Welcome back!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Spring Break.  I’m sure it went by all too quickly for you, just like it did for me!

I have added a World History II page, so that the powerpoints I have found will have a permanent place on the blog.  I hope they are useful. 


Just a quick note on the videos I have embedded in my blog.  Since youtube is blocked at school, these videos will NOT load if you are using a school computer.  Please do not count on using the blog to show them to your students.  (Sorry about that, but I can’t change it.)  You can still view them from home however, so I will not delete them.

 If you are really interested in showing the videos to your students, you can purchase the DVD’s through Amazon.com.

Schoolhouse Rock 30th Anniversary Edition ($14.99) (includes ALL songs)


Glory ($10.99)


Brain Break!

Just in case your brain needs a break (and I’m sure it will with the SOL’s creeping closer) check out this video.  It’s a Weird Al song spoofing Bob Dylan, but it’s made up of entirely of rhyming palindromes.  Think about how long it must have taken for Weird Al to come up with all of those palindromes…

More summer institutes

A couple more summer institutes…one on VA Indians, and one on Antebellum Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.  All contact info is attached!

Beyond Jamestown: Virginia Indians Past & Present

Second Annual Teachers’ Institute

June 23-27, 2008

College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA

Application Deadline: May 11, 2008

This seminar offers a rare opportunity to hear from Virginia Indian tribal speakers and chiefs, as well as from academic authorities on such topics as regional ecology, cultural misperceptions, and new ways to think about indigenous knowledge. Hands-on classroom activities and innovative lesson plans for all ages will be provided. A special field trip is planned, to visit a Virginia Indian reservation that has existed since the mid-1600s.

For more information please visit:



Karenne Wood, Program Director, Virginia Indian Heritage Program Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

Phone: (434) 924-9946

E-mail: karennewood@virginia.edu

Summer Institute on Antebellum Slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction

Pamplin Historical Park and Richard Bland College of the College of William and Mary are hosting a 2008 summer teacher institute on Antebellum Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.  Teachers may choose one of three one-week-long sessions scheduled for June 23-27, July 14-18 and August 4-8, 2008. Each institute will be conducted on the 422-acre Pamplin Historical Park campus and will include a field trip to related historic sites. Participating teachers may earn 3 academic credits or 2.5 Continuing Education Units from Richard Bland College.

Institute topics will address Virginia Standards of Learning in History, Government, Geography, Economics, and English. 

Interested teachers may visit the Pamplin Historical Park website, www.pamplinpark.org/institute.html

 Contact Al Neale


 To register, contact Richard Bland College at www.rbc.edu/registrar/registrar.htm


 or (804) 862-6206. 

Montpelier We the People Summer Seminar

There is a 3 1/2 day institute this summer at Montpelier.  It’s an in-depth study of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  It’s geared more towards middle and high school teachers, but it wouldn’t hurt to apply if you’re an elementary teacher! 

The Montpelier We the People Summer Seminar is an intensive 3 1/2 day professional development program to prepare participants to teach in-depth lessons on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, based on the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution curriculum.

Up to 20 teachers from across Virginia, will be chosen for this opportunity to work with Constitutional scholars and teachers experienced with the program.

The Seminar Includes:


Constitutional scholars lead discussions related to the content of the We the People textbooks. Speakers who are scheduled to participate:

– Dr. Beau Breslin, Director of the Law and Society Program, Skidmore College, NY

– Dr. Craig Stern, Professor of Law, Regent University School of Law, Virginia Beach, VA

Lesson Demonstrations:

Middle and High School teachers demonstrate lessons from the We the People curriculum, and serve as mentors to assist and advise participants.

The Simulated Congressional Hearing:

After 3 days of intense learning and preparation, teachers participate in a simulated congressional hearing. The hearing allows teachers to put to use the knowledge and skills that they have learned during the seminar in a practical and realistic format. This models the same activity they may ask their students to participate in.

We Provide You With:

€ Room and board.

€ A classroom set of We the People textbooks (30 student books, 1 teacher


€ A selection of readings on the Constitution for your personal library.

€ Assistance in implementing the We the People program in your classroom.

Facilities and Housing

The seminars and presentations will take place on the grounds of James Madison¹s Montpelier at the Center for the Constitution. Attendees will stay in restored duPont era farmhouses.

Continuing Professional Development

After attending the Montpelier We the People Summer Seminar, participants who have not previously attended a Montpelier Weekend Seminars will be offered a spot during the 2008-2009 school year.

The Montpelier Weekend Seminars are a graduate level learning experience that enhance participants understanding of our constitutional system through a rigorous interpretation of primary documents.  Teachers will also have the opportunity to attend the 2008 Virginia We the People State Finals.

Recertification Documentation:

Teachers will receive a letter from the Center for the Constitution detailing their activities at the Summer Seminar and the number of professional development hours.

How to Apply:

Enrollment is limited to 20 teachers, chosen from middle and high schools, both public and private.

Upon registration, Michael Taylor will notify applicants of receipt of their form. Applicants will then be asked to provide the following to complete their application:

€ a letter of reference from a fellow teacher or administrator who is familiar with their work in the classroom € a short essay of approximately 500 words regarding how participation in the Summer Seminar will benefit their teaching

Application Deadline:

May 2

You can download the application here:

We the People Summer Seminar Application

Make sure you fill it out and send it in by May 2! 

Summer Opportunity-Presidential Academy

This info is for the 2008 Presidential Academy.  We had a teacher participate in this last year, and she said it was a wonderful program.  They spent time in D.C., Gettysburg, and Philadelphia.  She received a ton of materials from the program and lots of great ideas for activities! 

 I would like to extend an invitation to those of you who have not applied to the 2008 Presidential Academy.  It is a program unlike any other that will lead secondary school teachers in a careful study of the pivotal turning points in American history memorialized by the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and the “I Have a Dream” speech. Participating teachers will spend five days in Philadelphia, six days in Gettysburg, and six days in Washington, DC, studying the American Revolution and Founding, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights movement, respectively. During their stay in each of these cities, participants will be surrounded by the streets and halls, the battlefields, public places, and private lodgings where the history we are studying took place.

Participants may choose to receive four hours of Master’s degree credit from Ashland University. This credit can be used toward the Master of American History and Government offered by Ashland University or may be transferred to another institution.

One teacher will be accepted from each state plus one from the District of Columbia and a US territory.  The deadline for applications is March 15 so please don’t hesitate to apply and spread the word.  The application is available on-line at: http://www.presidentialacademy.org/ .