Main menu

Pre-Conference Clinics

Washington, DC offers an abundance of resources for the social studies classroom, and NCSS pre-conference clinics provide many options to take advantage of them through in-depth, hands-on sessions. Plan to arrive early to participate in one or more of these interesting and valuable clinics.

Thursday, December 1

Offsite Clinics

Teaching the World Wars through the Stories of the Fallen

8:30am to 5:00pm

Host: American Battle Monuments Commission, Arlington, VA
America's overseas cemeteries and memorials offer a unique way to understand American memory. This hands-on, interdisciplinary workshop will be held at the offices of the American Battle Monuments Commission.

NOTE: Attendees are on their own to reach this clinic, which is accessible by Metro.

Presenters: Timothy Nosal, American Battle Monuments Commission, Arlington, VA; Jennifer Rosenfeld, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, Fairfax, VA; Cathy Gorn, National History Day, College Park, MD

In Their Own Voices: Middle Eastern Perspectives in the Classroom

8:30am to 5:00pm
Visit several DC venues to experience the voices of Middle Eastern refugees, artists, comedians, musicians, and more. Receive a resource pack with many classroom-ready strategies for incorporating diverse, authentic perspectives!
Fee: $40 for members and nonmembers

Presenters: Barbara Petzen, Middle East Outreach Council, Washington, DC; Susan Douglass, Georgetown University, Washington, DC; Zeina Azzam, The Jerusalem Fund, Washington, DC; Craig Cangemi, Qatar Foundation International, Washington, DC; Emily Voight, Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center, Washington, DC; Megan Geissler, Middle East Policy Center, Washington, DC; Stephen Bennett, The George Washington University, Washington, DC

Visit Your Supreme Court

8:45am to 12:45pm
Host: Street Law, Silver Spring, MD
Spend a half day learning about the United States Supreme Court and the court building. We will spend time in:
• The Courtroom to learn about its history and architecture;
• One of the ceremonial conference rooms with officials from the Clerk’s office to learn how cases are processed at the Court and also how last-minute death penalty appeals are handled – sometimes in the middle of the night
• The exhibit area on the ground floor, where you can explore the rich history of the Court. You can also visit the gift shop, where NCSS participants on this tour will receive a 10% discount.

Presenters: Lee Arbetman, Street Law, Silver Spring, MD

Civil Rights, the Constitution and the National Archives

9:00am to 4:00pm

Host: National Archives, Washington, DC

Join National Archives educators for an engaging and fun-filled day exploring exhibits, discovering programs and researching primary sources related to the Bill of Rights and you!

  • Learn about the unique educational materials, methods, and experiences from National Archives locations across the United States, including Presidential Libraries.
  • Identify methods and resources that connect students with the past and prepare them for civic engagement in the 21st Century.
  • Discover innovative teaching strategies including DocsTeach, distance learning, Apps and eBooks that provide easy access to primary sources while modeling best teaching practices to encourage higher level thinking skills.
  • Tour the exhibits at the National Archives including “Amending America.” This exhibit explains the amendment process and examines why only 27 of the over 11,000 proposed amendments became part of the Constitution.
  • Research original records in the Innovation Hub and learn how to be part of this cutting edge concept in scanning records for public access.  

NOTE: Attendees are on their own to reach this clinic, which is accessible by Metro.

Presenters: Mary Clare McNatt, National Archives, Washington, DC

The Civic Life of George Washington at Mount Vernon

9:00am to 5:30pm
Host: George Washington's Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, VA
Come to Mount Vernon and The Washington Library for a full day of history and civics immersive education experiences. Get inside primary sources with a tour of the mansion and a stroll of the grounds. Lunch and ticket prices included in cost with special time with historic characters, behind the scenes access, and a preview of 2017’s professional development offerings.
Fee: $35 for members and nonmembers

Presenters: Allison Wickens, George Washington's Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, VA

Past is Present: Teaching with the Holocaust Museum

9:00am to 4:00pm

Host: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC
The Holocaust resonates seventy years after it ended. Explore the US Holocaust Memorial Museum's exhibits and participate in new classroom lessons, receive free resources and discuss the Holocaust's relevance today.

Lunch will be provided for all attendees.

NOTE: Attendees are on their own to reach this clinic, which is accessible by Metro.

Presenters: Kristin Thompson, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC; Cameron Sumner, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC; Christina Chavarria, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC; David Klevan, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC

Teaching about Global Conflict and Peace in a Changing World

9:00am to 12:00pm

Host: United States Institute of Peace, Washington, DC Violent conflicts and subsequent humanitarian crises have set the world on fire. In the midst of the chaos, though, are countless people working to extinguish the fires through peacebuilding means. Visit the U.S. Institute of Peace for a behind-the-scenes introduction to the work of international peacebuilding. You will meet USIP experts who work in foreign conflict zones, deepen your understanding of complex global issues of conflict and peace, and discover resources to teach these themes. The program will also include a tour of USIP’s iconic headquarters, at the “War and Peace Corner” of the National Mall.


NOTE: Attendees are on their own to reach this clinic, which is accessible by Metro.

Presenters: Megan Chabalowski, U.S. Institute of Peace, Washington, DC

A Century of Women in Congress

9:00am to 12:00pm

Host: United States Capitol Visitors Center, Washington, DC

The House Historian’s Office, the Senate Historical Office, and the Capitol Visitor Center Exhibits and Education Division are pleased to offer this half-day educational clinic for teachers interested in learning more about the women who have served in the House and the Senate. Hosted at the Capitol Visitor Center, the clinic will offer a variety of instructional activities led by experts in the field.

Participants will:

  • Have the opportunity to learn about women who served in Congress with a special emphasis on the election of the first woman in Congress, Representative Jeannette Rankin, in 1916, through the groundbreaking “Year of the Woman” in 1992
  • Receive a behind-the-scenes look at a new oral history project featuring the recollections of women Representatives and House staff
  • Have the opportunity to speak with House and Senate historians and Capitol Visitor Center educational specialists about the historic role of women in Congress
  • Receive complimentary copies of the publications, Women in Congress,  Black Americans in Congress, and Hispanic Americans in Congress
  • Have the opportunity to view documents, objects, and photographs about women who served in Congress and receive tips on how to use these primary sources in the classroom
  • Receive an online tour of the educational resources available on House and Senate history

NOTE: Attendees are on their own to reach this clinic, which is accessible by Metro.

Presenters: Kathleen Johnson, Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC; Kate Scott, Senate Historical Office, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC

Let's Talk! Getting Comfortable Discussing Race in Your Classroom

9:00am to 3:00pm

Host: National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Ever danced around the issue of race in your classroom? Join us to investigate challenges of talking about race, discuss ways to engage K-12 students and embrace those important conversations.

NOTE: Attendees are on their own to reach this clinic, which is accessible by Metro.

Presenters: Candra Flanagan, National Museum of African American History and Culture - Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Anna Hindley, National Museum of African American History and Culture - Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

Using Portraiture to Teach a Socratic Seminar

9:30am to 1:30pm

Host: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Learn how to teach your students to discuss a dynamic historical text and a visual portrait, in tandem, through the context of a student-led Socratic Seminar. Materials provided.

NOTE: Attendees are on their own to reach this clinic, which is within walking distance of the convention center.

Presenters: Briana Zavadil White, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Amy Trenkle, Alice Deal Middle School, Washington, DC

DC: The Monumental City

9:30am to 3:30pm

Join university professors Drs. Ed Crowther and Rich Loosbrock for a grand bus tour of Washington. They have developed an entertaining and engaging style by using historical sites coupled with images and documents to provide a vivid and deep understanding of the events that shaped the American past. The tour will involve many stops with light walking. It will also stop for lunch (not provided in the cost) at a food court to ensure quick service to allow more time for seeing the monuments.

Highlights: Along the way, the tour will drive by most of the major sites around the National Mall and pass by many of the major museums and government building. The major portion of the day will be spent visiting the monuments that make D.C. famous. Monuments often reflect as much about the attitudes of the era in which they are built as they try to memorialize the person or event itself. The tour will examine the backstory of many of the major monument and discuss how these stories shape public memory.

Depending on traffic and construction, the tour will make stops at the White House, the World War II Memorial, the Jefferson, FDR, and King Memorials, and the Lincoln-Vietnam-Korean Group. It will also cross the Potomac to visit the National Marine Memorial (Iwo Jima). This is an excellent introduction to Washington for those who have not been there, but even for veteran visitors this promises to be an engaging tour.
Fee: $30 for members and nonmembers

Presenters: Rich Loosbrock, Adams State University, Alamosa, CO; Ed Crowther, Adams State University, Alamosa, CO

Perspectives on History: Interrogating American Art

9:30am to 1:00pm

Host: Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC
Use artwork to zoom in on key issues in American history. Zoom out to see those issues at play in today's world. Inquiry strategies will prompt evidence-based reasoning and argumentation.

NOTE: Attendees are on their own to reach this clinic, which is within walking distance of the convention center.

Presenters: Elizabeth Dale-Deines, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Peg Koetsch, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

Building Social Understanding with National Public Radio

12:00pm to 4:00pm

Host: National Public Radio, Washington, DC

This NPR headquarters clinic and tour will give educators the tools to help their students build social understanding and global awareness by discovering how a thoughtful look at news can enrich their understanding of history.

These issues are best examined with good storytelling. In this clinic led by NPR and Listen Current, explore how to use public radio in the classroom to connect learning to real world events. The presentation will combine teaching strategies, research, and concrete examples of how to integrate podcasts into the social studies curriculum to facilitate students’ civic awareness and engagement. Learn how you can use podcasts to build important 21st century skills including listening, reading, critical thinking, problem solving, and empathy.

Bring your tablets or laptops to sign on and explore as we share the many ways to integrate global current events with Listen Current’s curated public radio stories in the classroom. This clinic will be facilitated by a social studies teacher who uses many of these methods. The teacher will share scenarios of how the tools work in their classroom. Attendees will leave a list of websites and teaching strategies to help teachers convey a fluent historical, political, and cultural understanding of ideas that define our world.

Fee: $35 for members, $45 for nonmembers

Presenters: Monica Brady Myerov, Listenwise, Boston, MA

Creating Global Citizens: Teaching Our Students the Art of Diplomacy

1:00pm to 4:00pm

Host: U.S. State Department, Washington, DC

The U.S. Diplomacy Center is pleased to offer an interactive and informative session for teachers with Department of State diplomats at the U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC. This clinic offers teachers the opportunity to meet and discuss with subject matter experts, three critical global issues: refugees, climate change, and countering violent extremism. This clinic will help teachers better understand how diplomats engage on these important global issues, with whom they work to accomplish tasks, and what diplomatic skills are needed to achieve policy goals. Teachers will acquire vital information about diplomacy and the work of the Department of State that will inspire learning in the classroom. Following the briefing sessions by the Department diplomats, the U.S. Diplomacy Center will offer an introduction to the Diplomatic Simulation Program, a classroom-based education program that allows students to step into the shoes of a diplomats negotiating with various counterparts to find solutions to hypothetical crises. Teachers will receive copies of USDC simulations focusing on the topics covered in the panel discussion.

NOTE: Attendees are on their own to reach this clinic, which is accessible by Metro.


Return to the Classroom Inspired by a Naturalization Ceremony

1:30pm to 2:30pm

Naturalization ceremonies are one of the most moving and memorable public opportunities to bring together native-born and naturalized Americans. Experience this one-hour living civics lesson at the famous Washington, DC federal courthouse.

Inspired and armed with classroom-ready activities, you can take your personal experience back to your students, feeling ready for them to participate in a local courtroom program or host a ceremony at your school.

In fact, in September 2017, federal judges across the country will make themselves available to conduct swearing-in ceremonies as schools during class time in the weeks prior to Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, officially Sunday, Sep. 17.  Local chapters of the Federal Bar Association stand ready to assist participating schools.

Attendees will have the opportunity, if they wish, to volunteer in several ways that require no rehearsal.  You can sign the National Anthem, lead the Pledge of Allegiance, or say a few words to the new citizens and their families--just as students will at local ceremonies next year.

This program will send you back to school inspired and remembering why you're a teacher.  You will receive information about how to participate in a courthouse naturalization ceremony and a guide on how to organize and host a ceremony at your school

For more information, contact the federal courts Community and Educational Outreach Manager Rebecca Fanning at at 202-502-2611.

NOTE: Attendees are on their own to reach this clinic, which is accessible by Metro.



The Secret History of History

2:00pm to 5:30pm

Host: International Spy Museum, Washington, DC

Teaching history through the lens of intelligence is not only timely but timeless. In a post 9/11 world a focus on intelligence and its role through history is critical. Join International Spy Museum staff for a 2,000 year journey through the secret history of history. Enter the shadow world of espionage in this clinic which will provide a keynote presentation with a former spy, an exploration of the Museum's artifacts and stories, and hands-on simulation and lesson demonstrations with the Museum's educators. Each participant will leave with a comprehensive packet of resources, the Museum's Cuban Missile Crisis simulation publication, and a newfound appreciation for how spying has often changed the course of history.

*Designed for secondary teachers. Cost includes a USB with SPY's lesson plans and resources and Museum admission.
Fee: $25 for members, $40 for nonmembers

NOTE: Attendees are on their own to reach this clinic, which is within walking distance of the convention center.

Presenters: Jacqueline Eyl, International Spy Museum, Washington, DC; Lucy Stirn, International Spy Museum, Washington, DC; Vince Houghton, International Spy Museum, Washington, DC

From Clickbait to Content: Tips for Teaching Current Events

2:00pm to 6:00pm

More than any other generation, today’s youth are bombarded with information 24/7 on multiple and varied platforms. It is crucial that educators help students become savvy media consumers by learning to analyze news and all other kinds of sources for credibility, reliability and value.

This half-day session at the Newseum, in partnership with the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), will explore ways teachers can increase news and media literacy that will enable students to make informed and well-reasoned decisions in a complex global environment. You’ll meet with media experts, peers and international industry insiders to gain strategies and ready-to-use resources for teaching media literacy to foster global citizenship.

Tentative Agenda:

2 p.m. Panel discussion and Q&A: Speakers from NewseumED (USA), The New York Times The Learning Network (USA), News-O-Matic (USA), #juniormedia (Poland) and News Decoder (France) will discuss how they are promoting global learning and share leading practices with a focus on using new technology. Participants will get tips for the classroom on ways to create a literate, civic-minded new generation.

3 p.m. Global Media Ethics: Journalists used to base decisions on what was best for their community, but technology today has blurred the definition of community. A decision made locally can have global repercussions, as evidenced by the publishing of Prophet Muhammad cartoons that enraged Muslims around the world. This workshop will provide participants with a look at the decision-making steps in news gathering and news production. What is news, and how do journalists decide what to cover? What factors affect how a story is played? We’ll explore the journalism principles of being fair, accurate and clear. Then, through large discussion and a small-group activity, participants will explore the tough ethical decisions journalists face daily.

4 p.m. Gallery Tour: Participants will get a guided tour of the Newseum’s Time Warner World News Gallery, which provides a sweeping overview of the global news environment. A huge map — updated annually — illustrates the different levels of press freedoms in countries around the world. Participants will be asked to consider how a free press in a democracy can have positive and negative effects on people in countries without free expression.

4:30 p.m. Curatorial Session: An archivist will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the Newseum collection process and share recent international acquisitions.

5 p.m. Laureate Presentations: In this fast-paced session, participants will learn about the 16 winning strategies of the 2016 WAN-IFRA World Young Reader Prize awards that can be of immediate use in classrooms.

All participants will receive:

free admission to the Newseum.
a packet of classroom-ready activities and worksheets related to workshop content. All materials are adaptable across a range of subjects and grades.
a set of poster-sized national and international papers from the Newseum’s Today’s Front Pages exhibit.
a guide to using NewseumED’s online resources, including primary sources, videos and curricula tailored to classroom use.

Host: Newseum, Washington, DC

NOTE: Attendees are on their own to reach this clinic, which is accessible by Metro.

Presenters: Barbara Pearson, Newseum, Washington, DC; Barbara McCormack, Newseum, Washington, DC

Washington DC: A Capitol Classroom for Onsite Civic Learning

2:00pm to 5:30pm

Host: Close Up Foundation, Alexandria, VA

The city is your classroom at NCSS! Join this hands-on history and civic learning opportunity in Washington, DC. Whether you're visiting for the first time or your tenth, you will learn something you can take with you to your classroom. You will explore the Jefferson, FDR, and Martin Luther King memorials, where you will learn the history behind these remarkable sites and interact with them as never before, using a civic lens to understand how monuments can be explored by your students as a teaching tool. You will also travel beyond the marble monuments to Lincoln Park and Eastern Market, to look at the Capitol Hill neighborhoods and learn the history of Washington, DC.  Don’t miss this chance to explore Washington and take in all that the city has to offer while learning new ways to teach history and civics using place based learning. 

Presenters: MaryBeth Wagner, Close Up Foundation, Alexandria, VA; Dan Wallace, Close Up Foundation, Alexandria, VA

Full Day Clinics

Preparing NCSS/CAEP Program Reports

9:00am to 4:00pm

This clinic will prepare participants to review teacher preparation programs in socal studies or related disciplines and to update current reviewers in applying NCSS Standards for the CAEP Program Review Process.  

Fee: $300 for members, $360 for nonmembers


Presenters: Presenter: Brandie Benton, Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, AR

Finally, an Answer for Elementary Teachers

10:00am to 4:00pm
Shifts in ELA and Social Studies, the C3 Framework and best practice instruction related to the elementary classroom with interactive activities and resources are the basis for this clinic.
Fee: $30 for members, $45 for nonmembers

Presenters: Kim Heckart, College Community School District, Cedar Rapids, IA; Rebecca Hellund, Pella Community School District, Pella, IA; Katy Swalwell, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Teaching the Holocaust and Related Issues through Anne Frank

10:00am to 4:00pm
New educational tools, using the life and Diary of Anne Frank as a starting point, will be presented. The format is highly interactive.
Fee: $30 for members, $45 for nonmembers

Presenters: Barry van Driel, Cihan Tekeli, Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Charles Vaughan, AC Flora High School, Columbia, SC; Doyle Stevick, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

Half Day Clinics

Geography as Inquiry: Bringing People and Places to Life

2:00pm to 5:00pm
Geography is defined as art, social science, and science. Participants will explore the world through case studies of such key issues as borders and passages, conservation and exploitation, and sustainability.
Fee: $20 for members, $35 for nonmembers

Presenters: Jack Zevin, Queens College, Flushing, NY; Mark Newman, National Louis University, Chicago, IL

Cultural Genocide against Native Peoples in the U.S.: Findings from a Truth and Reconciliation Commission

2:00pm to 5:00pm
Unprecedented truth and reconciliation commission on forced removal of Native children explored in film and related curricula. Was it cultural genocide? Learn to teach this story. Free film and curriculum.
Fee: $20 for members, $35 for nonmembers

Presenters: Mishy Lesser, Upstander Project, Watertown, MA; Adam Mazo, Upstander Project, Boston, MA; Nikki Ulrich, Close Up Foundation, Alexandria, VA; S.D. Nelson, author and illustrator, member of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Using Inquiry to Discover Washington DC

2:00pm to 5:00pm
Find treasure in Chinatown, discover the secrets of the National Mall, and pay tribute to fallen heroes. Join a hands-on exploration of Washington, DC using inquiry as our guide.
Fee: $20 for members, $35 for nonmembers

Presenters: Paul Nagel, Hempstead High School, Cypress, TX; David Faerber, Lee Magnet High School, Baton Rouge, LA

Teaching the Civil War through a Social/Emotional Learning Framework

2:00pm to 5:00pm
Experience how an inquiry-based learning approach uses the narrative structure of Storypath to enhance student engagement and create "the lived experience" for historical, civic, and social/emotional learning. Curriculum provided.
Fee: $20 for members, $35 for nonmembers

Presenters: Margit McGuire, Seattle University, Seattle, WA; Bridget Walker, Sound Supports K-12, Mukilteo, WA

Successfully Create a World Religions Elective in Your High School

2:00pm to 5:00pm
Replace that fear of teaching about World Religions in school with the courage, resources, and support you need to empower your students to be global citizens. Learn as well how to avoid controversies teachers have faced around the country, especially regarding lessons on Islam, when they brought in guest speakers, let students try on religious garb, and went on field trips.
Fee: $20 for members, $35 for nonmembers

Presenters: Chris Murray, Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD; Murali Balaji , Hindu American Foundation, Washington, DC; Linda K. Wertheimer, author of Faith Ed, Teaching About Religion In An Age of Intolerance, Boston, MA; Benjamin Marcus, Religious Freedom Center, Washington, DC

A Historical Perspective on the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Peace Process

2:00pm to 5:00pm
High school world history, geography, and global studies teachers will deepen their pedagogic content knowledge in this dynamic workshop, which emphasizes inquiry based learning using Teaching with Primary Sources strategies.
Fee: $20 for members, $35 for nonmembers

Presenters: Linda Maizels, Institute for Curriculum Services, San Francisco, CA

Tech + Narrative = Engaged Students

2:00pm to 5:00pm
Harness the power of primary sources with Historical Narrative Inquiry! Foster the curiosity of learners to evaluate primary sources and create historical narratives on interactive timelines. Device needed.
Fee: $20 for members, $35 for nonmembers

Presenters: Thomas Ketchell, HSTRY, Boston, MA

Printer Friendly and PDF
Stay Connected with NCSS:   Follow NCSSNetwork on TwitterFaceBook.png rss_0.gif