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43rd NLetter"O" graphicrtheast Regional Conference on the
Social Studies

21st Century Learning:
The Role and Future of the Social Studies

Tuesday, April 3rd through Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center

366 Main Street, Sturbridge, Massachusetts 01566
Contact: 508-347-7393 Fax: 508-347-3944

Conference Co-Chairs
David Bosso, Berlin High School, Berlin, CT 
Elyse Poller, Mansfield Middle School, Mansfield, CT 


Official Conference Booklet Updated 3/27/12

For questions contact Max Amoh at

Registration questions: Louise Uchaczyk at




Denise Merrill, CT Secretary of State will be the featured speaker at the CCSS Luncheon on April 5. Biography

Merrill headshot

Viewing of Documentary Coexist on April 5

The documentary tells the story of five survivors and three perpetrators of the
1994 Rwanda genocide, and how they live side by side today.

To learn more go to:

Craig Hotchkiss, Education Manager, Mark Twain House, is the featured speaker at the CCSS dinner on Wednesday, April 4. The talk is entitled "Base Ball as Mark Twain Knew It,"

C. Hotchkiss

Mark Twain once said that baseball was “the very symbol of the raging, tearing, booming nineteenth century,” a very apt description of the national pastime during the Gilded Age which echoes his lifelong interest in the struggle of America to achieve a “more perfect union” with regard to ethnicity, race, gender, class and the use of American power abroad. As an owner of Hartford’s own minor league baseball club, Twain was aware of how the “national game” mirrored the best and the worst traits of our national character, developing these themes most comprehensively in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

Updated 3/2/2012


Teaching with Primary Sources, the Library of Congress, and the Common Core
Online Tools for Your Classroom and Beyond 
Differentiated Instruction in Social Studies 
From Memory to Action: Connecting the Holocaust to Contemporary Genocides
Geo-Literacy: Developing Knowledge, Skills, and Insights
Teaching American Elections through Film, Television, Music and Technology
Graphic Novels in the Social Studies Classroom
The Heroic Teacher: Using Comic Books to Illuminate Historical Themes
Engaging Studies in Collaborative Inquiry through Blended Online Learning

9:00 AM -4:00 PM

  1. Teaching with Primary Sources, the Library of Congress, and the Common Core

Participants will learn to access, organize, and use primary sources from the vast collections of the Library of Congress.  Participants will explore exciting ways to use primary sources to help students think critically about the social studies as they address the Common Core State Standards and will learn and practice dynamic tools of analysis of primary sources based on research about how history is actually done.
Presenters: Rich Cairn, Director, Emerging America, Collaborative for Educational Services, Northampton, MA; Laurie Risler, Hilltown Cooperative Charter School, Williamsburg, MA

2. Online Tools for Your Classroom and Beyond

This will be a working session for teachers and administrators to begin actual work with online tools that can have an impact on their teaching and on student learning.  After a general discussion to a group of tools (email lists, blogs, twitter, wikis, Google Apps, collaborative editing) each participant will choose to explore no more than three tools.  Two face-to-face follow-up sessions will be mutually arranged and online support will also be part of the “package”.
Presenter: Algot Runeman, Algot Runeman Co., MassCUE, Natick, MA

3. Differentiated Instruction in Social Studies

This session helps participants get an understanding of brain research, learning styles, and multiple intelligences as they pertain to differentiated instruction of social studies standards.  Participants explore the benefits of differentiation: how to prepare parents, guardians, and students for its implementation, and how to implement it in their individual settings by utilizing choice, flexible grouping, and a variety of assessment options.
Presenter: Christine Hoyle, Plymouth Community Intermediate School, Plymouth, MA

Session #1           8:45 AM-12:15

1. Geo-Literacy: Developing Knowledge, Skills, and Insights

The goals of this session are to provide the latest geography standards to classroom teachers and to emphasize what geography literacy is and its critical importance in the modern world.  Presenters will be teacher consultants from around Massachusetts.  Copies of newly-updated National Geographic  Standards will be distributed.
Presenters: Vernon Domingo, Kathleen Babini, Lyn  Malone, Sandra Wright, Robert Poirier, Massachusetts Geographic Alliance 

2. Teaching American Elections through Film, Television, Music and Technology

Participants will watch or listen to clips from movies, television series, and songs from many eras that will be primary source documents that teachers can use when teaching the upcoming election to students.  Participants will explore several critical websites and explore ways that technology can be used to teach electoral politics. 
Presenters: Stephen Armstrong & Eliot Waxman, Hall High School, West Hartford, CT

3. Connecting Students to Their Past

History should not be taught as events that happened long ago and which have no continuing relevance.  The essential nature of history and social studies education is connective: to reinforce how the ideas of government under which we will today work formed and evolved and how the ideas and actions of people of the past helped shape our future.  This session will explore the evolution of leadership, conflict, and identity from the era of the founding fathers into the 21st century.  Participants will analyze and explore documents from the collections of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Presenters: Nancy Hayward, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum and Gardens; Sandra Trenholm, Curator and Collection Director, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History; Sven Holch, Brookwood School, Manchester, MA

4. Graphic Novels in the Social Studies Classroom

This workshop demonstrates reasons and strategies for utilizing graphic novels in the social studies classroom.  Graphic novels provide an opportunity for students to access social studies-based content in a way that is visual, interdisciplinary, and fun.  Workshop participants learn about using primary sources with graphic novels to teach history, discuss interdisciplinary connections, and review recommended graphic novels for the classroom.  Participants also engage in hands-on, classroom-ready activities using graphic novels and primary source materials. 
Presenters:  Stacia Kuceyeski & Molly Uline-Olmstead, The  Creative Learning Factory, Columbus, Ohio

 Session #2

  1. The Heroic Teacher: Using Comic Books to Illuminate Historic Themes

This workshop demonstrates how popular comic book characters can be used to increase student interest in timeless and important themes.  Themes explored in this workshop include the nature of leadership and power, prejudice, tolerance, revolution, and American virtues.  The exploration of the themes progresses from the world of comics to common curriculum items like the civil rights movement and World War II. 
Presenter: Dr. James Rourke, Norwich Free Academy, Norwich, CT\

2. Engaging Students in Collaborative Inquiry through Blended Online Learning

The 21st Century Historians project supports professional development through the establishment of a repository of lesson plans and teaching resources.  An Open Learning Management System (Moodle) and Google Apps provide a platform to support our online learning community.  The workshop will describe our infrastructure and philosophical approach to learning, allow workshop participants to take a virtual tour of the website, share lessons which highlight the use of primary source documents and promote inquiry and project-based learning. 
Presenters: Sarah Chauncey & M. Diana Jabis, Rockland BOCES, West Nyack, New York

3. From Memory to Action: Connecting the Holocaust to Contemporary Genocides

The Holocaust is an unprecedented event in history with universally important lessons.  Among them are the importance of challenging prejudices, understanding how choices and actions shape identity, and how to learn from both events and the experiences of others.  How does this connect with human rights abuses in Bosnia, Rwanda, or the Sudan?  Explore curricular materials which ask students to consider responses to genocide, investigate who is at risk, and envision their own capacity to respond.
Presenters: Kate English, Mansfield Middle School, Storrs, CT and Administrator, Connecticut Task Force on Holocaust and Genocide Education and other members of the task force



10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

Why Can't We Just Take a Test?
Faced with the enormity of content in AP classes, teachers often feel they must sacrifice project-based assessments.  This session will provide classroom-tested examples of alternative assessments in AP and pre-AP classes.  Handouts provided.

Presenter:    Sue Blanchette, President, National Council for the Social Studies


Infusing Connecticut History into the Teaching of United States History
Participants in this workshop will discuss how the teaching of Connecticut history will greatly enhance the teaching of United States history at the middle school and high school levels.  The Connecticut Humanities Council is spearheading a major effort to provide teachers with materials to teach Connecticut history in their regular U.S. history classes: primary source materials and other resources from that project will be shared at this workshop.

Presenters:  Stuart Parnes, Executive Director, Connecticut Humanities Council;
Bruce Reinholdt, Connecticut Humanities Council

Hateful Things: Educational Uses for Racist Artifacts
On March 29, 2012, the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, CT will open Hateful Things, a provocative exhibition on loan from the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia housed at Ferris State University.  This exhibition runs through Labor Day, and a companion exhibition on the evolution of Mark Twain’s views on race called A Sound Heart and a Deformed Conscience will also be on display.  The purpose of these two exhibitions is to educate the public about the enduring power of imagery to perpetuate racism, and to examine the life of Mark Twain as an American whose youth was steeped in the racist traditions of the antebellum South, but whose maturation coincided with Emancipation and an increasingly progressive attitude concerning racial equality that was nurtured by his long residency in the North.  During this workshop, artifacts from these exhibitions will be presented and discussed along with ways in which a class field trip and/or student use of the exhibition’s corresponding website can be crafted into a valuable learning experience that underscores the enduring legacy of racial stereotypes and promotes greater racial tolerance.

Presenter:    Craig Hotchkiss, Mark Twain House and Museum, Hartford, CT

                          Hands-on History at Old Sturbridge Village
Make history meaningful using hands-on learning to teach about the past while making connections
to the present.  Participate in two thematic activities at Old Sturbridge Village to get a taste of what
it was like to live in the early 1800s in rural New England.  Use reproductions of artifacts to create
a period object and make connections to state frameworks, which may include making home
remedies, hearth cooking, or other 19th century activities.

This session will meet at the Education Building at Old Sturbridge Village, a short drive from the Host Hotel.  From the hotel parking lot, turn right onto Route 20 and follow the signs to Old Sturbridge Village.  At the red light, proceed straight onto Old Sturbridge Village Road and follow signs to the Education Building; do not turn right to go to the main parking lot and the front entrance of the Village.

Presenters:  Members of the Old Sturbridge Village Education Staff, Sturbridge, MA

Teaching the Arab-Israeli Conflict and the Peace Process
During this workshop participants will get tools and tips for teaching major historical developments in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including previous successes in the peace process and current issues to be negotiated.  Participants will receive a resource packet with detailed lesson plans and student materials.

Presenter:    Professor Avinoam Patt, University of Hartford
Robert Fishman, Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut


Turning a Blind Eye
Our economic and political circumstances, as interpreted by opinion makers of our time, can shape our responses to world events, even genocide.  Case study: by Stalin’s decrees, the Ukrainian famine of 1932-33, or Holodomor, claimed millions of lives, while the world bought grain expropriated from the starving farmers.  How can we prioritize human rights?  How do we make ourselves less vulnerable to propaganda and media manipulation in the twenty-first century?  In an interactive environment, learn about the Holodomor and critically analyze and consider alternative responses to that event, mass famine in Mao’s China and current examples of genocide in Darfur and Chechnya.

Presenters:  Lana Babij, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT;
Lidia Chomas, New Haven, CT public schools (retired);
Borys Krupa, Avon High School, Avon, CT (retired)

Culturally Responsive Curriculum:
Supporting the Growth of Globally Conscious Youth
Using the “Celebrating Human Creativity” educational framework, this clinic explores complex issues related to understanding and creating a global community.  The process begins with self-reflection, moves through stages of analytical examination of different facets of communication, and ends with creative presentations of new understanding.  Various methods and materials for integrating deep reflection on topics such as communication styles, perceptions versus reality, and relation-building into existent curriculum will be modeled. 

Presenters: Laura Val, Celebrating Human Creativity, Portland, ME;
Gretchen McNulty, Cape Elizabeth High School,
Cape Elizabeth, ME

Bridging the Gap: Cross-Cultural Connections with Korea
This presentation explores Korean history, culture, and society and demonstrates methods for integrating Korea into the study of world history at the secondary level.  The presentation will provide social studies teachers with usable lesson plans and activities that focus specifically on bridging the gap between cultures and expose interested teachers to the opportunities for travel and study provided by the Korea Society.  The presentation emerges from teacher experiences on the 2011 Korea Society Summer Fellowship. 

Presenters: Katherine Murphy, Lexington High School, Lexington, MA; 
Brian Cushing, Lake Region Hall School, Naples, ME

Teaching Current Events by Playing the Newsgame
Current events is a vital part of social studies that is either omitted or taught in the traditional ineffective way of students cutting out news articles and reporting the article to the class.  My Newsgame is a much more successful way to have students learn about current events.

Presenter:    Rob Miller, Baker School, Chestnut Hill, MA (retired)

Learning Social Studies Content Through Songs
Songwriting is an interactive way for students to learn and review social studies content.  This clinic trains teachers to use a songwriting activity based on social studies frameworks.  The process of writing educational songs and creating song videos will be demonstrated during the first half hour of the workshop.  During the remaining ninety minutes participants develop ideas for their own songs based on specific content interests.

Presenter:    Jerry Appell, Rock in the Classroom, Dummerston, VT

Beyond Wikis and Blogs: Improving
Social Studies Instruction Through the Use of Cutting-Edge Technology
Participants in this workshop will explore some of the newest ways that technology can be utilized to improve the teaching of social studies at the middle school and high school levels.  Voice threads and other approaches will be demonstrated, and methods to utilize technology to teach 21st century social studies skills will be discussed. 

Presenters: David Peling & Eliot Waxman, Hall High School,
West Hartford, CT

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Contemporary Germany
Hot off the press! Join the authors of the new curriculum materials from the Goethe Institut.  They will share lessons about teaching Germany to elementary, middle school, and high school students.  Information about the annual two week study tour to Germany will be shared. Participants will receive sample copies and materials from the Goethe Institut. 

Presenters: Steve Goldberg, New Rochelle High School, New Rochelle, NY & past-president, National Council for the Social Studies;

Exploring the American Revolution through Historical Fiction
Explore the American Revolution through biographical fiction.  Accurate events unfold through living, breathing characters whose acts of courage, indifference, or cowardice laid the foundation we share today.  In presenting the personalities, struggles, and joys of those from our past, we emotionally relate to them.  Through their stories history takes on a life of its own, offering courage, inspiration, patriotism, and an understanding of the great sacrifice and selflessness needed to fulfill a worthy goal. 

Presenter:   Jane Uhlar, American Revolution Books, Eastham, MA

Civil War 150th:
Teaching the North’s Role in Slavery, Emancipation, and Abolition
History teachers can make sure that children don’t grow up with outdated myths about slavery and the Civil War.  Understanding the North’s role in slavery and abolition is central to debunking these myths.  Learning about slavery is a key moment for students of all backgrounds, as it can shape perceptions about race, privilege, and prejudice.  How can slavery, emancipation, and abolition be taught in a way that will further positive development, productive race-relations and key civic skills?  This session will reveal myth-busting historical facts about slavery and views of the Civil War in the North, and provide skills that will allow participants to teach slavery in a comprehensive and conscientious manner.

Presenter:    James DeWolf Perry, Executive Director,
The Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery

Disturbing the Political Landscape: the 200th Anniversary of Gerrymandering
The Constitution requires a decennial census to ensure fair representation in Congress.  At various points in history this action has affected electoral outcomes in profound ways.  Our students are watching communities being redistricted before their eyes for the 2012 elections.  As citizens, we want them to be actively engaged as participants in the political process, armed with knowledge of the origins and nuances of this complex system.  This hands-on case study can service as a model for use with students. 

Presenters: Annie Davis, National Archives at Boston,
Debra Black, Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library

Westward Expansion: A New History
By 1800, North America was home to diverse Native American, European, and African groups.  Over the course of the next century European groups came to dominate the continent.  During this transformation, the diverse populations both fought each other and worked to understand each other across a chasm of cultural differences.  This session explores these tensions through a role-play activity which uses readings, primary sources, and in-depth case studies to explore U.S. westward expansion from multiple perspectives.

Presenter:    Mimi Stephens, Choices Program, Brown University

We Are All Connected
As globalization crumbles walls of classrooms it is vital for students to be an integrated and active part of their world.  This hands-on workshop encompasses cultural awareness, global issues, and introspection. Using drums, dance, and language, participants learn about Senegal, West Africa, and the intricacies of diverse cultures found in our world.

Presenters:   Jean Butler, Tony Vacca, Adbou Sarr, Arts Are Essential, Inc., Acton, MA

Teaching Social Studies: A Global Perspective
This collaborative session takes an in-depth look at teaching social studies in the context of how it is being taught globally and how other countries are preparing their students to achieve specific skills and knowledge in the field. A closer look at instructional practices, methodology, critical thinking skills, teacher training programs, and policies are discussed as they relate to how schools are preparing students for the 21st century.  Experiences, current research, lesson plans, and other teaching resources are provided to participants from educators who participated in the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program.

Presenter:    Maryam Wardak, Hall High School, West Hartford, CT

Diving In With Nautilus Live: A Real-Time Web Tool That Brings Ocean Exploration and Discovery into the Classroom
This session introduces participants to, a web-based interactive program that allows educators and students to follow along with Dr. Robert Ballard as he explores the Black and Mediterranean Seas aboard the E/V Nautilus.  Viewers will see and participate in real-time scientific exploration and data collection by the team as they use underwater remotely-operated vehicles.  Participants will also take part in a “hands-on” demonstration of activities suitable for their classrooms.

Presenter:    Edward Argenta, Ocean Education Trust/Rockville High School, Vernon, CT

Initiating a Global Problem-Solving Course
Participants in this session will learn about Global Problem-Solving, a social studies course that addresses 21st century skills, anchor standards of the common core, and the senior capstone experience.  Through the study of global issues, students learn to apply a systems thinking model to understand and develop solutions to global and local problems.  Through this course students work collaboratively to identify, understand, and address an issue about which they are passionate.  Join us to learn how to develop a similar course or integrate aspects of this course in your social studies program.

Presenter:    Jessica Blitzer and Tom Paleologopoulos
Conard High School, West Hartford, CT

The Critical Importance of High School Research Papers
Will Fitzhugh is the long-time editor of the Concord Review, and has pushed tirelessly for students to continue to do in-depth research assignments at the high school level.  This session will be a review of the state of academic expository writing in our high schools and will involve a discussion of the challenges facing educators to ensure students are prepared for non-fiction reading and academic writing tasks at the college level.

Presenter:    Will Fitzhugh, The Concord Review, Sudbury, MA

Maps for All: A 21st Century Initiative
This presentation describes a project designed to increase awareness of political geography in the general public and to create a public environment that reflects a nation aware of its global citizenship.  The presenter will report on the genesis of the project, describe current accomplishments working with schools, organizations, and individuals, and invite participant discussion about further development and expansion of the project.

Presenter:    Louise Earle Loomis, Thinkwell Center LLC, Hartford, CT

The TCI Approach plus Dynamic Technology Equals a Successful Learner
Today students of all abilities have ready access to a variety of learning aids to help them attain success in the classroom. TCI is at the forefront of reaching each and every student with its rich technology-based instruction and alternative text formats. Come explore TCI’s technology-based lessons and learn how history can come alive through the use of dynamic multiple intelligence teaching strategies, meeting the needs of all learners.

Presenter:    Deanna Morrow and Nathan Wellborne, TCI,
Rancho Cordova, CA

Help Your Students Become Certified Financially Literate!
Come to this session to learn all that the Financial Literacy Certification Program has to offer. This session explores the importance of personal finance education and how high schools nationally are incorporating our program and culminating their instruction with the Financial Literacy Certification Test, offering students who pass the opportunity to become Certified Financially Literate.  Learn about the instructional support, assessment tools, professional development opportunities, and national recognition that program members receive.

Presenter:    Andrea Campbell, Manager, Financial Literacy Certification Program, Working in Support of Education, New York, NY

3:30 P.M. - 4:30 P.M.

The Power of the Press
This session presents a model for utilizing historical primary sources to build 21st century learning and skills with a focus on media and information literacy, critical thinking and analysis, and communication.  The session uses American journalism’s coverage of the sweeping political and national events of one critical month of the Civil War (July 1863) to examine factional differences and perspectives of the period and to explore how journalists produced differing accounts of events. 

Presenter:    Gail White, Historic New England, Woodstock, CT


The Whiskey Rebellion of 1794: Liberty vs. Order
Connecting Past, Present and Future
A “whiskey rebellion” conjures up many images in one’s mind.  However, the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794 was not merely about whiskey; it challenged a newly-formed government with the will of the people.  Many connections can be made to the revolutionary era and to current day economics and governmental policy. 

Presenter:    Linda Forte, Worcester Arts Magnet, Worcester, MA Public Schools

Using Fine Arts to Teach American History
How would you like to link learning history with works of art in a truly interdisciplinary experience?  Learn how to use images from the National Endowment for the Humanities Picturing America program and works of American art from the Newark Museum of Art to help your students learn about our national story.  Acquire other primary source materials and teaching lessons on the Great Depression and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Presenter:    Ed Dorgan, Lewis Mills High School, Regional District #10, Burlington, CT

The Trumbull War Office: A Case Study of Learning Through Play
This session demonstrates the use of play and game theory in a museum education context.  To us, play = work and learning = entertainment.  We will demonstrate how simple and effective design can transform a traditional museum exhibit from hum drum to fun by applying principles of gaming and the importance of engaging the mind, body and spirit through play.

Presenters: Donna Baron, Lebanon Historical Society, Lebanon, CT;
Jennifer Eifrig, CT Society of the Sons of the American Revolution,
Middletown, CT

Human Rights Challenges: Promoting Critical Thinking
Human rights violations continue to occur in many parts of the world.  This workshop will focus on three major human rights challenges in the world today:  despotic rulers killing their people and humanitarian military interventions; poverty and malnutrition; and prosecutions of perpetrators after an armed conflict.  Participants will share effective methods they use now to help high school students to think critically about such pressing global problems.  Dr. Wilson will speak about how to use primary documents, the Cingranelli-Richards (CIRI) Human Rights Dataset, and how to run a simulation to write a new international treaty that will raise students' awareness of these complex issues and help them to brainstorm "solutions" to resolve them.
Presenter:    Richard A. Wilson, Gladstein Chair of Human Rights, Professor of Anthropology and Law and Director of the Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

All Roads Lead to Rome
In a time when the relevancy of world language and history is being questioned, this session will clearly demonstrate the timelessness of language and history.  This session explores the many opportunities for social studies teachers and world language teachers to collaborate and produce exemplary lessons.  The underlying theme of this session is that history and language teachers can include 21st century skills in their classrooms.  Examples of interdisciplinary lessons will be stressed. 

Presenters: Gerald O’Connell & Sheila Houlihan, Newington High School, Newington, CT

Understanding Judaism
Participants will gain knowledge and materials to help their students understand Judaism.  An extensive resource packet will be distributed, which will contain teacher’s guides, lesson plans, and student handouts that target middle and high school needs.

Presenter:    Adrien Uretsky, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston

Some Say That Concepts About the Holocaust
Cannot Be Taught in the Primary Grades
Are concepts which arise in a study of the Holocaust relevant to students in the primary grades?  The facilitators of this session believe that they are.  Concepts such as tolerance, respect, individual rights, and freedom can be taught in a developmentally-appropriate manner.  With a strong foundation laid, students are better prepared to resolve conflicts peacefully.  Using the KWL strategy, participants brainstorm, discuss, and design ways to integrate these concepts into their curriculum.  Resources and contacts will be provided. 

Presenters: Leslie Perfect Ricklin, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT;
Jeanne Morascini, Hochberg Holocaust and Human Rights Committee Chair, retired teacher, founder of Curriculum of Hope for a Peaceful World

Geography as a Core Content Subject
This session will discuss the importance of having teachers, administrators, and other members of the educational community advocate for student mastery of 21st century skills through geography as a core content subject area. Moreover, the session will discuss how all the stakeholders can and should promote global and geographic literacy in an ever-increasing interdependent world.

Presenters: Tom Brodnitzki, Connecticut Geographic Alliance
More Than Just an “Add-On”:
National History Day Teaches, Prepares, Inspires
During this session participants will learn about National History Day and receive practical and helpful advice on how to participate! View student projects, speak to students about their experiences, and discover the proven benefits of the program.  Learn from an experienced National History Day teacher on the benefits and challenges of the program.  Session participants will receive informational packets, including suggested lesson plans and timelines.

Presenters: Rebecca Taber-Conover, Connecticut’s Old State House, Hartford, CT;
                    Jennifer Hunt, Sedgwick Middle School, West Hartford, CT

Real Time Economics:
Using the Internet to Make Economics Class More Interactive
Teaching economics means engaging students in actively thinking about the fast-moving, dynamic and complex economy.  The Internet can be used to bring real time economic situations and debate into the classroom to enrich students’ learning experiences.  This session describes how to use Internet resources such as blogs, interactive data sources, and online simulations and videos to make economics classes more student-centered and interactive as well as more up to date in covering changes in the economy. 

Presenter:   Richard Donnelly, Bedford High School, Bedford, MA

Using Technology to Reveal History: The Zoom-In Inquiry Model
Participants in this session will learn how to spark historical curiosity among students at all levels.  This session demonstrates how to pair historical images with thought-provoking inquiry questions to help students understand the “bigger” picture.  The Zoom-in inquiry model provides an easy-replicated template for producing high quality history lessons while developing historical thinking skills. 

Presenter:    Joseph Jelen, ACES, North Haven, CT

Democratizing the DBQ: World and U.S. Mini-Qs in Grades 4-12
The DBQ Project will examine ways to teach document-based questions in a way that is accessible to all skill levels.  Our new World History Mini-Qs, along with our U.S. program, will be highlighted.  Particular attention will be placed on the hook, the importance of pre-teaching vocabulary and background knowledge, individual document analysis, and argumentative writing.  Discussion will focus on ways districts can use the DBQ as a tool to vertically align historical thinking and writing expectations.

Presenter:    Mollie Hackett, The DBQ Project, Evanston, IL
Teacher-Generated Projects from Yale University
During this session, teachers will share projects they developed at Yale University's PIER (Programs in International Resources) summer institutes last summer.  Many of these projects employ an inquiry-based approach, and are based on cutting-edge information and resources that were available at Yale last summer.  Projects presented will be from workshops on African Studies, East Asian Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies.  Information on this summer's PIER summer institutes will be available.

Presenter:    Minjin Hasbat, PIER Director, Yale University, New Haven, CT


10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

Woody Guthrie and His “Children”:
Politically-Conscious Music in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Woody Guthrie is often considered the “father” of American socially-conscious music, and countless other singers have followed him in singing songs decrying oppression and greed.  Participants in this session will listen to and analyze socially-conscious songs by Woody Guthrie and of those that followed him: Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle, Ani DiFranco, and others.  Lyrics will be provided, and a broader discussion on the impact of music on American culture will also take place.

Presenter:    Steve Armstrong, West Hartford, CT Public Schools, Vice-President, National Council for the Social Studies

Online Lessons: U.S. Immigration History Webquests and More!
This session explores the bounty of webquests offered by TRITEC on PBU Builder 2.0.  Investigate inquiry-based, primary source lessons from our most recent TAH grant, Becoming America, which focuses on United States history and immigration K-12.  Learn about webquests as lesson formats, how-to’s of lesson design, and immigration and history resources while exploring teacher-created and classroom-tested lessons.  Additional exploration of other webquests, including those for other history and science lessons, will be offered. 

Presenter:    Cathleen Coyle Randall, TRITEC (Tri-City Technology Educational Cooperative), Everett Public Schools, Everett, MA

                             Hands-on History at Old Sturbridge Village- 1830s New England Town Meeting

Explore how society provides for the poor in early 19th-century rural New England.  You decide if the 1830s town should purchase a “poor farm” to replace the “vendue” system of auctioning off the care of those in need.  Interview costumed Villagers to gather opinions on 19th-century poor relief options, then join our costumed Town Moderator at the Center Meetinghouse to debate and vote.  Learn about civic responsibility and town government as you put yourself in the place of local 19th-century “citizens” of Sturbridge, ask the costumed villagers for their opinions to learn more, and then participate in a mock town meeting.  The link between economics, government, human compassion and civic responsibility becomes evident, since as “citizens” you are required to think about the costs the town incurs with either system.  The session includes primary sources and background information for use in the classroom.  An anti-slavery program we offer to school groups will also be discussed.

This session will meet at the Education Building at Old Sturbridge Village, a short drive from the Host Hotel.  From the hotel parking lot, turn right onto Route 20 and follow the signs to Old Sturbridge Village.  At the red light, proceed straight onto Old Sturbridge Village Road and follow signs to the Education Building; do not turn right to go to the main parking lot and the front entrance of the Village.

Presenter: Tom Kelleher, Curator, Sturbridge, MA

Teaching History to Create Informed, Engaged Citizens:
Labor Relations in the Gilded Age and Today
This session will demonstrate a methodology for teaching American history that actively engages students in doing history, considering multiple perspectives and using primary source materials, critical thinking, problem solving and oral presentation skills.  We will look at labor relations a century ago and today in the context of court decisions and prevailing attitudes, do a short historical role-playing activity and watch a video of middle and high school students engaged in role-playing another historical conflict. 

Presenter:   Arlene Gardner, New Jersey Center for Civic Education,
Piscataway, NJ

The U.S. in Afghanistan through CHOICES
More than ten years after 9/11, the U.S. remains in Afghanistan, battling an insurgency led by the Taliban.  The U.S.’s relationship with two key countries in the region, Pakistan and Afghanistan, are complicated by a history of mistrust and misgivings.  Participants use primary source documents, readings and new media resources to explore these issues and experience a role-play on the future of U.S. policy toward Afghanistan.  All participants receive The U.S. in Afghanistan Choices unit. 

Presenters: Mimi Stephens, Choices Program, Brown University;
Dorothy Verheyen-Cudjoe, Quabban Regional High School, Barre, MA

7 Billion and Counting: Lessons for Our Planet’s Future
The world population just reached a new milestone: seven billion people.  Engage in innovative human geography activities for grades 6-12 to explore connections between human population growth, resource consumption, economic development and the changing face of our planet.

Presenter:    Trudy Knowles, Westfield State University, Westfield, MA

Social Studies Educators: Key Agents of Change for a Sustainable Future
The beginning of the 21st century has brought an increased awareness of complex and interconnected social, economic, and environmental problems that are threatening the quality of human life for present and future generations.  This session provides an overview of the theory and principles of education for sustainable development (ESD) and explains why social studies educators are uniquely qualified to play a pivotal role in shaping a sustainable future. 

Presenters: James Malley, Central Connecticut State University,
New Britain, CT;
William Upholt, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT;
Patricia Johnson, Common Ground High School, New Haven, CT

Traveling Through the Pages II: Integrating Recently-Published Books for
Youth to Support Social Studies
In this interactive presentation, participants examine social studies concepts presented in exceptional children’s literature (including titles from the Notable Trade Books in Social Studies annual lists) that focus on significant events reflecting world culture.  In addition, participants will discuss strategies to integrate social studies and language arts to investigate the people, places and events from world cultures in terms of their grade-level curriculum.  Web-based resources will be shared. 

Presenter:    Leslie Perfect Ricklin and Susannah Richards, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT

Infusing Literacy Practices in the Social Studies Classroom
For the past few years, the Cooperative Middle School has struggled with the question of how to help a small cohort of students make Adequate Yearly Progress in reading.  Social studies should be the perfect venue for complementing literacy instruction, but often is not taught that way.  This session shows classroom instructors how to use existing resources such as the school librarian, the media center, and texts on literacy instruction to, in effect, become their own literacy coaches.  

PresentersCaroline Collins Siecke and Deidre Whall, The Cooperative Middle School, Stratham, NH


Get Psyched: Teaching Psychology Through An Inquiry-Based Approach With An Emphasis On 21st Century Problem-Solving Skills
Scientific inquiry in the behavioral sciences comes to life through relevant exercises designed to stimulate critical thinking and creative problem solving.  This presentation will explore several teaching activities on research methods in psychology.  Topics will include social psychology, research experiments, and the AP Psychology essay.  This session is relevant to Introduction to Psychology classes, Introduction to Sociology, and AP Psychology classes.

Presenters: Carrie Grado and Terry Marselle
Hall High School, West Hartford, CT


1:30 P.M. – 2:30 P.M.

Using Global Literature in the Secondary Classroom
Incorporating global literature into secondary classrooms expands students’ worldviews and develops awareness about what it means to be a global citizen.  This workshop explores librarian-selected books that connect to secondary curricula and engage students in topics such as human rights, the environment, and migration of peoples.

Presenter:    Jennifer Hanson, Primary Source, Watertown, MA

Empowering the Digital Classroom Curriculum
Helping students traverse the digital divide while presenting engaging materials may be an overwhelming task.  In this session, participants will explore ways that Cengage Learning is partnering with schools to integrate resources directly into classroom curriculum while also reinforcing skills.  Participants will view demonstrations of how Cengage’s digital tools can help students assimilate information literacy skills, critical thinking and problem-solving into everyday research assignments. 

Presenter:    Joy Murray, Cengage Learning, Andover, MA

Using Feature Films to Study the Electoral Process
This workshop will analyze Hollywood movies made from the 1930s up to the present day to tell us what they reveal about the American political process.  All of the films discussed will be about American elections, and will be useful in augmenting student study of and preparation for the upcoming election cycle.  A discussion will take place on how accurately Hollywood films have portrayed American history and how much “bias” there is in Hollywood filmmaking about politics.

Presenter:    Stephen Armstrong, West Hartford, CT Public Schools, Vice-President, National Council for the Social Studies

Shaker Architecture: A Model for Today
This presentation illustrates a unique collaboration between museum educators at Hancock Shaker Village and the Pittsfield, MA public schools.  They have created curricula for grades K-5 based on the innovative architecture and town planning of the Shakers, focusing on concepts like form and function, sustainable design and efficiency.  Through interdisciplinary lesson plans with connections to math, science, social studies and language arts, students learn to think critically about their own 21st century environment.

Presenters:  Danielle Steinmann, Associate Director of Interpretation & Public
                   Programs, Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, MA;
                   Lynne Griffin, Stearns Elementary School, Pittsfield, MA

Using Profiles and Perspectives to Develop Historical Thinking
The essential question for students is:  “Was the Jay Treaty a turning point event that tarnished Washington’s legacy by dividing Americans?” Using a decision-making model supporting historical thinking though discussion and debate, students will analyze the arguments of John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Noah Webster and President Washington through the perspectives of a New England banker and a southern plantation owner.  Presenters will discuss ways that historical thinking is developed through this activity.

Presenters: Hank Bitten, Teaching American History Grant, Indian Hills High School, Oakland, NJ;
Mark Ferreri, Teaching American History Grant, Ridgewood High School, Ridgewood, NJ;
Dr. Louis Moore, Teaching American History Grant, Ramapo High School, Franklin Lakes, NJ

Black Tie Meets Blue Jeans:
Formal/Informal Educator Collaboration in Curriculum Design
The possibilities are limitless when classroom teachers and museum educators join forces to develop engaging and uniquely relevant curricula!  This session introduces a successful model of teacher professional development in which teachers work closely with museum educators to:
1) retrofit their chosen or state-mandated curricula into local, event-based content and 2) build the lessons around lendable or viewable objects and specimens that support an experience-based education and greatly enrich the student learning environment.

Presenters: David Heiser & Maxwell Amoh, Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven, CT

Media Literacy and Social Studies: Assuring Critical Thinking through the Deconstruction of Defining Moments in News Events
This session explores the important relationship between media literacy and social studies and the use of critical thinking skills through the deconstruction of defining moments in current and historical news events.

Presenters: Thomas Goodkind, University of Connecticut NEAG School of Education;
Elizabeth Rowell, Department of Elementary Education, Rhode Island College

Connecting Economics to Literacy in Inclusive Settings
Focused on the elementary and middle grades, the integration of economics and literacy is achieved through the use of literary works connected to the basic concepts of economics.  Skill-building in both disciplines will address the learning needs of special-education students in a general education classroom.  The use of a power point presentation, varied books, material development, and lesson plans will engage the participants in the application of universal design.

Presenters: Dr. Cynthia Kruger, University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth,
Margo Moore, Roosevelt Middle School, New Bedford, MA

The French in North America: The Colonial Experience to Today
This session explores how the history of New France has shaped present-day North America.  The French colonial experience is the primary focus, with an emphasis on the history and geography of New France.  Personal experiences of explorers, fur traders, soldiers, women and Catholic missionaries are showcased, in addition to major events surrounding the French and Indian Wars, including the Conquest and the Acadian expulsion.  The session will conclude with an overview of francophone societies today.

Presenters: Betsy Arntzen, Canadian-American Center, University of Maine, Orono, ME

Before Plantation Stories & the Underground Railroad: Introducing Elementary Students to New England’s Early African American History
During this session, participants will discuss why this topic is essential to a clearer understanding of American history and diversity’s role from the beginning of the nation.  Participants will also be presented with a brief background on the presence of enslaved Africans in parts of New England from the early 1600s onward, the growth of racism, Africans’ early struggles for freedom and for survival and community in slavery’s aftermath.  A discussion will follow on suggestions for opportunities, resources and projects to bring this topic to light within existing curricula. 

Presenter:    Patricia Q. Wall, author, Kittery Point, ME

Using Global Themes and Student Research to Circumnavigate the World
Explore a seventh grade geography program that uses global conflict as a vehicle to study the Five Themes of Geography.  Special emphasis is given to how the location and physical geography of a region impact its cultural development.  Work through the expectations for student participation research and assessment during one leg of the journey, and explore how Glogster posters can be a powerful presentation tool. 

Presenter:    David B. Smith, Pine Point School, Stonington, CT

Windows Into Civilizations, Empires, and Peoples:
Postage Stamps in our Classroom
People have collected postage stamps for generations.  This session presents a variety of teaching strategies for using postage stamps in the classroom.  Stamps can be utilized to trace the independence of Asian and African nations, as well as to discover the impact of empires.  The session also explores techniques that students can use to examine stamps as windows into what nations value and what they see as central to their culture, politics, and economic systems.  Postage stamps enhance the study of geography, history and government: introduce your students to the world of stamps.

Presenter:    Bob Jones, Applewild School, Fitchburg MA

Using Wikis to Enhance and Extend Learning in the Social Studies
This session demonstrates the effectiveness of wikis for learning, both in the classroom and beyond.  Wikis are an interactive tool for engaging students and communicating and sharing resources with students and families.  Additionally, wikis provide teachers with a vehicle for differentiating the curriculum in a relevant way, such as offering extension projects.  The presenters will model several wiki-based activities; discussion of other web-based technologies will also take place.

Presenters: Yesenia Hernandez & Sara Slogesky, East Hartford High School, East Hartford, CT

2:45 P.M. – 3:45 P.M.

Civics First!
This session will present information regarding programs such as mock trial, debate, etc. which promote democratic principles, tolerance, and civic-mindedness.  Students develop critical thinking skills, including decision-making and planning, as they hone their reading and writing skills. 

Presenters: Beth DeLuco, James Schmidt, Julie Jaquish, Civics First,
Hartford, CT

Evolution of 21st Century Learning
Many factors are shaping the evolution of education.  Technology is often the catalyst that is powering curriculum materials for educators and students in this age of evolution.  Learn how you can access digital materials to engage, educate and empower your students.  Take a peek at resources that support seamless integration into learning management systems and the use of technology to create high-achieving, blended learning environments to meet the challenges of 21st century classrooms.

Presenter:    Joy Murray, Cengage Learning, Andover, MA

Social Studies Instruction Through Interactive Classroom Technology
In today’s classroom success for all students, regardless of their learning styles, is enhanced through technology.  Stratalogica is a revolutionary interactive web-based resource delivering curriculum-based social students content for K-12.  Teachers present Stratalogica on interactive white boards or with an LCD, as students create interpretations of geographic relations through individualized presentations and collaborative projects. 

Presenters: Maurice Campeau, Kimberly Dwinell, Francis Schluckebier, Herff Jones Educational, Indianapolis, IN

Securing the Blessings of Liberty When Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied
Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied.  This session will provide participants the opportunity to judge for themselves the merit and value of the incredibly controversial subject of Reconstruction (1865-1877).  Participants will discuss the perspectives of free blacks, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, the Radical Republicans, and the Ku Klux Klan.  Our discussion of language, action, and legislation will allow for in-depth analysis of the successes and failures of the era. 

Presenter:    Angela Plant, Worcester, MA Public Schools

Teaching the Civil War Through Inquiry
This panel discussion shares the work of a critical friends group of teachers who implemented Civil War inquiry projects in their communities.  Teachers will discuss how they had students research local Civil War stories and then led students though the inquiry process.  Short video clips of students at work will be shown, along with samples of final projects, including local history featuring Civil War stories, a Civil War letters project, and a project where students researched Civil War soldiers whose gravestones they found in the local cemetery.

Presenters: Sarah Rooker,The Flow of History, Hartland, VT;
Jennifer Boeri-Boyce, Hartford Memorial Middle School, Post Mills, VT;
Connie Bresnahan, Putney Central School, Brattelboro, VT;
Michael Eppolito, Flood Brook School, Londonderry, VT

Farm to Factory: Hands-On History!
Especially for Elementary and Middle School!  Participants explore the change from an agrarian society where goods were produced by hand to an industrial society where items were mass produced by wage laborers.  “Read” images, analyze primary sources and card and spin wool by hand.  Discover connections between Social Studies and English/Language Arts through the use of historical fiction about New England.  Tools for the classroom make history relevant in today’s world.

Presenters: Mary Beth Clark, Tsongas Industrial History Center and Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell, MA;
Sheli Turocy, Tsongas Industrial History Center and The University of Massachusetts, Lowell 

The Value of Travel: Understanding Time and Space in an Era of Cyberspace
Travel is no longer a line item in American school budgets, either for students or for teachers.  This session will examine objects and ideas gleaned from a variety of personal travel experiences to show how societies not specifically cited within the Massachusetts Frameworks can enhance and deepen teachers’ and students’ understanding of world events and cultures.  Participants will be exposed to a new way of viewing one’s home community and selected spots around the globe in order to gain a broader understanding of both local and world history.

Presenters: John Baron & Sarah Swift, Burgess Elementary School,
Sturbridge, MA

Building Bridges to El Salvador
Arlington, MA has breathed new life into its fourth grade North American geography curriculum by kicking off the school year with a bang: a six-week intensive study of El Salvador that culminates in a letter-writing exchange with a school - our sister city of Teosinte.  The curriculum unit features the use of parent volunteers to take students on a virtual trip to Teosinte, and the study of El Salvador’s traditional culture, language, and people through an integrated literature program.

Presenters: Kerry Dunne, K-12 Social Studies Director, Arlington, MA Public Schools;
Anita-Cristina Calcaterra, Fourth Grade Teacher, Arlington Public Schools;
Elizabeth Dray, Parent Volunteer

Making Connections for a Globally Sustainable Future
What does my footprint have to do with biodiversity? Are population, consumption, and poverty linked?  In this session participants will connect the dots between contemporary global issues and explore ways to address these issues with sustainable solutions through an interdisciplinary curriculum that engages students in hands-on lessons that promote critical thinking.

Presenter:    Rebecca Klein, Middle Pond School, Westborough, MA 

Five Must-Use Web Resources for More Rigor and Fun in the Classroom
This session models five easy-to-use web resources that engage students’ imagination, promote connection to real-world issues, heighten discussion, and make people smile.

Presenter:    Wendy Youngblood, Shepaug Valley High School, Washington, CT

Virtually Crossing Cultures in the Classroom:
GNG’s “Exchange 2.0” Programs
In this session, middle and high school educators will learn about Global Nomads Group’s innovative work with 21st century skills and the common core standards via “Exchange 2.0” programs: technology-enabled, international, cross-cultural educational exchange programs. Participants will hear about how GNG programs have enhanced student learning, cultural diversity, and mutual understanding and empathy through deeper connections to pressing global issues.  In addition, educators will see samples of interactive videoconference programs and webcasts with students and teachers worldwide.

Presenter:    Tonya Muro Philips, Global Nomads Group, New York, NY

Building 21st Century Skills through Online Global Primary Sources
In this interactive session, participants explore innovative ways to use global primary sources to promote the mastery of specific 21st century skills in K-12 classrooms.  Participants engage in activities and use a variety of traditional and non-traditional primary sources from areas such as China, Afghanistan, and Mali.  Educators are presented with new ideas for including the investigation of primary sources into their existing curriculum to foster deeper understanding of our interconnected world. 

Presenters: Liz Howald & Susan Zeiger, Primary Source, Watertown, MA

Social Studies Professional Development in the 21st Century
This workshop introduces participants to social media resources that support on-going professional development in PK-12 classrooms.  Participants learn to incorporate “Hashtags” such as #sschat into their daily curriculum and instruction.  Through an exchange of ideas and Web 2.0 tools, participants learn how to use Twitter and other applications to involve themselves in educational dialogue with fellow social studies teachers across the nation and around the world.
Presenters: Marialice B.F.X. Curran, Meg Monaghan, Barbara Hartigan, Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, CT


10:00 A.M. – 12:15 P.M.


Join us for a screening of this award-winning documentary about post-genocide Rwanda.  After the 40-minute film, participate in a simulated class taught by the film’s learning director, Dr. Mishy Lesser, and filmmaker, Adam Mazo.  See what value the film and companion curriculum can bring to your social studies students as they learn about Rwanda, colonialism, and
the connection between genocide and bullying.

Presenters:  Mishy Lesser, Learning Director, Co-Exist
Adam Mazo,Filmmaker, Co-Exist

ModeratorDavid Bosso, Connecticut Teacher of the Year 2012, Berlin High School, Berlin, CT