December 2019 Print

Announcements and News

2019 Newsletter

News and Announcements

MCSS 2019 Conference
Your participation made our conference a success!

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the Maine Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference on November 4th at the Augusta Civic Center. It was really a tremendous conference made more so by all of you! Our keynote speaker, author Kenneth C. Davis spoke about his research on the Spanish Flu of 1918 and also about his upcoming book on dictators and the dangers to democracy.
We were so privileged to have so many great educators able to present sessions on such a wide variety of subjects. I was truly amazed at the number of door prizes we had available, some of which were provided by our wonderful vendors. I hope you found the experience to be as beneficial as I did. Thank you for attending and save the date now- #Mecocon20 is tentatively planned for November 9, 2020. -
Shane Gower, MCSS Board President
The conference was also an opportunity to recognize several outstanding Maine teachers.  MCSS presented Glen Nerbak Award Excellence in Teaching Social Studies Awards to:
  • Elementary teacher Susan Adolf from the Naragansett School
  • Middle School teacher Jenny Hudner from Lewiston Middle School
  • High School teacher Kelley Duffy from Lincoln Academy.

The Glenn Nerbak Award for Excellence in Teaching Social Studies Awards is given annually Maine teachers who exemplify a passion and commitment to social studies and student learning.

Shana Goodall was also recognized at the Gilder Lehrman Maine History Teacher of the Year!

Congrats to all the awardees and and keep up the good work!!!
Kenneth C. Davis Updates
Maine Council for the Social Studies Conference keynote speaker, author and historian Kenneth C. Davis, has asked that we share an opportunity with you.  

He says he would be happy to hear from you if you would like to receive news about forthcoming books like Strongman, Skype opportunities, or other events. Please contact his wife, Joann Davis (
[email protected]) and you can write to her with “KennethCDavis”in the subject line. They will keep a list of interested teachers for this purpose only.

Readfield, Maine—Maranacook Community High School teacher Shane Gower researched the life and service of Corporal Millard W. Corson as part of Memorializing the Fallen — a teacher professional development program from National History Day®. In honor of Veterans Day, Mr. Gower’s eulogy and profile of Corporal Millard W. Corson will be published at In addition, a lesson plan inspired by the Silent Hero, The Ethics of Shell Shock Treatment: A Socratic Seminar in History and Psychology, is on the World War I page of National History Day’s website and will be featured in the upcoming publication, Great War, Flawed Peace, and the Lasting Legacy of World War I.

Sponsored by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, the Memorializing the Fallen program takes educators on the journey of a lifetime to rediscover the history of World War I and invigorate its teaching in America’s classrooms. By researching the story of a Silent Hero®, an American service member who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War I, program participants can be the voice of these Americans who died a century ago.

In July 2018, Gower joined nine other extraordinary educators as they traveled through Europe, walking in the footsteps of history. Using their research, teachers created lesson plans, Silent Hero profiles, and eulogies now published on

Designed to reinvigorate the study of World War I in American classrooms, the lesson plans are multi-disciplinary. Using primary and secondary sources, videos, and hands-on activities, students are transported into the past to examine the war and its legacies, which transformed the history of twentieth century.

 “This partnership with the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library has allowed us to take extraordinary educators to battlefields and memorials of Europe,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Their unique experiences will now help teachers bring history to life with the materials they produced for use in classrooms around the world.” 

Each lesson plan is based on solid scholarship, integrated with Common Core Standards, and makes use of interpretive materials. They are accompanied by research about Silent Heroes of World War I who are honored at cemeteries in Europe.

About National History Day®:
NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park, Maryland, which seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students every year in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by, HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Crown Family Foundation, The Better Angels Society, and the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation. For more information, visit

About National History Day in Maine: 
NHD in ME is based in Skowhegan and affiliated with the University of Maine and the Margaret Chase Smith Foundation. This year’s regional contests will be in Lewiston (March 6) and Bangor (March 28). The state contest will be at the University of Maine on (May 2). For more information visit or contact State Coordinator John Taylor at [email protected] or 207-474-7133.

About the United States World War One Centennial Commission:
The World War I Centennial Commission was created by Congress in 2013 to
provide educational programs, public outreach, and commemorative events,
regarding America’s involvement in World War I. The Commission is building the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. Information on the Commission can be found at

About the Pritzker Military Museum & Library:
Founded in 2003, the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, located in downtown Chicago, is a nonprofit center where citizens and soldiers come together to learn about military history and affairs. The Museum & Library feature an extensive collection of books, programs, artifacts, and rotating exhibits covering many eras and branches of the military. Programs include a lending library, the archives, recorded TV shows, podcasts and oral histories, and museum exhibits. To learn more about the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, visit or @PritzkerMilitaryLibrary on Facebook.
D-Day 2044 is a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to engage high school and middle school students across America so that we do not forget the people who saved the World on June 6, 1944 when the Allies invaded Europe on “D-Day”.

They provide the following support to teachers:
  • Engaging lesson plans focused on the world wars tailored to meet academic standards in in grades 7-12 drawn in large part from the educational website of the American Battle Monuments Commission (
  • $300 grants to each participating teacher to support the creation and dissemination of class related materials.
  • No financial commitment is required from participating schools or teachers.They simply ask you to integrate a lesson plan into your teaching of the world wars and to participate in a subsequent teacher evaluation.
  • They provide additional financial and technical support for related community engagement programs and student clubs aligned with the goals of D-Day 2044 that extend the “teachable moment” beyond the walls of the classroom.

Here in Maine we are looking to create a cohort of teachers interested in participating in this program. If you are interested, please send an email of interest to: Charles Birmingham, Chairman and CEO, at [email protected] and indicate that you are a teacher in Maine. Please do so by November 30. You can also email MCSS at [email protected] with questions!
Looking for teaching resources for the Maine Bicentennial? Look no further! This website, hosted on Maine Memory Network (a project of Maine Historical Society), offers support and opportunites for Maine's PK-adult educators in sharing ideas and best practices for creating engaging and effective lessons to commemorate Maine's Bicentennial.

Why Bicentennial Education
The bicentennial of Maine statehood offers us an opportunity to reflect, commemorate, learn, and ponder. While the bicentennial serves as an important bookmark in state history, it is not a celebration for all. The region of the continent that includes Maine and the Canadian Maritimes has been home to the Wabanaki peoples for thousands of years, and today we learn from and honor the heritage, resilience, and contributions of the members of the Penobscot Nation, the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik and at Motahkokmikuk, the Houlton Band of Maliseets, and the Aroostook Band of Micmacs. Looking back at the past 200 years of statehood and more than 12,000 years of human livelihood in what we now know as Maine can give us a unique perspective on Maine's environment and economy, politics and notable figures from Maine's many communities.

Maine history doesn't just reflect Maine's past. It helps us better understand Maine today, and illustrates how the state's diverse people and communities contribute to Maine's identity, well-being, and vitality.

For Classroom Teachers and From Classroom Teachers
The lesson plans and tools provide teachers and students with diverse subject matters for each Social Studies strand, and promote critical thinking as students interact with primary documents, oral histories, and the treaties, choices, industries, and influential people who populate Maine's storied past.

If you are a teacher who would like to submit a lesson plan relating to the bicentennial, a submission form will be available soon! Public or private school educators for grades Pre-K to 12, Career and Technical Educators, Adult Education Instructors, and Post Secondary Instructors in Maine are encouraged to participate.

For more information on teaching the Maine Bicentennial in your classroom with these resources, please contact Maine Historical Society Bicentennial Fellow Brittany Cook at [email protected].
How Should Life Be?
Maine at 200
Maine’s bicentennial year is an invitation to take stock, to look back with new eyes at what’s already happened, to look around with renewed care at what’s happening now, and to grapple with big questions.

Maine Humanities Council listened to communities around the state and chose four interrelated themes for engagement with the bicentennial: Many Maines, Migration & BordersRace & EthnicityWabanaki Voices. Throughout 2020 and beyond, MHC aims to be a resource for a wide range of rich discussions in partnership with people and organizations all over Maine.

Opportunities and Resources for Teachers and Students
Maine State Museum, educational programming, ongoing - The Maine State Museum offers over 20 different educational programs and tours about Maine’s natural environment, prehistory, industry and agriculture, and social history. Take a look at our website (or 207-287-2301) easy online reservations and detailed descriptions of all our educator-led gallery programs and tours. Don’t forget we can also help you schedule Maine State House Tours and Blaine House Tours. Museum admission and all of our tours and gallery programs are free for schools!  Women’s Long Road – 100 Years to the Vote a new exhibit exploring the 100th anniversary of women’s right in Maine and the nation now at the Maine State Museum !

Maine Humanities Council programming, ongoing - Did you know the Maine Humanities Council has lots of programming around the entire state of Maine? Check out all the offerings online!
Giant Traveling Map of Maine, Maine Geographic Alliance, ongoing - The National Geographic Education Foundation has given each member of the Alliance network, two ‘giant’ maps. The Maine map is 17 ft by 20 ft and includes major cities, Native lands, and topographic features such as rivers, lakes and elevation.  he trunk that houses the map also includes teacher materials for grades 2-5.   There are supporting materials including an activity book with standards’ based lessons, lanyards, plastic cups and cones, plastic chains, Maine Ag in the classroom resources, state and national flags, the Maine classroom Atlas and more.  Schools may use the map and materials at no cost. This is a floor map and students may walk on it with socks on. No shoes or writing materials are to be used on the map.
If you are interested in scheduling one of the maps for your school, please contact Susan Lahti at [email protected].  Put GTMMaine in the subject line.    

Maine Historical Society educational programming, ongoing -  Maine Historical Society offers a variety of programs and resources designed to help teachers and students explore Maine history. These include programs at our one-acre campus in Portland and in schools across the state, professional development opportunities for teachers, outreach programs, partnerships with schools around Maine, and resources on the web.  All programs draw on MHS's extensive historical collections and the knowledge of our professional staff. All our programs can be adapted to meet the needs of students in grades K–16 and have been designed in accordance with Maine Learning Results and Common Core State Standards. To learn more visit our website or email [email protected]

Holocaust and Human Rights Center, Free Educational Outreach, ongoing - The HHRC provides educational outreach to schools and community groups throughout Maine free of charge. These programs focus on issues relating to the Holocaust and human rights.  Our outreach programs are available to bring to your school, or you’re welcome to schedule a visit to the Michael Klahr Center.  For more information visit, email [email protected] or call 207-621-3530.

National History Day in Maine, ongoing - Maine National History Day (NHD) is an annual event for teachers and students in grades 6-12 that promotes critical thinking skills through project-based learning.  The 2020 contest theme is “Breaking Barriers in History.”  For more information visit:

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