The theme for this year’s teacher institutes is “Teaching about Congress, the United States Constitution, and Representative Government.
At each teacher institute, educators participated in a four hands-on learning modules presented by Dr. Charles Flanagan, Outreach Supervisor for the Center for Legislative Archives (CLA). Built on the vast holdings of the CLA, which includes all the official records of Congress dating to the very first Congress, these modules included a collaborative exercise in which students “map” the Constitution, dissecting the document by reviewing the powers it enumerates and to which branch those powers are delegated. A follow-up exercise that works in conjunction with the digital app. Congress Creates the Bill of Rights engaged teachers with the extensive debates that occurred in the House and Senate over the scope and content of the bills that eventually formed the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Select political cartoons from the CLA’s Clifford Berryman Collection were the focus of a session during which educators explored the separation of powers and the legislative process through visual images. Dr. Flanagan’s final module engaged attendees in a in a collaborative board game-style lesson plan that outlined how a bill becomes law. In the afternoon, educators received lesson plans derived from the holdings of the Byrd Center. These resources included a lesson plan that uses materials relating to the 1985 Election Day Floods in WV to explore the state and federal responses to environmental disasters. This module was developed jointly by the Byrd Center and the West Virginia and Regional History Center’s political collections at West Virginia University.
Educators who participated in the first three workshops of the Byrd Center’s Teacher Institute provided valuable feedback, sharing their reaction to the resources introduced in the sessions as well as providing meaningful suggestions for future institutes.
Expanding our professional development initiatives across the state has been no small task. We express our sincere gratitude to Michelle Kubiak (WV Library Commission), Joe Geiger, Lori Hostuttler and Danielle Emerling at WVU Libraries and the WV and Regional History Center, and the West Virginia Humanities Council, whose support was instrumental in the success of the teacher institutes. Special thanks also go to Charles Flanagan who has been an essential part of our efforts to improve and expand civic education in West Virginia. We also thank Shepherd University’s Continuing Education program for providing administrative support to the institute. If you are interested in learning more about the teacher institute and possibly participating in our final workshop on August 9, 2018, contact Dr. James Wyatt at email@example.com or (304) 876-5701.
Welcome to the Byrd Center Blog! We share content here including research from our archival collections, articles from our director, and information on upcoming events.
The Byrd Center advances representative democracy by promoting a better understanding of the United States Congress and the Constitution through programs and research that engage citizens.
Copyright © Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education