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.