Teacher Workshops


The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) is certified by the Illinois State Board of Education to provide Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs). ALPLM's professional development programs highlight the Library's collections and help participants develop advanced research skills, incorporate original records into classroom instruction, and use best practices to cultivate students' disciplinary literacy and inquiry skills.

All professional development programs are offered free of charge and open to educators across all subject areas and levels (primary, secondary, and higher education).

Dr. Sam Wheeler, Illinois' State Historian, shows the ALPLM's Gettysburg Address to 
educators participating in the "Lincoln Speaks" Summer Institute,
 a partnership between Gilder Lehrman and ALPLM.

Summer Development Programs

Although we cannot wait to welcome educators and their students back into the museum, we've made the decision to "go virtual" for our summer continuing education programs. By making this tough decision, we're trading some of the hands-on experiences we would traditionally offer for increased access to our programming to educators in Illinois and across the country. Further, in the process of rethinking topics and content development, we've had the opportunity to partner with other ALPLM departments and external entities to create programs we're very excited to share.  

To learn more about our menu of professional development programs, please read the descriptions below and be sure to register early to reserve your space. When you do register, you will be provided with a unique link to join the event—be sure to save this as it is your "ticket" into the event. If you have any questions about a program, please email the Education Department at ALPLM.Education@illinois.gov.

Summer in the Stacks: Strategies for Educators Seeking Primary Sources 

June 16, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST (Zoom, Register

Interested in doing research at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, but not sure where to begin? Would you like to find more primary sources to use in your classroom, but need tips on where to start? Join us for an informative, hands-on virtual workshop to learn more about the resources of the library and how to find and request materials to view in our Reading Room. We will also share tips and strategies for finding primary sources and primary source-based lesson plans online.  

Participants will earn 3.0 CPDUs. 


Cultivating Future Historians: Teaching the Process of History 

July 16, 3:00-5:00 PM CST (Zoom, Register

During this hands-on virtual workshop, engage in activities to explore your positionality, consider the challenges of traditional methods of history instruction, examine effective strategies to make the process of history visible in your classroom, and begin developing a plan to teach students how to think and act like historians. 

Participants will earn 2.0 CPDUs. 


Uncovering History's Mysteries: Creating Exciting, Hands-On Primary Source Analysis Activities 

July 23, 3:00-5:00 PM CST (Zoom, Register

"You know my methods, Watson. There was not one of them which I did not apply to the inquiry." - Sherlock Holmes  

Working with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum's collection and a variety of primary source analysis methods, discover how to create exciting hands-on analysis activities for your students to facilitate the development of disciplinary literacy, learner-led inquiry, and higher-level thinking skills. 

Participants will earn 2.0 CPDUs. 


Difficult Dialogues: Using Civil Discourse to Teach Challenging Topics 

August 11, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST (Zoom, Register

If you've ever struggled to engage students around challenging topics in your classroom or are leery to do so based on where the conversation might go this is the workshop for you! Join ALPLM's Director of Education, Heather Nice, as we discuss strategies to engage students in civil discourse when discussing difficult, challenging, or sensitive topics.  

Participants will earn 2.0 CPDUs and leave with ready-to-implement strategies to tackle challenging topics in their classrooms.  


Gone Virtual: Boot Camps for Busy Educators

We believe, were he alive today, President Lincoln would love the opportunities afforded by remote learning. While few of us could have anticipated the changes the pandemic has brought to education, we've worked with educators to create a series of virtual boot camps to respond to the continued possibility of remote instruction this fall. See below to learn more about our "Gone Virtual: Boot Camps for Busy Educators!" 

Although these trainings complement each other and, together, represent a full "course" of instruction, they are offered in a "stand alone" format and can be completed independent of the others. As always, registration is free and participants will receive 2.0 CPDU credits for each course they complete.

Session 1: The Low Down on Distance Learning  

June 17, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST (Zoom, Register

In "The Low Down on Distance Learning" we'll discuss what the data tells us about our students' experience this spring, various types of distance learning, and how to transform course content in an impossible amount of time.  

Session 2: Design for Digital Delivery 

June 24, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST (Zoom, Register

"Designing for Digital Delivery" focuses on best practices in delivering digital content, including universal design for learning, backwards design, user experience, and accessibility. We'll also discuss templates and the importance of being intentional and consistent in design. 

Session 3: Teaching in Virtual Environments 

July 1, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST (Zoom, Register

"Teaching in Virtual Environments" highlights best practices for organizing content, orienting your students, and increasing instructor presence. We'll also discuss how to narrow your focus and build and foster professional learning communities to collaborate on content development. 

Session 4: Strategies for Student Engagement 

July 8, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST (Zoom, Register

In "Strategies for Student Engagement," instruction focuses on learning strategies, building student interactions, and finding content to use in the online classroom. We'll also discuss how to transition classroom strategies to digital environments, key technology tools, and the 20% project. 

Session 5: Equity in Distance Learning Environments   

July 15, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST (Zoom, Register

"Equity in Distance Learning Environments" highlights resources and strategies for creating accessible digital content, ensuring equity of access, and how to create and maintain an inclusive class. We'll also discuss the importance of Netiquette and share tips on responding to microaggressions. 

Session 6: Collecting Evidence of Student Success  

July 22, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST (Zoom, Register

In "Collecting Evidence of Student Success" participants will discuss setting success criteria and high impact practices for online assessment (traditional and alternative) and strategies to streamline grading and feedback to students. We'll also examine strategies to increase student accountability. 

Session 7: Digitizing Instruction, Not Yourself 

July 29, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST (Zoom, Register

"Digitizing Instruction, Not Yourself" takes a slightly different approach as we highlight strategies for self-care, mindfulness, and reflective practice while teaching online. We'll also share "Pearls of Wisdom" for online instruction, compare effectiveness and efficiency, and discuss a personal 20% project.  

Teacher In-Service

In addition to the programs we schedule for the general public, the Education Department can work with schools, districts, and other education organizations to present the trainings listed above. These programs can be modified to meet your learning objectives, time allotment, and location constraints and, for now, will be presented via distance technology.

Please contact the Education Department ALPLM.Education@illinois.gov for additional information or to schedule an in-service presentation.



The Education Department creates a monthly newsletter, The Finding Aid, to share resources, information about professional developments, and so much more! If you would like to sign up for the newsletter, please send an email to the Education Department ALPLM.Education@illinois.gov.