History Comes Alive!


    “My past students have enjoyed the challenge of becoming storytellers who can “show, not tell.” Storytelling encourages meaningful and relevant learning by opening the doors to becoming both a researcher and historian. Imagine your child’s confidence and excitement as they reveal a story about their discovery of a historical event, person or achievement in the community. What piece of community history will pique your child’s interest, and how will they decide to share it with an authentic audience? I can’t wait to see!” ~ Dr. Monita



    Step 1: Register Your Student

    Step 2: Enroll Your Registered Student

    InstructorDr. Monita Leavitt
    Content LevelsGrades 7-8 • Junior High
    Grades 9-10 • Lower High School
    Grades 11-12 • Upper High School
    Course Length6 Weeks
    Live Webinars Held OnWednesdays, 12:00 - 12:50 PM Pacific - See below for webinar dates

    Adapted from the work of Phil Reece and the Heritage Project of Winnipeg, Canada, students will have the opportunity to personally connect with their local communities as young researchers and historians (http://www.heritagewinnipeg.com).

    After researching a brief history of their local community, students will be empowered to select a building, person or event of historical importance that they are curious to learn more about. Focusing on their topic of choice will encourage meaningful and relevant learning. Students can gather and analyze the information in a variety of ways: through researching, interviewing, photographing and/or videotaping. Students will then decide on their most important findings to tell the story of their piece of history. They will illustrate their story through the creation of a project of their choice: a poster, video, song, game, PowerPoint, etc.

    Students will experience the art of storytelling when they present the information from their project in an engaging way. During our last live webinar, students will have an opportunity to share their projects with our class to serve as a “dress rehearsal” before presenting or sending their project to an authentic audience of their choice (i.e., Historical Society).

    We’ll be bringing history to life!


    The Luis Maria Peralta Adobe – the oldest building in San Jose, CA (1797)

    “History Come Alive was a great class! Everyone, especially Dr. Monita, was full of positive and constructive feedback. There was a lot of connecting the dots and outside the box thinking that was heavily encouraged in this class too….[The activities] really encouraged outside-the-box thinking, and besides that, they were fun!

    We learned about things like ‘history repeats itself’, and the impact history has on your community, which were both interesting topics to cover. At the end of the class we had to research a historic building in our community, and the impact it (and the history surrounding it) had on our community.

    This class was so fun and really helped me think about history in a different light. I hope you try this class!” ~Athena’s student, Addy

    Course Webinar Dates:

    • Wednesday, May 24
    • Wednesday, May 31
    • Wednesday, June 7
    • Wednesday, June 14
    • Wednesday, June 21
    • Wednesday, June 28

    What to expect during the course:

    • Introduction of storytelling and its importance to historical events, people, or achievements.
    • How bias impacts the writing of history.
    • How the forms of writing are used by historians.
    • Identifying key ideas and supporting ideas in historical texts.
    • Engaging with text as a historian, especially primary and secondary sources.
    • Focusing on primary source material and how it aligns with their projects.
    • Interviewing as a historian.
    • Sharing of student projects.

    What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:

    • Maintain a personal journal to record your ideas, reactions and a bibliography for any resources used in your research.
    • Respond to a forum prompt by answering fully.
    • Complete tasks for the final project: (1) Conduct a brief research on the history of your community; (2) Select a building, person or event of historical importance you want to learn more about; (3) Find resources, both primary and secondary sources, and take notes on the historical significance; (4) Decide on a project you would like to create to tell the story of your historical piece; (5) Decide on an authentic audience for your project; (6) Create your final project and practice your storytelling with our class as a “dress rehearsal” for your final presentation (in person, e-mailing, mailing, etc.).
    • Respond with positive and encouraging comments, questions and/or feedback on your classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.

    What to expect in the Highly Suggested & Optional sections in the classroom each week:

    • Curated resources, including websites & videos, are provided to excite learners and to add depth to the subject matter. Students are also encouraged to contribute resources they locate to share with the class.

    What to expect during the weekly webinar:

    • Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Recorded sessions are available for students with schedule conflicts. Although recorded sessions will be available, students should be able to attend most of the webinars.


    • To complete the final project, students should possess the skills needed to create use their software or materials of choice.

    Required text and materials:

    • Access to project software or poster materials (e.g. Photoshop, Gimp (free download), Prezi, PowerPoint, video software, etc.)