• Hands-on History
     
    The research shows that when supplemented with traditional instruction, hands-on learning activities produce a deeper understanding of the curriculum and allow students to take greater ownership and responsibility for their education.
     
    Here are some innovative, hands-on history projects that students in Dr. DeBiasse's United States History classes have completed:
    • Wintering Over, an exhibition produced with the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts
    • Designing Tools, an exhibition produced with the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts
    • Vietnam Memories, a program attended by all juniors and seniors and sponsored by the MHS Educational Foundation. An oral history project completed by AP US History students for the Madison Historical Society grew out of this exhibit.
    • A Celebration of Black History In Madison, a collaboration among USI  students, Drew University and the Madison Historical Society
    • Ellis Island, a trip attended by students in USII, chaperoned by community members who have family ties to Ellis Island
    • Luke Miller Project, a three year research project by students enrolled in USI and conducted in collaboration with the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, the Madison Historical Society and Hunter Research (Archaeological and Historic Preservation Firm).
    • MHS Hosts State Department Alumnus, Students enrolled in USI and USII participated in US Department of State Hometown Diplomat Program
    • Issac Gordon Biographical Research Project, an investigation into the fascinating life of a former slave who is buried in Madison's Hilltop Cemetery. This independent study was completed by an MHS senior working under the tutelage of Dr. DeBiasse.
    • Madison French Families Research Project, an exploration by USI classes of significant French emigres who had an impact on the history of our community.
    • Food and Cooking in Early America, research by USI students at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts on how food was procured and prepared in the early years of the republic.
    • "Promises" Program, an opportunity for World History students to learn first hand about the Arab-Isreali conflict.
    • Mystery Trunk Activity, an interdisciplinary project in collaboration with the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts.
    • Transportation Revolution, a research project completed by USI students exploring 19th century transportation in the United States and New Jersey.
    • Fire Department Coloring Book, a research and art project in which USI students created a coloring book for elementary students which told the story of the Madison Fire Department.
         Each of these projects fostered strong collaboration between local cultural resources, parents, members of the community and students. Many increased opportunities for collaboration within and across high school departments. In each case, students were able to learn deeply, apply knowledge gained in the classroom, and work with their peers to add meaningfully to our collective understanding of our shared past. These projects represent opportunities for enduring educational experiences that positively impact students and the entire local community.