Professional Development Programs

CMHEC offers professional development opportunities to support teachers offering historical inquiry projects--particularly History Fair. Check out the listings below for our 2015-2016 workshops, seminars, and institutes.

Unless otherwise noted, sessions are free to History Fair Partner schools.

2016 Professional Development Programs


The Website Certification training for History Fair teachers is an online tutorial. Teachers must be certified to offer the category to their students.

boot camp 2015

Learn everything about History Fair in one intense day-- from planning in your classroom to assessing the final product. Meets at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton, Chicago.

Introduction to History Fair "The Boot Camp"

Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 9:00am-3:00pm

Register here:


History Fair Boot Camp

Friday, November 13, 2015, 9:00am-3:00pm

(CPS S.I.P. day)

Register here:

Contact with any questions.


2015 kickoffHistory Fair 2016 Kickoff

Tuesday, October 14, 2015, 4:30-7:00pm

Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St.

Meet the new theme, "Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange in Illinois History" with a presentation about the Century of Progress by Diane Dillon, Newberry Library.

Watch a demonstration of Noodle Tools with Skinner North teacher Elaine Cox, and learn about "Explore Chicago Collection" with its director Jaclyn Grahl -- two tools to support your teaching and to enrich your students' inquiry.

Get classroom resources, food, and drink!

Contact with any questions.

Register here:


Previous 2015-2016 Workshops -- Sorry you missed them!

gape 2013


National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute: "Rethinking the Gilded Age and Progressive Era: Capitalism, Democracy, and Progressivisms, 1877 to 1920"

Chicago's rich Progressive Era history will be highlighted through the program's readings, discussions, lectures, inquiries, and explorations of historical and cultural resources. Participants will explore Hull House, take bus tours featuring significant sites in the city's labor history, investigate archival collections, and examine the impact of place through architecture. During the four-week institute, teachers will contemplate and debate how individuals and groups defined, reformed, and contributed to a vision for American democracy, opportunity, and culture. Robert Johnston (UIC), Charles Tocci (Loyola University Chicago), Rachel Allmen (CMHEC), and Michael Biondo (Maine South High School) will lead the institute.

Contact if you have questions about eligibility or the application process. You can also find more information at

This program can only accept a limited number of participants from the Chicago area, but please share this information with teachers in other parts of the country who might be interested.


charles white

Visual Arts of the Black Chicago Renaissance

July 13-17, 9am-5pm

Explore the artists of the Black Chicago Renaissance, their art, and their contributions to the long civil rights movement.  Learn and develop your own lessons to integrate their works into your curriculum.

Led by Amy Mooney of Columbia College and Erik Gellman of Roosevelt University with guest scholars from the Art Institute and the South Side Community Art Center. Sessions will be held at historical and cultural institutions in the city. Visit the VABCR page.



stockyard gate

History Fair Field Trips for Teachers: The Chicago Labor History Bus Tour

Wednesday, July 8, 2015, 9am-5pm

Encounter the rich history of Chicago workers in this unique seminar led by Dr.  Jeff Helgeson in conjunction with the Illinois Labor History Society and the Teaching Primary Sources program at DePaul University. Explore the Library of Congress for primary sources about Chicago Labor History before boarding the bus for a tour of key labor sites. CPDUs offered. To register:




vabcr header

A poignant, relevant arts integration in the history classroom

The Chicago Metro History Education Center presents

“Explorations and Encounters in the Visual Arts of the Black Chicago Renaissance: Artists and the Making of the Long Civil Rights Movement”

July 13-17, 2015


Dr. Amy Mooney of Columbia College

Dr. Erik Gellman of Roosevelt University

and guests

- Tour & study in historic sites, galleries, & behind the scenes-
- Free Materials-
- Honoraria-


charles white photo

In the 1930s-50s, through the powerful words of Margaret Walker, young Black Chicago artists, writers, and activists asked:


Heralding a new generation artistic and cultural expression and political activism, they moved past the Harlem Renaissance patronage system and romantic notions into the hard brilliant world of democracy, self-identity, and the public sphere. Together, they ignited what we now call the long civil rights movement. Margaret Burroughs, Gwendolyn Brooks, Archibald Motley, Charles White, Richard Wright, Frank Marshall Davis, Eldzier Cortor, and Marion Perkins grabbed their artists’ and writers tools and their “choice of weapons” in the struggle. They also inked with the artists of Mexico who also saw their art as a force of resistance and social political change.

Today, our students ask the same burning question.

You can bolster their critical thinking skills and make the past come alive through the art of the Black Chicago Renaissance.  In a one-week study program with top scholars, teachers will build content knowledge, apply critical source analysis to art and documents, and collaborate on lessons planning,  Meet CCSS and REACH objectives. Teachers will receive honoraria for the week and for the lesson plans.

charles white painting


CMHEC invites you to become part of this study group, July 13-17



For more information, contact Lisa Oppenheim at 312-255-3652 or

The "Visual Arts of the Black Chicago Renaissance" is supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Manaaki Foundation.


* For History and Social Studies 6th-8th Grade Teachers

Website Certification

IMPORTANT NOTE TO TEACHERS: We are pleased to see your interest in the History Fair’s newest category, historical websites. Any teacher that wants to enter student website projects in the History Fair this year is required to take the training, below, and earn certification.


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