114th Annual Conference Updates -Tour Historic Delaware

Social Studies: A Road Map to Social Justice

February 24-25, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Register Now!

Sign up for the Field Trip!

Download the full program here.

MSCSS Conference Feb 2017 FINAL

114th Annual Conference Program

Social Studies: A Road Map to Social Justice

February 24-25, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Register Now!

Download the full program here.

MSCSS Conference Feb 2017 FINAL

Real News!

With all of the fake news circulating and fall out from the media coverage of the election, no group of people have headed the call for a more informed citizenry than social studies teachers.  This excellent article from the Smithsonian Institute breaks down the crucial role social studies education plays in developing critical and thoughtful citizens who can note only discern fake news but find their voice to demand change from their government and their media. 


Now is the perfect time to reinvigorate ourselves with the moral cause of our profession. At Middle States Council for Social Studies we offer many ways to do this!

  1. Nominate or self-nominate a well-deserving educator, researcher or friend of the social studies for an award. The application is here and nominations are due by January 16th.
  2. Submit conference proposals for our Annual Conference by December 19th.
  3. Register for the Annual conference held Friday, February 24th – Saturday February 25th 2017 at the Atlantic Sands Hotel & Conference Center in beautiful Rehoboth, DE.
  4. Support the annual conference and further the cause by being an exhibitor.

The time is now! This is the real news: Social Studies teachers CAN and DO make a difference in our youngest citizen’s lives every day. Share your best practices, and collaborate with the best and brightest in the field.

NCSS and MSCSS Opportunities!


ncss-logoOn Dec. 2nd-4th 2016, the National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference will be held at the Convention Center in Washington, DC and they are still looking for volunteers to support the conference logistics. As members of the Middle States Council for the Social Studies, you may be interested taking advantage of the opportunity below to volunteer at the conference in exchange for reduced or free admission to the conference.

If you’d like to volunteer at NCSS from November 30 to December 4, please use this link to do so. With the exception of Registration and HOD credentialing, AM shifts generally run about 8am-12pm and PM shifts generally run 12pm-4pm. Volunteers helping out for a full-day (8 hours) will receive one day free registration to the conference, and those volunteering a half-day (4 hrs) will receive one half-day for free (Ex. Volunteer all day on Friday and attend Saturday for free, volunteer Friday AM and attend Friday PM for free). Email questions to Local Arrangements Co-Chair Scott Abbott or sign up now!

MSCSS BumperNow is also a great time to think about and submit conference proposals for our Annual Conference. Register for the Annual conference held Friday, February 24th – Saturday February 25th 2017 at the Atlantic Sands Hotel & Conference Center in beautiful Rehoboth, DE.

We look forward to seeing you all in DC this weekend for an amazing NCSS and again in Delaware for our 114th Annual Conference. Social studies education is a social justice and civil rights issue now more  than ever!

Back to School With Social Studies

Welcome back to school! By now, students are settling into routines and the business of teaching young citizens is well under way in your classrooms.pumpkin-spice-latte-7133

Fall is not just for pumpkin spice lattes but also a good time to think about submitting a proposal for the Middle States Annual Conference.

Now more than ever the social studies must serve the ends of social justice and it is in our classrooms where students can find their voice, voices they can use outside of the classroom to bring about change and forge a future that is more livable and harmonious for us all.

How do you do this in your classroom? How do you empower students to find and use social-justicetheir voice? How do you teach for social justice? In what ways is your work anchored in the C3 Framework? We want to know! And we want you to share it with others in the field.

Submit a proposal now and register for the Annual conference held Friday, February 24th – Saturday February 25th 2017 at the Atlantic Sands Hotel & Conference Center in beautiful Rehoboth, DE.

Click here for more helpful resources to fortify your teaching as well as announcements and celebrations and an opportunity to apply for the Gilder Lehrman  History Teacher of the Year.

Social Studies: A Road Map to Social Justice

From the President’s Desk

At this point your classrooms have been packed up and you are probably already into your second or third novel you have been wanting to read since December. Summer break is well under way.  To beat this heat, we hope you think ahead about February.  Mark your calendars for February 24-25. These are the dates for the 2017 Middle States Council for the Social Studies Conference in beautiful Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Rehoboth Beach-DE-Boardwalk-Dollies

This year’s conference theme is Social Studies: A Road Map for Social Justice. Some might wonder why a social studies conference would focus on social justice. Given the events taken from today’s headlines it becomes quite evident how the two are related. While there are many definitions for social justice there is one constant throughout all of them – social studies disciplines. One cannot understand or explain economic justice without first having knowledge of economic principles.

Social justice requires an understanding of social and political institutions – an understanding that can only be acquired through the study of history and political science. Of course social justice addresses the life situations of diverse groups of people including their customs, movements and interactions which all can be examined through the lens of geography and culture.  The way we see it, you cannot address social justice issues without first acquiring  the tools learned in social studies.

Social Justice

During this year’s conference you will hear wonderful speakers addressing current events related to social justice issues, attend sessions that will provide classroom tools and strategies and receive opportunities to interact with colleagues from all of the participating states. Additionally, we have wonderful field trips planned as part of the weekend’s program. We also invite you to submit a proposal to present. Register now and start thinking about what you can share with the field. Together we can chart a course for social justice. It starts in each and every one of our classrooms.

Make the most of your remaining summer break,

Donna Olszewski

MSCSS President

Our BEST Conference Yet!

It was an exhilarating weekend of social studies at its best! We had more than 40 different sessions ranging from best practices in the elementary C3 classroom from our History Teacher of the Year, Anne Highfield, to the DBQ project, to breaking down Taking Informed Action. This conference was so successful that we had the new problem of rooms that were sometimes too small to hold all the participants for each session! We will plan accordingly for next year’s even bigger and better 114th Conference to be held in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

In the meantime, enjoy the pictures below of some of the highlights of the conference.  If you have not done so already, please officially JOIN MSCSS  and complete the exit survey.

Finally, if you need inspiration or a reminder of why what we do is so important, if not the most important job there is, read Dr. Diana Owen’s keynote address when she accepted the David Roselle Award. She reminds us that our work will never be finished but that we are constantly making strides in the right direction -fulfilling the charge of our founders who believed all education is Civic Education.


MSCSS Conference Day 2

We are still going strong!

But before you leave today, please complete the exit survey so we can make our next conference better than ever!

Check out some pictures capturing this exciting weekend and continue to tweet using #MSCSS2016 and @MidstatesCSS

MSCSS 113th Annual Conference is HERE!

It’s beginning to look a lot like a conference!


   Use this link to view the entire program

Use the link below to cast your vote in the Mock Election -Primary

Follow us on twitter and use #MSCSS2016 to tweet out your big ideas, photos and quotable moments of the weekend.

   Use this link to view the entire program

Use the link below to cast your vote in the Mock Election -Primary

Follow us on twitter and use #MSCSS2016 to tweet out your big ideas, photos and quotable moments of the weekend.

Final Conference Program!

Middle States Council for the Social Studies

FINAL Program


Delaware * District of Columbia * Maryland * New Jersey * New York * Pennsylvania

113th Middle States Regional Conference on the Social Studies


 Integrating the C3 Framework into Social Studies Teaching & Learning Conference

February 26-27, 2016, Double Tree by Hilton Conference Center, Annapolis, Maryland


 Annapolis Familiarization Trip | Friday, February 26,




9:30a              Historic Londontown House & Gardens (839 Londontown Road, Edgewater, MD)


Welcome to Historic London Town and Gardens where discovery and learning are daily experiences. The 23-acre museum and park features history, archaeology, and horticulture. Explore the Historic Area, which includes the circa 1760 William Brown House, a National Historic Landmark, reconstructed colonial buildings, and an ongoing archaeological investigation in search of the “lost town” of London


11:45a            Leave Londontown Lunch on Your Own and Travel to Downtown Annapolis and Park                                                 (Lots of                 many fast food options on Route 2, Edgewater to Annapolis.

Drive to downtown Annapolis and Park and Meet Your Tour Guide at                                                                     Annapolis Visitor’s Center.  Park at either Hillman Garage, 150 Gorman Street or Gott’s                                                Curt Garage, 25 Northwest Street,  Annapolis (http://townepark.com)


1:00p              Tour Begins at the Annapolis Visitor’s Center, 26 West Street, Annapolis, MD

Join Mark Croatti, Director of the Annapolis Treaty of Paris for a walking tour of                                                               Annapolis.

Visit The Maryland State House


The beautiful Maryland State House is the oldest state capitol still in continuous legislative use and is the only state house ever to have served as the nation’s capital.  The Continental Congress met in the Old Senate Chamber from November 26, 1783, to August 13, 1784.


Visit St. Anne’s Church http://www.stannes-annapolis.org/

Visit one of the oldest sites of the Anglican Church in America on Church Circle.  Standing prominently next to State Circle and the Governor’s House.  The cemetery contains the final resting place of many early founding family members.


Visit Historic St. Mary’s Inn  http://www.historicinnsofannapolis.com/hotel-history/

Since 1784, when this Chesapeake Bay city served as the nation’s first peacetime capital under George Washington, this lot has been the location for the legendary Maryland Inn, a popular lodging place for statesman, governors, and colonial and revolutionary war personas throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Delegates of the 1783-1784 U.S. Congress stayed at the inn when George Washington resigned as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army and ratified the Treaty of Paris.


Integrating the C3 Framework into Social Studies

Teaching & Learning Conference


Friday, February 26, 2016      Conference Sessions

3:00 – 3:55 PM                      Concurrent Sessions I


Ask the Experts…How Do I Get a My First Teaching Job?

Pre-service teachers, are you wondering how the hiring process works? This panel session is for you! The panelists, consisting of elementary and secondary social studies supervisors and professors will explain their parts in hiring elementary and secondary social studies teachers.  You will have a chance to ask any questions you may have and to get the inside scoop on getting hired.

Presenters:        Dr. Alexander Pope, Salisbury University, Dr. Teresa Wojcik, Villanova University, Scott Abbott, Social Studies Director, DCPS , RaeLynne Snyder, Social Studies Coordinator, Baltimore City,  & Beth Brown, Social Studies Coordinator, Carroll County

Audience:           All Levels                                                                             Room: Coastal West

Assessing Historical Thinking Skills and Disciplinary Literacy (D2 & D3)

Participants will evaluate document analysis and reading in social studies to determine foundational skills and investigate alternative assignments and assessment methods. As instruction in social studies classes moves toward inquiry, the C3 framework, and historical thinking skills, educators also need to think about how those skills are broken down, explicitly taught, and assessed for student mastery.

Presenters:        C. Renee Bos, Social Studies Specialist, Howard County Public Schools, Maryland

Audience:           Secondary                                                                           Room: Coastal Main

Connecting the Dots on World Population History (D2)

Discover a new interactive, online tool and hands-on activities to help students grasp world population history, future projections and how human population trends correlate to environmental and land use trends.

Presenters:        Lindsey Bailey, Teacher Training Manager, Population Connection, District of Columbia

Audience:           Secondary                                                                           Room:   Coastal East


Maximizing Upper Elementary Social Studies: Using Multiage Learning Opportunities to Achieve the Goals of C3 (D2 & D3)

Multiage learning opportunities at the upper elementary level will be explored as a vehicle to fulfilling the goals of the C3 Inquiry Arc.  A framework for implementing this initiative using the C3, backwards design formative assessment, and historical inquiry will be examined as key components of success.

Presenters:        Jesse Orth, Lead Teacher, Washington County Public Schools, Maryland

Audience:           Elementary, College Professors                                 Room: Leeward


4:00– 4:55 PM                    Concurrent Sessions II


The DBQ Project (D2 & D3)

The DBQ Project will examine a method to teach Document-Based Questions that will develop historical thinking and writing skills in all levels of students. Discussion will focus on ways districts can use the DBQ as a tool to integrate the C3 Framework and vertically align social studies and literacy.

Presenters:         Imali Kent,   Teacher Trainer, The DBQ Project

Audience:           Middle, High, & Supervisors                                        Room:   Coastal West


Spaces of Diversity and Dialogue: Cultural Literacy in the Classroom (D2 & D4)

This workshop will provide teachers with an understanding of the Sikh American culture, the civil rights/social justice issues experienced by Sikh-Americans, and the interconnectedness of these experiences with broader social justice/diversity conversations. Connecting the learning about Sikh culture to current day social issues (bullying, harassment, civil rights, social justice, etc.) is a way of making the learning about diversity relevant to the lived experiences of students.

Presenters:        Geetika Kaur, Director of Education, Kaur Foundation & RaeLynne Snyder,  Social Studies Supervisor, Baltimore City Public Schools, Maryland

Audience:           Middle                        Room:   Coastal Main



Teaching the Holocaust (D2)

This session will review three engaging strategies for teaching about the Holocaust. We begin with a review of the purposes and guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust. Then we will spend 10 minutes each on three engaging strategies. The first explores the ease with which grouping and exclusion can occur. The second helps students create narratives using visual primary sources. The third develops a collective found poem derived from complex Holocaust texts. Presenters will provide materials and structured lesson plans following the C3 framework.

Presenters:        Dr. Alexander Pope, Salisbury University & Dr. Diana Wagner, Salisbury University

Audience:           High & College Professors                     Room:   Coastal East

Ask the Right Questions (D1)

If you only do one thing, teach students to ask their own questions!  This session will show participants how to use the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) to create an inquiry-based classroom environment. Using resources and strategies from the Right Question Institute, the teachers will demonstrate how they adopted the strategies to their classrooms and lead participants in a demonstration of this powerful technique.

Presenters:     Lindsay Bell, Social Studies Fellows and teachers, District of Columbia Public Schools

Audience:           Middle and High                                   Room: Leeward

Using We the People in Elementary School to Nurture Civic Inquiry (D2, D3 & D4)

The Simulated Congressional Hearings can be a culminating activity for Fifth Grade students in social studies.  Students demonstrate their understanding of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  The hearings are based on the C3 inquiry approach to nurture learning.

Presenters:        Patty Spears, Carroll County Public Schools, Maryland

Audience:           Elementary                             Room:   Mainsail East

5:00– 5:55 PM                    Concurrent Sessions III

Digging Deeper into C3 (D1, D2, D3, & D4)

In this session, participants will have an opportunity to explore the C3 Framework and to dive deeper into one of the dimensions. We will use a jigsaw approach to explore the dimensions and have an opportunity to plan how C3 can transform next week’s lesson plans.

Presenters:        Shannon Pugh,   Curriculum & Instruction, Anne Arundel Public Schools, Maryland

Audience:           All Levels & Supervisor                   Room:   Coastal West

Propaganda: Art or Political Persuasion: Taking Multiple Perspectives on Primary Sources (D2 & D3)

This session explores viewing primary sources for diverse perspectives. Teachers can guide students in unearthing new meanings and more complex understandings.  This session will examine one type of primary source…posters, as political artifacts and also a piece of art.

Presenters:        Dr. Teresa Wojcik, Laura Campbell & Elaine Resso, Villanova University, Pennsylvania

Audience:           Elementary, Middle, High                      Room:   Coastal Main

What If Everything you Knew About Hinduism Was Wrong?

Using vetted resources, Dr. Rao will explain some best practices to help teachers in middle and high school to help make Hinduism more comprehensible to their students.

Presenters:        Dr. DC Rao, Hindu American Foundation, District of Columbia

Audience:           All Levels                        Room: Coastal East

From the Classroom to the Community: Designing and Implementing Advocacy Programming with High School Youth (D2)

This session will describe two pilot advocacy programs developed and implemented by Community Law in Action with Baltimore high school students. Participants will learn about our curricular model and our successes and challenges. Participants will collaboratively workshop this “problem of practice” and explore opportunities for implementation in their own schools.

Presenters:        Sean Arthurs & Nicholas McDaniels, Community Law in Action, Baltimore, Maryland

Audience:           All Levels                           Room:   Leeward


Using We the People in the Middle School to Nurture Civic Inquiry (D2, D3 & D4)

The Simulated Congressional Hearings can be a culminating activity for middle school social studies students.  Students demonstrate their understanding of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  The hearings are based on the C3 inquiry approach to nurture learning.

Presenters:        Amy Trenkle & Megan Huber, District of Columbia Public Schools

Audience:           Middle                                 Room:   Mainsail East



6:00 – 6:30 PM   Annual Meeting (Everyone is Invited)                      

Room: MainSail Main


6:30 – 8:00 PM  Nystrom Sponsored Presidential Reception and Award Presentation               

Room: MainSail Main

Please join President Marcie Taylor-Thoma, MSCSS board members, council members, and guests as we recognize this year’s award recipients.  The Middle States Council for Social Studies is pleased to announce the following recipients:



Daniel Roselle Award for 2016

Dr. Diana Owen, Georgetown University, District of Columbia

Bernice Samalonis Scholarship Recipients for 2016

Brian Gilewski, University of Delaware

Molly Mayer-Whittington, University of Maryland

Collins-Skinner Award for 2016

Sondra Bender, Maryland

Harry J. Carman Award for 2016

Dr. Nichols Baker, Delaware

Middle States Council Distinguished Service Award

Senator Ben Cardin, Maryland

Middle States Council Honor Award

Dr. Marcie Taylor-Thoma, Maryland

Middle States Council Award

Lauren Silberman, Maryland

Middle States Council Certificate of Outstanding Local Newsletter

Dr. Donna Phillips, District of Columbia Public Schools

Middle States Council Certificate of Teacher Networking

Alexandria Greenwood, Maryland

Please, Join us for the  evening in the Celebration of the Relevance of Social Studies, the Excellence in Teaching and the Importance of Continual Professional Learning



113th Years  Of our Social Studies  Community

Saturday, February 27, 2016                                                                                    

7:00 – 9:00 AM                     Registration, Continental breakfast, exhibit hall open Sponsored by ABC-CLIO     

Saturday, February 27, 2016  Conference Sessions

8:00 – 8:55 AM                      Concurrent Sessions IV

Effective Social Studies, C3 & Disciplinary Literacy (D2 & D3)

Students being content literate and the instructional practices found in C3 are not new concepts. So, how do we use the current shift in standards to strengthen Social Studies instruction? Educators will be provided with strategies to help make the time provided for Social Studies instruction more rigorous and meaningful.

Presenters:        Eric Louers Phillips,   Frederick County Schools, Maryland

Audience:           Elementary                                                                Room: Coastal West

A Common Core Close Read of the Federal Reserve Open Committee Minutes (D2 & D3)

This session models a close read strategy to address ELA Reading standards from the Common Core. Using a Federal Reserve Press Release as an example, participants will experience the steps that lead students through a close read process.  Monetary policy as applied to economic conditions is reinforced.  Parts of the lesson have graphic organizers and the lesson culminates with a writing exercise from the Writing CCSS.  Attendees will receive all the components of the lesson.

Presenters:        Scott Bacon, Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, University of Delaware

Audience:            High                                   Room: Coastal Main


Conversations in the Social Studies Classroom (D2, D3, D4)

Presenters will provide participants with several discussion techniques and activities to incorporate into their Social Studies classroom. They will also present readings, primary sources, images and video clips that teachers can utilize with their students to engage them but also to demonstrate constructive ways of discussing issues.


Presenters:        Carolyn vanRoden & Karla Weinhold, Harford County Public Schools, Maryland

Audience:           All Levels                                 Room: Coastal East



What We so Proudly Hail: Using American Stories, Speeches, and Songs for Civics (D2 & D3)

This presentation will introduce teachers to a free resource, www.WhatSoProudlyWeHail.org that demonstrates how story, speech, and song can be used to enhance civic education and how a pedagogical approach that stresses learning through inquiry can make primary sources come alive for students of all ages.

Presenters:        Cheryl Miller, What So Proudly We Hail & Rebecca Burgess, Program Manager                       American Enterprise Institute

Audience:           All Levels                                     Room: Leeward


9:00 – 9:55 AM                   Concurrent Sessions V

The C3 is Elementary (D1, D2, D3, & D4)

We owe it to our youngest learners to provide social studies instruction that is engaging and embedded in inquiry practices.   This session will provide an overview of the C3 Framework for elementary teachers and an exploration of how it connects to the Common Core Literacy Standards.  We will also examine and develop ways to bring our social studies instruction to life through the inquiry process.

Presenters:        Anne Highfield, Maryland’s Gilder Lehrman History Teacher of the Year & Cecil County Public Schools

Audience:           Elementary                          Room: Coastal West

Connecting with the Indigenous: Global Actions Take Action (D4)

In introducing our 9th grade Global Perspective students to the concept of indigenous cultures, we developed a unit plan that incorporated inquiry-based and authentic learning.  David Good, founder of the Good Project, a non-profit dedicated to serving as a trustworthy bridge between traditional worlds and outside cultures, spoke to our students about his indigenous heritage and the challenges that indigenous cultures face in a modern world.                         

Presenter:            Ryan Daly, Westfield High School, New Jersey

Audience:             Middle & High                         Room: Coastal Main


Empowering All Students Through National History Day (D2 & D3)

What do History Day, the National Archives, the C3 Framework, and meeting the needs of mixed ability students in the classroom have in common? In a hands-on demonstration and PowerPoint presentation, National Archives education specialist and District of Columbia Social Studies teacher will share how National History Day facilitates success for students of varying abilities. Learn how to access thousands of primary sources online from the National Archives.

Presenters:        Missy McNatt, Education Specialist, National Archives & Jennifer Brown, District of Columbia Schools

Audience:           Middle, High                     Room:   Coastal East

26 Sure-Fire Ideas for Teaching Civics (D2)

See Fast-paced, fun session with 26 ideas, one for each of the members of the Civics Renewal Network that you can take back and use in your classroom. Participants will review and assess a variety of educational resources including primary and secondary sources, lesson plans, teaching strategies and more.

Presenters: Joe Phelan, EdSitement & NEH, Barbara McCormack, Newseum, Allison Wickens, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Ellen Iwamoto, Annenberg Classroom, Cheryl Miller, What So Proudly We Hail

Audience:           All Levels                             Room: Leeward


10:00 -10:15 Vendors Session

Come and Browse with the Vendors

10:15 – 11:05 AM     Concurrent Sessions VII

Unpacking Taking Informed Action (D4)

Student-centered informed action can take many forms, from presenting an argumentative essay to a group of stakeholders, to starting and leading an organization in your community. Taking informed action provides your students with the opportunity to learn and apply the skills necessary to take part in civic life. In this session, participants will unpack Dimension 4 of the C3 framework and use it as a lens to understand what “taking informed action” looks like in their curriculum.

Presenters:        Dr. Donna Phillps & Jayson Wilkinson, Social Studies Managers, District of Columbia Public Schools

Audience:         All Levels                              Room: Coastal West


Founding Mothers…Common Core Approach to First Ladies (D2, D3)

How did the founding mothers contribute to their husband’s presidency? What are their legacies? How has the role of the first lady evolved? How do past events connect to present-day America?  These are the compelling questions we will investigate during this session.

Presenters:        Lana Early, Frederick County Public Schools

Audience:           All Levels                             Room: Coastal Main

The Power of Place (D2 & D3)

Presenters:        Allison Wickens,   Vice President of Education, The George Washington National Library

Don’t get caught equating “Primary Source” with Written Document! Primary sources are all around us and a key component of C3. One of the most underused is the physical world we live in –it’s a historic source. Whether you are on the grounds of Mount Vernon or the steps outside your school, place can provide an accessible way to teach historical thinking skills.

Audience:           All Levels                            Room: Coastal East

Dimension 1: How Can Students Develop Their Own Compelling Questions?  (D1)

Dimension 1 of the C3 Framework calls for students to develop their own compelling and supporting questions. This session will demonstrate how using the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) will result in student developed questions that are rich and targeted for further inquiry.

Presenter:          Rebecca Reed,   Social Studies Supervisor, Red Clay Consolidated Schools, Delaware

Audience:           Elementary, Middle          Room: Leeward


11:10  – 12:05 AM    Concurrent Sessions VIII

The Inquiring Pre-Service Teachers: With the C3, it’s Elementary    (D1, D2, D3, D4)

Hear firsthand from a panel of pre-service elementary teachers and their methods professor as they share their experiences learning about, designing and implementing social studies instruction in elementary classrooms using the C3 Framework. University students and professor will share assignments, inquiries developed as well as analysis of student data and pedagogical implications of using this inquiry design model and how it transformed their understanding of and practice of social studies instruction. Leave with sample methods course syllabus and C3 assignments.

Presenters:        Dr. Donna Phillips, Curriculum Manager, District of Columbia Public Schools, & Meagan Campbell, Mary Glynn, Danique Ward, University of Maryland Pre-service Teachers

Audience:           Elementary, Professors                Room:  Coastal West

It’s Not Just For the English Class: Teaching Common Core Aligned Evidence Based Writing Skills  (D3)

In today’s Common Core driven educational landscape, there is a greater emphasis on cross curricular and cross content alignment. As such, Social Studies teachers are now called to teach their students writing skills once considered the sole responsibility of the ELA classroom. This session will discuss practical strategies High School and Middle School Social Studies teachers can use in their classrooms in order to teach the skills needed to write content specific, evidence based brief constructed responses.

Presenters:        Stephanie Ogunnaike, District of Columbia Public Schools

Audience:           High                            Room: Coastal Main

History Through H@andles:  New Tools for Expanding Media Literacy (D2 & D3)

Use social media to make history relevant to your students and to teach primary source analysis. In a hands-on activity, participants will examine sources from another era and share the information via social media, seeing how bias can affect the message, public opinion and policy. Then explore the vast media literacy resources on NewseumED, a free online repository with archival materials, primary sources, standards¬-aligned lesson plans and more.
Presenters:        Barbara McCormack, Vice-President of Education, Newseum

Audience:           Middle, High                  Room: Coastal East

Assessment in a C3 Classroom (D1, D2, D3)

Have you wondered how to bridge traditional social studies assessments with the demands of the C3 Framework and Common Core? Come to this session to learn how to create C3- and Common Core-aligned questions for your own assessments. Get an exciting sneak peek at items from the SAGE (Social studies Assessment of Growth and Excellence), an innovative, teacher-created growth assessment  now being used by all middle school teachers in the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Presenters:        Leslie Booth & Scott Abbott, Directors of Social Studies, District of Columbia Schools

Audience:           All Level                                               Room: Leeward

Thanks for the Resources!

12:05 – 1:15 PM    Daniel Roselle Award Luncheon   

Room: Mainsail West

 Diana Owen, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science,

Georgetown University, District of Columbia

Daniel Roselle Award Recipient, 2016

Welcome- Marcie Taylor-Thoma, Ph.D., President of MSCSS

Greetings from Susan Griffin, Executive Director of NCSS

Keynote Address – Diana Owen, Ph.D.

Diana Owen is Associate Professor of Political Science at Georgetown University.  She teaches in the Communication, Culture, and Technology (CCT) graduate program of which she is a cofounder, and served as Director of the American Studies Program for a decade. She is the author of Media Messages in American Presidential Elections (Greenwood, 1991), New Media and American Politics (with Richard Davis, Oxford, 1998), and American Government and Politics in the Information Age (with David Paletz and Timothy Cook, 2012, 2nd ed. 2015).  She is the co-editor of The Internet and Politics: Citizens, Voters, and Activists (with Sarah Oates and Rachel Gibson, Routledge, 2006) and Making a Difference: The Internet and Elections in Comparative Perspective (with Richard Davis, Stephen Ward, and David Taras, Lexington, 2009).  Her current research explores the relationship between civic education and political engagement and new media’s role in politics. She has conducted studies funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Center for Civic Education, among others.  She is the evaluator on the James Madison Legacy Project of the Center for Civic Education which is funded by a SEED Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Thank you, Historic London Town House & Gardens for Sponsoring Such a Wonderful Field Trip!

1:20– 2:10 PM Concurrent Sessions IX

The DBQ  Project  (D2 & D3)

The DBQ Project will examine a method to teach Document-Based Questions that will develop historical thinking and writing skills in all levels of students. Discussion will focus on ways districts can use the DBQ as a tool to integrate the C3 Framework and vertically align social studies and literacy.

Presenters:        Imali Kent, Teacher Trainer, DBQ Project

Audience:           Middle, High, & Supervisors                    Room:  Coastal West


Experiencing Global Connections:  The Development Opportunity Abroad

(TEIP) offers American teachers a unique summer opportunity to foster global connections, build intercultural connections, and connects travel with meaningful professional development.

Presenters:        Dr. Teresa Wojcik, Villanova University, Pennsylvania

Audience:           High, College Professors                                                               Room: Coastal Main


Use Current Events to Create Relevance in the Social Studies Classroom

This study uses current events as the vehicle to create relevance in the social studies classroom. With only limited life experiences, making connections between the content and a high school student’s self and broader world remains difficult but necessary.


Presenters:        Nicole Camaioni, Agora Cyber Charter School, Pennsylvania

Audience:           Middle, High                           Room: Coastal East


Hands-On Social Studies Integration for the Elementary Classroom (D2 & D3)

This hands-on session will provide elementary teachers with many strategies and resources for integrating social studies into the interdisciplinary classroom. With a focus on US history and government, presenters will provide many examples of primary source analysis and inquiry-based learning strategies.

Presenters:        Tiffany McGettigan, Social Studies Consultant, Virginia and Courtney Speckmann,       Director of Education, White House Historical Association

Audience:           Elementary                       Room: Leeward


2:15– 3:05 PM Concurrent Sessions X

Using Children’s Literature to Teach Elementary Social Studies Concepts (D2)                   

How do we help social studies teachers become better literacy instructors? Come talk with two book authors and curriculum developers to learn content related strategies to infuse literacy into social studies instruction.  Leave with lesson plans and ideas.

Presenters:        Donna Olszewski, Maryland Council for Civic & History Education, &  Gloria  M. Gavris,                                                   E is for Election Day, Checkers Books & Peter Dans, Sergeant Bill and His Horse Bob

Audience:           Elementary                 Room: Coastal Main

Nurturing Civic Spaces through Paideia Seminar (D1 & D3)

If you like Socratic seminar, you will love paideia seminar. A paideia seminar is an intellectual dialogue about a text facilitated with open-ended questions. Paideia seminars align with the instructional shifts of the C3 Framework and Common Core standards and they can help students to learn more about the ideas and values of the text, themselves, and their classmates

Presenters:        Scott Abbott, Manager of Social Studies, District of Columbia Public Schools

Audience:           Middle & High                        Room: Coastal West


Be sure to Join Us online at www.midstatescouncil.org



Addressing National Identity and National Symbols with Contemporary Germany as a Case Study

Looking to help your students connect historical topics to current events in Europe? Come learn about the Transatlantic Outreach Program’s teaching materials and all-expenses-paid tours of Germany for K-12 social studies educators. Interactive session includes model lesson on national identity and national symbols, and study tour information. Free instructional guides.

Presenters:        Jan Marie Steele, Education Coordinator, Transatlantic Outreach Program, Goethe-Institut, District of Columbia

Audience:           Elementary, Middle, High                                                     Room: Coastal Main

Virtual Reality in Education is Now Reality (D2 & D3)

During the session, participants will experience immersive education through virtual reality. Using cell phones and cardboard, participants will travel to a Syrian refugee camp and view it through the eyes of a teenager. A unit design that effectively uses this new technology will be presented alongside student work and data from our own classroom experiences with virtual reality.

Presenter:          Paul Howard & Neil Soloman, District of Columbia Public Schools

Audience:           Middle & High                                                                                   Room: Coastal East


3:10 – 3:25 PM                      Plenary Session

Annapolis: The Bridge between the Revolution and Constitution:

Mark Croatti, Director of Annapolis Continental Congress

Room: MainSail Main

3:25 – 3:35 PM  Conference Closure – Collection of evaluation forms and name badges.   Name  Badges  will be collected and used for the final vendor drawings!

Stay and Win,  Kindle Fire Donated by Direct Mortgage Loans

Thanks to New York State Bar Association: Law, Youth and Citizenship Program for sponsoring the printing of our conference program.


The Middle States Council for Social Studies extends much gratitude to the generous support of our sponsors and exhibitors.


Hindu American Foundation

George Washington’s Mount Vernon


Maryland Council for Economic Education

Treaty of Paris Center

Checkers Book Press

MSCSS Board of Directors 2015-16

President: Marcie Taylor-Thoma, Ph.D.

President-Elect: Donna Olszewski

Past President: Mary Davis

Executive Secretary: Scott Abbott

Treasurer: Lee Mayer

Delaware Representative: Judith Purcell

District of Columbia Representatives: Althea Smith & Paul Howard

Maryland Representatives: Carolyn vanRoden & Laura Pinto

New Jersey Representative: Joe Orlak

New York Representatives:  Martha Noordsy

Pennsylvania Representatives: Nicole Roper & David Sidelnick, Ph.D.

Webmaster: Donna Phillips, Ph.D.

FYI, Editor: Leo West

Elementary Chair: Eric Phillips

Secondary Chair: S.Beth Brown

College Chair: Teresa Wojcik, Ph.D.

Technology Committee Chair: Paul Howard

Awards Committee Chair: Carolyn vanRoden

Finance Committee Chair: S.Beth Brown

Membership Committee Chair: Eric Phillips

Constitution Committee Chair: Scott Abbott

Publications Committee Chair: Teresa Wojcik, Ph.D.

Legislative Liaison: Althea Smith

Join us for the 114th Middle States Council for the Social Studies at the

Atlantic Sands Conference and Hotel in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware,

February 24 & 25 OR March 3 & 4, 2017