The Yellowhammer History Hunt digital series and corresponding educational materials were created to provide educators with resources for teaching Alabama History and are aligned with Alabama State Department of Education standards for 4th grade social studies. The collection also includes cross-curricular educational resources including digital literacy, arts, science, and English language arts that extend the subject matter. Scaffolding makes the series useful for both older and younger students.
The series was developed Winter 2020- Fall 2021 in response to the pandemic, with funding from the Alabama State Department of Education. The series premiered in October 2021. The project was envisioned to create local content for Alabama teachers and students about Alabama by bringing historical sites throughout the state to them wherever they are.
Yellowhammer History Hunt takes students on a journey through Alabama’s past, exploring the places and people that define Alabama today. From archaeological sites to airfields, each episode features a selected site and shows why it is an important part of Alabama and American history. Each site also has its own hidden treasure—an artifact or object at the site that helps tell its story. The treasure is sometimes surprising! Clues in the video get students to carefully look and listen.
APT created an education advisory team comprised of a diverse group of educators from across Alabama to guide, advise, and assist APT with each component of Yellowhammer History Hunt, from topics and format to learning activities. Since Yellowhammer History Hunt tells the stories of all Alabamians, it was essential to the success of this project to have teachers who could provide a representative perspective that would be inclusive and responsive to the needs of their students.
It was also equally important for us to remember that the format of Yellowhammer History Hunt videos would need to engage our 4th grade audience for them to connect to the stories and lessons. Teachers were again critical in helping us discover and develop a successful format. They pointed us to YouTube, which has many “edutainment” videos. Dissecting many of the more popular videos, we developed a format that mimics the YouTube feel: a style that is fast paced, driven by surprising imagery, and not overly produced.