2018 Teacher Institute.jpg

Lectures, Workshops, and Tours

You are here

National Teacher Institute: July 12-15, 2018

More tours, lectures, and workshops will be announced soon! 
Topics are subject to change


Civil War Photo Extravaganza-with Garry Adelman 

Full description coming soon. 


Inventing America: The Constitutional Convention of 1787-David O. Stewart 

The Constitutional Convention of 1787 was a desperate balancing act, performed under the looming shadow of a new nation that seemed to be falling apart. The people should have power, but could they be trusted? Would a strong central government leave room for the states? Why did they contrive the convoluted electoral college for electing the president? And what of the grinding compromises over slavery, America’s original sin? The leading figures including icons like George Washington and Ben Franklin and James Madison.  Just as important were long-forgotten figures like John Rutledge, Gouverneur Morris, and James Wilson.  Closeted together in a single room through a sultry Philadelphia summer, the delegates hammered out a government charter that embodied the best of America’s dreams, and the worst of America’s realities. 


“It’s not what or how much we teach, but how we teach it that matters”: Confronting the Legacy of History Instruction-Bruce A. Lesh

We are often told that student knowledge of history is in decline. Is this true? Is there a different narrative that should be promoted and different lesson for teachers to take from 100 years of educational data and research? 


The American Way of War: An Introduction-Kristopher D. White 

Full description coming soon.


Keynote Speaker Dr. Carol Reardon 

Lecture title and description coming soon. 




"At the Hop" to "Love Train": The Philadelphia Sound & Philly Soul 

Rock'n'Roll is a purely American genre of music that has its roots in the post Civil War and Reconstruction eras. Tap your foot along and bring those air guitars with you as we trace the evolution of this genre from America's historical turning point through it's musical one. This presentation will include handouts, listening examples, video clips, and lesson plans ready to implement in your classroom!


Camp William Penn: Philadelphia's Training Ground for the United States Colored Troops 

Full workshop description coming soon. 


Educational Adventures and Battlefield Preservation/Fundraising

Adventure number will take you and your students on an interactive musical tour of several of the songs that were sung / played during the American Revolution. Analyzing the songs will let you and your students begin to see how historic events can be expressed through music of that time and today. Adventure number two will take you and your students to the Gettysburg National Military Park. This Scavenger Hunt will guide all of you through the “Gallery” portion of the new visitor center. During this adventure, they will learn about the impact of the American Civil War on the society of 1861-1865 and the present. During our final adventure, we will discuss how Southampton Middle School (Bel Air, MD) and many other schools / teachers have raised money to help preserve America’s Civil War Battlefields. Looking forward to having you come along on our Educational Adventure at the 2018 Civil War Trust Teacher’s Institute.


Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Rx

 This program will examine the comprehensive health-care program of Chamberlain. His long life and medical history provides an overview of 19th century medical care, its successes, vagaries, and in Chamberlain’s case, its miracles. Chamberlain survived smallpox, heat stroke, malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis. After Gettysburg he was diagnosed with “neurasthenia” a Civil War illness syndrome akin to modern post-traumatic stress disorder. His horse was shot from under him five times (Charlemagne twice) and six times he was hit with rebel lead causing his obituary to be sent to the New York papers twice. The most devastating injury was the pelvic wound he suffered at Rive’s Salient outside of Petersburg. The complications from that wound would plague him horribly for almost 50 years and result in the cause of death listed on his death certificate at the age of 85 in 1914.


Life of a Civil War Soldier: Utilizing Living History in the Classroom.

Full workshop description coming soon.


Making it Real: Using Local Resources to Enhance the Classroom Experience

Teaching Civil War history can be so much more exciting than memorizing dates, battles and names. Site such as the Andrew Carnegie Free Library has turned its unique Grand Army of the Republic Post room into an online teaching tool. Learn how you can engage students through their local history sites. 


“O’er the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave?” Understanding the Story of the Star-Spangled Banner

As the United States’ national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner is a song recognized the world over. However, its origins in the War of 1812 and its meaning are often far less familiar.  The two icons which emerged after the Battle of Baltimore in 1814—the flag and the song inspired by the defenders of Fort McHenry—helped to forge a new American identity.

Help students to learn the story behind the song from the perspective of those defenders who inspired it. Drawing on the writings of those who experienced the Chesapeake Campaign during the War of 1812, students can begin to understand the causes and significance of the war. By understanding the personal stories of those who fought in the Battle of Baltimore and historical context of the song, students can begin to think critically about the meaning of The Star-Spangled Banner.    


Teaching the Republican Era

This workshop will incorporate how to use David Stewart’s book, The Summer of 1787, in your classroom. There will also be a discussion of including Madison’s Federalist 10 and 51 in your teaching as well as exploring  strategies as to how to teach about the early Republican Era, using clips from the History Channel film, Founding Brothers. Tips for journaling exercises will be discussed as to how to get students to focus on pertinent topics related to readings.


The Creation of our National Cemeteries

Full workshop description coming soon.


Teaching Through Turning Points

The average person assumes that the Battle of Gettysburg is THE turning point of the Civil War. They assume, too, that Saratoga was THE turning point of the Revolutionary War. The truth is, there were many turning points in the American Civil War and Revolutionary War, both on and off the battlefield. Learn about about these turning points and how you can utilize them in your classroom. It doesn't matter if you have two days or two weeks to teach the subject, turning points can be guideposts on your road through history. 


War on the Chesapeake: The Chesapeake Campaign of 1814

Full workshop description coming soon.


“When Johnny Came Marching Home”

Follow the story of a young college student who enlisted in the rush of enthusiasm during the heady early days of the Civil War.  Feel the despair when his martial dreams were shattered after a cannon ball destroyed his leg a few days after his enlistment.  Rise with him as strength generated by the human spirit drove him to not accept his fate, but rather to rise above his condition.

Follow the stories of young servicemen today who signed on the dotted line “payable up to and including the ultimate sacrifice.”  See them rise beyond horrific injuries to stand proud as symbols of strength and perseverance in America today.  The spirit of Valley Forge is alive in America today.

Teachers should be able to leave this presentation with ideas for contacting veterans and bringing them into the classroom.  A healthy dose of inspiration and some appreciation for the human spirit is also included. 


Whose Liberty? African Americans in the American Revolution: Hands-On Workshop

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…but for whom? As American colonists protested what they perceived as unequal treatment from the British – and sometimes referred to as slavery – they held hundreds of thousands of people of African descent in lifelong servitude. For these legally enslaved men, women, and children, the turbulent 1760s – 1780s provided moments of both opportunity and frustration. In this workshop, learn how the Museum of the American Revolution uses objects and documents to encourage students to dig into stories of liberty and slavery during the Revolution, and how you can translate this into your own classroom.


Women's Roles in the American Revolution 

Full workshop description coming soon.


Saturday Tours

Civil War Tour:

Go behind the scenes and get your hands on some of the best artifacts in the collection of the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA. This hands-on-tour will help you to introduce museums, artifacts and more, to your classroom. Then, that afternoon, visit the sites associated with the northern most push of the Gettysburg Campaign, as you tour the Civil War Harrisburg-area.


Revolutionary War Tour:

Travel to "Old City" Philadelphia, where we will explore our nations founding. This tour will include hands on workshops and tours of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the new Museum of the American Revolution.


More tours, lectures, and workshops will be announced soon!