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Teacher Development Workshops

To find out more about these informative workshops contact the Library’s education specialist Jeffrey Urbin by phone at (845)486-7761 or by email at Jeffrey.Urbin@nara.gov.teacher workshop in progress at the FDR Library

Workshop Descriptions 

Using Media to Teach the Age of Roosevelt

The Pare Lorentz Center at the FDR Library has developed a teacher workshop that uses historic film clips and documents to present information regarding a particular event of their choosing. We train teachers to view history as a filmmaker might by drawing on Pare Lorentz’s methods of carefully considering and deconstructing a complex subject and presenting it to an audience as a logical, multi-layered narrative, in a way that is both evocative and informative.

In the workshop, teachers are shown how to break historic events down into the three elements of a narrative as told in a story.

  • The beginning, where we are introduced to the setting, the main characters—protagonists and antagonists and supporting characters—the theme, tone, and mood.
  • The middle, where the protagonist and the antagonist come into some sort of a conflict with each other and then struggle to resolve it.
  • The end, where the conflict is resolved and from which lessons and morals can be identified.

These lessons and morals can then be examined, debated and applied to modern events.


Teaching American History Grant Multi-day Workshops       

The Library's education specialist is happy to work with those seeking or participating in a Teaching American History Grant to design a custom workshop tailored to the requirements of the grant and the needs of the teachers. With more than 17 million pages of documents, the Roosevelt Library is the world's premier research center for the study of the Roosevelt era. Tours, lectures, workshops and audio visual materials can be made available for one, two or multi-day workshops by contacting the Library's Education Specialist, Jeffrey Urbin at (845) 486-7761 or at Jeffrey.Urbin@nara.gov.


Introduction to Resources and Programs at the Roosevelt Presidential Library     

This workshop is designed as an introduction for teachers who are unfamiliar with the programs and resources the Roosevelt Presidential Library has to offer.  Participants are walked through an overview of the Library's document-based education programs, and the various options for field trips.  In addition, copies of historic documents such as the "day of infamy" speech, FDR's fireside chats and letters written to Eleanor Roosevelt will be highlighted. The Library's online resources will also be featured for those teachers who might be unable to bring their students to the Library. [Half-Day]


Working with Primary Sources at the Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum     

This workshop is designed as a general introduction for teachers interested in preparing their students for work with primary source documents and to answer document based questions. The focus is on getting teachers and their students to understand the fundamentals of document analysis and critical thinking as well as the history and reasoning behind the recent emphasis on document based questions. Teachers will be shown innovative ways to introduce historic records and primary source documents as tools in their classroom instruction. [Full-Day]


Developing Document Based Questions from Primary Source Material from the Roosevelt Presidential       
Library and Museum     

This workshop is designed for teachers interested in developing their own document-based questions drawn from the materials housed at the Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.  Over the course of two full-day sessions, teachers will be exposed to: the history and reasoning behind the recent emphasis on document based questions, strategies for helping their students think critically and historically, and seven simple steps for developing document based questions of their own.  The vast resources of the Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum are offered as raw materials for teachers to develop and share their questions and ideas. [Two-Day]


Using Film in the Classroom Workshop     

This workshop is designed to introduce teachers to the vast storehouse of materials available for use in the classroom from the Pare Lorentz Film Center at the Roosevelt Presidential Library.  Three short films produced by the Center: The Roosevelt Rap; The Sights and Sounds of the Great Depression and Red Tailed Angles: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen, will be featured. Teachers will be given step by step instruction on how to use them in their classrooms and will leave with more than a dozen film related classroom activity ideas, accompanying primary source documents, procedures for analyzing the materials and DVD copies of the films used in the workshop. [60 to 90 minutes] 


Racism in America: Tuskegee; Today; Tomorrow     

This workshop is designed to engage students in a series of activities aimed at increasing their knowledge and understanding of the changing nature of racism in America from 1925 to today. The workshop will focus on the experiences of the Tuskegee Airmen, the contributions of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the impact of language on our perceptions of bias. Through the use of films, tours, lectures and activities students will be challenged to define themselves as a "link" in a chain of change and then tasked with developing ideas to implement those changes in their homes, schools and communities. [Full Day Workshop]