Mission Statement

To engage in activities supporting educational work, which shall also include the coordination, promotion, development and maintenance of quality social studies programs at all levels of educational instruction in the State of Colorado.

Professional Development 1

Teaching VOICES FROM THE HOLOCAUST: A FREE Workshop for Educators

Part of Greeley’s Annual Holocaust Memorial Observances

Saturday, APRIL 26, 2014
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Loveland, Colorado

Presentations will include:
An Introduction to the Echoes & Reflections Teacher Resource Guide
Sherry Bard, Education Consultant, former Project Director at USC Shoah Foundation

Holocaust and the Role of Women through the Lens of Literature
Kira Aarestad, Regional Education Corps, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum &
Colorado Holocaust Educators

Testimony from the Camp System
Todd Hennessy, Museum Teacher Fellow, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum &
Colorado Holocaust Educators

Participants will receive:
• Complimentary copy of the Echoes and Reflections Teacher Resource Guide
• Classroom ready activities developed by gifted Holocaust Educators
• An opportunity to learn from fellow educators and experts
• A certificate of attendance for professional development credit

Pre-registration is required and can be completed at http://teachingvoices2014.eventbrite.com

For additional information, contact Dr. Jeri Kraver at Jeraldine.Kraver@unco.edu


CELL Educators' Promotion: Start the Conversation

The CELL is offering an educators’ promotion in conjunction with the launch of our new curriculum (which meets CO State and CORE standards) wherein the first 25 tours booked in 2014 will receive FREE admission and bus funding.

Please call for full terms and conditions. The CELL exhibit is recommended for 9-12 grade and college students. For more information about the CELL's lesson plans, please visit www.thecell.org/educators

Stephen ArmstrongPresident's Message from Stephen Armstrong,
National Council for the Social Studies

You Are the Advocate
For many social studies teachers working in the classroom, the statement that they should be engaged in “advocacy” for their profession sounds strange or scary. Many social studies teachers are told by their administrators not to let students know what their political positions are on local referendum issues, elections, etc., with an implication that all personal politics is to be dampened. In addition, many teachers perceive “advocacy” to be something that a few NCSS leaders might do off in Washington, DC; something with little connection to what they actually are doing in the classroom every day.

I have news for you: teachers have a constitutionally protected right to do important advocacy outside of the classroom, and it all begins at the local level. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the 30-year veteran—or the first-year teacher—talking to his or her state legislator or city/town council member on the value and importance of social studies education. With politics and budgets being as they are today, a large amount of legislative action that will directly impact social studies education is likely to take place at the local and state levels, and even national policy has its source at the grass roots.

Better than just lobbying a council member, begin by inviting him or her to speak to your classes or to help judge a Geography Bee competition. Successful advocates will tell you that building up this relationship is infinitely helpful.

Many teachers who go into a state legislator’s office for the first time fear that they won’t remember “everything that needs to be said.” Or, conversely, they are unclear just what to ask for. You may have only 10 or 15 short minutes to “make your case” (I have learned by this point to NOT take this time restriction personally). You might begin by briefly “Telling your story,” showing how social studies is important for your students. If you have a specific example of a student in your classes being positively impacted by what he or she did in your classes, tell that memorable story. Then, be prepared and ask for something specific. Don’t just ask for “more money for social studies,” rather, ask your legislator (or their aid, if the official is unavailable) to support a specific bill, initiative, or line item on a budget. Make sure you leave your card with the person you are speaking to, with assurances that you are available. Then, send a follow up note (not an email) to the person that you spoke with, thanking that person for his or her time.

Further hints: Advocate for all of the core disciplines of social studies, K-12. Since many legislators are especially interested when civics or civic education is mentioned, make sure that topic is covered. Coordinate with your local or state council leaders, and encourage others to do the same thing you are doing. Visit in groups of three or four, and rehearse your message before you arrive, and be sure you have a clearly articulated, central request.

Advocacy is not just something done by a few NCSS folks in Washington. The best advocacy is done by classroom teachers in their relationships with local and state officials. It’s never too late to begin!

K-12 STUDY CANADA Resource News - Digest Version

Greetings!   I hope you have been coping well with winter weather. This is a special “digest” of the e-resource newsletter for my consular colleagues. The original complete version is provided to a listserv of over 1200 educators in North America to encourage connections to Canada in their classrooms. Please feel free to forward to any educational connections that you have, including the bulleted comments below that were part of the original’s introductory letter. As always, you can view the full resource newsletter online at http://www.k12studycanada.org/news_resource_notices.html.

Notes from my letter:

  • From now on, there will be at least one resource/event directed to French language teachers included…please forward my message to colleagues and let them know that they can join this listserv themselves simply by emailing the request to me.
  • I have been asked if it is worth watching the Discovery Channel’s 3-part mini-series Klondike, despite its many liberties with historical fact and the book on which it is based, Charlotte Grey’s Gold Diggers: Striking it Rich in the Klondike. My response is yes, but do caution students that the mini-series over-romanticizes Dawson City as a “lawless frontier” and I recommend that you task them with identifying at least five historical discrepancies…perhaps by reading Grey’s book first or by first researching Sam Steele and Dawson’s history. 
  • Finally, a final reminder to register for STUDY CANADA 2014. Please register soon to assure your spot. Although the official end-date is May 1, I expect the class will fill by the end of this month. It is worth noting that the program--to be held in Ottawa and Montreal from June 26 to July 1, 2014—will change to a new location next year.  The current theme, “A Capital View of Canada:  Nations within a Nation”, has provided an excellent lens for learning about Canada. Visit http://www.k12studycanada.org/scsi.html to learn more.

Resource News:


The Modern Language Association (MLA) will hold its annual convention in the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia from January 8-11, 2015. Start planning now if you are an English or World Languages teacher and/or share this news with colleagues at your school.   If interested in presenting, calls for papers can be viewed through this month (March 2014) at http://e2.ma/click/iya2f/unya2h/qw637b. Learn more about the MLA, its convention, its online resources and its advocacy support for educators at http://www.mla.org


Canada Post issued two new stamps featuring two African-Canadian communities. Though located on opposite ends of the country, Africville, one of Nova Scotia’s oldest black communities, and Hogan’s Alley, the unofficial name of a 4-block dirt lane in Vancouver, shared similarities beyond their racial composition. Both date back to the 18th and 19th centuries and both were dismantled in the name of urban renewal. According to a January 29th news release, Deepak Chopra, Canada Post President and CEO said, “Our stamps feature people who lived there and continue to share memories from that period. We hope to help tell those stories through our stamps.”


With NHL playoffs on the way, take advantage of hockey fever in your classroom to teach about Canada, particularly the largest “goal” in Canadian history – Confederation! That was the theme of the January issue of Kayak Magazine. Read the feature story, “They Shoot, They Score”, online at http://canadashistory.ca/Kids/Kayak/In-this-Issue #biggame and learn about the key players who came together in 1867 for the most important game of their lives.  The coach? Sir John A. Macdonald, of course! Visit http://www.canadashistory.ca/Kids/Kayak/In-this-Issue#andthenwhat to find out what happened after 1867 and how the other provinces and territories joined Canada. Explore the online content or visit https://secure.canadashistory.ca/kayak if, like me, you’d like to subscribe to the mini-magazine published by Canada’s History Society.


Canada announced last December that it hopes to extend its territory to include the North Pole. According to Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, the Government of Canada, by filing a formal scientific submission to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf for territorial claims in the Atlantic Ocean, it is attempting to “define Canada’s last frontier”. Canada also filed a preliminary claim—pending further mapping of the Continental Shelf—in the Arctic Ocean  (including the North Pole).  The U.N. submissions do not lead to a binding decision but lay the groundwork for future country-to-country negotiations over competing territorial claims in the Arctic that could take years to resolve.  As most of you on this listserv already know, the Arctic is growing increasingly important as a global “hot spot” for a variety of reasons.  See website and stay tuned....


In response to the news above, Rob HuebertProfessor of Political Science at the University of Calgary, wrote an article that debunks some long-held myths about the region. Discover the truth about several myths—and share the news with your students—by reading the full article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-the-north-pole/2013/12/20/22267a62-6694-11e3-8b5b-a77187b716a3_story.html.


 Thursday, February 27 was International Polar Bear Day and, according to an article at thestar.com, an online Canadian newspaper, Google has extended its hallmark street views off the beaten path by capturing images of Canada’s northern tundra in Churchill, Manitoba, the “polar bear capital of the world.”  What a great way to celebrate the natural habitat of these magnificent animals….


When teaching about the War of 1812, wouldn’t it be nice to travel back in time so that students could safely witness nation-building in North America? That can ALMOST happen with “electronic field trips” offered by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. In April, they will feature a segment on the War of 1812 that will bring classrooms back in time through live, interactive video podcasts that reenact and consider important historical events related to the War of 1812.  Designed for use in Grades 4-8, each field trip includes a teacher’s guide and activities to do while watching the broadcast.  To find out more and watch a preview of The War of 1812 episode, visit www.history.org/history/teaching/eft/eft_current.cfm#apr.

8. PRIX TD DE LITTÉRATURE CANADIENNE POUR L’ENFANCE ET LA JEUNESSE / TD CANADIAN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE AWARD  Adapted from www.bookcentre.ca.  See the full newsletter for the list of book titles. 

Depuis 2004, le Centre du livre jeunesse canadien (The Canadian Children’s Book Centre) et le Groupe Banque TD ont mis sur pied le Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse, pour le livre le plus remarquable de l'année. L’œuvre doit se démarquer par sa contribution générale à la littérature et l'excellence de son apport aux jeunes lecteurs.  Chaque année, deux prix de 30 000 $ chacun sont attribués aux œuvres de langues française et anglaise s'étant le plus distinguées dans la production de l'année précédente. Les livres de tous les genres littéraires sont admissibles. Ils doivent avoir été écrits à l'intention des enfants âgés de 0 à 12 ans, être d'une édition originale canadienne et l'auteur et l'illustrateur, s’il y a lieu, doivent être canadiens ou avoir le statut de résidents permanents. S'ensuit une liste de lauréats. 

Since 2004, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and the TD Bank Group established a new annual children’s book award, the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for the most distinguished book of the year. “Distinguished” is defined as marked by conspicuous excellence and/or eminence, individually distinct and noted for significant achievement with excellence in quality. The grand prize is $30,000 for the most distinguished book written in English and $30,000 for the most distinguished book written in French. All books, in any genre, written by a Canadian and for children ages 1 through 12 are eligible. In the case of a picture book, both the author and the illustrator must be Canadian.

9. CANADIAN RECIPE OF THE MONTH:  BANNOCK [Adapted from The Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook   (Toronto:  McClelland & Stewart, 6th Printing 1973), Page 27.]

This month’s recipe is for bannock (unleavened bread that is best served hot with butter).  This dish was a favorite of northern fur trappers and was originally made to be very heavy bread—recommended for classroom fun (not consular events). It has since become a little lighter because modern recipes now call for baking powder.  This recipe makes 1 loaf.


Woodsmen of the West by M. Allerdale Grainger. (Toronto:  McClelland & Stewart, 1996.)  ISBN 0-7710-3461

Beliefs Envisioned: Understanding Hinduism and Buddhism through Art

April 26, 2014, 10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Registration deadline: April 18, 2014.  

Join the South/Southeast/West Asia (SSEWA) Outreach program at CU Boulder to learn more about Hindu and Buddhist Art in South and Southeast Asia. This daylong workshop for secondary social studies and art teachers will draw on the rich history of visual arts to share the basics of these two major traditions-their origins, their interrelationships, their philosophies and beliefs. We will discuss major deities, historical figures and ritual practices of different Hindu and Buddhist traditions in clear, accessible language. We'll also take a look at temple architecture in India, Burma, and Bhutan, to see how various traditions create, sustain, and understand their particular sacred space. Additional teaching resources and references will be provided. For registration information, email Kunga.Lama@colorado.edu or visit: https://cas.colorado.edu/node/2758

Summer Institutes: Teaching the Humanities through Art

Smithsonian American Art Museum

June 23–June 27, 2014
July 28–August 1, 2014

Be inspired this summer at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as you join colleagues from across the country for an exciting exploration of the connections among American art, technology, and your curricula. Attend one of our week-long institutes in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. Stay connected with your newfound colleagues and Museum staff throughout the year.
Core subject teachers for grades 6-12 may apply as individuals or as part of a team. Priority will be given to social studies and English/language arts teachers.
Applications are due Monday, March 31, 2014
Registration Fee: $200 per participant

For more information and the application please visit: http://americanart.si.edu/education/dev/institutes/
Graduate credits, scholarships, and low-cost housing accommodations are available. For more information, please contact us at AmericanArtInstitutes@si.edu

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