Virtual Program Enhancement Activities

Enhancement activities are group events for FLEX and YES students. The goal of these fun and educational activities is to expand student knowledge of America’s culture, history, government, and economy. Within the scope of the Virtual Program, enhancement activities will take many forms. You can find content related to select enhancement activities on this webpage.


The Henry Ford Museum

Part I: Innovation

Born in the American state of Michigan in 1863, Henry Ford was an American industrialist and businessperson. He founded the Ford Motor Company (automobile manufacturer) and was the chief developer of the assembly line technique of mass production. Located in Dearborn, Michigan, the museum named after him allows visitors to “discover America—its culture, inventions, people and can-do spirit.”

Guiding you through the museum is Jeff Koslowski. Mr. Koslowski teaches 11th grade world and American history at Henry Ford Academy, which is located right in the museum!

Beginning with Henry Ford’s first attempts at engines right through to a world-famous racecar, Mr. Koslowski traces important steps not only in the creation of the automobile in the United States but also its far-reaching effects on American culture. Also, be on the lookout for some impressive inventions unrelated to cars in addition to some important hamburger and hot dog exhibits—what else?!

After watching the video, please complete this brief reflection worksheet.





We’re back at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan with our old friend, U.S. and world history teacher Jeff Koslowski. After a brief introduction on the origin of the United States, Mr. Koslowski walks us through key episodes in U.S. history from the election of President Abraham Lincoln in 1860 to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

A common thread through many of the episodes and exhibits is the enduring struggle for freedom, as the United States worked to better realize its promise of “Liberty and Justice for all.” This is something American schoolchildren recite in the Pledge of Allegiance of the United States and something toward which the country continues to strive to this day.

After watching the video, please complete this brief reflection worksheet.




PART III: Greenfield Village

Greenfield Village is a sprawling open-air history museum and part of the same large complex as our previous two videos. Almost 100 buildings of historical significance have been moved to the museum from their original locations all around the United States—and in some cases, the world. Arranged as an American “village,” the museum showcases more than 300 years of U.S. history. The intent—in the words of our by-now-very-familiar guide Jeff Koslowski—is to show “how everyday Americans lived, worked, and played.”

In part a “living history museum,” Greenfield Village features costumed presenters who tell stories and convey information about some attractions, as we’ll see in an 1895 millinery (hat-making) shop. Adding to the village feel, the museum also features its own railroad in addition to various modes of transportation popular throughout the period.

As you might expect, not everything here is quite so “everyday.” In fact, there are many very exceptional pieces in the Greenfield Village collection, Thomas Edison's Menlo Park laboratory complex (from New Jersey) among them. Mr. Koslowski explains that when The Henry Ford opened in 1929, it was actually called the Edison Institute. In fact, the museum itself to some degree was a way for Henry Ford to honor his mentor, Thomas Edison.

The video bounces around a little bit but will hopefully leave you with a number of interesting insights into a number of different periods and facets of American history. Plus, there are adorable newborn lambs.

As with our previous videos, once you’ve finished watching please complete this brief reflection worksheet.