All Events, Conferences & Workshops

As a service to members of the Massachusetts Council and the wider social studies community, third party events may be posted in this calendar. Third party events are not endorsed by the MCSS board.

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National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference @ Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Nov 30 – Dec 4 all-day

Sharpen your skills, gain new techniques, and further your professional goals at the 2016 NCSS Annual Conference.

  • Learn best practices and the latest research from experts and colleagues in social studies education
  • Receive classroom-ready lessons
  • Interact with nationally-known speakers and educators
  • Share teaching strategies and solutions with peers
  • Expand your professional network
  • Discover the latest teaching resources, products and services in the exhibit hall


Featured Speakers

Pre-Conference Clinics

Washington, DC offers an abundance of resources for the social studies classroom, and NCSS pre-conference clinics provide many options to take advantage of them through in-depth, hands-on sessions.


The Washington area is rich in history and culture, and there is no better way to appreciate that than on a custom tour. In addition to Washington’s famous landmarks, NCSS tours cover sites from Gettysburg, PA to Fredericksburg, VA, and a variety of subjects. Take advantage of these wonderful opportunities to explore the abundant resources and history of the mid-Atlantic region.

Special Events

Network with colleagues, visit famous Washington sites, and enhance your conference experience by attending these exciting special events, open to all NCSS conference attendees.

AP Workshops

College Board AP Workshops focus on providing both new and experienced AP teachers with in-depth explorations of specific AP course topics and offer instructional activities designed to increase student engagement with AP courses.

Community Scholar Speakers

NCSS Communities have invited prominent scholars to speak on issues related to their missions. Attend sessions of interest to learn about the discussion topics and NCSS Communities.


More than 800 presentations by the leading social studies researchers and practitioners with classroom-ready resources on the latest social studies issues and teaching methods

We the People Simulated Congressional Hearing State Competition @ Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
Jan 28 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

The culminating activity for the We the People: The Citizen & The Constitution program is a simulated congressional hearing in which students “testify” in front of a panel of judges acting as members of Congress. In addition to the simulated congressional hearings, some teachers, schools and districts choose to participate in the State and National Finals or the National Invitational. These additional learning opportunities can be exciting to many students and serve to further their understanding of the constitution and government.


During the simulated hearings, students have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles through their testimony in front of a panel of judges. The entire class, working in cooperative teams, prepares and presents statements before a panel of community representatives acting as a congressional committee. Students then answer follow-up questions posed by the committee members. They will have the opportunity to evaluate, take and defend their position on a variety of historical and contemporary issues. In addition to the hands on learning experience the hearings offer, they also serve as an effective way for teachers to evaluate their student’s grasp of the material.

Twenty-two Hundred Miles of Canada-U.S. Shared Water Collaborations & Issues @ virtual
Oct 26 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Twenty-two Hundred Miles of Canada-U.S. Shared Water Collaborations & Issues

Monday, October 26, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. [Register here]
Betsy Arntzen,
University of Maine – Canadian-American Center
60 minute workshop

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence system is North America’s largest waterway. How have two countries maintained collaboration over 84% of North America’s surface freshwater and the shared inland-sea transportation network? Handouts.

This session will unpack and explore the results of 8 states’, 2 provinces’, 2 nations’ legal, economic, and environmental agreements in their shared water boundaries and in matters of controlling 20% of the world’s available fresh surface water, and along the longest border shared by any two countries in the world.


Theme: Preparing Students to Hold “The Office of Citizen”
Audience: K-12, all subjects; Middle School geography.

Navigating Political Polarization in the United States @ virtual
Oct 26 @ 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

Navigating Political Polarization in the United States

Monday, October 26, 2020 at 4:!5 p.m. [Register here]
Dustin Tenreiro,
One hour webinar

Americans are increasingly divided over politics. The gap between the policies endorsed by the Republican and Democratic Parties is growing, as is animosity between people who identify with different parties. In this workshop, we will explore the questions: How is polarization influencing decision-making and civic life in the United States? and Can Americans still find common ground? Facing History and Ourselves will provide tools and resources you can use in your classroom that foster civil discourse and support a critical understanding of political polarization in the United States.

Audience: Middle & High School
Theme: Teaching the 2020 U.S. Elections

Exploring the Role of Religion in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Religious Literacy as a Means and Ends for Civic Competency @ virtual
Oct 27 @ 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

Exploring the Role of Religion in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Religious Literacy as a Means and Ends for Civic Competency

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at 4:15 p.m. [Register here]
Kate Soules,,  & David Rhodes,
Two-hour workshop

While there has been increasing attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion in public education, the impact of religion is often invisible or overlooked. Further, the study of religion is inextricably tied to many topics and themes in the social studies and history classroom, and religious diversity is deeply embedded in public life, individual and community identities, and current events. However, many teachers are apprehensive of any discussion of religion.  When teachers lack confidence in how to address religion in the classroom and curriculum, they often avoid the topic altogether for fear of overstepping boundaries or revealing their own lack of knowledge.  This has significant implications for students’ development of essential skills and knowledge which, in turn, impacts their civic engagement.

This workshop will introduce educators to the principles of religious liberty in public schools and key frameworks of religious literacy so that they can support students in the development of the knowledge and skills crucial for engaged citizenship in a religiously plural society.

Unpacking Religious Literacy for Educators

In these times of upheaval, it becomes increasingly important for teachers to understand the roles that religion plays in the lives of students and to develop their own religious literacy. We will examine what the concept of “religious literacy” means, particularly for educators. Once we break down religious literacy into manageable components, participants will explore various resources that can deepen their own knowledge and be adapted for use in the classroom. Ultimately, we will provide a roadmap for continued learning beyond the workshop. Participants will receive a tool to evaluate their own religious literacy and will be encouraged to arrange follow-up consultations with instructors to discuss strategies for ongoing learning and application in their particular contexts.

To Begin the World Over Again: a multi-pronged, scaffolded history curriculum for engaging and guiding students online @ virtual
Oct 28 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

To Begin the World Over Again: a multi-pronged, scaffolded history curriculum for engaging and guiding students online

Wednesday, October 28. 2020 at 3:00 p.m. [Register here]
William Jackson,, and Nate Noorlander,
One hour webinar

We are presenting an online history curriculum that is adaptable for individual learners, teacher preparation, or classroom use. Our first course covers early U.S. history, from the pre-Columbian Americas to the ratification of the Constitution. Our courses include

  • unit plans
  • daily guided notes with answer keys, adaptable for individual or group work, as well learners at different levels
  • daily reading quizzes with explanations for right and wrong answers
  • on-location mini-lectures filmed around the world
  • printable flashcards
  • vocabulary-building and content retention exercises
  • guided document-based lessons with answer keys
  • a structured rollout and guided instruction in all the steps of the research-paper writing process, including database research and citation methods
  • the text of the full course as a downloadable audiobook
  • and common-core alignment.

Our webinar will promote the content and methods of this course.

Theme: Preparing Students to Hold “The Office of Citizen”
Audience: Middle and high school students, the humanities

EarthView: World Beyond Borders @ virtual
Nov 2 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

EarthView: World Beyond Borders

November 2, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. [Register here]
2 hour webinar and virtual field trip

Dr. James Hayes-Bohanan & Dr.  Vernon Domingo
Bridgewater State University Department of Geography
Featuring Kevin Bean & Moderator Andrea Weng

This workshop begins with a virtual field trip to EarthView, a 20-foot, inflatable globe that serves as a portable classroom for social studies, geography, earth science and more — any discipline that benefits from a global or regional perspective. The field trip will include presentations made both outside the globe and inside (drones may be involved) and on some of the continental and Massachusetts floor maps that comprise the EarthMap portion of the program.

Following the field trip, we will reflect on what we have learned from the twelve years we have spent (so far) using these large-scale maps with well over 100,000 students, educators, and the general public. Finally, we will share resources for exploring patterns and connections — human, physical and environmental — at a global scale using resources available for remote learning on flat screens. The workshop will model the use of maps to learn about the spatial dimensions of such topics as water scarcity, climate change, wildfire, migration, and both the causes and consequences of Coronavirus spread.

EarthView site, including program information, reservations, and fees:

Vernon Domingo is Professor Emeritus of Geography and James Hayes-Bohanan is Professor of Geography, both at Bridgewater State University in southeastern Massachusetts. Vernon’s main areas of teaching and research have been political geography, the geography of Africa, and the geography of access to water. James has specialized in environmental geography, the geography of Latin America, and the geographies of coffee.

Both Vernon and James have long been active in the preparation of future teachers, the continuing education of in-service teachers, and advocacy for geography education. Since 2008, they have been more directly involved in K-12 education as co-coordinators of Project EarthView, bringing them into contact with thousands of students and scores of teachers each year. The two giant globes and seven National Geographic floor maps have been used by almost 120,000 geography learners to date, from infancy to infinity.


Teach the History and Struggle for Voting Rights @ virtual
Nov 4 @ 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

Teach the History and Struggle for Voting Rights

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 4:15 p.m. [Register here]
Carolyn Jacobs and Sue Wilkins, GBH and PBS Learning Media
One hour webinar

Introduce students to the history of voting in America and the key figures who have fought for access to the ballot box for all using powerful media from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and FRONTLINE.  We’ll share resources available free on PBS LearningMedia and explore ways to effectively integrate them into your instruction. The presenters are Sue Wilkins, GBH Director of Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction and Karen Pleasant, teacher, Stoneleigh-Burnam School, Greenfield, MA.

Theme: Under-represented voices in American history
Audience: Middle and high school students, all subjects

Preparing Citizens For A World of Migration @ virtual
Nov 5 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Preparing Citizens For A World of Migration

Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. [Register here]
60-minute webinar

Adam Strom,

We live in an era of mass migration. In the United States, 26% of school-aged youth are either immigrants or the children of immigrants. They form just a slice of the one billion people on the move around the world. It is in this context that young people – whether they are part of an arriving or receiving culture – strive to form their identities as learners, community members, and change-makers. While history education has the potential to help young people put today’s experiences in context, myths and misinformation about the past get in the way of a deeper understanding of the experience of migration on individuals, communities, and nations. At the same time, academically rigorous exploration of the past can provide perspective and insight into today’s choices, dilemmas, and experiences of migration.

In this interactive session designed for in-service middle and high school teachers, educators from Re-Imagining Migration will introduce a culturally relevant framework, resources, and strategies for teaching about migration in ways that promote student’s understanding of citizenship in an age of migration as well as their social, emotional, academic, and civic growth. Using primary sources and historical case studies, participants will critically engage text and participate in small and large group discussion while considering fundamental questions about the  human experience such as: What does citizenship mean in an age of migration? Why do people leave their homes and what happens to our identities while crossing borders? What factors influence how communities respond to migration? What are the ways that communities receive and integrate newcomers? What can we do to build more inclusive and sustainable societies?

At a time when more and more families are either on the move, across national borders, or connected to family members who are migrants, traditional understanding of citizenship is being challenged by patterns of migration as well as those who would seek to restrict membership. In greater Boston, over 50% of the population are immigrants or their descendants. However, some politicians argue that birthright citizenship, and the constitutionally guaranteed rights that are associated with it, should not be granted automatically.

To prepare young people, immigrant-origin youth, or their peers, we need to help them understand both histories and patterns of migration to inform their understanding of and perspectives regarding one of the most important civic issues of our time.

Featured Resources:

Teach “McCarthyism” and its Current Relevance @ virtual
Nov 18 @ 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

Teach “McCarthyism” and its Current Relevance

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 4:15 p.m. [Register here]
Carolyn Jacobs and Sue Wilkins, GBH and PBS Learning Media
One hour webinar

Teach students about the strengths and limits of democratic institutions, including a “free press” using digital resources drawn from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE | McCarthy: Power Feeds on Fear. We’ll explore the resources available free on PBS LearningMedia and share ways to effectively use them in your instruction.  Presenters will be Sue Wilkins, WGBH Director, Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction and a social studies educator.

Theme: Preparing students to hold “The Office of Citizen”
Audience: Middle and high school students, all subjects

2020 NCSS Virtual Conference @ virtual
Dec 4 – Dec 6 all-day

2021 marks 100 years of NCSS service to social studies teachers, administrators, and professionals.

To celebrate this moment in the history of social studies education, NCSS is planning a year-long experience of signature events, starting with our first-ever NCSS Virtual Conference: Advancing Social Justice from December 4-6, 2020. With our partners, the American Bar Association’s Division for Public Education and the National Council for Geographic Education, the Virtual Conference will provide innovative learning online for your professional growth.

Registration Rates


  • Regular Registration $175
  • Student Registration $80
  • Retired Registration $95

  • Regular Registration $265
  • Student Registration $150

Non-members can join at the time of registration and receive the member rate.

Additional registration fees are required for the Associated Group meetings micro-sites: CUFA $30. NSSSA $25. IA $35.

A limited number of scholarships are available for first-time attendees.