities, resources and museum support needed for their BIG History Lesson week.

Other costs typically incurred by BIG History Lesson classes and not covered by the fee include transportation to and from the museum each day, chaperone parking, BIG History Lesson t-shirts and incidental school supplies. Teachers often find funding for BIG History through their parent/teacher organizations and local service clubs.

Important dates for those interested in The BIG History Lesson in the 2020-2021 school year:

  • August 1, 2020: Application deadline for The BIG History Lesson.
  • August 15, 2020: Teachers will be notified of acceptance
  • Date(s) TBD: Mandatory BHL teacher planning/professional development workshop
  • November 1, 2020 – May 1, 2021: Availability for BIG History lessons.  
  • June 1, 2021: All BHL fees must be paid in full. BHL fee: $400 per class. Make check payable to "Michigan History Foundation." All fees are nonrefundable and are subject to change.


Updated 08/27/2021