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Deadline: Congress in the Classroom

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  • Cindy Koeppel
    CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: CONGRESS IN THE CLASSROOM® 2013 * Deadline: March 15, 2013 * Congress in the Classroom® is a national, award-winning summer workshop
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2013
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      * Deadline: March 15, 2013 *

      Congress in the Classroom® is a national, award-winning summer workshop
      developed and sponsored by The Dirksen Congressional Center and dedicated to
      the exchange of ideas and information on teaching about Congress.

      Designed for high school or middle school teachers who teach U.S. history,
      government, civics, political science, or social studies, the program accepts
      35 teachers annually.

      Applications will be accepted through March 15. We expect to confirm selections
      by March 29.

      The workshop will feature a variety of sessions related to the U.S. Congress.
      Presenters will emphasize ideas and resources that teachers can use almost
      immediately in their classrooms--examples include sessions about Internet
      sites, online historical resources, simulations, and best classroom practices.

      Sessions for 2013 are listed below. Information about the content of each
      session will be posted on our Web site as it becomes available.

      Throughout the program, you will work with subject matter experts and
      colleagues from across the nation. This combination of firsthand knowledge and
      peer-to-peer interaction will give you new ideas, materials, and a
      professionally enriching experience.

      "Until now so much of what I did in my class on Congress was straight
      theory--this is what the Constitution says," noted one of our teachers. "Now I
      can use these activities and illustrations to help get my students involved in
      the class and at the very least their community but hopefully in the federal
      government. This workshop has given me a way to help them see how relevant my
      class is and what they can do to help make changes in society."

      The 2013 workshop will begin Monday afternoon, July 29, and end at noon on
      Thursday, August 1. All sessions will take place at the headquarters hotel,
      Embassy Suites and Conference Center, East Peoria, IL
      (http://www.embassysuiteseastpeoria.com/home.aspx). The Illinois State Board of
      Education certifies the workshop for up to 22 Continuing Education Units. The
      National Council for the Social Studies also endorses the program.

      Participants are responsible for (1) a non-refundable $135 registration fee
      (required to confirm acceptance after notice of selection) and (2)
      transportation to and from Peoria, Illinois. Many school districts will pay all
      or a portion of these costs.

      The Center pays for three nights lodging at the headquarters hotel (providing a
      single room for each participant), workshop materials, local transportation,
      all meals, and presenter honoraria and expenses.

      The Center spends between $40,000 and $45,000 to host the program each year.

      What follows are the sessions planned for the 2013 edition of Congress in the
      Classroom®. Please re-visit the site for changes as the program develops.

      Session Titles, 2013:

      In addition to the sessions below, additional sessions will be listed as
      speakers are confirmed.

      "Congressional Insight: A Simulation"

      With Congressional Insight, you experience the high-pressure, uncompromising
      environment in which legislators must operate. With increasingly tight
      deadlines imposed by the simulation, you are part of a team that must decide
      which bills to support, which committee posts to seek, how much time to devote
      to fund-raising, and what tradeoffs to make amidst constituent, party,
      special-interest, and media pressures. The quality of your choices will be
      tested in a re-election campaign.

      "The Four "Ps" of Congress," Frank H. Mackaman, The Dirksen Congressional

      Mackaman will suggest a way to present information about Congress organized
      around four themes. These themes serve (somewhat loosely) as the structure for
      the Congress in the Classroom® 2013 workshop.

      "Ten Things to Know About the 113th Congress," Frank H. Mackaman, The Dirksen
      Congressional Center

      What are the essential factors to know about the new Congress? This session
      will highlight ten of them ranging from membership and organizational
      characteristics to political dynamics and the issue agenda.

      "Teaching with Primary Sources," Cindy Rich, Teaching with Primary Sources,
      Eastern Illinois University

      The Library of Congress's Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program works
      with an educational consortium of schools, universities, libraries, and
      foundations to help teachers use the Library’s vast collection of digitized
      primary sources to enrich their classroom instruction. Schools that have
      participated in the program know that it encourages educators to embed primary
      sources into curriculum through all disciplines and grade levels to build a
      foundation of knowledge, enhance understanding, increase comprehension, and
      develop multimedia/information literacy skills.

      "Thomas.gov Reinvented as Congress.gov," Cindy Rich, Teaching with Primary
      Sources, Eastern Illinois University

      Learn about the features of the new Web site, Congress.gov, and explore
      classroom applications.

      "Fantasy Congress: Adapting Fantasy Football to the People’s Branch," Jennifer
      Hora, Department of Political Science, Valparaiso University

      Imagine how engaged your students might be if they learned about Congress
      through the use of a drafting game similar to Fantasy Football. Hora has
      developed such an approach and finds that it encourages discussion, ownership,
      and laughter in a curriculum focused on Congress.

      "What Do Political Cartoons Tell Us About Congress?"

      This session will introduce two Web-based resources for teaching about Congress
      using political cartoons.

      "Help for Teachers from the Office of the Historian," U.S. House of
      Representatives, Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives

      This presentation will focus on the educational resources available through the
      Historian’s new web site. They include information about the House, Congress
      members, exhibitions and publications, historical collections, an oral history
      program, and educational materials.

      "A View of Congress from the White House: What the Presidential Tapes Reveal,"
      KC Johnson, Department of History, Brooklyn College

      Using samples from Lyndon Johnson presidential recordings, KC Johnson will
      demonstrate the nature of congressional-executive relations in the 1960s. The
      recordings give a behind-the-scenes sense of how Congress works on public
      policy issues that’s unusual in its richness.

      "Congress at Work: Going to the Source Documents," Christine Blackerby, Center
      for Legislative Archives, National Archives and Records Administration

      Teach your students how laws are made by using records actually created by
      Congress while laws were made. Facsimiles of historical congressional records
      are used to illustrate each step in the legislative process. Participants
      investigate and appraise each document to determine what action is happening
      and where in the legislative process that action occurs. This classroom-ready
      lesson is set up as a game.

      "The YouTube Congressional Campaign"

      The "Vote Travis Irvine for Congress" campaign offers teachers the opportunity
      to illustrate the challenges and foibles of congressional campaigning.

      "The Congressional Timeline, 1933-2013"

      The Dirksen Congressional Center’s Web-based timeline arrays more than 550 of
      the nation's laws on a timeline beginning in 1933 and continuing to the
      present. A second timeline "band" depicts major political events of the period
      as a way to provide context for Congress's law-making. The project also
      includes lesson plans.

      "A Modern-Day 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"

      Many teachers use the famed "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" starring Jean Arthur
      and James Stewart. For all its relevance nearly 75 years after debuting, is
      there a modern treatment of the same themes that might have more impact on your
      students? Yes. And you will view it in this session, with a follow-up

      "Off Beat Ways to Introduce Congress to Students"

      You don’t have to introduce Congress with, "The United States Congress is the
      bicameral legislature of the federal government . . . ." as some teachers
      undoubtedly do and Wikipedia actually does. Instead, experiment with these
      video clips to bring some fun to the subject.

      "Insider Resources for the Congress Member"

      Learn about two organizations that provide advice to Congress members and how
      you can use their resources in your classrooms.

      "Listen Up Legislators: How to Get Your Point Across," Stephanie Vance, the
      Advocacy Guru, Washington DC

      How do you break through the "noise" to communicate with a member of Congress?
      Vance has the answers. She advises clients on how to reach Congress members
      effectively by understanding how congressional offices function and process
      information. Heads up--one of you will have a role in "Worst Congressional
      Meeting in the World!"

      Take a look at The Dirksen Center Web site --
      http://www.dirksencenter.org/print_programs_CongressClassroom.htm -- to see
      what participants say about the program.


      If you are interested in learning more about the sessions and registering for
      the Congress in the Classroom 2013 workshop, you can complete an online
      registration form found at:

      Cindy Koeppel

      The Dirksen Congressional Center

      2815 Broadway

      Pekin, IL 61554


      309.347.6432 Fax

      Email: ckoeppel@...

      Web site: http://www.dirksencongressionalcenter.org

      Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DirksenCenter
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