Teachers Turn Wisconsin Hometown Stories: Door County Into a Classroom-Ready Resource

December 17, 2016 Wisconsin Public Television Leave a Comment

Early in 2016, teachers and community members from across Door County came to Crossroads at Big Creek to chat with the Wisconsin Public Television Education Team about how to extend the value of WPT’s Wisconsin Hometown Stories: Door County documentary for students.

Now, thanks to the energy and passion of Door County teachers and community members, more than 400  Exploration Kits are on their way to classrooms in the Southern Door, Sturgeon Bay, Sevastopol, Gibraltar, and Washington Island school districts. Kits are also being delivered to homeschoolers, private schools, local museums and other community groups.

Lizbeth Thomas, a teacher from the Gibraltar School District, writes:

“Sometimes people take for granted the vast treasures of this beautiful county. This is an incredible reminder. It is so important to preserve this history; I felt privileged to be a part of this project. My small part – writing curriculum – ensures that this will be shared throughout Wisconsin schools and beyond. Thank you!”

Read on to learn more about the exciting resources available in this kit.


Pictured from left: Amy Paul, Door County Maritime Museum; Annie Deutsch, UW-Extension Agriculture; Dawn VandeVoort, UW-Extension 4-H; Alyssa Tsagong, WPT; and Charlotte Tadych, Southern Door Middle School.

Each kit contains a USB flash drive loaded with the full one-hour WPT documentary,  as well as teacher-created lesson plans and many other classroom-ready resources. Teacher resources are available online free of charge.

Fifteen large, full-color biography cards of Door County historical figures and landmarks are also included in the kit. The back of each card features part of a 1961 State Highway Commission map that can be assembled to form a two-foot by four-foot map of Door County.

Sturgeon Bay School District 4th grade teacher Jim Tellstrom expertly places stickers.

Sturgeon Bay School District 4th grade teacher Jim Tellstrom expertly places stickers.

After the teachers and community members met with the WPT Education Team, a small group of teachers came together in March to create lesson plans for elementary, middle and high school use. These teachers included Stephanie Ayer (Sevastopol School District), Connie Rankin (Sevastopol School District), Mike Scoville (Gibraltar School District), Justin Skiba (Sevastopol School District), Charlotte Tadych (Southern Door County School District), Jim Tellstrom (Sturgeon Bay School District), and Lizbeth Thomas (Gibraltar School District).

On Dec. 2 and 3, some of those same teachers and community members volunteered to help package and distribute the results of their incredible work. Thanks to their efforts, more children and families than ever before will learn the history and beauty of one of Wisconsin’s most cherished regions.

Sign up here for more info and updates from WPT’s Education Team!

Wisconsin Hometown Stories: Door County is funded in part by leadership support from Phillip J. Hendrickson in memory of Elizabeth B. Hendrickson. Additional support provided by Dwight and Linda Davis Foundation, Bruce and Grace Frudden, John and Gisela Brogan, O.C. and Pat Boldt, John & Nell Herlache Community Impact Fund and the Education Fund of the Door County Community Foundation, Inc., Annie and Dick Egan, Barb and Mike Madden, Castle Pierce, Friends of Wisconsin Public Television and the Wisconsin History Fund, supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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