March/April 2018 Newsletter

MCSS March - April 2018 Newsletter

There are so many amazing opportunities and programs View this email in your browser available for Maine teachers this spring!

Hello from your friends at MCSS!



As part of the scheduled periodic review of the Maine Learning Results, the Maine Department of Education is seeking public comments regarding the current social studies standards. This is your opportunity to share your thoughts about the current Maine Learning Results for social studies. Public meetings were held February 22, February 28, and March 1; if you were unable to attend a public hearing, please take a moment to share your thoughts by email or mail by March 16th.

The social studies standards include four content areas (Civics and Government, Economics, Geography, History) and a strand about the application of social studies processes, knowledge, and skills. Each strand breaks down the standard into performance indicators and descriptors by grade bands (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-Diploma). The standards also include an introduction and a section of key ideas in the social studies standards.

The standards review process opened with public comments and public hearings prior to the convening of writing teams that will review and revise the social studies standards.

Anyone who was unable to attend the public hearings in February and March may send written comments by 5 pm on March 16th, 2018.

Written comments may be emailed to with the subject “Social Studies Standards Review” or mailed to Maine Department of Education, attn: Paul Hambleton, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333. For further information about the standards review process contact Beth Lambert at or click HERE to see the official DOE priority notice.


by Brandi LeRoy, Bangor High School

In our US History classes at Bangor High School we all require students to complete an immigration project that uses research to answer the question "How would your chosen immigrant group respond to the age old saying 'America Beckons, but American's Repel'". My students had a choice of many different ways to present this project, but the major of my students chose to do digital posters. We are a one on one school and I believe that if student have the technology they should be using it, so instead of tradition posters I have my students use google slides to create a digital poster. At first many students were reluctant to create these and wanted to do a traditional poster, but once they saw how easy it actually was and the end results they were sold.

The students who meet the standard on the project got to have their posters printed and after seeing the printed posters many students asked to be able to go in and fix or add to their posters so that they could have theirs printed as well.

The photo printer was acquired from a donors choose project. By being able to print out and display these students amazing work, my students put in more effort and revise more so that they can create work that they are proud of.


by Kathleen Neumann

Students in Portland are sharing their creativity and knowledge with a new art at Portland Public Library. Created by third graders at Ocean Avenue Elementary School, the exhibit of mural panels depicts influential figures in Portland, Maine’s history. The portraits were created during a SidexSide mural and physical theater program led by teaching artists Laurie Downey and Gretchen Berg. Students learned about the individuals depicted in the murals through their social studies work and an in- classroom program with Maine Historical Society.

Among the figures featured in the portraits are Lemuel Moody, builder of the Portland Observatory, celebrated poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and James Healey, the first African-American bishop in the United States.

SidexSide works to foster academic excellence, innovation, and creative and critical thinking through comprehensive arts integration and arts-based programs in the classroom. Through community partnerships with the University of Southern Maine, the Portland Public School Department, and local artists, professionals, and colleges, SidexSide integrates science, technology, literacy, and the humanities with the arts to enhance school curricula.

Maine Historical Society preserves the heritage and history of Maine, and the stories of Maine people through the collection, care, and exhibition of historical treasures, the facilitation of historical research, and through educational programs that make history meaningful, accessible and enjoyable.

Portland Portraits is on display at the Portland Public Library in the Sam L. Cohen Children's Room through March 10. Following the PPL exhibition, the mural panels will be permanently installed at Ocean Avenue Elementary School.

National History Day in Maine State ContestApril 7, 2018




National History Day in Maine is in full swing. Questions from educators are rolling in to the State Coordinator and many students are eager to begin working on the research they will present at the state competition on April 7, 2018 at UMaine. It’s not too late to start the research process. Encourage a student’s historical curiosity by supporting the topics that interest them and urge young historians to seek answers through research in Maine’s rich tapestry of museums and archives.

Need more convincing? NHD in Maine is always in need of knowledgeable teachers, librarians, and historians to act as judges. Please consider volunteering your time, come see the educational impact of NHD, and help make the state competition a success. You can register here : Registration closes on March 16, 2018 (go to and look for the pull down "Register" menu at the top left of the screen). For more information, visit the Maine NHD website (, follow us on social media, or contact State Coordinator John Taylor at

Prior to the statewide contest UMaine faculty, students, and staff will offer a one-on-one "drop-in" coaching workshop at Fogler Library from 3:00-5:00 pm on Tuesday, March 13. If you or your students plan to attend, please email Liam Riordan in advance ( with a list of their independent research topics so that we can prepare in advance to give your students the best support that we can during the workshop.

There is also now a special fellowship for high school students who win first or second place in any individual NHD contest category and come to UMaine as a History major. It is worth up to $16,000 over for years, please visit the following link for more info: UMaine NHD Scholarship.


Have a story you want to share for our SOCIAL STUDIES IN MAINE or SOCIAL STUDIES IN THE CLASSROOM spotlights? Submit it to the Maine Council for Social Studies at

Opportunities for Teachers and Students

Maine Constitution Essay and Poster Contest, March 9 deadline - The Secretary of State’s Office is accepting entries for the 2018 Maine Constitution Essay and Poster Contest designed to promote the history of Maine, an understanding of the Maine Constitution, and the importance of democracy and voting. Students submitting the top entry in each of four categories will be invited to be the Secretary of State’s guest for a day in Augusta along with his or her class and will visit the Maine State Archives to view the Maine Constitution. They may also visit the Maine State Museum and the State House. Entries are due March 9, 2018. Contest rules and information are available at:

NHD Coaching, UMaine, March 13 - Prior to the statewide NHD contest UMaine faculty, students, and staff will offer a one-on-one "drop-in" coaching workshop at Fogler Library from 3:00-5:00 pm on Tuesday, March 13. If you or your students plan to attend, please email Liam Riordan in advance ( with a list of their independent research topics so that we can prepare in advance to give your students the best support that we can during the workshop.

Teacher Workshop, Old Berwick Historical Society, March 15 application deadline -The Old Berwick Historical Society, in South Berwick, Maine is hosting a three-day teacher workshop, July 24-26, Forgotten Frontiers. The area of focus is on the 17th- century settlements in the Piscataqua Region of southern Maine and New Hampshire. The workshop is open to teachers in grades 5-12 who are in the local area (southern Maine, Coastal New Hampshire, and northern Massachusetts). There is a stipend available for teachers who attend. Applications are due on March 15th. Check out the Old Berwick Historical Society webpage for more information and the application: article&id=758&Itemid=274

Civil Discourse with Teaching Tolerance: The Need for Challenging Conversations, Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, March 15, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. - A day-long seminar for teachers created in partnership with Teaching Tolerance. The program will feature a structured academic controversy focusing on Maine’s Malaga Island story, and Teaching Tolerance’s Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education. Facilitators are Joe Schmidt from the Maine Department of Education and David Greenham, program director of the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine. Guests will include Kate McBrien and Kathleen Neumann from the Maine Historical Society. $75 fee includes lunch, Teaching Tolerance materials, and seven contact hours for recertification. Registration is limited to 25 teachers. For more information, visit or email

National History Day in Maine, Registration Open - Judges Needed - March 16 registration deadline - NHD in Maine registration for students, teachers, and judges is now open. Registration deadline is March 16. Contest day is April 7, 2018 in Orono in at UMaine. Registration is available at For more info contact State Coordinator John Taylor at or 474-7133

Race, Power and Difference: A Symposium for Maine Educators, University of Southern Maine,
March 27th (4:00pm-6:30pm) and March 28th (8:00am-3:30 pm)
- The Symposium will focus on providing teachers and other professionals with the skills they need to discuss the social construction of race in classrooms with children of all ages. Since the Symposium focuses on educating youth on race, power, and difference, this material is appropriate for anyone who is interested in deconstructing institutional oppression in the United States. Additional specialties that would benefit from this Symposium are professional educators, social and behavioral service providers, child development specialists, program administrators, school leaders, parents, and community activists. Participants will benefit from multiple workshop experiences for individuals interested in school leadership, curriculum development, teaching methods (pedagogy), and community involvement and resources.

The Symposium includes a keynote address from Dr. Tiffany Mitchell, panels, and workshops about resources, networks, and strategies for teaching about inequity, institutional discrimination, and racial biases - both inside and outside of schools. The goal is to empower educators from diverse communities to guide and foster change in our educational systems and improve our democratic society through meaningful, long-term engagement. Register here.

Maine History Teacher of the Year Nominations Now Open, March 31 deadline- The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is seeking nominations for the Maine History Teacher of the Year. State History Teachers of the Year receive $1,000, an archive of materials for their school’s library, and an invitation to attend a 2019 Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar. The deadline for 2018 nominations is March 31, 2018. Check out the informational flyer or the Gilder Lehrman website or contact Joe Schmidt (Maine DOE Social Studies Specialist – for more information

Job opening, part time educator, April, May, and June, and 2018/2019 academic year, Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine - The Holocaust and Human Rights Center is looking to train a part time educator to present HHRC programs in schools and communities. A passion for education, human rights, and history is needed, along with comfort engaging small and large groups of students and adults.

Salary: Paid training, per diem payment, and mileage.This is an excellent position for an educator with a somewhat flexible schedule. Employment will be very part-time, perhaps a half day per week on average. For more information, contact, David Greenham, Program Director, Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine,

Northeast Regional Conference on the Social Studies, April 12-14 - Join the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies as we host the 48th annual Northeast Regional Conference on the Social Studies (NERC 48), where we will explore the “Power of Place” from April 12th to the 14th, 2018. With the city of Hartford, Connecticut as its backdrop, educators will examine social studies topics relevant to their practice, explore the role of place, and discover innovative ideas and strategies for classroom application. This event is an excellent opportunity for elementary and secondary teachers, college and university professors, museum educators, and organizations to come together to engage in a deep inquiry about the unique and transcendent qualities of place. In addition to an exciting slate of pre- conference institutes and conference sessions, we are honored to be joined by keynote speakers, Larry Paska, NCSS Executive Director; Kathy Swan, Project Director and Lead Writer of the C3 Framework; and Bob Bain of Big History Project.

In addition to exploring “place,” educators will engage best practices and sound social studies pedagogy when we will gather at the Hartford Marriott Downtown. The hotel is minutes from the banks of the Connecticut River and is walking distance from Front Street, the Science Center, the Old State House, the Wadsworth Atheneum, City Hall, and the historic Hartford Times Building, the new downtown home of UConn. This location alone illustrates the power of place in history, civics, economics, and geography. In addition to the conference sessions and speakers, we are planning several networking events and social outings. These three days will surely improve your practice and expand your network among educators from throughout the Northeast. Register Online Today: For more information, please visit

12th Annual Flint Knapp-In, University of Southern Maine, April 14, 10am-4pm - Come join USM Geography-Anthropology Student Association in a day of stone tool making, presentations, student research, sand box archaeology, cave art drawing, and more! University of Southern Maine, 37 College Avenue, Gorham, ME 3rd floor Bailey Hall. For more information contact Kennedy:

Maine Innovation Expo Seeks Exhibitors, Museum L-A, May 19, 2018 10 am - 3 pm - Are you a teacher or student working on an innovative project? Museum L-A is reaching out to students, businesses, artists, educators, entrepreneurs, and organizations across the state to serve as exhibitors at this year's Maine Innovation Expo. Innovation comes in many shapes and sizes! Most of our exhibitors will have a STEM or business focus, but we'd love to see more innovation from other fields! Projects related to the history of innovation and invention in Maine would be a perfect fit. We will accept exhibitors until April 13th, 2018, but the sooner the better! To find out more or to sign up, please contact Kate Webber at 207-333-3881 or

Maine Geographic Alliance, ESRI digital mapping contest - Are your students creating ArcGIS Online maps of their community or state? The Maine Geographic Alliance and Esri are sponsoring a map contest. Ten prizes, of $100 each, are to be awarded to high school and middle level students; so your students have a wonderful chance to win one or more prizes. Registration is now open. Contact Margaret Chernosky at to let her know of your interest. Please type “Esri Student Competition” in the subject line to the email; she will get right back to you and will help you get started. She can also send you a link to the contest details. To register your school, please fill out the short form.  Follow this link to a Storymap that shows all the states that are participating. 6cd5b9280

Maine Geographic Alliance, Geo-Inquiry Summer Institute, June 26-28 - MGA is sponsoring a 3 day summer institute regarding the GeoInquiry process from June 26-28 on the UMF campus in Farmington. Two Maine teachers attended the National Geographic summer institute in 2017 and will facilitate this “teachers training teachers” institute. All expenses are paid for by the MGA and housing will be offered on the UMF campus. Two person teams of middle school teachers in social studies, technology, and science are preferred. For more information, contact Sue Lahti and put summer GeoInquiry institute in the subject line. If you have contacted us in the past, please do so again.

Upstander Project, Upstander Academy, July 29 - August 3 - The Upstander Project and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut are proud to present the 2018 Upstander Academy, an inquiry-based professional development opportunity for secondary educators with a focus on genocide and human rights education to foster upstanding and address complex historical and current issues. The Academy begins and ends at the University of Connecticut-Storrs. Participants will explore new content about post-genocide Rwanda and genocide against Native peoples in New England, test innovative teaching methods that support the Inquiry arc, and critical and creative thinking, learn to work with primary sources and learning activities using materials and tools from the Library of Congress, practice and model the skills of upstanders in their classrooms, museums, and communities, and become part of a growing professional community of colleagues that integrates human rights and genocide education into classrooms and museums. Learn more and register at

National Geographic Education, NatGeo Educator Community - National Geographic Education is creating a digital NatGeo Educator community and you are invited to become charter members. This is set to launch in early 2018. It will allow you to engage with National Geographic explorers, staff, and like-minded educators from around the world. You will also have the opportunity to opt in and be the first to know about online opportunities, events, training, resources and programs. Please join by clicking the link below and filling out the requested information. Though you may already be on the Maine Geographic Alliance email list, please opt into communication from us to ensure that all of your communication preferences are captured. Thank you!

National WWII Museum, Summer Teacher Institute, Summer 2018 - Explore World War II in New Orleans and Hawaii! Applications for The National WWII Museum’s Summer Teacher Institute are now OPEN! This 16-month professional development experience for middle and high school teachers includes a weeklong seminar at the Museum in New Orleans (July 22-28, 2018), plus a trip to explore WWII-related historic sites in and around Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (July 21-27, 2019).

This year’s institute focuses on the US Home Front, and will include seminar discussions with top WWII scholars, guided tours of the Museum’s innovative exhibits, artifact analysis, and interaction with WWII veterans. Participants receive up to six hours of graduate credit for participation. Travel, graduate tuition, and seminar materials are provided free of charge by the Museum. For full details and the application, visit

Upgraded Website, Oral History and Folklife Research, Inc. - Oral History and Folklife Research, Inc. ( has this week launched a revamped website that includes full audio and full transcription of most interviews. The site contains interviews from three projects. The ADA At 25, a project completed in 2015, marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act, interviewing disability rights activists about their struggle for accessibility. The Last Sardine Cannery includes conversations with workers, managers, and fishing boat captains who worked in the sardine industry in Maine; and Immigrant Voices includes interviews with new Mainers.

Teachers, students and researchers can access the site and listen to podcasts created from interviews, read full interview transcripts, and listen to complete interviews, to learn what it was like to work in Maine’s now extinct sardine industry, or how new Mainers have adapted to life in a new home. Oral History and Folklife Research is a 501(c)(3) non profit dedicated to preserving through sound, image and performance, the stories, voices and cultural traditions of Maine and beyond. OHFR engages with communities and families to preserve our treasured cultural history and the stories that illuminate them.

National Institute for Civil Discourse, Reviving Civility, ongoing - Incivility in America has reached epidemic proportions. In far too many instances rudeness, disrespect and hostility sideline collaboration and compromise. NICD is spearheading a national grassroots initiative to revive civility and respect that gives Americans solution- oriented actions to do so. Citizens and policy makers nationwide are stepping forward and becoming community connectors who agree to promote civility and respect in their community.

Individuals and groups within communities are coming together around the desire to change the tone of our democracy. From urban to rural communities, we’re seeing policy makers, schools & universities (faculty and students), civic groups, business leaders, faith based communities, media leaders and others joining in this call. If you are tired of incivility, join us in reviving civility and respect: For more information, contact: Mark Hews, Maine State Organizer Email: Phone: (207) 577-0209

Maine Humanities Council programming, ongoing - Did you know the Maine Humanities Council has lots of programming around the entire state of Maine? Check out all the offerings online!

Giant Traveling Map of Maine, Maine Geographic Alliance, ongoing - The National Geographic Education Foundation has given each member of the Alliance network, two ‘giant’ maps. The Maine map is 17 ft by 20 ft and includes major cities, Native lands, and topographic features such as rivers, lakes and elevation. he trunk that houses the map also includes teacher materials for grades 2-5. There are supporting materials including an activity book with standards’ based lessons, lanyards, plastic cups and cones, plastic chains, Maine Ag in the classroom resources, state and national flags, the Maine classroom Atlas and more.

Schools may use the map and materials at no cost. This is a floor map and students may walk on it with socks on. No shoes or writing materials are to be used on the map. If you are interested in scheduling one of the maps for your school, please contact Susan Lahti at Put GTMMaine in the subject line.

Maine Historical Society educational programming, ongoing - Maine Historical Society offers a variety of programs and resources designed to help teachers and students explore Maine history. These include programs at our one-acre campus in Portland and in schools across the state, professional development opportunities for teachers, outreach programs, partnerships with schools around Maine, and resources on the web.

All programs draw on MHS's extensive historical collections and the knowledge of our professional staff. All our programs can be adapted to meet the needs of students in grades K–16 and have been designed in accordance with Maine Learning Results and Common Core State Standards. To learn more visit our website or email

Holocaust and Human Rights Center, Free Educational Outreach, ongoing - The HHRC provides educational outreach to schools and community groups throughout Maine free of charge. These programs focus on issues relating to the Holocaust and human rights. Our outreach programs are available to bring to your school, or you’re welcome to schedule a visit to the Michael Klahr Center. For more information visit, email or call 207-621-3530.

March/April 2017 newsletter

MCSS Announcements/News


 Tell Maine's delegation in DC that you value the work of the NEH!

The Trump administration has released its proposal for the FY2018 federal budget. As expected, the proposal calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, among other agencies.

This marks the beginning of the budget process. As you know, our Constitution empowers Congress, not the president, to appropriate funds for the operation of the government. The appropriations process will play out over the coming weeks and months.

As the process gets underway, MCSS is asking for your help. This is a key time for everyone who supports the humanities in the state of Maine to make their voices heard.

You can help by speaking up!

Our partners at Maine Humanities Council have valuable information and advice on reaching reach out to your representatives in Congress:

Make your voice heard, spread the word, and thank you for your support!


Meet the new Maine DOE Social Studies Specialist Joe Schmidt!

My name is Joe Schmidt and I am the new Social Studies Specialist and Western Maine Regional Representative for the Maine Department of Education. I am a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a Bachelor’s degree in secondary social studies and a Master’s degree in Education from Viterbo University. My career started with nine years of high school social studies teaching experience before I left the classroom to become the K-12 Social Studies Teacher Leader in Curriculum & Instruction for the Madison Metropolitan School District in Madison, Wisconsin.

During my professional career, I have served at the national level on the iCivics National Educator Network, the Teaching Tolerance National Advisory Board, and as chairperson of the National Council for Social Studies select subcommittee for Social Education. I have also served at the state level as the Vice-President and Business Manager for the Wisconsin Council for Social Studies and the Social Studies Advisory Council for the Wisconsin Department of Instruction. Also, I have been selected for fellowships at the Center for the Study of the American Constitution and for the European Union Center for Excellence.

I am excited to support social studies teachers, programs, and organizations throughout Maine and work to provide professional development and other learning opportunities around the state. 

Welcome aboard, Joe!

From your friends and colleagues at the Maine Council for Social Studies


SidexSide - Bringing History and the Arts Together

by Gretchen Berg

Local arts organization Side x Side partners with Maine Historical Society to infuse the arts into the social studies curricula in five Portland elementary schools (Reiche, Ocean Avenue, Hall, Riverton and East End). One such Side x Side and MHS partnership project is happening this winter at Ocean Avenue Elementary School where third graders are studying the history of Portland; they work with MHS educators and tour the Wadsworth-Longfellow House and galleries. George Neptune a Passamaquoddy master basket maker, Abbe Museum educator and storyteller visited Ocean Avenue to launch student thinking about the history and current realities of Wabanaki people in Maine. Throughout their study students keep project journals that combine drawing and notes. 

Next Side x Side teaching artists Laurie Downey and Gretchen Berg work with teachers and students to brainstorm and create both a permanent in-school mural and a lively theater performance about the history of Portland. The mural and performance are then presented to the community in a public celebration. In November 2016, Laurie Downey and Gretchen Berg shared this unique teaching and learning process at the Maine Council for the Social Studies annual conference in a workshop entitled Forging Strong Community Connections: Experience-based Learning & Integrated Arts.

Learn more about SidexSide here:


Have a story you want to share for our SOCIAL STUDIES IN MAINE or SOCIAL STUDIES IN THE CLASSROOM spotlights? Submit it to the Maine Council for Social Studies at  

Opportunities for Teachers and Students

National History Day (April 8), judges needed, register by March 17 - The National History Day Maine State Contest is quickly approaching!  April 8th is the contest date and it will take place at the University of Maine.  Response from teachers, students, and parents has been overwhelming and this year we are anticipating our largest group of student participants yet! Volunteer judges are needed! Complimentary breakfast and lunch is provided.  Judge registration is currently open at: . The registration window will close on March 17th.  

Maine Maritime Museum, student-designed exhibit Commerce, Culture, Community:The Sewall Family Shipbuilders, March 31st through April 30th - This exhibit in the Marjorie W. Kramer Gallery is the museum’s “Sense of Place” education program capstone project designed by all 7th graders from Regional School Unit One.  Over the course of six months students examined material culture from the museum’s collection and selected objects, documents, and photographs to tell the story of how the Sewall family shipbuilders shaped their community. Exhibit is included with museum admission.

Maine Geographic Alliance and Esri’s ArcGIS Online U.S. School Competition, April 7th deadline - Showcase your student’s ArcGIS Online maps! Students have an opportunity to win prizes and a trip to the 2017 Esri Education Conference in San Diego, CA, by submitting a map to Esri’s ArcGIS Online U.S. School Competition. 

Across the U.S., high school and middle school students are invited to submit a map about their community or state using ArcGIS Online.  Maine students should choose a Maine-centered topic. All projects that focus on the local community and/or the State of Maine are welcome. Students will use ArcGIS Online to study local history, environment, land-use, culture, political and social issues. The ArcGIS Online US School Competition 2017 is open to high school (gr.9-12) and middle school (gr.4-8) students in the U.S who can analyze, interpret, and present data via an ArcGIS Online presentation, web app, or story map.  The Maine Geographic Alliance is participating! Your school can submit up to 5 student projects to the Maine Geographic Alliance ArcGIS Online Mapping Competition. Judges for the Maine Geographic Alliance will select 10 winners (5 at middle school level and 5 at the high school level), each will be awarded $100 and their work will be submitted to the national Esri competition. At the national competition, one high school project and one middle school project will earn a trip to the 2017 Esri Education Conference in San Diego, CA.

Registration is now open; closes April 7th Contact Margaret Chernosky to register. Please type “Esri Student Competition” in the subject line; Margaret will get right back to you and will help you get started.

Student Map Submissions deadline is April 28th 2017.Contact Margaret Chernosky or Sue Lahti for more information.

Holocaust and Human Rights Center, Scholarship and Award Opportunities, April 7 deadline

Each year, the HHRC honors students and community members who are doing outstanding work in the fields of Holocaust and Human Rights education. Scholarships are available for k-12th grade students as well as educators. Additionally, the Gerda Haas Award for Excellence in Human Rights Education and Leadership will be awarded to an individual or organization who has demonstrated excellence and initiative in human rights education and leadership. The winners will be honored on Sunday, June 11th at the Woodlands Club in Falmouth. Applications and nomination forms are available through the HHRC’s website. Nominations and applications must be in by April 7, 2016.  For more information visit  

Holocaust and Human Rights Center, exhibition, Pay Attention! It’s Independence Day!, through April 14th - The Whitefield 4th of July Parade is an annual celebration of free speech, featuring provocative and timely statements from a group of artists and activists in the community. The exhibit, Pay Attention! It’s Independence Day showcases photos and original artwork from the last decade and a half of unique parade themes. This exhibit is in partnership with Natasha Mayers, the USM Galleries, and Artists Rapid Response Team [ARRT]. For more information visit, email or call 207-621-3530.

Holocaust and Human Rights Center, exhibition, Heroism in Unjust Times: Rescuers During the Holocaust, April 24th – August 11th -  Despite the fatal consequences, thousands of individuals risked their lives to help those targeted by the Nazis in the time leading up to and through the Holocaust. Heroism in Unjust Times: Rescuers During the Holocaust, celebrates and honors those righteous individuals. The exhibit will also share stories of individuals and their descendants who were saved by these rescuers and settled in Maine and nearby. Heroism in Unjust Times is presented in partnership with the Sousa Mendes Foundation, Yad Vashem, the Berkshire Holocaust Museum, Darrell English, Julie Lanoie, Mona Pearl Treyball, and Jean-Claude van Itallie. The exhibit is made possible through the support Kennebec Savings Bank. For more information visit, email or call 207-621-3530.

Illustrated Mapmaking Contest, Osher Map Library, May 1 deadline - The Osher Map Library invites all Maine 5th Graders to enter the 2017 Illustrated Mapmaking Contest by May 1st for a chance to win $1,000 ($500 for you, $500 for your class)!  More information available at

Contact Renee Keul at with questions.

Maine Curriculum Leaders' Association, May 15 & 16 - The Maine Curriculum Leaders' Association is offering Providing Opportunity to Learn at the Auburn Hilton Garden Inn. Participants register for one of two strands for both days. Strand 1 is Planning Proficiency-based Instruction and Strand 2 is Personalized/Independent Learning. Registration deadline is May 1. Complete information and links are at

University of Maine, Summer 2017 Teachers Institute, Montréal and Ottawa, June 25-30 - 2017 marks the 375th anniversary of the founding of Montreal, and the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation.  K-12 teachers, curriculum coordinators and administrators with teaching background in social studies, geography, history and/or French are welcome to apply to the Summer Institute for K-12 Professionals held this summer in Montréal and Ottawa, Canada, from June 25th-30th.  “Québec and the Evolution of Canada” is a unique professional development opportunity providing participants with foundations in history and geography plus contemporary cultural insights through first-hand experience.  The content is taught by academic specialists and is designed to meet Common Core, C3, and state standards.  Rolling registration is open until May 1:

Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market, Saturday, July 8, 10 am - 4 pm, College of the Atlantic -  This popular festival, sponsored by the Maine Indian Basket Makers Alliance and the Abbe Museum, is hosted on the campus of College of the Atlantic and offers visitors, collectors, and gallery owners the opportunity to buy directly from the artists, as quality and authenticity is the hallmark for this Indian Market. For many visitors, this is a rare opportunity to meet the artists and learn about contemporary Indian arts and cultures from Maine and the Maritimes. 

Free and open to the public. Contact the Abbe Museum for more details at 207-288-3519 or

Cultural Understanding in China Study Abroad Program, University of Southern Maine Travel Program, July 20 - August 2 - Travel to Beijing, Dalian, and Hohhot, China in this six credit EDU 479/579 course. Students will gain an invaluable perspective as they are immersed into Chinese culture through exploration, volunteer opportunities, and culturally comparative instruction. With a focus on refugee and immigrant populations, students will develop understanding, empathy, and insight into the best ways to support and empower these communities.

Program Fee: $2,750 plus airfare. Students who are part of the Confucius Institute at USM will have reduced travel costs. Financial aid may be used to pay for the credits and travel of this course.

The ‘Program Fee’ includes lodging, in-country transport, cultural activities, and most meals. Tuition and international airfare is an additional expense.

For more information, please visit:

Holocaust and Human Rights Center, Teacher Training and Student Seminars, July and August Save the date for the HHRC’s upcoming annual Summer Seminars for high school students, K-12 Educators, Librarians and Lifelong Learners. This year, we will also be offering a seminar for 8th – 12th grade students. Seminars are $100, and include lunch, snacks, and contact hours. For Educators:

July 11, 12 – Immigrant Experience in Maine; July 19, 20 – Holocaust and Human Behavior; August 2, 3 – Civil Discourse; For Rising 8th - 12th grade students: August 8, 9 – Civil Discourse.  For more information visit, email or call 207-621-3530.

Maine Humanities Council programming, ongoing - Did you know the Maine Humanities Council has lots of programming around the entire state of Maine? Check out all the offerings online!

Giant Traveling Map of Maine, Maine Geographic Alliance, ongoing - The National Geographic Education Foundation has given each member of the Alliance network, two ‘giant’ maps. The Maine map is 17 ft by 20 ft and includes major cities, Native lands, and topographic features such as rivers, lakes and elevation.  he trunk that houses the map also includes teacher materials for grades 2-5.   There are supporting materials including an activity book with standards’ based lessons, lanyards, plastic cups and cones, plastic chains, Maine Ag in the classroom resources, state and national flags, the Maine classroom Atlas and more.  Schools may use the map and materials at no cost. This is a floor map and students may walk on it with socks on. No shoes or writing materials are to be used on the map.

If you are interested in scheduling one of the maps for your school, please contact Susan Lahti at  Put GTMMaine in the subject line.    

Margaret Chase Smith Library Exhibit, Encore: Walking the Red Carpet with Margaret, ongoing A screenplay about Senator Margaret Chase Smith’s life is currently in the works.  In conjunction, Museum Assistant John Taylor has created our most recent exhibit, “Encore: Walking the Red Carpet with Margaret.” The new installation focuses on the Senator’s many connections to Tinseltown.  Come see Margaret hobnob with Hollywood royalty like Jimmy Stewart, Esther Williams, Bob Hope, Marlene Dietrich, and Ronald Reagan. Highlights include photographs of Smith on the set of the 1944 film “Kismet,” letters from a multitude of celebrities, audio and video clips of her on television, and see how she influenced the current movie rating system. You can finish off your experience by playing the Library’s version of the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game. The exhibit is currently open and will remain up through the end of the year.

Holocaust and Human Rights Center, Free Educational Outreach, ongoing - The HHRC provides educational outreach to schools and community groups throughout Maine free of charge. These programs focus on issues relating to the Holocaust and human rights.  Our outreach programs are available to bring to your school, or you’re welcome to schedule a visit to the Michael Klahr Center.  For more information visit, email or call 207-621-3530.

July/August 2016 newsletter

It's that time of year...

Are you ready for the 2016-2017 school year?  Because we are!!!

You can count on your friends at MCSS to keep you informed on all the vital Social Studies information, news, and of course FUN to make this

the best year ever!!!

A message from the MCSS Board President

Dear Social Studies Educator,

At this time of year, I feel caught between trying to enjoy each and every last moment of summer with family and friends, and constantly thinking of the upcoming school year. I am reminded that one of the greatest things about being a teacher is that each year, no matter how challenging, is followed by the chance for a fresh start, and the opportunity to incorporate fresh ideas.

At MCSS, we have also had a busy summer. In June, we co-sponsored a day of outstanding professional development at Maranacook High School featuring teacher leaders from across the state.  We are actively planning our annual conference to be held in November in Augusta (see below). Finally, we have added three new executive board members; Geoffrey Wingard from Bangor High School, Erin Towns from Edward Little High School, and Donna Olsen from Lewiston High School.

On a personal level, I was thrilled to represent our MCSS members at the NCSS Summer Leadership Institute in Washington, DC. This conference is a great opportunity to be educated about important legislation that directly impacts social studies nationally, as well as in our local districts. After an intense day of preparation for lobbying, we headed to Capitol Hill to meet with our members of congress.

One of the issues I discussed with our legislators was funding for the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA. The exact amounts of funding as of this writing are yet to be determined. As with many bills, there are both strengths and challenges with the legislation. The good news is that ESSA provides for funding of the humanities, including social studies. The challenge is that each state or local district will need to determine how best to spend those allocated funds. Additionally, the money is not specifically earmarked for social studies. Rather there are pools of money that can be used in a variety of ways (technology, arts, social studies, etc.)

At MCSS we have updated our committee structure to include a focus on advocacy. We are reaching out to the Maine DOE and legislature to seek more guidance on ESSA, and we are also eagerly awaiting the filling of the recently vacated DOE Social Studies Liaison position. We will continue to monitor these issues and keep you informed. In the meantime, we have posted a copy of a Dear Colleague letter from the US DOE. We encourage you to ask your local curriculum coordinators if they received a copy of the letter, and how they plan to include social studies in their ESSA funding structure.

We look forward to being a part of your greatest year ever teaching social studies.


Kate Sheldon, President, Maine Council for the Social Studies




MCSS Annual Conference

Thursday, November 10, Augusta, ME

Want to arm yourself for a successful year with the best tools available? Eager to claim your throne as a ruler of all things Social Studies? 

Look no further than the MCSS Annual Conference

This year's conference is scheduled for November 10 at the Augusta Civics Center.  This year's theme is Civic Engagement in a Globally Connected World.  Stay tuned and check out our website for more details and information on how you can register! 

Meet this year's keynote speaker: Kenneth C. Davis!

Kenneth C. Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of America's Hidden History andDon't Know Much About® History, which gave rise to the Don't Know Much About® series of books for adults and children. A frequent guest on national television and radio and a Ted-Ed Educator, Davis enjoys Skype visits with middle- and high-school classrooms to discuss history. He lives in New York City. His forthcoming book is In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives. (Published September 2016)


Successful Social Studies Summer Symposium

by Kristie Littlefield

Maine Council for the Social Studies, in partnership with Maine DOE, hosted the first ever Social Studies Summer Symposium on June 29 at Maranacook High School.  There were 120 participants from all regions of the state.  You can find a link to the workshop materials from the Social Studies Teacher-Leaders in the resource folder on our webpage: 

Due to the positive feedback, MCSS hopes to be able to provide another summer professional development opportunity in 2017.  We will keep you posted as plans come together!


GIS in the Classroom

by Erin Towns

One of the hardest things about teaching social studies is the lack of geography knowledge and lack of technological literacy students display in the classroom.   I made it my mission a few years ago to change this.  As a 1:1 state, our tech savvy students of the 21st century have tools at their fingertips that will enable them to investigate the world and take significant action steps to solve problems they see in their communities using practical application of knowledge.  My students were introduced to using GIS (Geographic Information Systems) in the classroom and were asked to identify an issue in their community that they wanted to address.  Students chose safety and started the project by mapping where they live using ArcGIS Online. They added an Auburn Crime Data Layer that the city's GIS Coordinator created for them.  They compared where they lived in Auburn with crime statistics helping them to build basic spatial relationship skills.  Students then identified specific areas where they did not feel safe and hazard areas were mapped.  Students analyzed the map with crime layers added, made observations, and evaluated sources of the data.  Students were asked to offer solutions and the completed map was sent to the Auburn Maine Police Chief.  These global studies sophomores were invited to present their findings in front of the Auburn Public Safety Committee at City Hall in February.  As a result of the work they did, they were told that a new light warning passengers of students in a dangerous crosswalk would be added, helping students to feel safe in one of the most reported locations for hazards.  

The copy of the presentation can be seen here:  Auburn Community Profile

As a result of this project, Maine GIS Education Partners was created by Maine teachers for Maine teachers interested in using geospatial technology in the classroom.  Check us out and join us!   The website has free resources and announcements that will help teachers learn.  

Have a story you want to share for our SOCIAL STUDIES IN MAINE or SOCIAL STUDIES IN THE CLASSROOM spotlights? Submit it to the Maine Council for Social Studies at  


Designing C3 Inquiries with Library of Congress Political Cartoons, Waynesburg University, Sept. 29 - Nov. 3 - Join us for a FREE interactive online experience and a chance to earn 24 CEU hours! This opportunity for middle and secondary teachers and librarians combines the Library of Congress political cartoons and the C3 Inquiry Design Model to create ready-to-go visually-based inquiries leading to civic action. Model inquiries from the Herblock collection Herblock Cartoon Exhibit: Pointing their Pens and from historic Presidential Election Resource Guides 1789-1920 will be presented. Learn more and register here

MCSS Annual Conference, November 1 - The Maine Council for the Social Studies annual conference will be held on November 10th, 2016 at the Augusta Civic Center.  This year's theme, Global Studies, was the top request from the attendees at the 2015 conference, and civic engagement will be on everyone's minds in the aftermath of the elections - don't miss the opportunity to learn from and network with your colleagues across the state.  This year's keynote speaker is Kenneth C. Davis, New York Times bestselling author of America's Hidden History and Don't Know Much About History. 

National History Day, April 18, 2017 - Maine National History Day (NHD) is an annual event for teachers and students in grades 6-12 that promotes critical thinking skills through project-based learning.  The next state contest will be hosted at the University of Maine campus is Orono on Saturday, April 8, 2017.  Be on the lookout for NHD teacher workshops this fall!

Free Classroom Training in Maine Memory Network, available year-round - Maine Memory Network (MMN) is a FREE statewide digital museum developed by Maine Historical Society (MHS) to provide unprecedented access to primary source materials held by historical societies, museums, and libraries throughout Maine. There are currently more than 45,000 items in the Network's constantly growing online database contributed by over 270 organizations around Maine. MHS offers FREE classroom training in use of MMN for students and teachers; an MHS educator travels to your school to introduce teachers and/or students to Maine Memory Network, and sessions include a hands-on demonstration of the website and discussion of opportunities for your students to explore the history of your community.  To learn more or to sign up for free classroom training, email

Good luck on your first day! We know you'll be awesome.

NCSS Conference Registration Open

National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference

December 2 - 4, 2016

Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

Conference registration is now open

Registration for the 2016 NCSS Annual Conference in Washington is now open. Click here to start.

John Lewis, Bryan Stevenson among confirmed speakers

Get an early look at the first confirmed speakers for the 2016 NCSS Annual Conference. Representative John Lewis, attorney and author Bryan Stevenson, Little Rock Nine veteran Terrence Roberts, and columnists Ruth Marcus and Michael Gerson headline the notable list of conference speakers. Click here to see the full list, and check back for updates as more names are added. Read more

National Student/Parent Mock Election 2016

Who Will Students Elect in 2016?

National Student/Parent Mock Election gives students a voice

Register to vote at 

Washington, DC – May 1, 2016 – Today the largest civics education project in the United States announced the opening of voter registration. The National Student/Parent Mock Election gives American students, and parents too if they wish, all across the country and around the world, the opportunity to cast their votes for candidates in both the federal and state elections.  They may also vote on the issues they care about.  

This program builds on the 36-year history of the National Student/Parent Mock Election, the leading program in student voting. More than 50 million young voters have participated while learning about the importance of using their own voice to share their perspectives on important issues. In 2016, national student voting begins on October 24 and culminates on November 3rd, National Mock Election day, 5 days in advance of the nation’s election.

“The National Student/Parent Mock Election is proud to announce a new partnership for 2016,” said Gloria Kirshner, president. ‘Win My Vote’ will be providing online ballots featuring multimedia candidate and ballot issue profiles for the nation’s largest civic education project. Students, parents, teachers and home schoolers will be able to hear directly from each candidate (video) as well as the leading arguments "for" and "against" the ballot issues before casting their vote. The ballots are browser based (no downloaded needed) and can be easily accessible via any internet-enabled device (computers, tablets, smartphones, etc...). The ballots will also provide for real-time voting stats on how the candidates and ballot issues are doing. 

Sixty national civic, educational, religious and business organizations serve as cooperating organizations and partners. 2016 partners include: Win My Vote, which will provide all of the ballots for the 50 states, including candidates for the Senate where there is a race, and governorships where there is a race.   In addition the Win My Vote ballots will include all the candidates for the 535 congressional seats and the 4 national issues on which students, and parents too if they wish, will vote.  In addition, they will be providing the voting engine on which everyone votes.

The Win My Vote website will be a very important resource for the millions of young voters who participate in the National Student/Parent Mock Election.

The election of 2016 will be one of the most important elections in American history.

Other partners include  American Association of School Administrators, Barquin International, BrainPOP, Council of the Great City Schools, Don’t Forget Ed, National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of Secretaries of State, National Association of Student Councils, National Council for the Social Studies, National School Boards Association, NIE Institute, Rand McNally and USA Today. 

Teachers and home schoolers are encouraged to use the free materials and curriculum developed for the program to create thoughtful lessons leading up to and around the upcoming election of the president, U.S. senators and state governors where there is a race, U.S. representatives and national issues.

“Our goal is to help our country’s young people from kindergarten to college levels, understand what ‘government of the people, by the people, and for the people’ really means,” said National Student/Parent Mock Election President Gloria Kirshner. “It is never too early to start empowering our future leaders to be involved and share their informed opinions about the issues that matter most.” 

The National Student/Parent Mock Election was co-founded by Edward Stanley and Gloria Kirshner in 1980. After three decades it still stands as the world’s largest national mock election. Over the years partners have included American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., CNN, ABC, Electronic Data Systems (now HP Enterprise Services), The New York Times, TIME Magazine, and others, all collaborating to help millions of students learn about our nation’s electoral process and the meaning of democracy.

For more information and to register to vote, go to   There is never any charge.  You may register entire school districts. 

# # # 

About the National Student/Parent Mock Election

The National Student/Parent Mock Election, the country’s largest civic education project, which reached more than 5 million students and their parents in all 50 states and American schools all around the world in 2012, is built on more than a half-century of teaching experience. The project will engage students, parents, and educators all year long.  The polls will open everywhere on October 24th, 2016.






May/June Newsletter

MCSS is looking for a few good conference presenters! 

Spring is in the air and summer will be here before we know it! Now is the perfect time to look back on the academic year and reflect on what you've learned and everything you've accomplished. Did you have a professional experience or learn a new skill that you'd like to share with your fellow Social Studies teachers? How about sharing some of your stellar successes? Consider becoming a presenter at the Maine Council for the Socials Studies Annual Conference in 2016! 

This year’s conference, Civic Engagement in a Globally Connected World, will be held on November 10th, 2016 at the Augusta Civic Center.  We are looking for presenters in the following grade span areas: K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. We value workshop sessions that are interactive, hands on, and answer the question, “How do I teach this content?” “How is this presentation helpful to schools working on proficiency standards?”

If you are interested in sharing your knowledge, tools, and skills with Maine teachers, please complete the Google form at this link: 

Submission deadline is June 3, 2016. Presenters will be notified by mid- July.



Maine National History Day

by John Taylor

The National History Day in Maine program continues to grow.  This year’s state contest, held on April 9, was the largest since the University of Maine began hosting in 2014.  Over 300 students registered for the event which showcased nearly 200 student research based projects connected to the annual theme—Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.  As State Coordinator, I am excited about the level of involvement and the quality of work coming from Maine students.  Next year, is looking bright as plans are being made to possibly create regional contests which will take place before the state event on April 8, 2017.

Before NHD in Maine turns all focus to 2017, we must look to the rest of this year.  A large delegation of contest winners have committed to going to the national contest to showcase their state winning performances, papers, exhibits, documentaries, and websites.  It will take place at the University of Maryland, June 12-16.  The past two years have been good for our state.  In 2013, we had a first place winner from Noble High School named Noah Binette in the Senior Individual Exhibit category.  Last year, Madison Albert from Greely Middle School received the Women’s History Award for her Junior Individual Exhibit.  We are all excited to see if this streak continues into a third year.  Plans for are also being made for possible teacher workshops in Portland and Bar Harbor this fall. 

Please follow NHD in Maine on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or contact John Taylor ( to learn more about the program or upcoming events.

John Taylor is the Museum Assistant & National History Day State Coordinator at Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan, Maine.


Maine National History Day 2016 First Place State Winners:

Bruce M. Whittier Middle School

     Colin Marquis Boutin-Jr. Individual Documentary

     Sam Boles & Josh Power-Jr. Group Exhibit

Center Drive School

            Devon Hunter & Sara Hagstrom-Jr. Group Documentary

Greely Middle School

            Madison Albert-Jr. Individual Exhibit

Hartford Sumner Elementary School

            Hadley Blodgett-Jr. Individual Performance

Holbrook Middle School

            Ceci Doering & Damian Sheffer-Jr. Group Website

James F. Doughty School

            Alec Jansujwicz-Jr. Paper

            Camden Cole-Jr. Individual Website

 Lawrence High School

            Kelsey Dubay & Jessica Keay-Sr. Group Exhibit

Morse High School

            Zachary Lay & Nathaniel Lay-Sr. Group Documentary

Noble High School

            Olivia Hersom-Sr. Individual Exhibit

            Travis Marshall-Sr. Individual Performance

            Hali Bowden-Sr. Paper

            Jarrod Rudis, Jaxson Monroe & Ray Horne-Sr. Group Website

            Kylan Bowden-Sr. Individual Website

Samuel L. Wagner Middle School

            Emma Campbell, Morgan Gray & Lydia Tracy-Jr. Group Performance


Remembering World War One in Maine

by Shane Gower

“So how is a stone fence a monument?” This was a question posed by one of the thoughtful 11th grade students in my US History class at Maranacook Community High School in Readfield. Students were using the Maine Memory Network website to locate images related to World War One and Maine during that time period. One of the images we found was of a World War Memorial located in Fairfield. The image was taken in 1923. After a few moments of contemplation, the description shed a bit more light on the monument. “The World War I Monument was dedicated on May 30, 1925. It featured bronze tablets with inscribed names and an overhead marble plate bearing 13 bronze stars, one for each soldier from Good Will that was killed in the war. During the dedication ceremony water from the Marne River in France was cast upon the monument. G. W. Hinckley’s war-time letters from Good Will Boys, including those from his daughter Faith and son Ed Ben, were enclosed in a copper box and placed in a crypt behind the south tablet.” After we read this, another student asked, “Does this mean there is a box in the ground under the monument with war time letters in it? Will anyone ever read them? Why would they do this?” The questions flowed from there and we discussed the possibilities. All of this helped us to address our objective- How Was Our Community Effected by the First World War and how can we remember that? 

Through the online resources of the Maine Historical Society, and the help of the Staff at the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in Seringes-et-Nesles, France, my students learned about the sacrifice made by a young man who grew up in one of the towns in our school district. Benjamin Bradford was born and raised in Wayne, ME. He played semi-professional baseball in Winthrop, attended Kents Hill School and received a degree from Bowdoin College. Bradford enlisted in the Army in 1917 and was sent to France in June of 1918. He was killed when his plane tragically crashed at the Aviation Training Facility in Tours on August 6, 1918. What was our community like when Bradford left in 1917? How has our community changed as result of the war? How can we remember the effect of the war on our community? Why is it important to remember the sacrifice of Benjamin Bradford and others?

These are all questions my students set out to resolve through research and presentation. Kathleen Neumann, Manager of Education and Interpretive Programs at the Maine Historical Society, visited my class to introduce the Maine Memory Network and how it can be used. Students quickly found interesting artifacts on the website. They found the ability to create an account and store images an engaging and helpful research tool. We then contacted Geoff Fournier of the American Battle Monuments Commission and Superintendent of the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery where Benjamin Bradford is buried. He provided us with a photo of Bradford’s grave and the information they had about Bradford. Students used these resources and a few others to create a presentation designed to answer our questions. Each student was asked to make a claim about the effect of the war on our community, and to design a memorial or monument that would help us remember the effect of the war.

So how can a stone fence be a monument? What should monuments be made out of? What form should they take and what message should they give? These are all questions my students wrestled with and designed monuments that reflected their ideas on these questions. While I’m not sure any of them understood why a Stone Wall was erected in Fairfield to remember the sacrifice of the Boys who attended Good Will Hinckley, they all came away with an appreciation for the thought process behind monument design.

There are nine ABMC maintained American Cemeteries in Europe dedicated to soldiers killed in World War One. These cemeteries contain the remains of many Maine soldiers who grew up in our communities from all over the state. Unfortunately, the cemeteries see fewer visitors each year and are looking for opportunities to see those who are interred in those cemeteries remembered by others. There is a great opportunity for classrooms to connect with any of these cemeteries. Combined with the outstanding Maine Memory Network website, there are plenty of opportunities for students to learn about the way World War One changed our communities!

Shane Gower teaches Social Studies at Maranacook High School in Readfield, Maine.

Resources: Maine Memory Network (, American Battle Monuments Commission (, The Oise-Aisne American Cemetery (

Have a story you want to share for our SOCIAL STUDIES IN MAINE or SOCIAL STUDIES CLASSROOM spotlights? Submit it to the Maine Council for Social Studies at  

MCSS is co-sponsoring a Social Studies Summer Symposium!

June 29, 2016, Marancook High School, Readfield, ME

Space is limited; register by June 10, 2016

The Maine Department of Education, in partnership with the Maine Council for the Social Studies, will hold the inaugural Social Studies Summer Symposium on June 29 at Maranacook High School in Readfield, from 8:00-4:00.  The day will feature a variety of workshop sessions crafted and delivered by Social Studies Teacher-Leaders from across the state.  The Summer Symposium will include sessions for elementary, middle and high school teachers and contact hours will be awarded.    

The $25.00 registration fee includes lunch and seven contact hours will be awarded.  Registration and online payment must be made in advance. 

Register here:


Grant Opportunity, deadline May 8: The Gannett House Project announces a travel grant opportunity for teachers interested in participating in the 2016 Annenberg–Newseum Summer Teacher Institute in Washington, D.C.  The Institute, Primarily Digital, is a valuable professional development opportunity for teachers who want to help students explore the power of free speech in print and across the digital landscape.

June 23-24 2016, Marion, MA: Choices Program Working Conference: Engaging Students in Inquiry and Discussion on International Issues

June 29, 2016, Readfield, ME, Social Studies Summer Symposium: Space is limited; register by June 10. The Maine Department of Education, in partnership with the Maine Council for the Social Studies, will hold the inaugural Social Studies Summer Symposium on June 29 at Maranacook High School in Readfield, from 8:00-4:00.  The $25.00 registration fee includes lunch and seven contact hours will be awarded.  Registration and online payment must be made in advance.

July 25-29 2016, Worcester, MA: The Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University in Worcester, Mass will hold a Summer Holocaust Institute.

August 9-10, 2016, Augusta, ME: Holocaust and Human Rights Center Summer Seminar: Holocaust and Human Behavior: For Middle and High School Educators

August 19-22, 2016, Wilton, ME: Cemetary Preservation Workshop


Grant money available from MHC

The Maine Humanities Council is seeking applicants for a one-time-only grant program that aims to highlight the broad themes of citizenship, due process, and equal protection of the law in programming that takes place in 2016. The deadline is April 25.

The goal of this grant category, offered in partnership with the Maine Arts Commission and the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, is to use the arts and the humanities to highlight and examine Fourteenth Amendment-related social and cultural issues. We particularly seek projects that explore current-day relationships between the amendment and resulting policy, practice, and mores in Maine. Some project ideas are: writing activities, art projects that include an opportunity to discuss and contextualize the art, theater performances, poetry slams, or short films. Applicants may be a student group or club, an educator (to include teachers/librarians/guidance counselors/administrators), a school, or a district. The grant would be ideal for projects taking place in fall 2016.

For more information and to apply >>

March/April Newsletter

First Light Workshops

hosted by Upstander Project and Maine Historical Society

Monday, April 18, 1-4:30pm at Maine Historical Society, Portland
Tuesday, April 19, 9am-12:30pm at the William S. Cohen School, Bangor

Middle and high school teachers are invited to join the Upstander Project and Maine Historical Society for a workshop on the Wabanaki in Maine Monday, April 18, 1:00 - 4;30pm at Maine Historical Society in Portland or Tuesday, April 19th, 9:00am – 12:30pm at the William S. Cohen School in Bangor.

We will watch the 13-minute documentary, First Light, and test its companion online learning resources to deepen our understanding of the historical context of the Maine Wabanaki State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission released its final report in June 2015 and found that from 2002-2013 Wabanaki children were five times more likely to enter foster care than non-Native children. The commission was dedicated to uncovering and acknowledging the truth about what happened to Wabanaki children and families involved with the Maine child welfare system, promote healing, and contribute to change in child welfare practices.

Participants will get primary and secondary source documents, learn new interactive techniques, talk with the filmmaker, discover how to teach this as a contemporary story, participate in Listening Circles and textual analysis activities, and will receive a free copy of First Light.

Space is limited to the first 25 participants in each location.

Sign up now at

For more information, contact Kathleen Neumann at MHS; 207-774-1822, ext. 124,


Student Humanities Ambassador

The Maine Humanities Council is seeking high school students, clubs, and committees for our Student Humanities Ambassador Program, in which we give students $1,000 to create, plan, run, and evaluate a humanities-based program or event within their communities. 

This program offers students the opportunity to spark humanities-based conversations about the issues and ideas they really care about. Committed, passionate, and excited students do well with this project, as well as those who would benefit from an alternative learning environment or who flourish in an environment of structured autonomy. 

Past projects have included a short film and a public panel discussion, but the sky is the limit. Students need not have a final project idea when they apply, just a broad interest area (a few examples: exploring feminism, understanding fear, racial justice, youth homelessness). 

The deadline is March 31, 2016 for projects in the 2016-17 school year. Visit our website to learn more:

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for Teachers: The Dutch Republic and Britain

A five week NEH Summer Seminar For School Teachers--The Dutch Republic and Britain: The Making of a World Economy and Modern Society--will be offered by Gerard M. Koot, Professor of History, at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth from 26 June to July 29, 2016. NEH will provide a $3,900 stipend for expenses.

The application deadline is March 1, 2016.

For more information, see or write

Congressional Medal of Honor Project

The Maine Department of the Secretary of State is inviting all teachers, administrators and community leaders to consider the Congressional Medal of Honor Project, which seeks to promote the recognition of Maine’s MOH recipients with a permanent memorial in their hometown.

Participants in this project study their local Congressional Medal of Honor recipient(s) and combine their resources to either add a means of recognition to an existing memorial or establish a new memorial for the recipient. Research, design, public presentations, fundraising and an enduring memorial are the key elements of this project, which can be customized for your community. The Secretary of State is the overseer of the State's documents and historical artifacts within the Maine State Archives, which offers a wide variety of resources.

Visit for more information and you can e-mail Communications Director Kristen Muszynski or call 626-8404 with any questions.

National Park Trust's annual Kids to Parks Day National School Contest 


National Park Trust's annual Kids to Parks Day National School Contest empowers students to plan their own educational park experience!

Open to all Title 1 schools for grades PreK through 12, this contest provides grants of up to $1,000 to cover transportation, park-related fees, stewardship supplies, or anything else students believe would enhance their experience. Our 2016 contest will be awarding 100 park grants to 100 schools nationwide.

Deadline is March 4, 2016. Details can be found at

National institute on Japan for K-8 educators

This summer Primary Source is sponsoring a national institute on Japan for K-8 educators. It will be held at Showa/Boston and will explore how Japanese have interacted over time with the natural world. 

We have funding to cover fees and housing for those who live over 50 miles away.

Learn more at:

Rethinking the Gilded Age and Progressivisms: Race, Capitalism, and Democracy, 1877 to 1920

A Summer Institute for Current and Future K-12 Teachers

June 26– July 22, 2016

Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Metro History Education Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Loyola University Chicago invite K-12 teachers to apply for “Rethinking the Gilded Age and Progressivisms: Race, Capitalism, and Democracy, 1877 to 1920.” Participants in this National Endowment for the Humanities-sponsored program will spend four weeks in Chicago, a center of Progressive Era reform, engaging in vigorous discussions about this critical time period in American history and creating materials to use in their classrooms. Award-winning historian Robert Johnston (University of Illinois at Chicago) will guide the institute’s academic content, with the help of renowned experts in history, art, and architecture. Charles Tocci (Loyola University Chicago) will direct teaching application discussions, along with master teacher Michael Biondo (Maine South High School). For more information, contact Rachel Allmen, CMHEC,

Benefits include:

  • Stimulating readings and discussions with scholars and peers
  • Time to explore and create practical applications for your classroom
  • A $3,300 stipend to defray travel, lodging, and study expenses
  • A chance to personally experience Chicago’s Gilded Age and Progressive Era history and culture
  • For full details, visit Applications are due March 1, 2016.

2016 APA TOPSS Charles T. Blair-Broeker Excellence in Teaching Award

This award provides an opportunity for American Psychology Association's Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) to recognize outstanding teachers in psychology. There will be up to three annual awards.

Winners will receive a framed certificate, engraved award, cash prize of $500, and a free TOPSS membership or renewal for the 2017 membership year. Additionally, Worth Publishers is generously donating a $500 credit to Bedford Freeman & Worth Publishers and a copy of the “High School Psychology Video Anthology DVD” to each of the winning teachers.

The application Deadline is: March 15, 2016.  Click here for more details:


2016 TOPSS Essay Competition for High School Psychology Students

Students are asked to write an essay of no more than 3,000 words that addresses the topic of racial bias and that provides information concerning cognitive and social factors that contribute to the problem. Students should also address how implicit bias has informed our understanding of racial biases. In addition, each essay should use existing psychological research to examine how this problem specifically impacts the criminal justice system. Four winners will be selected for this year’s competition, each of whom will receive a $250 award.

For the full essay question and competition rules and guidelines, visit The deadline for submission is March 15, 2016, and essays should be submitted through an online database, available through the website above.

2016 APA/Clark University Workshop for High School Teachers

The 12th annual APA/Clark workshop will be held July 20-22, 2016, at Clark University in Worcester, MA. Presenters will include Alan Feldman of Glen Rock High School, Glen Rock, New Jersey, and Virginia Welle of Chippewa Falls High School, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; the keynote address and faculty presenters from the Clark University psychology department will be announced by the spring.  There is no registration fee and room and board are provided.  In addition, all participants will receive travel stipends up to $150 and limited travel scholarships are available based upon need.  The workshop is limited to 25 teachers. 

The application deadline is April 15, 2016. For more information and to apply online, visit:

Religious Revivals, Utopian Societies and the Shaker Experience in America

A National Endowment for the Humanities LandmarksWorkshop for School Teachers

Sessions: June 19-25 and June 26-July 2, 2016

NEH Landmark Workshops immerse scholars in the past.

As a participant you will:

  • Engage in interactive seminars with scholars
  • Tour Hancock Shaker Village, Shaker Museum Mount Lebanon and Watervliet Shaker Historic District
  • Examine rare Shaker manuscripts and artifacts at the New York State Museum and New York State Library
  • Learn how to utilize Shaker materials in the classroom and bring the fascinating history of the Shakers to life for contemporary students

Accommodations and Facilities: Siena College’s beautiful park-like setting that is located two miles north of Albany, the capital of New York.

Apply Now: The application process is easy and is located on the Siena College website ( Application Deadline: March 1, 2016

For More Information Contact the Project Director, Jennifer Dorsey, Ph.D., at

2016 STUDY CANADA Summer Institute for K-12 Educators

Across the Salish Sea: Canada-US Connections in the Pacific Northwest

June 27-July 1, 2016 in Seattle, WA (2N) and Victoria, BC (2N)

Directed by T. Storer (WWU), D. Rossiter (WWU) and N. Fabbi (UW)

$650 Registration Cost – Travel Support Available –

So that American students learn more about the world and continental history, the U.S. D.O.E.-designated Pacific Northwest National Resource Center on Canada offers the STUDY CANADA Summer Institute for K-12 Educators annually.  The renowned program has provided educators with an excellent foundation for teaching about our vital political, economic, environmental and cultural relationships with Canada for almost 40 years. Teachers from every state have learned about core social studies topics related to Canada—such as geography, history, government, and economics—from university faculty and other expert program staff. Beginning in 2015, a unique two-nation agenda was developed to highlight the ties that bind the US and Canada as cultural cousins, political neighbors, environmental stewards of the continent, and as trade partners with strong ties to Pacific Rim nations.   Important outcomes have always included gaining global perspectives of civic issues, receiving numerous resources for classroom use, and developing curricula that meet Common Core, C3 and state standards.


A draft agenda and detailed program guide can be viewed online. Note that the $650 registration fee includes a choice of 3 WWU undergraduate quarter credits (C/AM 410) or 40 WA State-issued clock hours, 4N hotel accommodations (the downtown Sheraton Hotel in Seattle and the Empress Hotel in Victoria), daily breakfasts, two lunches and one dinner as well as ferry transportation across the Salish Sea. Multiple $250 travel awards and one $650 tuition award are available this year.

Now is the time to register! Simply download the registration form online and mail it with full payment to Western Washington University as instructed on the form or follow the hyperlink at for immediate online registration. Check your award eligibility and, once registered, apply separately as instructed.  Contact for a personal response to program and financial support inquiries.

Tina Storer, K-12 STUDY CANADA Education and Curriculum Specialist

Pacific Northwest National Resource Center on Canada

Center for Canadian-American Studies at Western Washington University

516 High Street, Canada House #202

Bellingham, WA 98225-9110

PH: 360-650-7370    FX: 360-650-3995

Email:   Web:

Demon Times: Temperance, Immigration, and Progressivism in an American City

Come learn about America’s Demon Times! This one-week workshop, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, will consider Temperance, immigration, and the Progressive movement in American history and culture. Teachers will experience landmarks of the temperance movement and the immigrant experience in late 19th and early 20th century America by exploring Columbus and nearby Westerville, Ohio. Westerville was the home of the Anti-Saloon League, a major temperance organization that explicitly warned against the influence of alcohol, Catholics, and immigrants. Columbus was home to a large German immigrant population, with an attendant brewing industry. This small town and nearby city are emblematic of America in the Progressive Era.

Participants will receive a $1,200 stipend to help cover the cost of travel and lodging. Workshop dates: July 10-15 or July 24-29, 2016. Application deadline: March 1, 2016. Learn more at


The Lincoln Assassination and its Legacy in the Nation’s Capital

Evening of Sunday, July 24 to Friday, July 29, 2016

Free, including shared hotel room and air travel, for qualifying teachers*

Join up to 25 teachers to explore the Lincoln assassination, the conspirator’s trial, primary sources detailing personal responses to the event, Reconstruction and Lincoln’s legacy where these important events took place.

  • Learn how Washington’s transformation during the Civil War lay the groundwork for Reconstruction in our nation’s capital
  • Explore the Lincoln assassination, the trial of the conspirators and their lasting implications for our military and civil justice systems
  • Examine how the Civil War has been remembered across time through the study of monuments and memorials

All participants are eligible to obtain 3 graduate credit hours through Trinity University for $375

For more information and to apply, visit:

The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Civil War Washington Teacher Fellows

Join up to 25 teachers to learn about Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Washington during the Civil War as you spend a day at each of these fascinating sites! 

Session 2 (National Borders, Grades 3 - 12): Evening of Sunday, July 10 to Friday, July 15, 2016

Free, including housing and travel, for qualifying teachers*

As part of our six-day program, you will:

Come away from your week in Washington familiar with: an array of virtual tours, the oratory skills to get your students on their feet performing speeches by Lincoln and Douglass; comfortable taking students on content-driven experiential learning adventures; and excited about using classroom drama to help historic characters come alive!

All Fellows are eligible to obtain 3 graduate credit hours through Trinity University for $375

Apply here:

Applications are due by April 4, 2016

For more information contact:

NCTA at the Program for Teaching East Asia, University of Colorado Invites Applications to 2016 Summer Institutes

These summer programs, sponsored by the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) and the Program for Teaching East Asia at the University of Colorado are open to secondary teachers nationwide. Teachers selected for the programs will receive a travel stipend, room and board, and resource materials. Participants in “Japan’s Olympic Challenges” qualify for a Summer 2017 study program in Japan. Full details and application information are provided in the linked flyers. Application deadline for both institutes is March 18, 2016.

Japan’s Olympic Challenges: 20th-Century Legacies, 21st-Century Aspirations

July 10-15, 2016

As it prepares to host the 2020 Olympics, Japan is focused on national renewal, even as it continues to negotiate postwar legacies that impact how Japanese people and the world see that nation. Open to secondary social studies teachers nationwide, this 5-day institute on the CU-Boulder campus will consider how the past and the future intersect as Japan prepares to showcase its accomplishments to the world. The institute will explore the impact of enduring issues on contemporary Japanese society, government, global and intra-Asian relations, and Olympic goals and aspirations.

Go to for detailed flyer and application, available now at

For questions, contact  2017 study in Japan: As a follow-up to this institute, participants will have the opportunity to apply for a 10-day residential seminar in Tokyo in July 2017, pending funding.

Korea's Journey into the 21st Century: Historical Contexts, Contemporary Issues

July 24-28, 2016

In this 4-day residential summer institute, secondary teachers will consider modern and contemporary South Korea's distinct history, geography, intra-peninsular and international relations, and transnational cultural transmissions (e.g., K-pop, film, and design). Participants will work with specialists to learn about the Korean peninsula beyond the media coverage, drawing on Korean narratives and texts to enrich their teaching about contemporary South Korea in the classroom.

Click for detailed flyer and application, available now.

For questions, contact

These programs are made possible through the generous funding of the Freeman Foundation to NCTA, the US-Japan Foundation through TEA’s “Olympic Opportunity” project, and the Korea Foundation.

Living on the Edge of Empire: Alliance, Conflict and Captivity 

Living on the Edge of Empire: Alliance, Conflict and Captivity is a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop for K-12 teachers and librarians hosted by the Deerfield Teachers' Center of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, MA. The workshop will be presented the week of July 10 through July 15 and again the week of July 24 through July 29, 2016. The workshop places the Deerfield Raid of 1704 in the broader context of the history of Colonial New England.

The deadline for applications is March 1, 2016.

Go to for a description of the program and instructions on how to apply. NEH Summer Scholars who are chosen for these workshops will be awarded a $1200 stipend to help defray travel and accommodation costs.

For a century from 1660 to 1760 the bucolic New England village of Deerfield was a crossroads where differing visions and ambitions of diverse Native American Nations and European colonial empires interacted peacefully and clashed violently. During a memorable three-hour span in the early 1700s, the town stood at the center of the struggle to control the continent. The 1704 Raid on Deerfield is a doorway to a fascinating and important part of American history. It was an event rooted in religious conflicts, personal and family retribution, alliance, and kinship ties. The Raid on Deerfield and the colonial world that produced it, helped to create a distinctive American identity and world view that became a backdrop for the American Revolution.

Workshop Summer Scholars will explore global issues while also considering ways in which this history can offer a compelling entry point for teaching the complexities of the early American colonial period and the many cultural groups who comprised it – Native nations, enslaved Africans, and the French and English settlers.


Free Professional Development: Framing America's Constitution

Framing America’s Constitution

Payson-Smith Hall, University of Southern Maine

Sat, Mar 12, 8:00 am to 12:30 pm

Register for this free event

Dr. Chris Burkett will visit Payson-Smith Hall for a half-day presentation on the topic, “Framing America’s Constitution”. This is based on Dr. Lloyd’s interactive, dynamic online exhibit on the American Founding, designed for teachers to use in their classroom, and hosted on Dr. Lloyd distilled over fifty years of research and teaching knowledge this exhibit.  Dr. Burkett will share content knowledge and specific strategies from this website that teachers can use to engage their students and enliven their classroom, through talks on three topics:

  • Fifty Ways to Learn Your Framers
  • Ratification – The Essential Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers
  • Ratification – The Role of the States

Participating teachers will receive:

Refreshments will be provided