We are thrilled to announce our spring Social Studies programs calendar! These virtual programs connect you with Cranbrook Institute of Science educators who deliver standards-aligned content and answer your questions during a brief Q&A session.

Each 30-minute session will cover a different social studies topic for K-12 audiences with options including World cultures, Native American Studies, and of course, Michigan History! All offerings are aligned to Michigan Social Studies standards.

Sessions are offered on select weekdays. Program descriptions are available below.

Program fee: $150 per program for up to 5 classrooms
We are unable to process refunds. However, we will do our best to accommodate a rescheduled date before June 18th, 2021.

Additional information

  • Program fee includes a link to a live, synchronous program.
    • Teaching face-to-face? Join from your classroom via the link provided.
    • Teaching virtually? Forward the meeting link to your classroom students to join independently.
  • Programs are currently hosted via Zoom. You do not need an account to join.
  • Teachers submit questions (students’ and/or their own) in advance. Program hosts will do their best to incorporate questions into content and/or Q&A session at the end of the program.

Questions? Ready to register? Call 248 645.3210

Program Descriptions

1795 Native Republics & the United States (Grade 8): The signing of the Jay Treaty with Great Britain in 1795 had great impact on the Native American peoples of the Old Northwest Territory. Even today the treaty impacts the lives of both Canadian and American Native Peoples. Investigate the events that took place in wake of the Jay Treaty.

"To quaff the fume..." (Grades 6,8): European colonists in Virginia and other tidewater colonies built their fortunes on tobacco. What impact has this plant had on human societies around the globe? Follow the spread of this addictive drug across time and space, featuring pipes and related artifacts from around the world.

All About Teeth (Grades K-2): Take a close look at the teeth of carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. Can you spot the differences?

Anishinaabek Sports & Games (Grades 3-5): Everyone enjoys sports and games! Discover some of the traditional pastimes of Michigan's Native Peoples, past and present. Items from the Institute's collections illustrate pastimes such as lacrosse, snow snake, and more.

The Black West (Grade 8): The traditional tale of westward expansion of the United States often overlooked the unique contribution of African Americans. Re-visit that time to meet black cowboys, soldiers and settlers that played key roles in the saga.

Bodies Bounding (Grades K-2): Sort animals by their shapes to show how they are related to each other; learn to copy other animal’s bodies and movements.

Can You Canoe? (Grades 3-5): Michigan's unique Great Lakes system, fed by numerous rivers, has always influenced human activity. View real and model Native and European canoes and equipment, and imagine life on the rivers of the Great Lakes.

Diamonds & Africa (Grade 6): The brilliant sparkle of a diamond is beautiful, but can hide dark historic shadows. Dig into the history of diamond mining in Africa, and often harsh impact it has had on African peoples.

Drawing My Family Tree! (Grade 1): Participants will want to each have paper and pencil to draw their own family tree along with the presenter! Explore how Anthropologists study what makes a "family" in different cultures.

The First Peoples (Grade 5): Take a tour of Native North America! Artifacts from the Institute's collections enrich this geographic survey of Native American cultural groups from coast to coast.

For the Glory of Rome (Grade 7): Go back in time to the height of the Roman Empire. Explore how Rome used her military might to dominate Europe and beyond. Visit the Roman Colosseum where gladiatorial combat served as political theater for the Emperors.

Frontier Michigan (Grades 2-3): Visit Detroit in 1796, when it was a crossroads for Native Americans, British, French-Canadian and American settlers. Meet four residents and learn about the work they did.

Get to the Point! (Grades 3-5): Over many thousands of years, Michigan's Native Peoples utilized a variety of tools for hunting game needed for survival. Explore the physics of these tools and discuss their impact on both humans and the animals of Michigan.

Hatchet of War, Pipe of Peace (Grade 5): A single object, a pipe-axe belonging to Lakota leader Rain-In-The-Face, sparks an exploration of the far-reaching effects of three world interactions on the Lakota and other Native Peoples of the Great Plains.

Humankind Emerging (Grades 6-12): Explore the evolution of humankind over the past 4 million years. High quality fossil casts, actual prehistoric tools and related items help identify the traits that have allowed Homo sapiens to spread across the Earth.

Leave it to Beavers (Grades 3-5): The North American beaver (castor canadensis), was a common resident of the rivers, streams, and marshes of the Great Lakes. For Indigenous Peoples, beavers were a source of food and clothing that also represented potential wealth and political power. Ponder the industrious beaver and the impact it had on Michigan's development.

Mapping Michigan! (Grade 2): Rev up your pencil and paper (colored pencils would help!) to explore our state, mapping all the way. Historic maps and a look at antique cartography tools help bring to life how the State of Michigan has been mapped.

Masks of Humanity (Grades 9-12): Why do we wear masks? They are often a special part of our ensembles of clothing and body adornment. View amazing masks from around the world that will springboard conversations with your students about the many real and virtual masks that we wear.

Meet the Maasai (Grade 6): Meet the Maasai people of East Africa. Artifacts from the Institute's collection help explore the historic way of life for the Maasai and how they have adapted to an ever-changing world.

Michigan In the Civil War (Grades 4-5): Michigan was vital to the Union effort in the American Civil War. From soldiers to nurses to Underground Railroad "conductors," meet the Michigan residents who helped save the Union.

Native Fashion, Past & Present (Grades 3-5): The Anishinaabek and other Indigenous peoples of the Great Lakes crafted clothes and ornaments for thousands of years. Later, European traders introduced materials and fashions which created a new wardrobe. Get a glimpse of fabulous items from our collections that illustrate Native fashion from 10,000 years ago to today!

Peopling the D (Grade 4): Detroit is one of the oldest cities in the United States, and people from around the world have come together in the Motor City. Follow the epic saga from Detroit's beginnings as a French outpost to manufacturing giant as peoples from across the globe journey to the Motor City.

Saddle Up - Horses & History (Grade 7): How did the domestication of the horse change the world? Travel back in time to the steppes of central Asia and follow the story of horses changed the world! Ride with us across Asia, into Europe and eventually around the world with artifacts, video and more!

The Saga of a Persian Sword (Grades 9-12): A magnificent sword in the Institute's collection is the starting point for an exploration of the history of the sword's making and travel the difficult history of Armenian persecution in the Ottoman Empire.

Sugar with Your Tea? (Grades 5,8,9-12): European exploration, colonization, and commerce spread plants around the globe. Tea from Asia mixed in cups with sugar from Caribbean plantations across the world. But what repercussions did the trade in these commodities have on humanity and the natural world in which we live?

Tokens of the Egyptian Afterlife (Grades 6-7): Journey back to Ancient Egypt and explore the wonderous world of their afterlife. Amulets, mummified animals, and guardian figurines from Ancient Egypt help students understand the worldview of the Ancient Egyptians.

3 Fires Cuisine (Grade 3): What was for dinner 500 years ago for Michigan's First Peoples? Artifacts and images help set the table for this program. From fish and game from forest and stream to the bounty of crops from indigenous farms, a mouthwatering bit of history and culture is served.