School Day Seminars

Introduction: American Encounters: US History in Global Context
Date: Thursday October 27, 2011, 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Location: Reading Memorial High School, Distance Learning Lab Room 413

“America as a nation is not self-contained. It is connected with and partially shaped by the world beyond it.” This session will introduce a rationale and practice for a new way of considering United States history by integrating it into a transnational and global framework. Emphasis will be placed on reframing several specific topics in U.S. history in global context. Also featured is work with the Common Core Framework for Literacy in History/Social Studies including strategies and resources for linking the Common Core with historical inquiry and performance based writing assessments.



“Submitted to a Candid World:” The Declaration of Independence in Global Context
Date: Tuesday November 15, 2011, 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Location: Reading Memorial High School, Distance Learning Lab Room 413

The Declaration of Independence of 1776 announced the entry of the United States onto the world stage. This session will view the American Declaration from a global perspective: placing 1776 into the context of contemporary international and global connections, examining the legacy of the Declaration in the century after 1776, and analyzing other declarations of independence since 1776 for their debts to—and divergences from—the American model. The latter portion of this seminar will model work with literacy strategies to support student skills in reading history in a variety of forms of textual and visual sources.


American Art and History in an International Context at the Art of the Americas Wing, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Date: Tuesday December 13, 2011, 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (includes travel time)
Location: Museum of Fine Arts Boston (bus transportation provided from Reading Memorial High School)

Explore the Art of the Americas wing at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world. With a broad content emphasis designed for both U.S. history I and II teachers, we will consider art and artifacts from the Revolutionary War era to the mid-twentieth century, taking into account how historical events and international connections contributed to the construction of an American identity. This session includes a scholarly presentation, gallery tours and activities, modeling of classroom strategies that integrate the use of art and literacy, and an overview of the MFA’s Educator’s Online program.



A Church State Establishment by Another Name? Antebellum American Religion and Reform in an International Context
Date: Tuesday January 10, 2012, 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Location: Reading Memorial High School, Distance Learning Lab Room 413


This session will look at the connections between religion and reform in the decades prior to the Civil War. In considering global context and exchange in American religious developments, we will examine how movements for social reform encouraged men and women from across the globe to turn their faith into political action. The latter part of the session will feature work with the DBQ Project, an organization committed to the use of rigorous writing and thinking activities with students of all skill levels. In two concurrent sessions we will model work with “How free were free blacks in the North?,” a DBQ with international connections. In an introduction to the DBQ process, some participants will go through all the steps of teaching a DBQ by doing one as a group, while teachers already familiar with the DBQ model will concentrate on ideas for sustainability of the DBQ project across their departments while also working with strategies to create original DBQs for the classroom.


Transnational Migration since the Late-Nineteenth Century
Date: Friday February 10, 2012, 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Location: Reading Memorial High School, Distance Learning Lab Room 413

This session will emphasize recent historical scholarship on the position the United States occupied in the broader trends of international migration. Paying special attention to global contexts and the phenomenon of return migration, we will explore the highpoint of Western migration before and after the turn of the twentieth century. Comparisons will be made across regions and to the post-1965 resurgence of immigration and related misunderstandings and mythmaking about the earlier period. The latter part of our session will showcase work with a variety of student centered discussion and instructional protocols to emphasize strategies that foster student literacy and critical thinking skills.



Presenting History: Using Weebly to Create Student and Teacher Websites
Date: (Note: Offered Twice) Session A: Thursday March 1, 2012 (to be rescheduled), 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; Session B: Friday March 2, 2012, 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Location: Reading Memorial High School, Library Media Center Computer Lab

This hands-on session will introduce teachers to Weebly, an online resource for the creation of teacher and student websites. Weebly enables students and teachers to express themselves using a variety of multimedia features. The program is simple to use with a drag and drop website editor that allows users to add text, pictures, videos, music and audio, maps, and photo galleries to their sites. Examples and tips for effective implementation will be discussed and shared. Weebly is free, useful for both Macs and PCs, and is accessible over the Internet without the need for installation.



“The Wilsonian Moment:” Woodrow Wilson’s Post-World War I Diplomacy on the World Stage
Date: Tuesday March 27, 2012
Location: Reading Memorial High School, Distance Learning Lab Room 413
In his Fourteen Points, President Woodrow Wilson called for "a free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims.” During the spring of 1919, Wilson's words would help ignite political upheavals in countries across the developing world. This session will examine the importance of the Paris Peace Conference and Wilson’s influence on international affairs far from the battlefields of Europe. The latter part of this session will focus on the use of formal seminar discussions in the history classroom. With an emphasis on developing skills in literacy and critical and creative thinking, seminars prepare students for life in college and the work place by developing speaking, listening and problem solving ability. With a seminar approach, students develop more respect for other people’s values, experience, and opinions through lively interaction in discussion.


"Bringing the Foundation of Freedom:" U.S. Political Culture and Foreign Policy during the Cold War, 1945 - 1963
Date: Monday April 30, 2012, 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (includes travel time from Reading)
Location: John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Boston

This session will open with a consideration of the multitude of ways in which the “struggle for the world” played out during the early-mid Cold War from 1945 – 1963. Connecting domestic political culture with U.S. Cold War foreign policy, we will examine how the United States military and other state and domestic programs worked to project an image of the United States to a global audience. We will also explore the sense of a U.S. responsibility to bring American ideals, products, culture, values, and democracy to the world. While at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum we will work in the museum galleries and with primary source documents to explore the main developments in American politics and society during the years of the Kennedy administration, with emphasis on foreign policy and international connections including confrontations between the USA and the USSR over Berlin, the Peace Corps, the space race, and the civil rights movement. President Kennedy’s Inaugural Address will be our guiding focus as we consider its global audience and how the Kennedy administration’s domestic and foreign policies relate to that seminal document.


History Book Discussion Study Group

Session 1: Friends of Liberty, Thomas Jefferson, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, and Agrippa Hull: A Tale of Three Patriots, Two Revolutions, and a Tragic Betrayal of Freedom in the New Nation by Gary B. Nash and Graham Russell Gao Hodges
12/5, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Reading Memorial High School, Library Media Center
12/7, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Lowell High School

Session 2: Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S.C. Gwynne
1/9, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Reading Memorial High School, Library Media Center
1/4, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Lowell High School

Session 3: Death in the Haymarket: A Story of Chicago, the First Labor Movement and the Bombing that Divided Gilded Age America by James Green
2/6, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Reading Memorial High School, Library Media Center
2/1, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Lowell High School

Session 4: Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War by Penny M. Von Eschen
3/5, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Reading Memorial High School, Library Media Center
3/7, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Lowell High School

Session 5: Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
4/2, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Reading Memorial High School, Library Media Center
4/4, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Lowell High School



Primary Source Summer Institute

Online Orientation and Five Day Summer Institute: The U.S. and the World: Expressions of Power, Past and Present
Date: July 9-13, 2012, Online Orientation TBA
Location: Reading Memorial High School, Distance Learning Lab Room 413 and Field Trip TBD



Follow Up Curriculum Sharing Day

Date: Fall TBA, 2012

Location: Reading Memorial High School, Distance Learning Lab Room 413