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Beyond the Textbook: Bringing the Past to Life with Pearson’s Project Imagine: U.S. History

Project Imagine Screenshot - 360 degree Image

Project Imagine’s 360-degree images include hotspots that encourage students to learn more

In 2017, Pearson K-12 Learning reached out to History Associates with a unique challenge: how do you make students feel like they are a part of history? Pearson sought to teach history in an entirely new way and was looking for a partner to help bring their idea to life. Over the next year, Project Imagine: U.S. History took shape, a digital experience that immerses students in the past through compelling narratives and insightful primary sources.

The team collaborated on six U.S. history modules, each exploring a different topic: Immigration, the 1920s, the Great Depression and the New Deal, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Vietnam War. Each module had several primary-source based immersive experiences, from the Role Play, which puts students in the shoes of a person living through an important moment in history, to the Opinion Poll, which asks them to take a stance on a critical historical question.

Helping Students See, Hear, and Feel History

In the course of a year, the team developed 29 immersives designed to help students connect and emphasize with people in the past. History Associates’ team of project managers, writers, researchers, and subject matter experts—many of whom have backgrounds in education or creative writing—combined rigorous historical research and creativity to weave together diverse primary sources into cohesive narratives.

Along the way, the team considered questions like, what decisions would a Russian woman looking to immigrate have to make? How do you capture the legacy of the Vietnam War through the eyes of the men and women who lived through it? What were the options for a teenager facing hunger and homelessness during the Great Depression? Each immersive highlighted the everyday joys, struggles, and triumphs of ordinary people in history.

In addition to planning, primary source research, writing, and fact checking, History Associates drafted detailed specifications for infographics and maps; wrote alternative text for accessibility; and developed activities that tested reading comprehension and built empathy. Soon, Pearson had a product that it was ready to unveil—one that has received enthusiastic reviews from students and teachers and garnered several awards. Want to learn more? Visit the Project Imagine website to discover this exciting new educational tool for yourself.

Since it was released,  Project Imagine has been recognized as an innovator and trendsetter in the field of education technology.

Project Imagine: People's Choice Stevie Award 2019 Project Imagine: Edtech Award Cool Tool Finalist 2019 Project Imagine: Best of TCEA Winner Project Imagine: 2019 ABA Gold Winner

Bring Your History to Life

Our subject matter experts can help weave primary source material into a cohesive narrative that helps audiences to fully understand and appreciate history.

Call us at (301) 279-9697 or contact us online  to discuss your project.

Beyond the Textbook: Bringing the Past to Life with Pearson’s Project Imagine: U.S. History
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Beyond the Textbook: Bringing the Past to Life with Pearson’s Project Imagine: U.S. History
History Associates teamed up with Pearson to create immersive activities that would teach history in an entirely new way.
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History Associates Inc.
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