Social Studies

Back to School 2022

Welcome back!

Welcome back new & returning social studies educators! My name is Helen Craig and I am the Social Studies Curriculum Consultant at the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District (ISD). The ISD provides opportunities for teachers in Mackinac, Chippewa, & Luce county to create professional networks and receive support in their subject area.

This newsletter contains local & state-wide professional learning opportunities, opportunities for students, professional learning for teachers, and monthly resources. This newsletter is updated on a quarterly basis and can also be found on the EUP ISD's social studies professional learning page.

Student Opportunities

Sault Ste Marie welcomes Holocaust Survivor Irene Miller

Irene Miller, author & Holocaust survivor, will be coming to Sault Ste Marie in early September. On September 13, EUP ISD area students are invited to the LSSU Arts Center to hear Irene speak about her survival journey and how it has impacted her life and outlook on society and the world. A Q&A session will follow. To register for the event, contact Natalie Nowak at Bayliss Public Library -

UPDATE - 9/7/22 - All seats have been claimed for the 9/13 student event. If you were not able to register but would still like to hear Irene speak, please consider attending the 9/12 evening session.

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RR: Secondary Social Studies - Mock Trial Interest

The Michigan Center for Civic Education is interested in hosting an informational workshop for educators interested in developing a Mock Trial team for your school. Mock trial coaches can include local attorneys and judges who come in to help teach specific elements of a trial. Schools with smaller student populations are able to combine to form complete teams. Please review the information on Mock Trial and note your interest using the following link. Registering interest does not mean you are committing to coaching a team.

More information on the program can be found at:


2022-2023 Professional Learning Opportunities for Educators in Mackinac, Chippewa, & Luce county

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UPDATE 9/26/22 - The September 27 SSTLC session has been CANCELED. We will meet for the first time on October 25, 2022. In October, we will be working with Paula Finfrock and Native American Advisors to explore the Maawndoonganan Social Studies Resource developed by the Confederation of Michigan Tribal Education Departments. All K-12 teachers who cover social studies content in the EUP ISD region are welcome. The registration link is below.
Register Now for Social Studies Teacher Leader Corps!

Lunch is provided for in-person attendees

MDE - Teaching Comprehensive History Webinar Series

Registration is now open to all educators for the free virtual webinar series, with the understanding that the content may be more useful for teachers of particular grade levels than others. The fall 2022 virtual webinar series session dates and learning are:
  • Asian Americans and the United States: Immigration and Citizenship - Wednesday, September 14, 21, & 28: 4:00-5:00 p.m. (3 unique sesions). Register by September 13, 2022

For more information on the Michigan Department of Education's "Teaching Comprehensive History" series, you can read State Superintendent Michael Rice's memo here.

Attn: 3rd Grade Teachers - Geo Adventures with GIANTS starts soon!

Explore 3rd Grade GIANTS with the original authors of the units! This year-long, virtual walk through of the curriculum will prepare you to learn about the mechanics behind inquiry based instruction through the exploration of a years-worth of units targeting Michigan’s 3rd grade social studies standards.

Participants will:

  • Explore existing resources such as GIANTS and Maawndoonganan, an Anishinaabe resource manual
  • Apply an Indigenous perspective to their study of Michigan
  • Integrate instructional resources on space and time

All sessions are via Zoom from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Session dates include: September 13, November 1, January 10, March 7, and April 25. Register here!

For those unable to attend live sessions, recordings will be available! Register for the sessions to be notified when recordings get posted.

Teaching Historical Literacy for Civic Learning - Virtual Workshop with Stipend

This professional learning opportunity is a half-day learning intensive for middle and high school teachers focused on teaching historical literacy for civic learning. Teachers will learn about principles of historical literacy instruction and ways in which to support students’ civic learning.

Fifteen teachers will be selected for this PLO and will receive 15 SCECH and $300 honorarium.

Date & Times:

  • Oct. 17: 3:30pm - 5:00pm
  • Oct. 18: 3:30pm - 5:00pm
  • Oct. 22: 9:00am - 12:00pm

This workshop is virtual - Accepted teachers will receive a stipend of $300 and 15 SCECHs, upon completion and submission of a lesson plan. See the linked flyer for more details.

Oakland Schools - 8th Grade U.S. History

The fully revised 8th grade U.S. history MC3 course is in Atlas, and it consists of ten units of study, aligned to both the 2019 social studies standards and the C3 Framework. In order to support teachers as they use the revised course this school year, Oakland Schools will be holding a FREE 11-part monthly series on Zoom. There is no requirement to attend a minimum number of sessions. You may attend one, two, or all of the sessions…it’s up to you! Please see the smore for all of the details and registration information. Please note, you must register for each session in advance.


History Day 2023

History Day is a project-based learning program of the Historical Society of Michigan. This yearlong educational program encourages students to explore local, state, national, and world history.

After selecting a historical topic that relates to the annual theme, students conduct extensive research by using libraries, archives, museums, and oral history interviews. They analyze and interpret their findings, draw conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, and create final projects in one of five categories: paper, exhibit, documentary, website, or performance.

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 competitions take place within eleven districts in March. The state finals for Michigan History Day take place the last Saturday of April.

The theme for History Day 2023 is: Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.

Check out the October History Day Newsletter Here!


Supporting Education Research

Gatekeeping Difficult Histories - Warner School of Education

The Issue: Social studies teachers are under a great deal of stress as they navigate punitive legislation, curriculum censorship, and pressures to exclude particular topics, ideas, or perspectives in their classroom. Beyond such pressures, teachers must also navigate the emotional and affective responses such difficult histories elicit. However, there is currently very little empirical research on the teaching and learning of difficult histories from the perspective of emotions. There is need for more research on the ways in which emotions intersect with, shape, or inform teachers’ decisions and practices related to teaching about difficult histories.

Eligible Participants: Secondary (9th – 12th grade) social studies or history teacher in the United States.

Phases of the Study: This study has two phases. You may choose to only participate in the first phase. Or, you can participate in the first phase and also agree to be considered for the second phase.

  1. First phase: complete an anonymous, online survey*
  2. Second phase: participate in two interviews with Becca (via Zoom) and send her a recording of you teaching a lesson

For more information, visit:

MiMTSS - Research Opportunity

Are you an 8th grade social studies teacher interested in ways to support your students’ reading comprehension, history knowledge, and understanding of key history concepts? Participation in the IES-funded PACT research will provide you with access to professional learning, fully prepared materials that are aligned with state standards, a stipend, and a summative report describing success of the project at your school.

Visit the PACT website for more information and contact Dr. Letty Martinez if you are interested in participating.


Fall Heritage & Awareness Months

September 15-October 15: National Hispanic American Heritage Month September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Awareness 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 Hispanic Americans who have influenced and enriched our nation and society. This site shares events, primary sources, exhibits, and resources for educators.

Monday, October 10 is Indigenous People's Day

From "A Proclamation on Indigenous People's Day, 2021" (source):

Since time immemorial, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians have built vibrant and diverse cultures — safeguarding land, language, spirit, knowledge, and tradition across the generations. On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, our Nation celebrates the invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples, recognizes their inherent sovereignty, and commits to honoring the Federal Government’s trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations.

Read more about Indigenous People's Day here.

October is LGBTQ+ History Month

LGBTQ+ History Month honors members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming, and queer communities. October was chosen to nationally commemorate LGBTQ+ history, political activism, and contributions because several important dates fall within the month, including National Coming Out Day (October 11), Spirit Day acknowledging LGBTQ+ youth (October 20), Asexual Awareness Week (last week in October), and others.

November is National Native American Heritage 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 join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans. This site shares events, primary sources, exhibits, and resources for educators.

Helen Craig

Social Studies Curriculum Consultant

Regional School Health Coordinator

McKinney-Vento UPCED Facilitator

Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD