Teacher Professional Development

Teacher/educators at a workshop.

Discover new teaching practices and broaden your knowledge through MNHS teacher professional development. Educator workshops are offered by the History Day and Teacher Education teams.

Teacher education workshops

MNHS teacher members may receive discounted pricing for Northern Lights workshops.

Northern Lights Teacher Talk

Cost: Free
Virtual meeting platform: Zoom Video Conferencing
Attend as often as you like:

  • Thursday October 1, 4:00 - 5:00 pm (register here)
  • Saturday, October 3, 9:00 - 10:00 am (register here)
  • Thursday, December 3, 4:00 - 5:00 pm (register here)
  • Saturday, December 5, 9:00 - 10:00 am (register here)

Whether you are teaching in-person, remotely, or a combination of both, it's always good to check-in and debrief with fellow Minnesota Studies teachers using Northern Lights. Sign up and drop in to any of the sessions to share with, ask questions of and get support from other teachers, as well as from Northern Lights team members Matt Horstman (sales and service) and Jennifer Cadwell-Vaughan (editor and project manager).

Teacher Talk sessions are free and open to all Northern Lights teachers, but registration is required (see registration links above).

Contact Matt Horstman with questions.

Minnesota Modules: Interactive Digital Engagement for Northern Lights Users (Chapters 5-8)

Cost: $25
Virtual meeting platform: Zoom Video Conferencing
The same session on modules for chapters 5-8 will be offered four times: 

Adapting elements from her interactive notebooks, veteran 6th grade Minnesota Studies teacher Missy Klapperich has developed digital modules for use with the Northern Lights Revised Second Edition print book (blue cover) or the Northern Lights Interactive eBook. Modules offer interactive, multimedia learning opportunities that include text material, maps, videos, and student activities that integrate with Northern Lights content. 

Attendees will learn the goals and methods used to create the modules in Google Slides, and will be shown the content in each module. Modules can be copied and edited in order to customize. Users must have a Google account in order to copy, edit, and share with students. Links to these four modules will be provided after the session:

Chapter 5: The Fur Trade
Chapter 6: The Land Changes Hands
Chapter 7: Minnesota's Newcomers
Chapter 8: The Civil War

Register with a credit card by clicking on the date above that you plan to attend. Pay by PO is not an option for this program. Registration closes 24 hours prior to the start of each session. CEUs provided. 

 Contact Jennifer Cadwell-Vaughan with program questions. For help with the registration process, contact the MNHS Box Office at (651) 259-3015 or BoxOffice@mnhs.org.

Northern Lights Academy

Date: Monday, November 9, 2020 - 8:30am to 2:30pm
Cost: $45/$36 for MNHS members
Location: Zoom Video Conferencing

Join us for a special virtual edition of the annual Northern Lights Academy! This conference-style workshop features sessions from Northern Lights teachers and content experts. While we lament being unable to meet face-to-face, we are excited that, by connecting via Zoom, we can turn the 87,000 square mile state of Minnesota into a virtual space where every teacher, regardless of location, can participate and connect with sixth-grade Minnesota Studies colleagues.

Our goal is to have participants engaging in interactive sessions, but we know getting away for an entire Monday might be difficult. As a result, we will provide session recordings to all workshop registrants. Session recordings will not be available for purchase once workshop registration closes, 24 hours prior to the workshop.

Sessions align with content and resources in the Revised Second Edition of Northern Lights (print book, 2013; Interactive eBook, 2014+); those with earlier editions of Northern Lights may also find this workshop useful. Registration closes 24 hours prior to the workshop start time. CEUs provided.

Contact Jennifer Cadwell-Vaughan with program questions. For help with the registration process, contact the MNHS Box Office at (651) 259-3015 or BoxOffice@mnhs.org.

Register now with credit card.

Register now with a PO.

Minnesota Modules: Interactive Digital Engagement for Northern Lights Users (Chapters 9-12)

Cost: $25
Virtual meeting platform: Zoom Video Conferencing
The same session on modules for chapters 9-12 will be offered four times: 

Adapting elements from her interactive notebooks, veteran 6th grade Minnesota Studies teacher Missy Klapperich has developed digital modules for use with the Northern Lights Revised Second Edition print book (blue cover) or the Northern Lights Interactive eBook. Modules offer interactive, multimedia learning opportunities that include text material, maps, videos, and student activities that integrate with Northern Lights content. 

Attendees will learn the goals and methods used to create the modules in Google Slides, and will be shown the content in each module. Modules can be copied and edited in order to customize. Users must have a Google account in order to copy, edit, and share with students. Links to these four modules will be provided after the session:

Chapter 9: The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862
Chapter 10: Sodbusters
Chapter 11: Flour, Lumber, Iron
Chapter 12: Immigrants, Labor, Cities

Register with a credit card by clicking on the date above that you plan to attend. Pay by PO is not an option for this program. Registration closes 24 hours prior to the start of each session. CEUs provided.

Contact Jennifer Cadwell-Vaughan with program questions. For help with the registration process, contact the MNHS Box Office at (651) 259-3015 or BoxOffice@mnhs.org

History Day workshops

NHDWebCentral Basics

Cost: $25
Location: Zoom Video Conferencing
Date: Available twice.

The official NHD website editor, NHDWebCentral, had a few updates over the summer. This workshop will cover the basic features of the platform and provide tools on how to best support website students.

Teachers from Minnesota or nation-wide are welcome to attend this workshop.

Please contact Sammi Jo Papas with questions about this workshop.

Virtual Research Resources

Cost: Free
Location: Zoom Video Conferencing
Date: Multiple, see below

  • Join Teacher Education Program Specialist, Jessica Ellison, for a special session about using and finding Primary Sources Online. 
  • Minitex is hosting a variety of free webinars dedicated to History Day teachers about researching online and how to best help your students.

These workshops are focused primarily for Minnesota-based teachers.

Please contact Sammi Jo Papas with questions about these workshops.

Contest Rule Book and Rubrics

Cost: $25
Location: Zoom Video Conferencing
Date: Tuesday, December 8, 2020: 2 - 3:30 pm

With the launch of the new NHD Contest Rule Book and evaluation forms, this workshop will do a deep-dive into the updated requirements and new rubrics. Presented in conjunction with Whitney Olson, co-coordinator of California History Day, who has piloted the use of rubrics for evaluations for several years.

Teachers from Minnesota and nation-wide are welcome to attend this workshop.

Please contact Sammi Jo Papas with questions about this workshop.

History Day Teacher Conference

Cost: $25/$45 non-MN teachers
Location: Zoom Video Conferencing
Date: Recorded sessions available.

This Teacher Conference featured Minnesota History Day staff, master teachers and guest presenters for three days of virtual professional development dedicated to History Day. Although the live conference has ended, you may still register to receive access to the recordings and resources. Links will be emailed directly to you within two business days of registration.

All teachers from across the country are welcome! While the conference is being presented by the Minnesota Historical Society, sessions are designed to be general enough to be beneficial to teachers participating from any state or Affiliate program. See the detailed agenda for a full list of topics and event details.

Please contact Sammi Jo Papas with questions about this workshop.

Cancellation policy

  • Registrants canceling 24 hours before the workshop are eligible for a refund or credit. (This includes weather related cancellations.)
  • Registrants unable to attend a workshop may send someone in their place; substitutions will be made at the registration desk the day of the event.
  • No refunds or credits will be granted for nonattendance.