Big History Brings the Museum to Middle Schoolers

Graduate students running the Big History program

With the support of the Center for Global Studies, the Spurlock Museum has created Big History, a hands-on curriculum that brings the complexity of human history to life through an in-depth study of artifacts and cultural histories from around the globe. The curriculum, which serves area middle schools, includes six teaching kits that feature artifacts and artifact replicas, background information, and lessons that focus on close observation of objects, critical thinking, and active integration of learning through art-making and other activities. Two graduate students from the College of Education visit sixth-grade classrooms repeatedly throughout the school year to present lessons, allowing students to become familiar with them and build trust, and giving middle school instructors the opportunity to integrate the material throughout the school year, rather than focusing on only one or two field trips. A pilot program in St. Joseph also contributes to achieving equity between rural and population center schools. The graduate assistants for the Big History 2017-2018 academic year are pictured here with some of the artifact kits that they used in the classroom. To learn more about educator resources offered by the Spurlock, visit the museum’s educator site or contact Elizabeth Stone at