2022 Virtual Teacher Institute: Webinar Sessions

All times are EDT. 
Attend as many or few sessions as you like.

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Monday, July 11, 2022

10:30 A.M.: Alabama's Painted Bluff: Exploring & Preserving Native American Rock Art

Project Archaeology is a comprehensive place-based national education program primarily for upper elementary teachers and their students. The program teaches four overarching enduring understandings:  

  1. Understanding the past is essential for understanding the present and shaping the future.
  2. Learning about other cultures, past and present, is essential for living in a pluralistic society and world.
  3. Archaeology is a systemic way to learn about past cultures.
  4. Stewardship of archaeological sites and artifacts is everyone’s responsibility.  

This workshop provides an introduction to Project Archaeology curriculum and educators will use art, history, and archaeology to learn about Native American Rock Art and the people who created it by investigating north Alabama's Painted Bluff.  

Presenter: Jen Knutson and Dr. Phil Carr

Subject Areas: Native American History, Archaeology, Local History

Time Periods: Pre-Historic, Pre-Colonial

Grade Levels: All


10:30 A.M.: It’s Complicated—America and the War of 1812

For many reasons, the War of 1812 is often given little attention in curriculum.  Let’s face it, our relationship with “Mr. Madison’s war,” its causes, conflicts, and place in American memory is complicated. This presentation will explore lessons from the War of 1812 and help teachers facilitate discussions about the modern relevance of the issues of free trade, partisanship, and American identity that defined the War of 1812.    

Presenter: Shannon McLucas

Subject Areas: United States History, Historical Memory, Politics, Economics

Time Periods: War of 1812 Era

Grade Levels: All

12:00 P.M.: Seeing the First Draft of History: Technology, the News, and Media Ethics 

The evolution of communication technology creates challenges for the news business every day. That, in turn, can create challenges for teachers who try to use the news to talk about current events as well as historical ones. How does technology let us experience the news? How does it challenge us to be ethical communicators? How can we use those situations as teaching moments? From the birth of photojournalism at Antietam to Walter Cronkite in Vietnam to the live horrors of the collapsing Twin Towers on 9/11, we’ll examine some case studies that redefined the way the news media showed us the first draft of history and the ethical challenges they posed.

Presenter: Dr. Chris Mackowski, St. Bonaventure University

Subject Areas: Mass Media, Primary Documents, Technology

Time Periods: Civil War Era, Modern US History

Grade Levels: All


12:00 P.M.: Seeing The British Side of the American Revolution

Many students today encounter a story of the American Revolution that omits the perspective of the British and of the Loyalists who supported them. Yet it’s through an understanding of “the other side” that allows us to see the complexity of life and decision-making in the 18th century, and to truly understand what was at stake. Whether past or present, it’s important to understand the perspectives, arguments, and humanity of “the other side.” 

This workshop will introduce educators to sources representing diverse perspectives from King George III and Parliament to merchants and common soldiers. It will allow teachers to brainstorm with museum educators and each other as to how they might include these voices in their classrooms moving forward and consider how tools for practicing historical thinking can apply to contemporary conversations about divisive issues today.

Presenter: Michael Hensinger, Manager of School Programs at the Museum of the American Revolution

Subject Areas: Military History, Social History, Museum Studies, Interactive

Time Periods: Revolutionary War Era

Grade Levels: All


1:30 P.M.: “All Hands”: A History of Yankee Whaling and the U.S. Navy.

This presentation will highlight the relationships between American commercial whaling on the high seas and the functions of the U.S. Navy including protection and enforcement of national sovereignty, trade influence, hydrographic research, cartography, social cohesion, and the fundamental cross-pollination of the sea services in American maritime culture. Beginning at the time of the American Revolution, before there was an actual U.S. Navy, whalers aided privateers in repelling British naval actions in Buzzards Bay, MA. Whaling voyages suffered depredations on the high seas by foreign navies, as well as the Confederate Navy in the Civil War, at every period of conflict between the American Revolution and the First World War. Likewise, American whalemen either joined the navy or supported naval operations on many seas in both peace and wartime. In turn, the U.S. Navy undertook operations all around the world in support of American commerce and the whale fishery including the cruise of the USS Essex to the Pacific in the War of 1812, the U.S. Exploring Expedition, and Lieut. Matthew Fontaine Maury’s hydrographic work on the winds and currents of the world’s oceans.

Presenter: Michael P. Dyer, Curator of Maritime History at the New Bedford Whaling Museum 

Subject Areas: Maritime History, Naval History, Social History, Economics

Time Periods: Revolutionary War Era, War of 1812, Civil War Era, Early 20th Century

Grade Levels: All


1:30 P.M.: Reel History: How Movies Influence American History, and What They Can Teach Students

This session will delve into the benefits of using cinema in the history classroom to facilitate student engagement with difficult topics—as well as how to use movies to help students understand how history is made, and re-made, by Hollywood. We will talk about several films, including The Patriot (2000), Glory (1989), Casablanca (1941), and Platoon (1986). We will also look at short primary source documents that work well paired with each entry.

Our goal will be to understand how to use media to teach students not only about important historical facts, but also about the creation of historical narratives—from the initial accounts by participants, to the secondary work of professional historians (yes, textbooks!), to Hollywood adaptions. Ultimately, more students learn about history from Hollywood than any other source—and harnessing that connection pays dividends for student understanding of the historical past.

Presenter: Cecily Zander, Historian

Subject Areas: Military History, Primary Sources, Film History

Time Periods: Revolutionary War, Civil War, 20th Century

Grade Levels: All


4:00 P.M.: Abraham Lincoln, African Americans, and Emancipation (Keynote)

The Emancipation Proclamation is one of the most important and yet most misunderstood documents in American history. In this lecture, Dr. Jonathan W. White will explore Lincoln's path to emancipation and help explain that edict's significance. He will also unpack the relationship that developed between Lincoln and African Americans. Prior to the Civil War, African Americans were almost entirely excluded from the White House, other than as servants or slaves. However, during the war, the racial color line was broken down as African Americans claimed the First Amendment right to petition the government. For the first time in the history of the United States, they saw the president as their president and the White House as their people’s house. 

Presenter: Dr. Jonathan W. White, American Studies at Christopher Newport University, The Lincoln Forum

Subject Areas: Black History, Abolition, Presidential History, American Civil War, U.S. Constitution

Time Periods: Civil War Era

Grade Levels: All


Tuesday, July 12, 2022

10:30 A.M.: Hard History & The Road to Yorktown

The Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail (WARO), commemorates the allied French, and Continental armies during the American War of Independence, and the hundreds of miles travelled to, and from, the victorious Siege of Yorktown in 1781 and 1782. This was the largest allied troop movement of the Revolutionary War. Today, the military, logistical and cultural significance of the march deserves recognition as a pivotal point in American history. Without the assistance of thousands of soldiers and sailors, many of whom gave their lives, the outcome of the war could have been different. 

Besides telling the stories of French-American cooperation, the adventures of George Washington or the heroic victory at Yorktown, the trail also has its "hard history" to face. Most of the darker episodes of the march to Yorktown have been forgotten today, but with the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution coming up, they deserve to be told. And so, how do we tell the stories of death, disease, starvation, pillage and violence along the Trail? How do we educate the public about Black and Native Americans who were part of the war effort? 

Presenters: Johnny Carawan (Trail Administrator) and Dr. Iris de Rode (Historian)

Subject Areas: Military History, African American History, Native American History, Social Studies

Time Periods: Revolutionary War Era

Grade Levels: All


10:30 A.M.: Teaching the American Revolution as a civil war

While the conflict and period is widely known as the Revolutionary War and the American Revolution, it was not a universal revolt against British rule. For a myriad of reasons, thousands of men and women, black and white, aligned themselves with King George III, with many actively taking up arms and fighting against their fellow countryman to preserve British America. Join us as we examine how these events transpired, some examples of those involved, the consequences of these views and actions, and how to explain these concepts to students today. 

Presenter: Todd W. Braisted, Author & Historian 

Subject Areas: Social History, Military History, Patriots vs. Loyalists

Time Periods: Revolutionary War Era, Colonial Era

Grade Levels: All


12:00 P.M.: Thenceforward and Forever Free: African American Freedom Seekers and the Complexities of Emancipation

This program will examine the complexities of emancipation during the Civil War focused on the experiences of African American in the Kentucky. The Border State was conditionally loyal to the United States based on the continued protection of slavery. This allegiance was tenuous and dissolved when military necessity provided an opportunity for enslaved people to self-emancipate by enlisting with the US Army and seeking protection behind Federal lines. 

Presenter: Steve Phan, Historian

Subject Areas: Emancipation, Black History, Civil War

Time Periods: Civil War Era

Grade Levels: All


12:00 P.M.: 

To be announced


1:30 P.M.: "They Died As Only Brave Men Can": Remembering the Battle of the Little Bighorn 

On Sunday afternoon, June 25, 1876, Lt. Col. George A. Custer led the 7th U.S. Cavalry into the valley of the Little Bighorn. Somewhere ahead along the river Native Americans called the Greasy Grass was a large Sioux and Cheyenne village led by the Hunkpapa medicine man, Sitting Bull. For many, they were riding into the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Later that day, the Seventh clashed with warriors under Gall, Lame White Man and Crazy Horse. By sunset, Custer and five companies of the regiment lay dead, their exact fate forever shrouded by the passage of time. The battle's impact, however, would be felt on the Great Plains for decades to come. 

Join the Trust's Education Manager, Dan Davis, for an exploration of one of the famous battles in American history. We will examine the events that led up to that fateful day in the Centennial Year, meet the key participants and discuss the consequences and outcomes of this legendary engagement. 

Presenter: Dan Davis, American Battlefield Trust

Subject Areas: Native American History, Indian Wars, Military History, The American West

Time Periods: Civil War Era, Indian Wars

Grade Levels: Middle School, High School


1:30 P.M.: Talking About Family History in the Classroom

Looking for ideas about exploring family history with children of all backgrounds and then using it in social studies? What about using family history as a lens for looking at the harder moments of our families' past and history? Gena Ortega will share from years of professional experience and genealogy studies, drawing on her expertise in women's repatriation and citizenship in the 20th century, foodways and community in fundraising cookbooks, and women's material culture while sharing practical advice for using genealogy tools in the classroom.

Presenter: Gena Ortega

Subject Areas: Family History, Local History, Women's Studies, Genealogy

Time Periods: Revolutionary War, Civil War, 20th Century

Grade Levels: All


4:00 P.M.: (Keynote)

To be announced


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

10:30 A.M.: The Boston Tea Party, 1773-2023: 250 Years of Significance 

In 2023, the nation will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.  Described by John Adams as “The most magnificent movement of all”, the destruction of shipments of East India Company tea on December 16, 1773 would propel America down the road to revolution. Join Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum Creative Manager Evan O’Brien as he discusses the historical significance and lasting legacy of the Boston Tea Party, the varied teaching methods utilized by the museum, and the commemorative preparations currently underway for the upcoming 250th anniversary. 

Presenter: Evan O’Brien, Creative Manager at Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum 

Subject Areas: Road to Revolution, Sons of Liberty, Museums, Revolutionary War

Time Periods: Revolutionary War Era

Grade Levels: All


10:30 A.M.: Military Justice During The Civil War

Though the American Civil War is today seen as a just and righteous cause for abolishing slavery and saving the Union, the process was not without its messiness. Military discipline included punishments that retrospectively can only be described as officially sanctioned torture; court martials of soldiers; and, ultimately, executions. Historian Bryan Cheeseboro takes a look at soldiers' crimes, and their punishments.  

Presenter: Bryan Cheeseboro

Subject Areas: Military History, Military Justice, United States History

Time Periods: Civil War Era

Grade Levels: Middle School, High School


12:00 P.M.: The Third Gettysburg Address

Compelling stories and new discoveries involving iconic figures in American history like Abraham Lincoln are great ways to engage students in learning about the American Civil War. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, perhaps the most celebrated speech in the English language, was a mere two minutes long, book-ended by the two principal orations on the day of the Soldier's Cemetery dedication. The concluding speech manuscript by Charles Anderson, brother of Major Robert Anderson of Ft. Sumter fame, was recently uncovered at a ranch in Wyoming. David Dixon will recap the discovery of the long-lost oration and summarize details of Anderson's extraordinary odyssey from Texas slaveholder in 1861 to Union army colonel in 1862, to Ohio governor in 1865. He will conclude with novel perspectives on the events of November 19, 1863 and suggest new approaches to use when teaching about the Gettysburg Address in the classroom. 

Presenter: David T. Dixon

Subject Areas: Civil War History, Primary Document, Social History, Political History  

Time Periods: Civil War Era

Grade Levels: All


12:00 P.M.: Teaching The Holocaust Responsibly

Description will be added soon

Presenter: Warren Marcus, Retired Educator, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Subject Areas: World History, Holocaust, Jewish History, World War II

Time Periods: 20th Century, World War II

Grade Levels: All


1:30 P.M.: Using Biographies and Timelines To Make History More Personally Relevant 

Exciting life events from a historical biography can capture a listener’s imagination. But can that life story become a framework for remembering important historical dates and events? Using the biographies of the Marquis de Lafayette and Clara Barton as examples, this workshop takes a deeper dive at using real-life-stories to create a timeline that makes key historical events memorable through association. Keeping with the theme of teaching hard history, we’ll also explore how biographies can offer a lens for looking at hard subjects and how individuals worked for social change during difficult periods of the past. Don’t miss the helpful hand-outs and worksheets included with this presentation! 

Presenter: Sarah Kay Bierle, Education Associate, American Battlefield Trust

Subject Areas: Timelines, Biography, Women's History, Social History, Military History, United States History

Time Periods: Revolutionary War Era, Civil War Era

Grade Levels: All


1:30 P.M.: Digital Civics

Join 2016 American Battlefield Trust Teacher of the Year Phil Caskey as he unveils the Trust's new Civics curriculum. Phil brings years of Civics-related knowledge to the classroom and this session will be used to talk about the curriculum's new units and lessons, ways to enhance your student engagement with civics and other resources to help your civics curriculum grow. 

Presenter: Phil Caskey, Educator

Subject Areas: Political History, Civics, United States History 

Time Periods: Civics Studies

Grade Levels: All


4:00 P.M.: (Keynote)

To be announced


Thursday, July 14:

10:30 A.M.: Virtual Learning Experiences at Gettysburg’s Seminary Ridge 

In recent years, Seminary Ridge Museum and Education Center has developed a consistently growing catalogue of digital resources for students and educators. These online lessons, interactive experiences, and virtual tours cover military history, Civil War medicine, the roles of race and religion in American society, and historical memory. This program will take a deep dive into utilizing these resources, offering audiences a chance to access everything Gettysburg has to offer from the comfort of their own homes and classrooms. 

Presenter: Codie Eash, Director of Education and Museum Operations, Seminary Ridge Museum and Education Center

Subject Areas: African American History, Military History, Religious History, Social History, United States History 

Time Periods: Civil War Era

Grade Levels: All


10:30 A.M.: The Discovery of Liss: A New Founding Figure

In this presentation author and historian Claire Bellerjeau introduces her extraordinary new discovery of a woman of color named Elizabeth, or Liss. Born in Oyster Bay, New York, she was enslaved by the wealthy Townsend family, whose son Robert became George Washington's lead spy in Manhattan during the Revolutionary War. Liss's daring escape with the British, subsequent re-enslavement, and struggle for freedom gives new insight into the country's founding era, from the perspective of an enslaved Black woman seeking personal liberty in a country fighting for its own.

Presenter: Claire Bellerjeau

Subject Areas: African American History, Military History, Primary Document, Social History, United States History 

Time Periods: Revolutionary War Era

Grade Levels: All


12:00 P.M.: Civil War Ingenuity: A Photo Extravaganza! 

As resources run short and military needs grow larger, war is often a mother of innovation and invention.  On the home front and in the field, soldiers and civilians fashioned new ways to do things—many of which had never been done before. From simple tricks to make one more comfortable to major inventions that would forever change global warfare, photographers were on the scene, documenting successes and failures alike with their bulky cameras. Garry Adelman will visually present and relate for your students the best examples of Civil War ingenuity.  From the kitchen to camp, from forts to firearms, from medicine to manpower, and from ships and saddles, come experience Civil War innovation in a manner available nowhere else. 

Presenter: Garry Adelman, Chief Historian, American Battlefield Trust

Subject Areas: Military History, Visual Resources, Social History, United States History 

Time Periods: Civil War Era

Grade Levels: All


1:30 P.M.: Civil War Complexities in the Classroom: How We Tell Nuanced Histories

From death and slavery to the transformation of the nation and how we choose to remember the past, teaching the Civil War era can be incredibly complex. How do we tell nuanced history? How do we handle that moment when scholarship challenges prior knowledge? Join the American Civil War Museum to examine what we and the educators serving on our state and national Teacher Advisory Councils use to navigate these and other topics in the classroom. Museum staff will offer case studies to demonstrate techniques to engage students and museum visitors with challenging topics. Participants will gain primary sources and strategies for delivering honest and developmentally appropriate content.

Presenter: Stephanie Fitzwater Arduini and Ana Edwards, American Civil War Museum 

Subject Areas: Military History, Social History, Education Theory, United States History 

Time Periods: Civil War Era

Grade Levels: All


1:30 P.M.: Native Americans & World War I

On the eve of the United States’ entrance into WWI, American Indians were survivors of over three hundred years of physical, economic, political, geographical, and spiritual devastation. The United States government neither claimed them as citizens nor respected their sovereignty. When Congress declared war in the spring of 1917, however, as much as 30 percent -- or about 12,000 -- of American Indian males enlisted. Why did American Indians serve in such large numbers, and how did they use their cultural and spiritual heritage to serve their country?

Presenter: Patricia Cecil, National WWI Museum and Memorial

Subject Areas: Native American History, World War I, Citizenship, Military History, Culture

Time Periods: 20th Century, World War I

Grade Levels: Middle and High School


4:00 P.M.: The Mythology of the Lost Cause (Keynote)

How did the Confederate myth of the Lost Cause develop? Why was it important for ex-Confederates to establish their "history" of the war? And why has this version of the past continued to offer such a powerful hold more than 160 years after the Civil War? This session will examine the origins, architects, and lasting influence of the Confederacy's most enduring legacy and how teachers might approach discussions in their classrooms. 

Presenter: Dr. Caroline Janney, Director, John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History

Subject Areas: Military History, United States History 

Time Periods: Civil War Era

Grade Levels: All


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