Road through the fields of Bentonville
David Davis

Breakout Sessions, Lectures & Tours

2019 National Teacher Institute

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Schedule and speaker lineup is subject to change

Breakout Sessions, Lectures & Tours 


The Civil War in 1865: A Photo Extravaganza 

The year 1865 proved to be the last for the American Civil War. January to May was a whirlwind period of pivotal events—the fall of Fort Fisher, Lee's surrender at Appomattox, and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln—are just a few of the many landmark moments from 1865. Join the American Battlefield Trust’s Director of History and Education for fast-paced; action-packed, journey through the events of 1865, via photography. It’s a presentation that you won’t want to miss!

Session Type: Lecture 

Presenter: Garry Adelman 

Grade Levels: All


Fight and Fight Again: How the Southern Campaign Won the American Revolution

After nearly four years of conflict in the Middle and Northern Colonies, the Continental Army had fought the British to a standstill. Despite the capture of New York City and the brief occupation of the Patriot capital of Philadelphia, a decisive battlefield victory eluded the British. In order to break the stalemate, the British high command decided to shift its focus to an area where their forces had experienced previous success, the Southern Colonies. Their effort opened with twin victories at Charleston and Camden. By the late summer of 1780, the British appeared to be on the brink of triumph. But within a matter of a few short months, the winds of fortune had begun to shift. Join Dan Davis, the American Battlefield Trust’s Education Associate, for an exploration of the Southern Campaign in the American Revolution. We will discuss the campaign’s background, strategy, and major battles while examining its far-reaching impact on the British army which led to the final surrender at Yorktown.

Session Type: Lecture

Presenter: Daniel T. Davis

Grade Levels: All


Forgotten and Misunderstood: The War of 1812

Often misunderstood and seldom explored today, the War of 1812 saw the young national experience some of it's finest, and worst, moments.  We will examine its complex causes, its conduct, and lasting impact.  Along the way, we will see how political and economic events tie into the story.

Session Type: Lecture 

Presenter: Robert M. Dunkerly 

Grade Levels: All 


The Last Days of the Confederacy in the Carolinas

While textbooks of a bygone era generally ended the story of the American Civil War with Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, the war did not come to a tidy close in the front parlor of the McLean House. Rather, the Confederacy disintegrated in a series of military and political events, many of which took place across the Carolinas.  As Federal armies pressed from both the east and west, Jefferson Davis and the remnants of the Confederate government moved from Danville to Greensboro to Charlotte. In Charlotte, Davis would attempt to surrender, learn of the capitulation of the Army of Tennessee, hold his last full cabinet meeting, hear of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and begin to flee south.

Session Type: Lecture 

Presenter: Michael C. Hardy 

Grade Levels: All 


Breakout Sessions:


A Visit With Dolley Madison: How to use First Person Portrayals in the Classroom

Barb Kay will bring Dolley Madison to life for a short while.  Afterward, there will be discussion and demonstration on how to use first person portrayals in the classroom.  Activities, projects, and ideas will be shared for all grade levels.  The focus will be on the War of 1812, but everything can be adapted for any era in history.

Session Type: Workshop

Presenter: Barbara Kay 

Grade Levels: All 


Collecting North Carolina’s Heritage: Fred Olds and the North Carolina Museum of History

Fred Olds loved the history of his home state of North Carolina. As a newspaperman, he wrote about the past and not only hoped to instill in his audience a similar appreciation and love of history, but he also encouraged the public to help preserve history. He amassed a sizeable collection of North Carolina artifacts which he gave to the state to be put on public display. In 1902 his collection became the basis for the “Hall of History,” which he headed for the next three decades. The “Fred Olds Hall of History,” as it became known, is now the North Carolina Museum of History, one of the largest state history museums in the country. This presentation will examine Olds’s role in building the museum’s collection and preserving some of North Carolina’s most important historical artifacts along with his sometimes colorful and imaginative interpretation of those artifacts.

Session Type: Lecture 

Presenter: Charles Knight 

Grade Levels: All 


Creating A Place for Historians

Explore what it means to be a historian, the meaning of historiography and how to deal with the task of "covering your required topics." With that in mind, we will discuss engaging your students as historians and establishing your classroom as a lab for historical thought and new discoveries.  

Session Type: Workshop 

Presenter: Nicole Love Osier 

Grade Levels: All


Eastern Theater vs. Western Theater: Where was the Civil War Was Won and Lost?

When the average American talks about the Civil War, the conversation is often dominated by references to Robert E. Lee, Antietam, and Gettysburg. While these subjects are important, they are only a small part of the larger story and one part of one theater of war, the Eastern Theater. If this is true, then why do we focus so much on the Eastern Theater? Join the American Battlefield Trust's Education Manager for an exploration of the two major theaters of the Civil War—the Eastern Theater and Western Theater. We will discuss the major campaigns while examining why the Eastern Theater outweighs the importance of the Western Theater in popular memory. In the end, we will try and answer the ultimate question "Where was the Civil War won and lost?"

Session Type: Workshop

Presenter: Kristopher D. White

Grade Levels: All


Exploring Written American History by using our Five Senses 

By using our Five Senses, our Teacher Detectives will explore various written works of our American History. This interactive session will help our Teacher Detectives collect Five Senses evidence about the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of each written work. Additionally, we will discuss and define vocabulary words that might be difficult for our young Classroom Detectives to define.

Lastly, over the 25 years of my teaching career, I have used this method of examining written works with my Classroom Detectives - They have not disappointed me with their level of detective work, curiosity, and discussion about their evidence. Looking forward to having you attend, explore and participate in our "Exploring Written American History by using our Five Senses" session.

Session Type: Workshop 

Presenter: Robert Rinehart 

Grade Levels: All


From Rural North Carolina Farming to Global Monopoly: The Story Behind Duke Homestead State Historic Site

Duke University, The American Tobacco Company, Duke Energy. What do these all have in common? They were all funded, founded, or created by the Duke family of Durham, NC. Join us for an engaging talk that will take listeners back in time on a virtual tour of the original 19th century home and grounds of Washington Duke and his family. Discover the story of Washington Duke’s rural pre-Civil War North Carolina farm, the family’s transition from farming to manufacturing tobacco, and their creation of a global tobacco monopoly. The talk will also explore the many legacies of tobacco farming and production in North Carolina, including its effect on the economy, labor forces, public health, and more.

Session Type: Lecture 

Presenter: Staff of the Duke Homestead State Historic Site 

Grade Levels: All


How Shall We Remember? The Civil War, Historical Inquiry, & Narrative Change

Over 150 years later, Americans continue to debate how we choose to remember (and teach) the Civil War era. Explore how inquiry-based history education can tell a more honest and inclusive narrative of the Civil War, how this type of critical thinking can help students work through complicated and politicized histories, and how modeling historical thinking skills can empower students to see themselves -- and their communities -- as actors in an alive and evolving history. 

Session Type: Workshop

Presenters: Stephanie Fitzwater Arduini & Tally Botzer

Grade Levels: Middle & High School 


Investigating Monuments: An Inquiry-Based Approach

Civil War monuments are physical manifestations of the memory of the conflict.  They are much more, however, than just stone and metal. People have, over time, engaged with and attached meaning to monuments in many ways, originating with the design and dedication and continuing up to the present. 

This inquiry-based activity places the student at the center of an investigation into the changing meanings and perceptions of a specific Civil War monument over time.  Students’ critical thinking skills will be employed to find and analyze print and online sources such as speeches, videos, photographs, and social media posts.  Students will ultimately have to make an informed and persuasive decision about how the monument should be interpreted in the present day.

Through close investigation of the ways people interact with monuments, students can discover the ebbs and flows of Civil War memory, build transferable 21st-century skills, and help bridge the divisiveness that continues to characterize the legacy of the American Civil War.  

Session Type: Workshop 

Presenters: Peter Miele & Katharina Schlichtherle 

Grade Levels: All 


Seizing Freedom

While famous African American people like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman led the movement to end slavery, countless others seized freedom for themselves. Encounter the stories of people in the Civil War era—both enslaved and free—who embarked on a journey to freedom or worked in other ways to end slavery and make freedom real during an incredibly dangerous time in American history. 

Session Type: Workshop

Presenters: Stephanie Fitzwater Arduini & Tally Botzer

Grade Levels: All


Singing History

With the success of the musical Hamilton, Americans have the chance to learn history on Broadway.  However, Hamilton is hardly the first musical to tackle a historical subject. In this workshop, professional actor and historian Douglas Ullman, Jr. discusses Broadway’s musicals covering topics from the colonial era to the 20th century, and how you can make history sing in your classroom. 

Session Type: Workshop 

Presenter: Douglas Ullman, Jr. 

Grade Levels: All 


Teaching the Legacy of Jim Crow 

Jim Percoco will share a free online video called "A Time for Justice," which is an excellent 40-minute overview of the Civil Rights Movement suitable for grade 6-12. He will discuss ways of incorporating the film in classes along with providing seminal primary source documents to use in your instruction.

Session Type: Video Presentation & Workshop

Presenter: James Percoco 

Grade Levels: Middle and High School 


The Allegheny Arsenal: An Economics Simulation

In this hands-on Middle school history and economics classroom simulation, students will learn about the women who worked the arsenals and factories of the Civil War and civilian life on the home front.  The Allegheny Arsenal was Pennsylvania’s largest manufacturing center of war materials and ammunition during the 1800’s.  On September 17, 1862, an unexpected explosion killed over eighty men, women, and teen girls, the largest industrial accident of the conflict.  In this simulation, attendees will learn how to make replica cartridge tubes as the workers did in the 1860’s.  They will learn the economics of the factory worker, history of the Arsenal, and receive a kit of tools and patterns to take the lesson directly to the classroom next school year.

Session Type: Workshop

Presenter: Peter Kappas 

Grade Levels: Middle School 


The Art of Interpretation

As with teaching, there’s an art to being a good tour guide and interpreter. A clear theme, a well-told story, the right balance between tangible objects and intangible ideas—they can all help you bring history to life in a limited amount of time. Learn the “art of interpretation” from popular battlefield guide and speaker Chris Mackowski of Emerging Civil War, who’ll share some tricks of the trade you can use in your own classrooms and on field trips. 

Session Types: Workshop 

Presenter: Dr. Chris Mackowski 

Grade Levels: All 


The Great Humanitarian Tragedy of the Civil War – Prisoner of War Camps”

Professor Derek Maxfield will discuss Civil War Prisoner of War camps and their consequences in context.  Outside of Andersonville, perhaps the most known and infamous of the POW camps, folks today have little understanding of the vastness of the system and its variety of conditions.  The reality is that neither side gave much thought to the creation of such institutions as the war began and only cobbled together such facilities as needed.  Little thought was given to the logistics of maintaining these camps – or their inmates.  In the end, this led to a humanitarian crisis that was overshadowed by the carnage of war.

The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session and a discussion about how teachers might frame prisoners of war within a framework of human rights and humanitarianism.  We will consider what treatment of POWs said about our values and culture and how it would shape our memory of the war and its meaning.

Session Type: Lecture 

Presenter: Professor Derek Maxfield 

Grade Levels: All


Who is to Blame for the Boston Massacre?

The Boston Massacre has been seen throughout time as a deliberate and violent attack by British soldiers against innocent American colonists. But who is really to blame? This workshop will provide attendees with background information on the Boston Massacre from the days leading up to the event through the British soldiers trial.  Attendees will be able to examine both the British soldiers perspective as well as the colonists who lived through this controversial event by examining primary, secondary and visual sources. These sources can be brought back to the classroom in which students will be able to use to defend their own position on who is really to blame.  

Session Type: Workshop

Presenter: Kacy Kalell 

Grade Levels: Middle and High School


Special Friday Evening Think Tank Session:

Is it the War of Northern Aggression or the War of Southern Rebellion? 

Geography matters in this informational workshop where geographical locales are at the forefront of our discussions. Does where you physically teach subconsciously or consciously affect how you educate our youth about the American Civil War? Are we teaching the American Civil War the same regardless of geographic dispositions and pre-determined personal opinions based on those locales?  

Join Civil War educators from the North, South and many points in-between for a fireside chat, panel format as we discuss these topics, and more. This informal workshop is designed to foster debate, discussion, and civil discourse.

Session Type: Interactive Panel Discussion

Presenters: Phil Caskey, Katie Doherty, Patrick Jacob, & Tyler Madison 

Grade Levels: All 


Saturday Tours:

Civil War to Civil Rights in Durham (Tour 1) 

Drastic political and social changes swept across the South before, during, and after the Civil War.  Durham, North Carolina, encapsulates the experience of many southern cities coming to grips with these everchanging landscapes. The largest surrender of Confederate forces during the Civil War took place at Bennett Place, near Durham Station. With the end of the Civil War came a void of uncertainty, which was filled by the boom of the tobacco industry, the Jim Crow Era, and the Civil Rights movement. Join us for a tour that will guide you from the closing days of the Civil War to the early days of the Civil Rights movement, and show you that there is more to Durham than baseball and Kevin Costner.

Come and explore the Confederate surrender site at Bennett Place, and walk the streets of Durham, as you learn about one of the most prosperous African-American communities in the "New South," and follow along through their struggle to end segregation. Civil War, sit-ins, and movie trivia are just a few of the topics that are in store for you. 

Tour Guides: James Percoco, Malcolm White, & the Staff of Bennett Place State Historic Site  


The Beginning of the End and A New Beginning in Greensboro (Tour 2)

Two of America's pivotal conflicts came to the city of Greensboro, North Carolina. 

In March of 1781, Patriot and British forces faced off in one of the most decisive battles of the Revolutionary War at Guilford Court House. Although the British were victorious, their victory was pyrrhic and helped to set the stage of the ultimate American victory at Yorktown. 

In April of 1865, the remainder of Joseph E. Johnston's Confederate Army arrived in the Greensboro area, with William T. Sherman's army group in hot pursuit. With the surrender of Robert E. Lee's forces at Appomattox Court House and the Confederate government in flight, Johnston sued for peace. Fifty miles away, at Bennett Place, Johnston and Sherman met to discuss surrender terms. What followed was the largest surrender of Southern troops during the Civil War. 

Join expert tour guide Robert "Bert" Dunkerly for an exciting day in the Greensboro area. The morning will take you to Guilford Court House National Military Park for a tour of the museum and a walking tour of the 1781 battlefield, where, participants will take part in a lively discussion of the battle's background and consequences.

The afternoon switches gears to the American Civil War, with visits to the Confederate camp and surrender sites associated with the Confederate capitulation at Bennett Place, and discussions of how Reconstruction unfolded in North Carolina. 

Please Note: Please expect a lot of walking (at least 1.5 miles) and standing during the Guilford Court House Battlefield tour. 

Tour Guide: Robert M. Dunkerly & Phillip S. Greenwalt 


Calamity in Carolina: The Battles of Bentonville and Averasboro (Tour 3)

The final year of the American Civil war brought Union and Confederate armies to the Tar Heel State, as Joseph Johnston's Confederate army desperately moved north in an effort to link up with Robert E. Lee's forces around Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, in the balance was the fleeting hopes of the Southern Confederacy. In close pursuit of the Rebels was the army group of William T. Sherman. Johnston's and Sherman's forces first clashed at Averasboro on March 16, 1865. The battle was a delaying action for Johnston, as he attempted to concentrate his forces for a major strike at Sherman's army group. 

Three days later, Johnston and Sherman's armies clashed for the last time at the Battle of Bentonville. Although outnumbered nearly three-to-one, the Southern forces fought tenaciously in what was the largest Civil War engagement on North Carolina soil. In the end, the Federals were victorious, and Johnston's army was again, in retreat. 

Join American Battlefield Trust Education Department team members Garry Adelman and Daniel T. Davis for an informative, entertaining, and irreverent tour of the Bentonville and Averasboro battlefields. You know the story of Lee's surrender, now hear the rest of the story.  

Tour Guides: Garry Adelman & Daniel T. Davis 


Saturday Keynote Address:

Dr. Edward Ayers—"What Story Does the Civil War Tell?"

Every American has an explanation for the nation’s Civil War, whether they think about it or not.  Often, those explanations are just a few words—slavery, say, or states’ rights or economics.  In this talk, we will think about those explanations, where they come from, what meanings they hold for today, and what explanations we might offer our students.  


Special Sunday Session: 

History Ad Libs 

Puppet shows, traveling trunks, a field-trip-fund, oh my! Join the American Battlefield Trust Education Department for a fun-filled morning as we showcase classroom programs and lesson ideas that you can incorporate into your classroom. This interactive mash-up will have a little bit of everything for K-12 educators and will showcase both traditional and non-traditional learning methods. Have fund learning about what the American Battlefield Trust has to offer educators.

Session Type: Interactive Mash Up 

Presenters: The American Battlefield Trust Education Department & Some Special Guests

Grade Levels: All 


Click here to learn more about this exciting event.