Be the detective! Unravel the clues and think like a historian to find the real stories behind mysterious Wisconsin history artifacts.
How to Play
Click or tap to move.
Read carefully so that you can find the clues to make progress.
Not sure what to do next? Check your notebook!
Your notebook will help you remember all of the things you've discovered, and also contains your current SAVE CODE.
Check marks show completed tasks.
If you need to take a break or switch computers, enter your SAVE CODE at the start of the game to pick up where you left off on the case.
Navigate by Map
Unlock new locations on your map as you gather evidence.
Defend your case
Your goal is to tell the true story of the artifact.
You can’t prove your case without knowing your evidence and sharing your sources.
Classroom ResourcesGuiding Questions (PDF)
Questions divided into before play, during play, and after play so your students can activate background knowledge, think critically, and extend concepts.
Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case was designed in close partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Wisconsin Historical Society to support inquiry-driven pedagogy.
This activity addresses Wisconsin Standards for Social Studies, English Language Arts, and Information & Technology Literacy.
About the Project
Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case is a tool for students to engage in critical thinking and historical inquiry. As the plot unfolds, players come across primary source materials.
Players use the same skills as real historians: investigation, identification, corroboration and contextualizing evidence. To win each challenge, players must piece together the evidence to argue their case.
The game was designed by PBS Wisconsin Education, Field Day Lab, and a cohort of 3rd-5th grade social studies teachers. The game was tested by students throughout the state of Wisconsin.
Education Fellows Director
Graphic Design and User Interface
Art & Animation
Rodney Lambright II
Level Content Design
Original Music & Sound
PBS Wisconsin Website Development
Andrea Bell-Myers - Brass Community School, Kenosha Unified School District
Angie Bies - Waller Elementary School, Burlington Area School District
Matt Daniels - Sheboygan Falls Elementary School, Sheboygan Falls School District
Jennifer Guckenberger - Hadfield Elementary School, School District of Waukesha
VaLisa Harmon - Wadewitz Elementary School, Racine Unified School District
Tera Hollfelder - Arena Community Elementary School (ACES) - River Valley School District
Jodi Kardin - Augusta Elementary School, Augusta Area School District
George Klink - Elmwood Elementary School, School District of Elmwood
Nikki Lutzke - Parkview Elementary School - Parkview School District
Jonathan Mason - EAGLE School of Madison
Peter Michaud - Reagan Elementary School, School District of New Berlin
Kasey Rachu - Edgar Elementary School, Edgar School District
Mary Roberts - Pardeeville Elementary School - Pardeeville Area School District
Boyd Roessler - Hillcrest Elementary, School District of Waukesha
Mike Scoville - Gibraltar Elementary School, Gibraltar Area School District
Lisa Sorlie - School District of Bonduel
Jim Tellstrom - Sunrise Elementary School, Sturgeon Bay Schools
Julie Young - Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk (MHLT), Minocqua J1 School District
Kati Walsh - John Muir Elementary School, Madison Metropolitan School District
Testing Provided By Students Of
Arena Community Elementary School - Arena, WI
Augusta Elementary School - Augusta, WI
Bonduel School District - Bonduel, WI
Brass Community School - Kenosha, WI
Brillion Elementary School - Brillion, WI
Eagle School - Madison, WI
Edgar Elementary School - Edgar, WI
Elmwood Elementary School - Elmwood, WI
Gibraltar Elementary School - Fish Creek, WI
Hadfield Elementary School - Waukesha, WI
Hillcrest Elementary School - Waukesha, WI
KM Explore Elementary School - Wales, WI
MHLT Elementary School - Minocqua, WI
Pardeeville Elementary School - Pardeeville, WI
Parkview Elementary School - Orfordville, WI
Reagan Elementary School - New Berlin, WI
Sheboygan Falls Elementary School - Sheboygan Falls, WI
Wadewitz Elementary School - Racine, WI
Waller Elementary School - Burlington, WI
Michael Edmonds - Wisconsin Historical Society
Jenny Kalvaitis - Wisconsin Historical Museum
Simone Munson - Wisconsin Historical Society
Philip Ashby - PBS Wisconsin
Eric Greiling - PBS Wisconsin
Kurt Kiefer - Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Kristin Leglar - PBS Wisconsin
Becky Marburger - PBS Wisconsin
Robert Mathieu - Wisconsin Center for Education Research
Kris McDaniels - Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
David McHugh - Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Keith Polkinghorne - Brillion Elementary School
Brandon Ribordy - PBS Wisconsin
Ken Rosenberg - Wisconsin State Capitol
Funding Provided By
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Wisconsin Center for Education Research
Ron and Colleen Weyers
Francis A. and Georgia F. Ariens Fund within the Brillion Area Family of Funds
Ruth St. John and John Dunham West Foundation, Inc.
Conney Family in loving memory of Mildred Conney
Edvest College Savings Plan
Technology Education Foundation
Roger and Lynn Van Vreede
Eleanor and Thomas Wildrick Family
American Transmission Company
National Guardian Life Insurance Company
BMO Harris Bank
Timothy William Trout Education Fund
Friends of Wisconsin Public Television