Be the detective! Unravel the clues and think like a historian to find the real stories behind mysterious Wisconsin history artifacts.

Play Now!
* Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case is not optimized for this device.

How to Play

Check your Notebook!

Take Note

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!

Step by Step


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.

Step by Step
Navigate by Map

Navigate by Map

Unlock new locations on your map as you gather evidence.

Step by Step

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.

Defend Your Case


Log Book

Classroom Resources

Guiding Questions (PDF)

Questions divided into before play, during play, and after play so your students can activate background knowledge, think critically, and extend concepts.


Download Standards(PDF)

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.



Executive Producers

David Gagnon

Alyssa Tsagong


Sarah Gagnon

John Dollar

Education Fellows Director

Jim Mathews

Creative Director

Sarah Gagnon

Graphic Design and User Interface

Eric Lang

Art & Animation

Reyna Groff

Eric Lang

Rodney Lambright II

Jennifer Leaver

Level Content Design

John Dollar

Jim Mathews

David Gagnon


Sarah Gagnon

Lindy Biller

Eric Lang

Philip Dougherty

Original Music & Sound

Cyril Peck

Software Development

Philip Dougherty

Mike Tolly


Daniel Hying

Administration Support

Angel Cartagena

Adam Chase

Ahna Holliday

Becki Kohl

Jim Lyne

PBS Wisconsin Website Development

Erika Kachama-Nkoy

Chester Lee

Tim Schneider



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


Special Thanks

Michael Edmonds - Wisconsin Historical Society

Jenny Kalvaitis - Wisconsin Historical Museum

Bobbi Malone

Simone Munson - Wisconsin Historical Society

Philip Ashby - PBS Wisconsin

Eric Greiling - PBS Wisconsin

Jone Kiefer

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 PBS Wisconsin