April 11, 2008
CW brings Teaching American Conference to Monroe County, Florida
The Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute offers 30 elementary, middle and high school teachers from the Monroe County, Fla., school district the opportunity to attend a special two-day conference. “Bringing History to Life in Your Classroom: Ties That Bind” will be presented April 24 and 25 at Marathon High School, 350 Sombrero Beach Road in Marathon, Fla.
During the conference, Colonial Williamsburg character interpreters invite educators to step back in time and “meet” some of the historical figures of the 17th and 18th centuries who helped shape America. Anas Todkill, an English explorer, recounts his adventures exploring 17th-century Virginia alongside John Smith. George Washington and his manservant, Billy Lee, offer their thoughts on liberty, education and slavery and their place in the newly formed United States.
The participating teachers also will examine primary sources and facsimile artifacts while learning how to employ role-playing, demonstrations, simulations and analysis to make history come to life for their students. They will receive a CD-ROM that contains lesson plans, facsimile prints and documents, and a subscription to one of Colonial Williamsburg’s distance learning programs, the award-winning Electronic Field Trips, broadcast live to classrooms across the country during the school year.
Colonial Williamsburg’s professional development programs have expanded from the week-long summer Teacher Institute in Williamsburg to include day-long seminars to bring Colonial Williamsburg’s program to teachers across the country. During the 2008-2009 school year, Colonial Williamsburg will present one- or two-day conferences in eight states – Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, South Carolina and Texas.
As a result of this conference, Colonial Williamsburg staff hopes teachers will return to their schools with increased historical knowledge and some new active methods of engaging students in learning – and most importantly, a new understanding of how we became Americans and our role as citizens.
Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic tradespeople research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. “Revolutionary City®” – a daily dramatic live street theater presentation – is a 2008 Rand McNally Best-of-the-Road™ Editor’s Pick. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at www.history.org.
Michael E. Crandol