Injustice of the WWII Japanese American Incarceration: Workshops for Washington State Teachers

 Morning Session: Respond, Resist, and Resiliency

Hear from noted scholars to learn about and discuss how Americans of Japanese Ancestry responded and resisted U.S. military orders that forcibly removed and imprisoned them with out due process or evidence of wrongdoing. The workshop will include an investigation of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Korematsu v. U.S. and the relevance to legal resistance and urgent issues of today. Educators will receive KI Curriculum Toolkits that include primary sources. Afternoon Session: KSPS - Injustice at Home Participants will explore teaching resources that emphasize the implications of Japanese American living outside the exclusion zone during WWII. Five short films created by KSPS - along with lesson plans - will examine choices and challenges that people faced, as well as those who stood against prejudice and oppression.



May 4, 2019

ESD 105 Yakima, WA


June 1, 2019

Spokane Valley Tech High School Spokane, WA

8:30am – 4:00pm



Karen Korematsu, Founder & Executive Director, Fred T. Korematsu Institute

Leslie Heffernan, Social Studies Coordinator

Morgen Larsen, Teacher Librarian

Starla Fey, Teacher

To sign up, go to to register for either workshop. The first 30 teachers per workshop will secure spots. Each educator will receive a $100 stipend and clock hours upon completion of the workshop. The Workshops for Washington State Teachers are facilitated by the Fred T. Korematsu Institute ( and KSPS Public Television, and are made possible with generous support from the Kip Tokuda Memorial Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program.

Posted on April 13, 2019 .


Most of us have listened to TED Talks. Now you are invited to create one of your own. WSCSS is collaborating with TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) to provide a Masterclass to social studies teachers in Washington State. During the 2018-19 and 2019-2020 school year WSCSS is offering free of charge the 11-lesson TED Masterclass that prepares teachers to present and publish their best ideas in TED-style talks. Together we can identify, develop, and share our ideas with colleagues in Washington state and around the world. 

What is the TED Masterclass?
TED Masterclass is a course that guides you and your colleagues through the process of developing, presenting, and recording your ideas in the form of your very own TED-style talk.

How does it work?
The TED Masterclass course consists of 4 sections and 11 lessons. Each lesson takes about an hour to complete. You can progress through the course at your own pace. However, taking it with a partner is recommended because it provides the added opportunity for collaboration and feedback.

What happens to my talk at the end of the course?
You will be able to share your talk on WSCSS Lesson Plan webpage and/or OSPI Social Studies Commons webpage. Some of our TED-style talks may be featured on

Have more questions?

If you are interested in participating or would like to discuss this opportunity in more detail, please contact Carol Coe at

Posted on April 13, 2019 .

Are you a U.W. student or Faculty member? Nominate a SS teacher for the Pressly Prize!

The U.W. History department has extended the deadline for nominations from UW students for the Pressly Prize for outstanding history or social studies teachers! The new deadline is: Monday, April 22nd at 5pm.

The Pressly Prize, named for University of Washington Professor Emeritus of History Thomas Pressly and his wife, Cameron, recognizes outstanding history or social studies teaching at the secondary level in the state of Washington. The Department of History relies entirely on nominations from UW students to bring worthy candidates to our attention. Nominations are accepted from any current University of Washington undergraduate or graduate student from any major or department. 

Please nominate a teacher who shows a significant devotion to their field. Nominations are due by 5pm on Monday, April 22. The Google Form is available at the following link: (under the Resources > Student Resources > Scholarships and Awards on our Department of History website). 

Posted on April 13, 2019 .

The Lessons of Minidoka: Keeping the Internment of Japanese Americans Relevant for Twenty-First Century Teens 

From August 1942 until October 1945, thousands of Japanese Americans were interned in the Minidoka Relocation Camp, located in a remote area of southern Idaho. Help us ensure that teens understand why this seventy-year-old episode from American history remains starkly relevant today. 

Friends of Minedoka is working on a series of short documentaries (ranging from 4 minutes to 30 minutes) about the experiences of those interned at Minidoka – and about how their former neighbors and friends responded to the forced relocation. To ensure these documentaries reach the widest audience possible, we are creating high school lesson plans, as well as activities to engage teens in youth programs or at museums or other programs outside of school. All the materials will be available for free to teachers and the public once they are completed.

We are currently inviting high school teachers and staff/volunteers who work with teens through youth programs or at museums or other settings to participate in online focus groups to identify what the documentaries, lesson plans, and activities should cover. Participants will be paid $100 for their time. 

We are seeking teachers who are:

  • Teaching (or have taught within the past three years) at least one of the following at the high school level: 

    • US History (must include 20th century or World War II)

    • Civics

    • US Government

    • Oregon, Washington, Idaho, or Alaska state history (must include 20th century or World War II)

  • Comfortable teaching content that include historical documents, historical images, documentary video, and/or interview transcripts.

  • Excited about collaboration with other teachers from across the US to create engaging learning experiences for high school students

  • Available to participate in 2 sessions for a total of 2.5 hours of virtual focus groups at the following times:

o   Saturday, April 27th from 10-11am Pacific (1-2 pm Eastern)

o   Saturday, May 11th from 9:30-11am Pacific (12:30-2 pm Eastern)

Anyone interested in participating and able to commit to the dates/times above is invited to register here:

Posted on April 1, 2019 .

Summer 2019 Institute in Montréal and Québec City

June 23-28, 2019

The 2019 Quebec Dimensions Summer Institute will offer professional development for six days divided between Montréal, one of the largest French speaking cities in the world and Québec City (pictured above), the provincial capital. The Institute begins and ends in Montréal.  (Institute content will be delivered in English)

Eligibility: Open invitation for U.S. educators from all disciplines, Pre-K to Grade 12  in-service teachers, IB teachers, Community College faculty, and pre-service teachers.

Description: “Québec Dimensions” is a unique professional development opportunity providing participants with foundations in history and geography plus contemporary cultural insights through first-hand experience.  The content is taught by academic specialists and is designed to support educators of all levels of Elementary curriculum, French language curriculum, Canadian Studies, World History, World Geography, Comparative Cultures, AP History, IB History of the Americas & North American Geography.

June 23-28, 2019
Rolling registrations until full through April 30th

Register Online by April 30

Posted on April 1, 2019 .

Judicial Institute for Secondary School Teachers

The Court, in collaboration with Seattle University, has developed a 3 day workshop for middle and high school teachers. The program includes presentations by federal judges, attorneys, and law enforcement officers on topics such as First Amendment rights, civil rights, search and seizure law, and the role of the grand jury. Teachers will also observe actual court proceedings followed by a question and answer session with the presiding judge. An introduction to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's iCivics program is included as part of this curriculum.

This 3 day program is offered to middle and high school teachers who teach in western Washington, within the court’s geographic boundaries. There is no cost for the program, and clock hours are offered. Overnight accommodations are also included.

Applications for the 2019 program (PDF) are now available. Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity!  Space is limited to 40 teachers, so submit your application early.  Here’s what a few past attendees had to say:

"The Judicial Institute was like an amazing TED Talk menagerie. The speakers were thoughtful, intelligent story-tellers who restored my faith in the legal system. It was one of the most well organized, thoughtful, and beneficial conferences that I have attended." - Trey Messner

"This workshop was packed full of relevant and timely discussions about issues and concerns facing society as expressed in the courts and law. I feel more prepared than ever to teach government/civics." - Heidi Engle

"Energizing, insightful.  From gripping tales by FBI agents and viewing emotional sentencing hearings to clear teaching on grand juries, the court system and the Constitution, this seminar engaged us from start to finish." - Suze Marie Marcinko 

Posted on April 1, 2019 .

Check out the advocacy work the WSCSS is taking on in Olympia!

Your WSCSS has greatly increased it’s advocacy effort over the last three years. This last session it began to pay off with many legislative successes. We guided legislation that saved and improved History Day in Washington. We also helped design, write and pass the new K-12 Civics education requirements in Washington!

This year, there are many Social Studies related bills that are being considered by the legislature. Check out to see what bills are being considered that might change how or what you teach, and what we are doing to improve those bills, help them pass, or argue for removing bad SS policy from 2019 bills.

Please check out the advocacy guide to learn how to effectively lobby for the Social Studies (or to teach your students how they can lobby for what they find important) If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our wonderful Advocacy Chair (and former OSPI Social Studies Coordinator) Carol Coe.

Posted on February 26, 2019 .

Register For the WSCSS K-8 Conference!

Reaching out to students of underrepresented groups is one of the important functions of educators in classrooms. This program will focus on ways of doing that with greater understanding. The conference will be on February 2nd, 2019 from 8:30AM-3PM at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma.

Posted on December 9, 2018 .

Awards Program for Entrepreneurship Education

The Freedom Foundation is currently accepting applications from outstanding teachers for bringing passion and creativity to their classrooms as they teach students about entrepreneurship and the free enterprise system. The Leavey Awards are given in cash so check out the application requirements and instructions and enter here: !

Posted on April 24, 2018 .

Ford’s Theatre Summer 2018 Professional Development Programs

Ford’s Theatre Summer 2018 Professional Development Programs

Learn about Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Washington during the Civil War as you spend a day at each of these fascinating sites! 


Examine how the Civil War and Reconstruction have been remembered across time through the study of monuments and memorials in our nation's capital.

Apply Online:

Applications are due by April 2, 2018


Posted on March 2, 2018 .

Researchers Seeking History Teachers for Survey

Two social studies education researchers, Lauren McArthur Harris at Arizona State University and Brian Girard at The College of New Jersey are conducting a research study to investigate how history teachers’ experiences inform their curricular decision-making.

If you teach at least one secondary (6-12) history course, please participate in a short 15-minute survey that will ask you questions about your planning practices for history instruction.

Posted on February 15, 2018 .