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Objectives

WEEK-LONG TEACHER INSTITUTES

Elementary School Program (for educators in grades 3–6):
Becoming Americans (1607–1781)

Elementary school sessions focus on the colonial and the early national period, exploring content from 1606 through the end of the Revolutionary War. During the session, teachers will:

  • Identify and analyze significant seventeenth- and eighteenth-century economic, political, and social events that led to American independence from Great Britain.
  • Chart the evolution of citizenship from being British subjects to becoming American citizens from colonization to the present day.
  • Explain how Native American, European, and African interactions shaped and defined the American character.
  • Examine the experiences of various social levels, such as gentry, middling, free blacks, lesser sort, enslaved, and special populations, such as women and Native Americans, in 18th-century Virginia.
  • Integrate primary sources, secondary sources, and technological resources in classroom instruction focused on early American history and citizenship.
  • Create opportunities for continued professional development in social studies education with fellow teachers and Colonial Williamsburg educators.

Secondary School Program (for educators in grades 7–12):
Emerging American Identity (1765–1865)

Secondary school sessions focus on the emerging American identity from 1765 to 1865. During the session, teachers will:

  • Identify and analyze four pairs of seemingly contradictory American values that, while in tension, influence the course of American history.
  • Chart the evolution of citizenship and American identity from the American Revolution through the U.S. Civil War and make connections to present-day America.
  • Evaluate the way historical events from 1765 to 1865 have impacted American identity.
  • Apply instructional strategies that encourage civil discourse from multiple perspectives using primary and secondary sources.
  • Create opportunities for continued professional development in social studies education with fellow teachers and Colonial Williamsburg educators.

American History and Content Literacy (for educators in NYC Public Schools):
American History and Content Literacy (1607–1781)

The  Institute in American History and Content Literacy will focus on the colonial period, exploring content from 1750 until the end of the Revolutionary War. During the session, teachers will:

  • Investigate the daily lifestyles of various social levels in eighteenth-century America, including the gentry, middling sort, tradespeople, merchants, soldiers, women, and slaves.
  • Explore European and African interactions including folklore, ideas, and other cultural contributions that helped to shape and defined the American character.
  • Interpret primary sources to explore daily life in colonial Virginia including social/cultural, political, economic, scientific/technological, or religious.
  • Identify and analyze significant eighteenth-century economic, political, and social events that led to American independence from Great Britain.
  • Learn and review how to develop students' abilities to use higher level critical thinking skills through the use of primary sources and technological resources.
  • Practice and draft lessons focused on nonfiction reading and writing skills, note-taking, writing to learn, writing to teach others, and for public speaking and debate.
  • Draft, revise, edit, and publish demonstration texts aimed at supporting students’ informational writing skills.

3-DAY SEMINARS

Straight from the Sources: Women in Eighteenth-Century Virginia (for educators in Grades 3–8):

Women in Eighteenth-Century Virginia seminars explore the lives, roles, and perspectives of eighteenth-century women. Participants will pursue a deeper understanding of women’s contributions and constraints during the time leading up to the American Revolution. During the seminar, teachers will:

  • Analyze and integrate primary sources, secondary sources, and technological resources focused on women’s lives during the eighteenth century.
  • Define traditional opportunities, responsibilities, and roles for women in public and private spheres.
  • Compare and contrast women’s roles in various levels of eighteenth-century society.
  • Create opportunities for continued professional development in social studies education with fellow teachers and Colonial Williamsburg educators.

Apprenticeships, STEM, and Colonial Daily Life (for educators in Grades 3–8):

This seminar explores the interdisciplinary links between colonial history and STEM in trades, specifically applied sciences and engineering. Through a hands-on, Project Based Learning (PBL) approach, participants engage with trade experts, investigate applied science principles such as the use of simple machines, chemical reactions, engineering, and combine these experiences into dynamic classroom lesson plans that incorporate primary sources and PBL. During the seminar, teachers will:

  • Identify scientific processes and theories that were necessary for tradespeople to create tools and equipment for daily life.
  • Investigate the importance of the scientific method in the workplace for tradespeople.
  • Create interdisciplinary lesson plans that use trades as a lens to demonstrate STEM principles and consult tradespeople to gather primary source information to share with their students.

African Americans in Eighteenth-Century Virginia (for educators in Grades 3–8):

This seminar explores the lives, roles, and perspectives of enslaved and free black Virginians in the eighteenth century. Participants will pursue a deeper understanding of the diversity of the experiences of enslaved and free black people during the colonial period and the American Revolution. During the seminar, teachers will:

  • Integrate primary sources, secondary sources, and technological resources focused on the lives of enslaved and free black workers during the eighteenth century.
  • Contextualize slavery in the European North American colonies temporally, geographically, and economically.
  • Compare and contrast the experiences of enslaved and free black people in rural and urban settings and engaged in different types of life and work.
  • Create opportunities for continued professional development in social studies education with fellow teachers and Colonial Williamsburg educators.


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