The NCSML has unveiled a new set of lessons based on the dramatic 20th-century history of Czechoslovakia and its culture of dissent and its aftermath, through the Charter 77 movement, to the 1989 Velvet Revolution. These events are not just historical, but relevant and educational, too, for today’s events and tomorrow’s future. The NCSML created these 68.77.89 lesson plans to bring these events to teachers and students. The lesson plans have been piloted in high school classrooms in Iowa City, Iowa, and they also have a national reach. Next the NCSML and our educators will take the lesson plans to a workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in July.

The program includes four downloadable modules for teachers to use. It provides a set of 12 learning activities in the modules that meet Common Core, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate standards. The activities can be used as a set designed to be used together, or in single modules as free-standing lessons. The goal is for students to learn the true meaning of freedom as seen through the eyes of those who didn’t have it. The project was funded by Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, Lee Freeman, Humanities Iowa, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Curriculum development and teacher workshops are not the only ways that NCSML brings engagement with Czech and Slovak history to students and teachers.  The Guts & Glory exhibition opening provided another example of how valuable it is to engage students in the transfer of knowledge and ideas. High school students played a critical role in developing some of the key components of the exhibition. Check this article for more information about how students learn about history, culture, and freedom through engagement.

The NCSML is busy serving thousands of people, saving stories and sharing lessons in myriad ways. Check the calendar of events for a complete list of events, programs, and exhibits that celebrate and share Czech and Slovak stories. Plan a trip to the museum, or watch some of the videos from wherever you are. As the national museum for Czech and Slovak culture and history, the NCSML continues to expand its reach and value across the world.

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