24 teachers arranged in two rows smile and pose for a group photo on the steps of Frederick Douglass National Historic site. Behind them is a large, Victorian house with a wide front porch with lattice trim, and large, floor to ceiling windows on either side of the front door.
Photo by Alex Wood.

The Power of Place: Ford’s Theatre Receives Grant to Host Educators at Summer Workshops

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Ford’s Theatre recently received generous grant funding through the Institute of Museum and Library Services to host summer professional development institutes for Grades 3-12 teachers for the next two years. Both programs, The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Civil War Washington Teacher Fellows and  The Seat of War and Peace: The Lincoln Assassination and the Roots of Reconstruction in the Nation’s Capital, feature six days of field trips, activities and lectures per session, and engage educators in discussions on Abraham Lincoln and his legacy.

“I left the institute with a much deeper understanding of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Ford’s Theatre, Washington, D.C., and excitement about developing new activities for my students.”

Ann Mischler, Grade 4 Teacher, Cheektowaga, New York, CWWTF 2015

The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Civil War Washington Teacher Fellows

Civil War Washington Teacher Fellows explore the city of Washington during the Civil War from a range of viewpoints. Participants will: visit the Georgetown home of a Confederate sympathizer; examine Compensated Emancipation in our nation’s capital and the Emancipation Proclamation at Lincoln’s summer retreat at the Old Soldier’s Home; visit Frederick Douglass’s final home in historic Anacostia; and walk in the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln, his “Team of Rivals” and Confederate spies who plotted against him at Ford’s Theatre.  Dates for these sessions are: June 19 – 24, 2016, (commuters) and July 10 – 15, 2016 (in residence).

“I felt connected to Lincoln as we traveled in his steps, and it made me think about the responsibility we choose to carry as we become leaders in our communities.”

Jennifer Tjaden, Grade 6 Teacher, Hawley, Minnesota, CWWTF 2015

The Seat of War and Peace: The Lincoln Assassination and the Roots of Reconstruction in the Nation’s Capital

The Seat of War and Peace: The Lincoln Assassination and the Roots of Reconstruction in the Nation’s Capital explores the city of Washington after the Civil War, beginning with the Lincoln Assassination. Participants will: begin the week at Ford’s Theatre; visit Fort McNair and explore the conspirators’ trial; learn about the United States Colored Troops and the lives of African Americans in and around Washington, D.C.; closely examine the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments and Reconstruction in our nation’s capital; and consider the lasting legacy of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and how it is manifested through monuments, memorials and our world today. Dates for this session are July 24 – 29, 2016.

“I believe this program has energized my teaching and I am looking forward to sharing my lesson plan with my students and all the things I learned this week in Washington, D.C.”

Joe Moneymaker, Grade 5 Teacher, Grand Rivers, Kentucky, CWWTF 2014, SWP 2015

Both institutes emphasize place-based learning and integration of primary sources into daily classroom practice. Each day, participants visit an historic site and are introduced to teaching strategies, resources and activities they can take back to their classrooms. Together, they learn how to read places, monuments and artifacts as primary sources through hands-on activities. Guest lecturers share their own emerging scholarship and lead discussions aligned with the content for each day. And participants make meaningful, lasting connections with a national network of fellow teachers, scholars and museum educators.

“Unpacking [Lincoln’s] legacy with masterful historians and engaging facilitators was an enduring lesson from The Seat of War and Peace, one that will powerfully affect my teaching, as my students and I consider not only what and who we remember, but why and how we remember our history.”

Mary Beth Donnelly, Grade 6 Teacher, Arlington, Virginia, CWWTF 2014, SWP 2015

The summer institutes in 2016 and 2017 are offered at no cost to participants, who will take part in an educational investigation by Ford’s Theatre Society in partnership with researchers from The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development. In return, teachers will participate in research conducted by Ford’s over the course of a calendar year by providing written feedback and video of classroom teaching, contributing to monthly virtual meetings, and sharing related and learning practices with one another and the greater online educator community.

View photos and read about last year’s The Seat of War and Peace and Teacher Fellows institutes.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant number MA-10-15-0006.

Alexandria Wood is the Education Programs Coordinator at Ford’s Theatre. Prior to joining the Education Department, she worked as a stage manager, event manager and child wrangler at Ford’s and other D.C.- area theatres. She is passionate about introducing young people to the humanities and helping life-long learners rediscover them. She is the new voice behind @FordsEdu on Twitter.

Headshot of Alex Wood.

Alexandria Wood  is the Education Programs Coordinator at Ford’s Theatre.

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