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After School Workshops

Contact Lynne Manring 413-774-7476 x330 or by email for current information.

After-School Workshops

After-school workshops offer the opportunity to explore a wide range of topics, bringing together 1) specific history content as the primary focus; 2) modeling of active learning instruction using primary sources; 3) the use of high quality Web site resources to support content learning; and 4) materials and strategies for classroom integration.

All workshop offerings meet the Common Core standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History / Social Studies. They are also aligned with the Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks and support an integrated curriculum in content areas of History and Social Science, and English Language Arts, as well as other areas where specified. Workshops are designed for teachers of grades K-12 unless specified otherwise. We can also customize in-service, onsite, professional development offerings for your school. Contact Lynne Manring for more information.

Workshops are scheduled from September through May.
All Workshops take place from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Deerfield Teachers' Center, 10 Memorial Street, Deerfield, Massachusetts. Contact Us for directions and map.

Sign Up for After-School Workshops!
Workshops cost $40 per workshop, per person. Participants will receive a “Certificate of Attendance” after each two-hour workshop.The Deerfield Teachers’ Center is a PDP provider in Massachusetts. For more information about receiving PDPs for your work at the Teachers’ Center, please contact Lynne Manring by phone at 413-774-7476, ext. 330, or by email.

Workshop registrations are accepted until the day of the workshop. Once the workshop is filled, a waiting list will be created. Those on the waiting list may be contacted as late as the day of the workshop if space becomes available. Once registered, participants are urged to notify the Teachers’ Center as soon as possible if unable to attend a workshop, even on the workshop day, in order to make space available for other waiting participants.

A sampling of workshops previously offered

Constitution Day

In 2004, the United States Congress designated September 17th as "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day," to commemorate the signing of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787. Accompanying legislation requires all public schools “to hold an educational program on the United States Constitution” every September 17th. Join us as we explore resources and literacy-building activities through which educators can heighten K-12 students’ civic awareness and understanding of the oldest written national constitution in the world. Grades K-12.

The Production Line Pressure Cooker
What were the wages and working conditions of immigrants and other factory workers in turn-of the-20th century America? Why did labor unions form? Nothing will help your students understand this and other issues more than by becoming a mill laborer, and this workshop offers teachers an opportunity to be a part of this effective and engaging simulation of an early assembly line. Workshop participants will experience the impact of increased demand for the goods they produce. How will the workers respond? Will fair treatment and safety suffer for productivity? Grades 3-12.

Sea Dogs of the Caribbean: Pirates, Privateers and Early Explorers Part 1 & 2
This workshop is a two-part series. Participants must register for and attend both sessions.
Modeling multiple teaching techniques and using a variety of media, this workshop explores the world of Caribbean pirates and privateers in the 16th through the 18th centuries. Participants will examine primary sources including maps, letters of marquee and pirates’ codes in the context of the age of exploration and discovery and the triangle trade. They will study the lives of real pirates, handle pieces of eight and doubloons as part of a math lesson, and sleuth a mysterious pirate letter to determine its authenticity. Participants also will compare the real world of pirates and privateers with Hollywood’s version and literary stereotypes as they analyze and discuss clips from The Seahawk (1940) and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Black Pearl (2003). Grades 1-12.

Picturing the Past: Utilizing Picture Books in the Classroom with Creative Activities
Teachers will be introduced to the design elements of a picture book and details which will assist them to choose books for their students. They will also work in small groups to help create an engaging picture book from a collection of images and text. The workshop will supply them with a review of recent picture books and classroom-based activities to accompany these and also with steps toward helping their students create their own picture books. Grades K-6.

Learning to Look: Much to Do with Maps
As we examine different types of maps we will consider the many ways in which maps can be used in the classroom to deepen and enhance our understanding of history as well as geography. We will discuss vocabulary, symbols, topography and the way maps both shape and reflect our world view. In this hands-on workshop, teachers will create a simple map, and work with historical maps of towns in their area. Grades K-12.

New Americans Make New Holidays
Beginning with the Pilgrims, each new immigrant group offered new perspectives on existing celebrations or introduced their own holidays into the national mix. Come and explore a variety of primary and secondary sources, picture books and other resources as we investigate the roots of our familiar celebrations and consider the ways in which Americans continue to contribute to holiday foodways and other traditions. Grades K-12.

Vote, Vote, Who’s Got the Vote?
While today virtually every American over the age of 18 has the right to vote, the story of suffrage in America is one of starts, stops, advances and reversals. Employing a variety of primary and secondary sources and multiple perspectives, participants will construct a timeline that documents the complicated history of voting rights in this nation, from the rise of universal white male suffrage before the mid-nineteenth century, through Reconstruction and the ratification of the 19th amendment to the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Grades 5-12.

Keeping Thanksgiving
Explore the evolution of the celebration of Thanksgiving and the Thanksgiving dinner. Dispel some popular myths and consider multiple perspectives on this widely-celebrated and fascinating American holiday while gaining historical insights into the lifeways and cultures that have contributed to its enduring relevance and popularity. This workshop will include work with visuals and manipulatives as well as content-rich, hands-on approaches to teaching historical concepts to younger learners, with particular emphasis on Massachusetts 17th and early 18th century history. Grades K-12.

Speak Up! Elocution, Recitation & Public Speaking for your Classroom
Up to the mid-20th century, elocution was considered an indispensable skill for every citizen of a democracy to master. From the silent "tableau" to vibrant oratory, this lively, participatory program is guaranteed to awaken your hidden theatrical talents. Historic offerings of recitations, sayings and poems will be used, with special emphasis on literacy building skills for a range of English Language Arts learners. Grades K-12.

Looking at History: Ten Images that Define a Nation
America has been thought of as a mosaic of people and cultures. What are the ideas, values, struggles and accomplishments that define who we are? In this workshop, we will learn about images that reflect the history of our nation, and work together to decide which images illustrate our most defining moments. Grades K-12.

Children Working: Child Labor in Massachusetts
In this working session, participants will examine a variety of primary sources, including period legislation and compelling images recorded by child labor activist Lewis Hine, as we compare the reality of working conditions for children in Massachusetts at the turn of the 20th century to the idyllic pictures of children at work portrayed in turn-of the 20th century photographs by Francis and Mary Allen. Grades 3-12.

George Washington: American Cincinnatus
To this day, George Washington remains among the most recognizable American figures in the world. Washington's rise to fame began in his lifetime. By the 1800s, he was a symbol of the new republic and an object of civic devotion. Workshop participants will work with a variety of sources, including art as they separate fact from myths and learn how 19th century Americans celebrated the life of George Washington. Come and make period "toasts" to the first president and browse the Teachers' Center picture books and other resources about the president who remains "first in the hearts of his countrymen.
Grades 3-12.

The Tea Tax Tempest
In the years leading up to the American Revolution, colonists created a new type of protest: the boycott. Using textiles, newspaper ads, tea cups and other primary sources, participants will explore the politics of consumption in the years leading up to the Revolution, with particular emphasis on the Connecticut River Valley. Learn how and why colonial resistance to taxes on tea, paint, playing cards and other imported items helped launch a revolution. Grades 3-12.

Math in History Part 1 & 2
This workshop is a two-part series. Participants must register for and attend both sessions.
Who needed to know what kinds of math in the 18th and 19th centuries? From quilting to cooking, from maritime navigation to weaving, carpentry and more, participants will find answers to this question through hands-on activities, and they will examine what changes in math knowledge the Industrial Revolution introduced. Grades 4-12.

The American Revolution in Western Massachusetts

What was it like to be a Loyalist or a Patriot in the Connecticut River Valley in the years leading up to the American Revolution? What impact did the war have on the men and women of Western Massachusetts? Accessing primary and secondary sources, including records of the towns of workshop participants, we will explore how the Revolution affected the daily life of local residents, such as a Longmeadow merchant, a Deerfield physician and loyalist, and a Heath resident who became a Colonel in the Continental Army.
Grades 3-12.

"Is it Catching?" Epidemics and Disease in American History
From ancient times to the modern era, the effects of epidemics have at times outweighed those of war, governments and leaders. This is particularly true of American history from the 16th through the 20th centuries. We will look at a timeline of major disease outbreaks in North America and analyze this information with the help of a variety of primary sources to gain a deeper understanding of what has directed the course of history. Grades K-12.

Three Worlds: Early Encounters
Participants will use a variety of primary and secondary sources, including maps, images and documents to examine the early encounters between Western Europeans and the people of Western Africa and Western Europeans and Eastern Woodland Native Americans. We will keep in mind what each group might have perceived about the other and how their different belief systems bolstered, influenced, or guided these different perspectives and decisions. Grades 3-12.

Debating Freedom
In this workshop, participants will debate what was for many 19th century Americans would become "the" question of the hour: “By what means do we liberate the slaves?” Primary and secondary sources will be brought to bear on developing understandings of the multiple perspectives on emancipation, including gradual emancipation, colonization and immediate abolition. The stances of several prominent abolitionists, including some local to Massachusetts, will be included. We will also take a brief look at anti-slavery activity within our state. Grades 3-12

As If Things Could GET Any Worse: Bad Weather, Hard Times
“The Great Earthquake”, “The Great Gale”, “The Year Without a Summer”: Weather-related disasters are an important part of the oral and written history of our region and a compelling entry point into history for students. Riveting for their dramatic stories of survival and loss, these events also had far-reaching economic and political effects. This workshop places weather disasters within their historical contexts, focusing in particular on the hard-knock times Massachusetts suffered during the Depression. As if the economic conditions of the Great Depression were not enough of a burden, the economic effects of the Dustbowl and other severe weather events deepened the difficulties of this “Worst Hard Time.” Grades K-12.

How the Other Half Lived: Tenement Houses
In 1890, New York police photographer and journalist Jacob Riis shocked Americans with his expose on life among the city's poorest residents. An immigrant himself, Riis' images and writings made middle class Americans aware as never before about the nature of tenement life in the densely-populated, desperately poor tenements of the Lower East Side. Workshop participants will work with primary and secondary sources, including maps, documents and images as they explore tenement life and the movement to reform them in urban centers like New York City. Participants will try their hand at redesigning a tenement to conform to a 1901 reform law. In a related activity, they will gain deeper insights into multiple perspectives as they take on the roles of tenants and landlords during a discussion of the impact of tenement reform. Grades 3-12

Salem 1692
In January 1692, a small girl fell ill in Salem Village, Massachusetts. Her alarming symptoms defied medical explanation. Worse, other young girls began showing the same symptoms. The attending physician decided that the only possible explanation was that the girls had been bewitched. The year-long “witch hunt” that followed claimed the lives of 20 people, sent hundreds more to prison, and permanently affected the community. Together we will explore how the witchcraft hysteria and its aftermath affected Salem Village and beyond in the context of Puritanism and New England lifeways of the 17th century. Grades 3-12.

Teaching about Native Peoples of Colonial Western New England
Although teachers at specific grade levels are required by the Massachusetts History and Social Science Frameworks to teach about the Wampanoag people, the study of other Massachusetts Native groups can add richness, and an important local tie to that story. In this session we will discuss which groups lived in the area at various points in time, and things to keep in mind when studying their history, employing a variety of primary and secondary sources and classroom resources. We will also examine a particular incident from King Philip’s War, the assault on Peskeompskut (Turners Falls) in 1676, through the eyes of two young women: one English and one Pocumtuck. By examining multiple perspectives regarding one event, we can learn how cultural differences influence values, needs and problem solving techniques and gain a better understanding of how some misunderstandings came to be. Grades K-12.

How the States Got their Shapes
Looking at why a state's borders look like they do is far more important than just knowing where they are. As Mark Stein reminds us, “A state border is both an official entrance and a hidden entrance. The official entrance is the legal threshold to a state. But its hidden entrance beckons us to the past. Here at the state line we can come in contact with struggles long forgotten.” Explore the fascinating reasons why and how the “States Got Their Shapes” and explore maps, other resources and literacy-building strategies for engaging students in this fascinating topic. Grades K-12.