Private i History Detectives: HISTORICAL INQUIRY FOR ELEMENTARY CLASSROOMS
Take inquiry-based learning to the next level. Students become history detectives using primary sources as evidence to solve historical mysteries.
Invite your students to become history detectives. Private i History Detectives is an inquiry-based curriculum featuring primary sources from the Library of Congress and other collections. With this curriculum, students dive into historical questions framed as mysteries to develop skills in primary source analysis and claim-based reasoning. Private i History Detectives comprehensive slideshows focus on scaffolded primary and secondary source analysis. Each unit includes printable PDFs and digitized student handouts available online through iCivics’ FREE Kami integration.
African American History
America at War
Civics & Government
Community & Family
Symbols & Traditions
Women in History
Alignment to state and Common Core standards can be found on iCivics.org.
The student will be able to:
Follow agreed-upon rules for discussion
Make observations and ask questions
Gather evidence and draw conclusions
Make logical inferences based on text evidence
Examine primary and secondary source material
Evaluate the credibility, accuracy, and relevance of a variety of sources
Materials are available as printable PDFs or digitized student handouts available online through iCivics’ FREE Kami integration.
Available materials include slide shows, handouts for students, embedded lesson plans, and resources for teachers.The slideshows are adaptable to meet your classroom needs.
Walk through the slide show and Teacher Resources first to acquaint yourself with the development of the mystery.
We recommend beginning with the "Introduction to Inquiry" mystery for your grade-band as a starting point for students
Students act as history detectives to solve a mystery by exploring primary and secondary sources with the Private i History Detectives Team.
All mysteries include a big mystery question, vocabulary, primary sources from the Library of Congress and other repositories, and inquiry activities.
Students will have the opportunity to activate prior knowledge, investigate, support a claim with evidence, and reflect on content learned.
Inquiry-based activities allow all students entry points to engage in higher-order thinking.
KidCitizen offers a growing set of interactive episodes that engage K–5 students with primary source photographs to explore Congress & Civic Engagement.
Each KidCitizen episode focuses on one or more related photographs from the Library of Congress, with topics ranging from Community Helpers to how Congress works.
The episodes capitalize on the active and social nature of young children’s learning, using primary sources for rich demonstrations, interactions, and models of literacy. The hands-on activities make academic content meaningful, build on prior experiences, and foster visual literacy and historical inquiry.
Teachers can also create and share their own episodes using the KidCitizen Editor.
Analyze and collect evidence from primary sources.
Engage in primary source inquiry, using critical literacy skills to address challenging topics.
Choose from 9 episodes that focus on historical thinking and inquiry-based learning with primary sources.
Easily access episodes from kidcitizen.org on any device.
Introduce the initial episode as part of whole class or small group guided instruction, then allow for independent revisits.
Find implementation ideas as well as suggested children's literature to support cross-curricular connections in the teacher’s guide that accompanies each episode.
Create your own episodes with the cloud-based KidCitizen Editor and share them with students.
Use visible thinking strategies to progress through phases of careful observation, analysis, drawing conclusions based on collected evidence, and reflection that propels the students into further inquiry.
Engage in incremental learning and authentic interaction with a primary source.
Build conceptual knowledge and develop increasingly complex historical-thinking skills
Receive guided mentorship from in-game character, Ella, who assists children in interpreting the past and simulates the collaborative conditions that optimize students’ construction of knowledge and meaning.