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Writing New Histories

  • 01 Sep 2020
  • 30 May 2021

(Digitally) Writing New Histories

A TPS Grant for Michigan Social Studies Educators

With a shift towards disciplinary, digital, and critical literacies, we find that historical documents and artifacts — as well as images, social media posts, and videos created with contemporary technologies — all serve as primary sources. 

We invite Michigan social studies educators, grades 3-12, to join the year-long "(Digitally) Writing New Histories: Building Educators’ Capacity to Teach Disciplinary, Digital, and Critical Literacies with The C3 Framework" project. 

This professional learning experience will take place entirely online during evenings and weekends (times TBD), through Zoom video conferencing, throughout the entire 2020-21 academic year. 

In addition to the countless number of digitized artifacts available through the Library of Congress website, we will invite teachers to examine artifacts through virtual visits to local museums and learn how to use digital writing tools such as Adobe Spark, Sutori, ThingLink, and Zbib. 

Virtual field trips throughout the year will include visits to:

  • Arab American National Museum

  • The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

  • Colonial Michilimackinac

  • Coppertown USA Mining Museum

  • Detroit Historical Museum

  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

  • Grand Rapids Public Museum

  • Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

  • Hartwick Pines Logging Museum

  • Holocaust Memorial Center

  • And more...

Educators selected to participate in the (Digitally) Writing New Histories Project will have the opportunity to earn a $500 stipend after participating in approximately 50 hours of professional learning throughout the year. All content will be delivered online, through Zoom, and participation is expected in all meetings (synchronously or asynchronously). 

We expect that participants will:

  • Join (or view a recording of) two 90-minute Zoom sessions per month (2020: Aug/Sept, Oct, Nov/Dec; 2021: Jan, Feb, Mar/Apr, May) for a total of approximately 25 hours

  • Join in individual/small group coaching sessions with facilitators (approximately 5 hours)

  • Engage in additional, required asynchronous learning opportunities (approximately 10 hours)

  • Develop an instructional unit aligned with the C3 Framework (approximately 10 hours)

In this application, you will share basic contact and demographic information, and submit an essay (apx 450-600 words) that will respond to the following:

  1. A description of your work as a social studies educator, including information about your teaching background and current role(s). Additionally, describe your teaching context, including information about the student body and school culture as it relates to diversity and equity. 

  2. A description of your work with The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework, technology integration, and other professional learning that will contribute to your growth as a leader in your school context and other educational organizations. 

  3. A description of how you would benefit from this program, including ways in which you would work with other colleagues in the program to develop an Inquiry Design Model-based unit of study and a webinar to be delivered to other Michigan Council of Social Studies members. 

The application deadline is Friday, July 31, 2020 at 5:00 PM EST. 

Please apply using this Google Form. 

We expect to notify teachers who have been selected for the institute by the week of August 17th.

Our initial Zoom call for the institute work will be during the week of August 24th (date/time TBD).

Questions? Please contact Rebecca Bush at <>. 


Rebecca Bush, Michigan Council for the Social Studies

Jessica Ellison, Minnesota Historical Society

Troy Hicks, Central Michigan University

Project Facilitators

Rebecca Bush

Rebecca Bush is currently the Social Studies Consultant at the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD), where she assists K-12 social studies teachers in developing curriculum, modeling instructional strategies in social studies literacy, and designing district level formative and summative assessments.  She has presented at various national conferences on multiple topics surrounding social studies instruction as well as innovative techniques and topics in formative and summative assessment design.  Currently she is the Project Director of G.I.A.N.T.S.—an integrated geography and history curriculum for students in grades 3-8.  Additionally, she is the Co-Project Director of the Performance Assessments in Social Studies Thinking (P.A.S.S.T.) Project and assists with the ongoing enhancement of the MI Open Book Project where she serves as an editor of several of the project’s texts.  Rebecca is past-president of MCSS as well as the National Social Studies Supervisor’s Association and is an adjunct faculty member at Hope College as well as Michigan State University.

Jessica Ellison

Jessica Ellison is a teacher educator at the Minnesota Historical Society, where she has delivered professional development and created curriculum since 2004. Jessica’s focus is the integration of primary sources into classrooms at all grade levels, and through this work, she has participated, as a grant director or presenter, in six regional TPS grants. Additionally, she is the grant director for Inquiry in the Upper Midwest, a Library of Congress Consortium project focused on culturally relevant pedagogy and primary sources. Jessica serves as President of the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies, on the NCSS Advocacy Task Force, and on her local school board. 

Troy Hicks

Dr. Troy Hicks is Professor of English and Education at Central Michigan University (CMU). He directs the Chippewa River Writing Project and, previously, the Master of Arts in Learning, Design & Technology program. A former middle school teacher, he collaborates with K–12 colleagues and explores how they implement newer literacies in their classrooms. Since beginning work at CMU in 2007, he has earned numerous distinctions including the Michigan Council of Teachers of English Charles Carpenter Fries Award (2008), CMU’s Provost’s Award for junior faculty who demonstrate outstanding achievement in research and creative activity (2011), the Richard A. Meade Award for scholarship in English Education (2014), the Michigan Reading Association’s Teacher Educator Award (2018), CMU’s Excellence in Teaching Award (2020), and the Initiative for 21st Century Literacies Research’s Divergent Award for Excellence (2020). An ISTE Certified Educator, Dr. Hicks has authored numerous books, articles, chapters, blog posts, and other resources broadly related to the teaching of literacy in our digital age. Follow him on Twitter: @hickstro

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