Social Studies

Winter 2023


History Day 2023

History Day is a project-based learning program of the Historical Society of Michigan. This experience encourages 3rd-12th grade students to explore local, state, national, and world history.

These projects can be entered into a series of competitions, from the local to the national level. Local competitions start at the school-level in February. Regional History Day for Mackinac, Chippewa, & Luce County Schools is Friday, March 10, 2023. The state finals for Michigan History Day take place the last Saturday of April.

Check out theme information, project ideas, and a sample timeline for History Day here! We are excited to have students back in-person at LSSU this March.


Student Opportunities

Michigan Geographic Alliance

The Michigan Geographic Alliance is hosting the ArcGIS online map competition. The registration deadline March 15, 2023. Link to contest:

There is a $100 prize awarded to the five best middle school and five best high school entries.

Michigan Council on Economic Education

Michigan Personal Finance Challenge (April 14 -PM @ Federal Reserve Bank)

  • $1000 scholarship for winning team and all expense paid trip to national finals @ Cleveland Fed.
  • Financial Reality Fair will happen during the event

Michigan Economics Challenge (April 14 -AM @ Federal Reserve Bank)

  • $1000 scholarship for upper division state champ
  • $1000 scholarship for lower division state champ

MCEE & Federal Reserve Bank Summer Teacher Conference (June 30 @ Fed)

Personal Finance Institute & FinCamp (August 7 & 8 @ Federal Reserve Bank)

  • $250 Teacher Stipends & $250 Travel Subsidies for those traveling over 60 miles
  • This event is not open to the general public for registration until April 5, 2023

Funding the Future

  • Concert followed by a financial literacy presentation (60-90 min)
Announcing Our 2023 Art & Writing Competition

The Zekelman Holocaust Center

Art Contest

The Zekelman Holocaust Center in Farmington Hills, MI is pleased to announce that The 2023 Art & Writing Competition is now open for submission for middle and high school students! Now in its seventh year, The Kappy Family Art & Writing Competition, Co-Sponsored by the Family of Raphael Schwartz, invites any Michigan student in 7th-12th grade to take inspiration from and respond to the theme of “Art as Resistance” in Anne Frank’s diary, Night by Elie Wiesel, and the artwork of Erich Lichtblau-Leskly, currently featured in our visiting special exhibit, To Paint is to Live.

This year, our categories of submission include poetry, fiction prose, 2D art, 3D art, and graphic art. Any student may respond to any source of inspiration, or multiple sources. The deadline for submission is March 24, 2023.

Please click HERE to learn more about the competition as well to access the guidelines, classroom resources, and links for submission. For any questions, please email

Virtual Museum Experiences

The Zekelman Holocaust Center is now booking Virtual Museum Experiences for the current school year. Contact Rick Schaffner ( for more information.


Teacher Opportunities

Michigan Department of Education - Teaching Comprehensive History Webinar Series

MDE launched its comprehensive history webinar series in April 2022 with the purpose of assisting educators in learning about historical movements, events, and peoples that are part of the rich, diverse history of our country and world. This series will continue beginning in January 2023. Upcoming webinars include:
  • Equal Rights Movement March 15, 22, and 29, 2023, 4-5 p.m.
  • Intersection of the Civil Rights Movement and Equal Rights Movement April 19, 2023, 4-5 p.m.
  • Disability Rights Movement April 26 and May 3, 2023, 4-5 p.m.
  • Labor Rights Movement May 10, 17, and 24, 2023, 4-5 p.m.
  • Social Studies Classroom Practice and Pedagogy June 7, 2023, 4:00–5:30 p.m

SCECHS are available for all sessions! Register for these upcoming zoom webinars soon! See the flyer for the first session below:

Social Studies in Sweatpants - Oakland Schools

Join various experts from the field and your Oakland Schools social studies consultants for 1-hour learning sessions (in your sweatpants---we will never know!). You will hear not only compelling historical accounts, but also ways to teach these in your classroom. You will leave with new knowledge and ready-to-use resources!

  • Session 3: April 20, 7-8 p.m. (Zoom): How can we use sources about "hidden histories" like the Lavender Scare to help students better understand the past and navigate the present?

Check out more details about each session here.

Register Now - Michigan Indian Education Council Conference March 9, 10, & 11

The MIEC's Native American Critical Issues Conference will be hosted by Kewadin Casinos in Sault Ste Marie from March 9-11. This year's theme is The Changing Earth & Indigenous Adaptation. Learning tracks are available for teachers and students! Registration and agenda are coming soon - check out for more details!

Call for Submissions - Great Lakes Social Studies Journal

The Great Lakes Social Studies Journal is seeking submissions for the next edition of their digital journal. Educators are invited to share lessons, write articles, or share media reviews of a show or film you use in your classroom. Share submissions to Annie Whitlock at for questions!

Rural Social Studies Teacher Research Study

Al Wood, instructor and researcher in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University is looking for rural social studies teachers to work with related to his dissertation research. If you are interested in helping, please contact Al at

Feedback for Proposed Teacher Prep Standards

Public comment is now open for the proposed teacher preparation standards for the 5-9 and 7-12 grade bands for social studies teachers. Several members of the MCSS Board as well as teacher educators from across the state worked diligently on these standards to reflect what social studies teachers actually teach and how they teach it. Please take a look and provide any comments you may have by March 16.


Winter Heritage & Awareness Months

February is Black History Month The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society. This site shares upcoming events and panel discussions on a variety of topics, primary sources, exhibits, and resources for educators.

Oakland Schools Social Studies Team has curated resources for Black History Month 2023. Resources are divided by grade level, and include important considerations for teaching Black History.

The attached Google Slide deck shares short biographies of notable African Americans. Each slide has a short paragraph, famous quote, photograph, and video.

March is Women's History Month The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. This site shares events, primary sources, exhibits, and resources for educators.

Oakland Schools has curated many Michigan-based resources for Women's History Month.

The National Women's History Museum has many curated resources for educators and students, including History Day project ideas, biographies, virtual museum tours, and more.

The Michigan Women's Historical Society & Hall of Fame has a digital timeline of inductees that spans decades.

April is Genocide Awareness Month

Under Public Act 170 of 2016, the board of a school district or charter school must ensure that its school's social studies curriculum for grades 8 to 12 include age and grade appropriate instruction about genocide, including but not limited to the Holocaust, and the Armenian genocide. The statute "recommends" a combined total of six hours of such instruction during grades 8 to 12. The resources below are shared to support educators in learning and teaching about the Holocaust.

To commemorate Genocide Awareness Month in April, join Echoes & Reflections webinars to learn about the lessons of the Holocaust and help students prevent the escalation of antisemitism and other forms of hate in their schools and communities.

The USC Shoah Foundation is dedicated to making audio-visual interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides. Their website has resources and professional learning for both educators and students.

The Zekelman Holocaust Center (Farmington Hills, MI) has an educator resource page. In past years, several Eastern UP schools have taken field trips to the Holocaust Center.

The Michigan Holocaust and Genocide Education website was created for individuals who want to teach and learn about genocides, or to connect to museums and events happening in Michigan. Resources and lesson plans around the Armenian Genocide are available.

Newsletter Archive

Helen Craig

Social Studies Curriculum Consultant

Regional School Health Coordinator

McKinney-Vento UPCED Facilitator

Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD

Background photo by Erik Karits on Unsplash