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Pre-Conference Clinics

San Francisco 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, November 16

Offsite Clinics

Revisiting the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley

9:00am to 2:00pm

Host: UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project

The UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project invites you to explore the history of the Free Speech Movement that occurred at UC Berkeley in the Fall of 1964. Participants will be introduced to a unit on student activism that was created in concert with the 50th anniversary commemoration of the movement, examine how the FSM has been remembered through memorials on campus, and view artifacts in the collection of the Bancroft Library. As part of this extended learning experience, participants will discuss how student demands on their schools have changed over time, how communities memorialize past events, and how they can use their own local context to discuss with students how past events should be remembered. There will be some walking across campus. Comfortable shoes are recommended. Lunch will be provided for all registered participants.

NOTE:  Attendees are on their own to reach the UC Berkeley campus, which is accessible by BART.

Fee:  $40 for members, $50 for non-members

Presenters: Rachel Reinhard, UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project, Berkeley, CA

Immigration Dialogues at Angel Island

9:00am to 5:00pm

Host: Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

Who is an American? Who do we include or exclude? On our eastern shores, the Statue of Liberty stands tall as a beacon of hope, and its words ("Give my your tired, your poor . . .") have guided our own national identity as an immigrant nation, forming the very core of who we are as Americans. Despite this, our nation has always had a very complicated relationship with immigrants and immigration. On the West Coast of the United States, the U.S. Immigration Station at Angel Island was built to keep people out--namely Chinese, and other Asians. As a result, between 1910 and 1940, one hundred thousand Chinese immigrants were detained at Angel Island.

These immigrants carved hundreds of poems on the walls of the detention barracks and they stand today as a primary source testifying to a more challenging American immigrant experience. Experience Angel Island Immigration Station, a National Historic Landmark, whose walls are a primary source "document" for teaching about immigration, and participate in a dialogue on immigration which can serve as a model for a classroom dialogue.

This clinic includes a one-mile hike to the Immigration Station, with van service available for those who need it.  Lunch is included.


NOTE:  Attendees are on their own to reach Pier 41, to catch the ferry to Angel Island.

Presenters: Katherine Toy, Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, San Francisco, CA; Casey Dexter-Lee, California State Parks, Tiburon, CA

Teaching Veterans' Legacy: Creating Lessons on WWII Veterans in Cemeteries

9:00am to 4:00pm

At the end of this interactive, hands-on full-day clinic, held at Moscone West, San Francisco National Cemetery, and the West Coast Memorial, participants will have:

  • explored a wide variety of free resources from the National Cemetery Administration and the American Battle Monuments Commission to help teach historical inquiry and critical thinking;
  • learned the process of researching veterans and service members of World War II and other periods;
  • used technology to make World War II in the Pacific accessible to students;
  • created student-centered, classroom research projects in which students can research veterans and service members from their own communities to see how they contributed to world events.

The morning will begin at Moscone West, where participants will receive a presentation and engage in discussions on veteran research and developing instructional materials.  In the afternoon, participants will travel by bus (provided) to San Francisco National Cemetery and the West Coast Memorial, both located in the historic Presidio.  They'll hear presentations from teachers who have completed Understanding Sacrifice: The Pacific War, including the stories of two service members who were the inspiration for developing lessons and instructional materials in social studies and English Language Arts.

Participants will receive copies of model lesson plans showcasing veterans' history, as well as materials on how to engage in their own research of veterans or service members who are interred of memorialized at a National Cemetery or American Battle Monuments Commission site.

Presenters: Bryce Carpenter, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration, Washington, DC; Jennifer Rosenfeld, Roy Rosenweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA; Timothy Nosal, Sarah Hermann, American Battle Monuments Commission, Arlington, VA; Lynne O'Hara, National History Day, College Park, MD

The Fundamentals of Genocide and the Armenian Case

9:00am to 4:00pm

Host: The Genocide Education Project

Explore modern-era genocide through its prototype, the Armenian Genocide, while discovering Armenian-American culture, cuisine, and the community’s San Francisco landmarks. Taking place in the historic mansion of 19th century developer Frank Jordan, this clinic will also include a tour of the adjacent St. Gregory church, a replica of an ancient Armenian church, and an overview of the spiritual background of Armenians, the first people to adopt Christianity as a national religion in 301.

Clinic participants will enjoy a delicious Armenian luncheon, including a variety of traditional dishes. At the conclusion of the day’s workshop, educators will have the option of visiting Mt. Davidson Cross. Standing on the highest peak in San Francisco with a spectacular view of the city and bay, the 103-ft monument built in 1934, is a historic landmark and memorial to the Armenian Genocide and victims of all human rights abuses.

This clinic will introduce print, video, and web-based approaches to teaching about the persecution and extermination of Armenians during by the Ottoman Empire during WWI and how it became the archetype for subsequent genocides. An investigation into the history, structure, and stages of genocide will be incorporated into the day’s sessions, culminating in a discussion of genocide denial, its forms, long-term impacts, and ideas for lesson plans around this problem.

Presenters: Sara Cohan, The Genocide Education Project, San Francisco, CA; Roxanne Makasdjian, The Genocide Education Project, San Francisco, CA;

San Francisco: Gateway to the American West

9:30am to 3:30pm

Join university professors Drs. Ed Crowther and Rich Loosbrock for a grand bus tour of San Francisco. 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 feature the major sites of San Francisco, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Haight-Ashbury, Chinatown, Nob Hill, and downtown, as well as sites along the way.

The tour is constructed around the theme of San Francisco and the American West, with particular focus on three periods:  San Francisco in the 19th century; the impact of the New Deal and World War II; San Francisco in the 1960s.

This tour will take in all parts of San Francisco and provide a comprehensive introduction to the city's major attractions, but will also wander off the beaten path for an enlightening look at an American treasure.

Fee: $30 for members and non-members

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


12:00pm to 5:30pm

Join the NCSS Indigenous Education Community for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with social studies educators on Alcatraz Island. Explore the full history of the island, with a focus on the Indians of All Tribes occupation of the island, 1969-1971. National Park Rangers will lead a tour of the island and community leaders will discuss how to use the island's rich history to explore indigenous issues today. Curricular resources will be provided to help transfer your onsite learning to the classroom. An AIM speaker will discuss the importance of Alcatraz and current indigenous civic action in the United States.

Participants should wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket.  There are no concessions on the island (and limited options on the boat), so plan ahead and eat prior to the start or bring lunch with you.

Fee: SOLD OUT  NOTE:  Attendees will travel together by the F streetcar from 5th & Market Sts. (five blocks from Moscone West) to Pier 33.  Streetcar fare is not included in clinic price.


JFCS Holocaust Center

1:00pm to 4:00pm

Host: JFCS Holocaust Center

Educators are invited to visit the JFCS Holocaust Center, to hear from a local Holocaust survivor, examine archival items and gain a deeper understanding of teaching the Holocaust and genocide. The clinic will include curriculum incorporating primary sources, using oral history video in the classroom, and a roundtable discussion on the future of Holocaust education in the post-Survivor era.

The JFCS Holocaust Center is Northern California’s primary resource for education about the Holocaust and patterns of genocide. We are dedicated to educating young and old alike about the causes and consequences of hatred, anti-Semitism, and indifference—during the Holocaust, as well as during contemporary times.

The JFCS Holocaust Center works with public school districts, private schools, Jewish day and supplementary schools, and individual educators to design curriculum and lesson plans, and to provide specialized teacher training and

Presenters: Morgan Blum Schneider, JFCS Holocaust Center, San Francisco, CA; Nikki Bambauer, JFCS Holocaust Center, San Francisco, CA

Media Literacy through the Eyes of Public Media

3:00pm to 4:30pm

Hosts: Listenwise, KQED San Francisco

Today, with the lightning-fast spread of misinformation online, educators must be equipped to teach lessons to their students regarding standards of truth and evidence. Join Listenwise and KQED to explore high-quality resources for helping educators teach media literacy in their classrooms. Leave with easy-to-use educator resources built by trusted media sources to encourage critical thinking and show students how to be more discerning about the information they consume.

Presenters: Monica Brady-Myerov, Listenwise, Chestnut Hill, MA; Maria Cervera, KQED, San Francisco, CA; Rachel Roberson, KQED, San Francisco, CA

Full Day Clinics

Advise the President: Historic Deliberations for the Classroom

10:00am to 4:00pm

Advise the President provides teachers with an opportunity to bring Presidential decisions into the classroom. Using a unique deliberation process, students take on the role of presidential advisor.

Fee:  $35 for members, $50 for nonmembers

Presenters: Elizabeth Dinschel, National Archives and Records Administration at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, West Branch, IA; Kathleen Pate, National Archives and Records Administration at the William Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, Little Rock, AR; Sharon Brannon, National Archives and Records Administration at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Dallas, TX

Inquiry, Argument Writing, and DBQ Online

10:00am to 4:00pm

To address the C3 Framework, instructional shifts emphasizing student engagement and writing instruction must prevail. The DBQ method helps teachers implement rigorous reading and writing activities in technology-rich classrooms.

Fee:  $35 for members, $50 for nonmembers

Presenters: Tyler Adams, The DBQ Project, Evanston, IL; Keith Hyndshaw, The DBQ Project, Evanston, IL

Transform Your Teaching through Inquiry-Based Media Analysis

10:00am to 4:00pm

Learn and practice the dynamic art of Constructivist Media Decoding that teaches ALL students life-long habits of critical thinking through questioning media content, sourcing, credibility, perspective, bias and more.

Fee:  $35 for members, $50 for nonmembers

Presenters: Chris Sperry, Project Look Sharp, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY; Cyndy Scheibe, Project Look Sharp, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY

Preparing NCSS/CAEP Program Reports—Clinic for Program Report Writers

9:00am to 4:00pm

This clinic will present information on preparing social studies education program reports, including information on the newly approved NCSS National Standards for the Preparation of Social Studies Teachers.

Fee: $300 for members; $375 non-members 

Registration Information

Presenters: Brandie Benton, NCSS CAEP Program Review Coordinator; Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, AR

Half Day Clinics

Exploring Sikhism

10:00am to 1:00pm

Come and learn about Sikhism, the world's fifth largest religion, and explore how to teach it in the classroom.

Fee:  $25 for members, $40 for nonmembers

Presenters: Pritpal Kaur Ahluwalia, Kaur Foundation, Potomac, MD

Using Inquiry to Discover San Francisco

1:00pm to 4:00pm

Find treasure in Chinatown, discover the secrets of the Financial District and enjoy sculptures along the water. Join a hands-on exploration of San Francisco using inquiry as our guide.

Fee:  $25 for members, $40 for nonmembers

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

C3 Foundry 3.0: Teaching with the Inquiry Design Model

2:00pm to 5:00pm

This clinic brings together teacher leaders in key states to expand ongoing work on the C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards and the Inquiry Design Model (IDM).

Fee: $25 for members, $40 for nonmembers

Presenters: John Lee, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC; Kathy Swan, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY; S.G. Grant, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY

Innovative Lessons on Oman/Zanzibar: Exchanges between Arabia and East Africa

2:00pm to 5:00pm

Bring the Indian Ocean cultural exchanges to life in your classroom while increasing students' critical thinking skills! A group of teachers will share their innovative lesson plans and teaching ideas.

Fee:  $25 for members, $40 for nonmembers

Presenters: Lisa Adeli, University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Tucson, AZ; Nikole Brasch, La Joya Community High School, Avondale, AZ; Michelle Rich, Summit Academy, Denver, CO; Victoria Vicente, Thoreau High School, Thoreau, NM; Robert Hallock, Sammamish High School, Bellevue, WA

KidCitizen App: Designing Digital Games for Inquiry with Primary Sources

2:00pm to 5:00pm Participants will explore freely available digital apps designed to foster young children’s inquiry with primary sources and then use the digital game templates to create their own episodes. Laptop needed.

Presenters: Ilene Berson, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL; Michael Berson, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL; Bert Snow, Muzzy Lane Software, Amesbury, MA

Building the Transcontinental Railroad through the Eyes of Chinese Immigrants

2:00pm to 5:00pm

Chinese railroad builders were instrumental in building the railroad, yet they experienced racism, lower wages, and difficult working conditions. Inspire students in understanding the Chinese experience. Storypath curriculum unit provided.

Fee:  $25 for members, $40 for nonmembers

Presenters: Margit McGuire, Seattle University, Seattle, WA

Teaching Social Justice for Indigenous Peoples in BC, Canada

2:00pm to 5:00pm

In British Columbia, infusing Indigenous knowledge is mandatory for all grades and subjects. This interactive clinic references the work of Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's An Indigenous Peoples' History of the U.S.

Fee:  $25 for members, $40 for nonmembers

Presenters: Carol Arnold, B.C. Teachers Federation, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada; Gail Stromquist, B.C. Teachers Federation, Vancouver, BC, Canada

iCivics Train the Trainer Workshop

2:00pm to 5:00pm

Bring your own device and experience iCivics' official train-the-trainer program! Facilitation resources provided.

Fee:  $25 for members, $40 for nonmembers

Presenters: Kelly Whitney, iCivics, Cambridge, MA; Emma Humphries, iCivics, Cambridge, MA; Taylor Davis, iCivics, Cambridge, MA

Teaching Controversial Topics in Secondary Social Studies

2:00pm to 5:00pm

Social Studies class is exciting--often because it is controversial. This interactive clinic helps teachers turn controversial and sensitive topics into engaging learning experiences for secondary students.

Fee:  $25 for members, $40 for nonmembers

Presenters: William Brazier, Loudoun County Public Schools, Ashburn, VA; Patricia Coggins, Loudoun County Public Schools, Ashburn, VA;