Imagine closely examining lesson plans on temperance from the 1880s or sheet music from the Prohibition Era. What was the world like for students in the late 19th century being taught these texts or teenagers in the 1920s singing along to these songs?
The Mob Museum’s Investigating History, a comprehensive educational outreach program offered to schools in Southern Nevada, brings these and many more stories to life though interactive and hands-on, standards-based presentations.
Investigating History was recently awarded the city of Las Vegas Historic Preservation Commission’s Preservation Education award for 2016. The award recognizes The Mob Museum for going to extraordinary efforts in promoting, preserving and educating the public regarding Las Vegas history.
As part of the outreach program, all lesson plans include a school visit by trained Museum educators as well as access to historical objects, images, documents and activities. The immersive, interactive lesson plans use Common Core-aligned strategies to interpret primary sources while differentiated curriculum allows teachers to customize topics and activities.
The creation of this program is generously funded by the Las Vegas Centennial Commission. Additional funding is provided by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, Bank of Nevada, and East West Bank.
The program includes two focus areas with Experiencing Las Vegas geared toward students in grade 4-7 and focusing on Southern Nevada history and Investigating History geared toward students in grades 6-12.
Experiencing Las Vegas (Grades 4-7)
Building a Community in the Desert
Students learn how a railroad created the city of Las Vegas as educators present materials related to the city’s 1905 settlement and its early years as a railroad depot.
Las Vegas & the Hoover Dam
Educators depict the conditions of living in Boulder City and Las Vegas during construction of the Hoover Dam and students discover why the dam is so important to Las Vegas.
Las Vegas through the Ages
Educators bring the history of Las Vegas to life through objects, images, and stories, from the earliest inhabitants to the modern megaresorts.
Investigating History (Grades 6-12)
The Temperance Movement
Educators help students examine objects and documents related to the temperance movement and its early crusaders and discover how Prohibition became law.
Prohibition and American Society
Educators show students objects and documents related to American life during Prohibition and explore societal changes and the dramatic increase in crime.
Law and Disorder During Prohibition
Students discover the consequences of banning alcohol by analyzing objects and documents related to enforcing the 18th Amendment and the rise in crime during Prohibition.
Forensic Science and the Fingerprint
Educators explain the history of fingerprinting in criminal investigations and students try their hand at recording fingerprints and dusting for latent prints.
Ballistics and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
Educators use the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre as an example of forensic ballistics in action, describing the criminal investigation and showing students how to analyze bullets.
Wiretapping: Controversy and Consent
Students explore the ethical and legal considerations of wiretapping before educators lead them in a demonstration of wiretapping in action.