Teaching Grades K-5 Civic Engagement and Social Studies

When registering for any summer workshop, be sure to provide an email address and phone number where you can be reached during the summer.

Emerging America
Graduate Credits: 


The Massachusetts Board of Education passed a new Social Studies Curriculum Framework in June 2018. The Legislature further emphasized the central role of civics, history and the social studies in all grades, K-12. Social studies offers powerful strategies to engage diverse learners with informational texts, hands-on activities, and meaningful writing. Join us to explore strategies to teach social studies in elementary schools and develop plans for your classroom and school.

The vast collections of the Library of Congress (60 million primary sources online) and World Digital Library (18,000 selected items from 193 major libraries around the globe) strongly support student engagement and inquiry. Maps, images, film, sound recordings, and documents enrich a host of topics concerning the unique history of civic engagement and action in the United States.

This course will introduce and engage teachers with high quality instructional strategies in History and the Social Sciences for students in grades K-5. Specific topics include historical thinking, inquiry based teaching, project based learning, and developing compelling historical questions. In addition, teachers will gain knowledge of key concepts of civics, and they will find, access, and analyze a range of primary sources to support them in creating student inquiries.

Audience and Grade Level

Teachers, Grades K - 5.


22.5 PDPs will be awarded to participants upon completion of this training, in addition to outside reading and assignments (as per DESE regulations).

Participants may choose instead to take this course for 1 graduate credit in partnership with Westfield State University. To earn PDPs or Graduate Credit, participants must complete all assignments. Graduate Credit from Westfield State University costs $125. Registration for Graduate Credit takes place in the first class, with payment accepted by credit card or check.


Future training dates will be announced here. If you have questions or are interested in offering this training on-site, please contact us.


  • Laurie Risler

    Laurie Risler is a former elementary school teacher. She now teaches education courses at Westfield State University. She has co-led professional development programs in history for the Collaborative for Educational Services since 2011, including as a coach for the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program at CES. She served as Teacher in Residence at Westfield State University 2012-2013.

For more information, contact:
Events Coordinator
413.586.4900 x5981


A maximum class size is set for each course and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If the number of registrations for a course exceeds the maximum seats available or is too low to be able to conduct a quality learning experience, CES will inform you of available options.

Course Cancellation

If you wish to cancel your registration, please submit a request in writing (via mail, email or fax) no later than 7 business days before the workshop’s start date. After that, there are no refunds or billing adjustments.

In the event that a course is cancelled by the Collaborative for Educational Services, we will notify you as soon as possible. Please be sure to provide your best email address and phone number so we can contact you. Although every effort is made to avoid last minute cancellations, if an emergency arises, we will do our best to reach you at the phone number and email address you provide. 

Inclement Weather

Any delays or cancellations are posted online at collaborative.org. You may also call 413.588.5979 after 6:30am for information about classes that day. Or for Early Childhood Professional Development information, please call 413.588.5570.