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Agenda Topics

A listing of many of the agenda topics featured at the Civics & History Summit can be found here. While the schedule is being finalized, we encourage you to view the details of the event happenings taking place under Home tab at the top of the page. This schedule is tentative and subject to change. More to come! 

Dignitaries Dinner

Target Audience: All Attendees

Enjoy a dinner featuring key historical figures.

Revitalizing Social Studies: Making History and Mapping the Future

Keynote Presentation by: Dr. Christian Pirlet

Target Audience: K-12 Teachers

Revitalizing Social Studies: Making History and Mapping the Future.

How Great Was Alexander the Great?

Presented by: Danya Clark

Target Audience: 6th, 9-12 Teachers    

Embark on an immersive journey with us as we delve into a specialized session dedicated to a unit plan exploring, "How great was Alexander the Great?" Uncover primary sources meticulously selected to shed light on the life and achievements of Alexander III of Macedon and the profound influence of Greek culture during his era. Through hands-on activities, participants will learn how students can leverage the wealth of information gathered within the unit to construct persuasive paragraphs using the RACE (Restate, Answer, Cite, Explain) strategy, ultimately grappling with the question of Alexander the Great's greatness.

Spiraling of the New South Dakota Social Studies Standards

Presented by: Jeff Davis

Individual Sessions for K-2, 3-5, 6-8 Teachers                    

Embark on a comprehensive exploration of content and skills across grade levels in the South Dakota Social Studies Standards (K-2, 3-5, 6-8). Join us for a deep dive into the progression of content and skills. By the end, you'll leave armed with a solid grasp of what your students should already know, what you'll introduce, and the exciting knowledge and skills you're setting them up for in the future. Participants will also receive a list of freely available, standards-aligned lesson plans and other resources for Social Studies content in your classroom.

Face to Face with Mount Rushmore           

Presented by: Jean L.S. Patrick     

Join us for an engaging and interactive session led by author Jean L.S. Patrick as she unveils the captivating story behind the creation of Mount Rushmore. Gain insights into the historical significance of this iconic national memorial and discover innovative ideas to inspire students in exploring its rich cultural and historical context. Jean will offer excerpt suggestions to meet content standards, as well as a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of her acclaimed books, including the award-winning "Who Carved the Mountain? The Story of Mount Rushmore." Don't miss this opportunity to delve into the fascinating world of Mount Rushmore with an expert storyteller and researcher.

Classroom Full of Stars: Theater Games in the Social Sciences          

Presented by: Dr. Art Marmorstein

Target Audience: K-5 Teachers       

"All the world’s a stage,” said Shakespeare, and it certainly is. The patterns of theater are the patterns of life, and one of the best ways of understanding history and civics is to think about social science themes in theatrical terms. The first thing a star needs is energy, and lots of it. Join this session to explore ways of getting this energy by "IONizing" a class.

Methods for Teaching the Relationship Between Abstract Concepts and American History

Presented by: Dr. Christian Pirlet

Target Audience: K-12 Teachers    

Get ready to take your teaching to the next level with this dynamic workshop! This session will dive deep into practical strategies that will revolutionize the way you teach history and politics. Ever struggled to make abstract concepts concrete for your students? Proven techniques will be model  such as Costa's Levels of Questioning and Crafting Allegories to make historical events not just understandable, but unforgettable. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and dive into hands-on activities. You'll leave with practical skills and ready-to-use resources that will breathe new life into your classroom.

Using Artificial Intelligence to Create Lesson Plans and Rubrics 2.0

Presented by: Dr. David DeJong

Target Audience: K-12 Teachers    

Dive into the realm of artificial intelligence in K-12 Social Studies lessons and assessments during this immersive session! Geared towards participants already acquainted with AI platforms, this workshop offers a platform for questions and collaboration. Engage with the instructor and fellow educators to enhance your curriculum and lessons through shared insights during the dedicated work time. Be sure to bring your curricular resources, as this session provides a hands-on opportunity to integrate AI seamlessly into your classroom lessons. Elevate your teaching experience by exploring the limitless possibilities AI can bring to K-12 Social Studies education!

Utilizing Graphs, Charts, & Maps to Teach History and Civics

Presented by: Sarah Burkett

Target Audience: 6-12 Teachers

Get ready to chart your course through a session that's all about decoding the world through maps, charts, and graphs! This dynamic exploration is where visual tools become students’ secret weapons for understanding complex information. Attendees will be equipped with the skills to empower students to interpret the visual language of data.

Ancient Israel

Presented by: Erika Lowery

Target Audience: 6-12 Teachers

Explore ancient Israelite society, diving into daily life, religion, and law. Prepare to delve deep into the fabric of their society, from the rituals of daily life to the intricacies of their religious practices and legal systems. As we peel back the layers, you'll gain a fresh perspective on how the Israelites navigated the ancient landscape, standing out amidst the backdrop of other civilizations of their time.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting Educational Resources for the Classroom

Presented by: Steven Rokusek

Target Audience: K-12 Teachers

Embark on an exciting journey as we dive into a treasure trove of engaging resources! Join us in unraveling the wonders of Dakota Pathways: A History, PBS LearningMedia, Native American Studies Resources, Homefront: South Dakota Stories, and a host of other dynamic SDPB resources. Discover how these captivating materials can breathe life into your classroom, providing an immersive experience that aligns seamlessly with the South Dakota Social Studies Standards.

Using Artificial Intelligence to Create Lesson Plans and Rubrics

Presented by: Dr. David DeJong

Target Audience: K-12 Teachers     

Explore the frontier of educational technology in this session dedicated to utilizing artificial intelligence for crafting lesson plans and assessment rubrics aligned with K-12 Social Studies Standards. Discover step-by-step instructions on leveraging AI technology to streamline the creation process and learn how to set up an account with a suggested AI platform. Equip yourself with the skills to independently develop personalized instructional materials, revolutionizing your teaching approach with the latest advancements in educational technology.

Explanation of Task Language in the New Standards

Presented by: Liz Evans

Individual Sessions for K-2, 3-5, 6-8 Teachers

Prepare to navigate an engaging session focused on decoding the world through maps, charts, and graphs! Join us for an immersive journey where these visual aids become indispensable tools for unlocking complex information. Gain the expertise to empower your students in deciphering the visual language of data, equipping them with essential skills for understanding and interpreting information effectively. Get ready to chart a course towards enhanced learning experiences where visuals serve as invaluable resources for exploration and discovery. 

Analyzing the Great Depression

Presented by: Sarah Burkett

Target Audience: 8th, 9-12 Teachers   

Gear up for a riveting expedition into the heart of the Great Depression. This session goes beyond the textbooks, immersing students in primary sources to uncover the complexities that plunged the world into one of its most challenging times. Attendees will leave with a variety of strategies to center students in history analysis.

National Symbols & Monuments  

Presented by: Dr. Christian Pirlet

Target Audience: K-12 Teachers     

Explore the fascinating realm of national symbols and monuments. This session is a must for all K-12 teachers seeking in-depth examples to analyze these historical and civic treasures. Discover how to infuse civic virtue and democratic republicanism into your daily lessons using captivating examples of national symbols and monuments. Elevate your teaching game and make history and civics truly come alive in your classroom!

Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

Presented by: Dr. Jon Schaff

Target Audience: 9-12 Teachers    

Prepare for a fascinating exploration of America's complex relationship with slavery! In this session, attendees will delve into how American policies evolved from the post-Revolutionary Era all the way to the Civil War, with a special focus on the remarkable approach of Abraham Lincoln. Participants will unravel the historical tapestry, starting with a glimpse into how slavery was addressed in the United States Constitution. From there, the journey will traverse key moments like the 1820 Compromise, the Mexican-American War, and the 1850 Compromise, exploring how these events shaped the nation's stance on slavery. Attendees will gain insights into his powerful arguments against slavery in the 1850s and discover the impactful actions taken as president to confront this divisive issue.

Lessons from the Library

Presented by: Jean Kirschman

Target Audience: 9-12 teachers

Explore how to enhance curriculum and provide students more voice in their reading journey! This presentation focuses on equipping educators with tools to facilitate literature circles and personalized reading lists, putting students in the driver's seat of their learning experience. We'll dive into a vast collection of book titles, sorted by topic, theme, time period, or geography.  Attendees will leave with practical ideas and ready-to-use resources that can be implemented right away. 

Presidential War Power: History and Theory

Presented by: Dr. Jon Schaff

Target Audience: 9-12 Teachers

Step into a riveting discussion of the history and theory behind the presidential war power! This session will dive deep into the parameters of the commander-in-chief power, explore historical examples showcasing presidential war authority, and examine congressional endeavors like the War Powers Resolution aimed at curbing this power. Attendees will uncover the constitutional commander-in-chief power's nuances, dissect its utilization in specific historical contexts, and unravel Congress's strategies to rein in presidential war authority. Prepare to gain a comprehensive understanding of this critical aspect of governance and its implications throughout history!

The Power of Poetry in Studying American History

Presented by: Dr. Christian Pirlet

Target Audience: K-12 Teachers

Examine the emotional engagement framework for weaving poetry into American history. In this session, we'll investigate the three facets of emotional engagement: Context, Interaction, and Connection, unlocking the power of poetry to breathe life into historical narratives. Learn how to harness the power of poetry to unlock the stories of the past and inspire the leaders of tomorrow.

Teaching Economics Through a US History Lens

Presented by: Dr. Christian Pirlet

Target Audience: K-12 Teachers

Explore the seamless integration of economic principles with the study of American history. Delve into the web of economic forces that have shaped the American narrative, encompassing themes such as the role of incentives, economic freedom, worker mobility, and wars in American history. Session participants will outline activities that provide students with a foundation for economic thinking.

Introduction to Political Thought of Thomas Jefferson

Presented by: Dr. Jon Schaff

Target Audience: 9-12 Teachers

Prepare to delve into the brilliant mind of Thomas Jefferson, the mastermind behind the Declaration of Independence, in this enlightening session.Covering key topics such as Jefferson's emphasis on liberty, his approach to religion, views on democratic citizenship, race and slavery, and his basic perspectives on the role of government, attendees can expect a fundamental exploration of Jefferson's political philosophy. Designed for those seeking a basic understanding, this session will present Jefferson's philosophy in broad strokes. We'll also examine specific primary documents, including the Declaration of Independence, sections from Notes on the State of Virginia, and Jefferson's correspondence. By the end, participants will have gained a foundational knowledge of Thomas Jefferson's political ideals, making this session an accessible starting point for further exploration.

Educator Kits with John Mollison

Presented by: John Mollison

Target Audience: 6-12 Teachers

Prepare for an exciting return with John Mollison as he introduces three captivating resources designed to actively involve students in the exploration of history:

"The Thoughtful Warrior": Immerse yourself in George McGovern's illustrious WWII service with rare excerpts from his personal diary. Explore his post-war career in South Dakota, nationally, and internationally through engaging vignettes. Get ready for an interactive exercise that puts you in the cockpit, navigating an aircraft over southern Europe in the early months of 1945.

"The Hunt for Buffalo": Journey into Native American culture and their profound connection with the buffalo. Discover their use, cultural adoption, and sustainable harvesting practices. Collaborating with the South Dakota Historical Society, South Dakota Discovery Center, and Native American thought leaders, this kit includes an interactive exercise showcasing how Native Americans utilized bison. Dive into vignettes on tribal language, buffalo over-hunting, and conservation efforts to sustain the population.

"South Dakota's 20th Century Hero": Uncover Joe Foss's monumental contributions to victory in the WWII Pacific Theatre and his subsequent role in launching the South Dakota Air National Guard. Delve into vignettes detailing his post-war career as Governor of South Dakota and a national business and thought leader. Experience history firsthand with excerpts from one of the last two video interviews with Foss before his passing in 2003. Cap it off with an exhilarating exercise involving cut-out and flying Joe’s F4F Wildcat and the Japanese A6M fighter aircraft. Don't miss this opportunity to bring history to life through these immersive and interactive resources!

And more!

Other topics to be announced soon.

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