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.

Minnesota Modules: Interactive Digital Engagement for Northern Lights Users (Chapters 1-4)

Cost: $25
Location: Zoom Video Conferencing
The same session will be offered five times:

Register at the links above and pay with credit card. Pay by PO is not an option for this program. Registration closes 24 hours prior to the start of each session. CEUs provided.

Using elements from her interactive notebooks, veteran 6th grade Minnesota Studies teacher Missy Klapperich has developed a series of 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 each module in Google Slides, and will be shown how to implement them in the classroom. 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 five modules will be provided after the session:

Citizenship and the Common Good
Chapter1: Studying Minnesota
Chapter 2: Evidence from the Past
Chapter 3: Early Dakota
Chapter 4: Early Ojibwe

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 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.

"Our Home: Native Minnesota" Teacher Workshop

Cost: $15
Virtual meeting platform: Zoom Video Conferencing
Two Opportunities:

Learn how to expand incorporation of Ojibwe and Dakota primary sources into lessons and curriculum. This workshop will feature exhibit developers from the "Our Home: Native Minnesota" exhibit at the Minnesota History Center, explore the exhibit virtually, engage with primary sources, and learn with experts about Native American history in Minnesota.

This is a rescheduled workshop from April. The agenda for October 6 and October 10 are the same. We can provide substitute subsidies for the October 6 workshop. Apply here. If you have program questions, please contact Heidi Kloempken. For help with registration, please 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. Participants will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of sessions related to sixth grade Minnesota Studies and the Northern Lights curriculum, and to network with 100+ Northern Lights educators from around the state.

While we lament that we will be unable to meet face to face this fall, we are excited to offer this conference in a format that can turn the 87,000 square-mile state of Minnesota into a virtual space where any teacher, regardless of their location, can participate and connect with their sixth grade Minnesota Studies colleagues.

Print and Interactive eBook users will find this workshop equally beneficial. 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 will also find this workshop useful. CEUs available.

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.

History Day workshops

Master Teacher Zoom Conversations

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

  • Junior Division: Tues., September 22, 4 - 5:30 pm (Register here)
  • Senior Division: Thurs., September 24, 3 - 4:30 pm (Register here)
  • Senior Division: Tues., October 13, 7 - 8:30 pm (Register here)
  • Junior Division: Tues., October 20, 7 - 8:30 pm (Register here)

Led by a History Day "Master Teacher," these informal Zoom meetings will be a great opportunity to collaborate and brainstorm with other teachers about how to teach History Day - virtually or in a classroom. Each conversation will begin with a brief overview of program plans for the year from History Day staff.

These sessions are free and open to all Minnesota History Day teachers due to the nature of the conversation, but registration is required (see registration links above).

Please contact Sammi Jo Papas with questions about these sessions.

History Day Teacher Conference

Cost: $25/$45 non-MN teachers
Location: Zoom Video Conferencing
Date: Tuesday, September 29 - Thursday, October 1, 2020: 9 am - 3:15 pm

Join the Minnesota History Day staff, master teachers and guest presenters for three days of virtual professional development dedicated to History Day. While attendees are encouraged to join live via Zoom, all registered attendees will have access to the recordings and session materials for all sessions below once the conference is complete.

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.

History Day 101

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

History Day 101 will address the fundamentals of the History Day program in four, 75-minute Zoom sessions. Learn about support resources, program benefits, and steps for bringing History Day into your classroom. $25 fee, live attendance encouraged but recordings will be available within two business days following the workshop.

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

Please contact Sammi Jo Papas with questions about this workshop.

Theme Exploration

Cost: $25
Location: Zoom Video Conferencing
Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2020: 9 - 10:30 am

This year's theme is "Communication in History: The Key to Understanding." Join this Zoom workshop to understand the theme, learn effective strategies for introducing it to your students, and how to weave it into projects. $25 fee, live attendance is encouraged, but recording will be available within 2 business days following the workshop. Purchase of this workshop also gains you access to the three-day Teacher Conference September 29-October 1.

Teachers from Minnesota or nation-wide are welcome to attend this workshop, however, non-Minnesota teachers should register via the Teacher Conference link.

Please contact Sammi Jo Papas with questions about this workshop.

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.

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.