The Institute’s one-day workshops held at historic sites around the country provide opportunities for teachers to expand their knowledge of the American Revolution, discuss strategies for teaching the subject with historians and fellow educators, and explore the Institute’s classroom resources. Instruction focuses on a specific theme related to the American Revolution, often connected to the history of the region where the workshop is held. Each workshop consists of a lecture on the chosen theme by an invited scholar, presentations by Institute staff on related classroom resources drawing on our collections, and a guided tour of the host site connecting the local history to themes explored in the workshop. Workshops are free to educators. Participating teachers receive confirmation of professional development hours.

The Institute also participates in annual conferences sponsored by national and state organizations such as the National Conference for the Social Studies and the National Council for History Education, as well as their regional and state affiliates. Registration, fees, and the conferral of professional development credits for these events are managed by the respective organizations.


Upcoming Workshops

Remembering America’s First Veterans
907 Princess Anne Street, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Friday, November 8, 201
9, 9:00 AM-3:00 PM

James Madison wrote that veterans of the American Revolution suffered a “singular hardship” that “can never be forgotten.” Yet because America’s civilian population suffered enormously during the eight-year conflict, compensating veterans for their service–let alone honoring them–took more than a generation. Enlisted men like Joseph Plumb Martin, who served seven years in the Continental Army, were left feeling “turned adrift like old worn-out horses.” By the time of the marquis de Lafayette’s triumphant 1824-1825 tour of America–which included Fredericksburg, Virginia–economic prosperity coupled with romantic sentiment toward the Revolution fostered an appreciation for the sacrifices made by the heroes of the War of Independence. During this workshop, teachers will explore the collections of the American Revolution Institute, the Fredericksburg Area Museum, the Washington Heritage Museums and the Fredericksburg Circuit Court and receive primary source-based classroom materials which align to the Virginia Standards of Learning. Participants will also be treated to an afternoon walking tour of historic Fredericksburg focusing on its Revolutionary War history, with planned stops at the Mary Washington House and the Rising Sun Tavern.

This free workshop for Virginia teachers has been generously sponsored by the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia. Lunch will be provided and substitute fees will be covered upon advanced request. Registration is required.

To register, contact Stacia Smith, American Revolution Institute Director of Education at


American Revolution Institute Educator Book Club

The Property of the Nation by Matthew Costello
2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC
Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 6:30 PM-7:30 PM

Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 5:00 PM-8:00 PM
Tuesday, December 3, 2019, 6:30 PM-7:30 PM 

Local educators are invited to join the inaugural semester of the American Revolution Institute Educator Book Club. Teachers will meet with the education program staff of the American Revolution Institute on three occasions—the first for an introduction to the Institute’s classroom resources and to receive copies of our first book selection, The Property of the Nation: George Washington’s Tomb, Mount Vernon, and the Memory of the First President (released by its publisher September 30, 2019); the second to join the book’s author, Matthew Costello, for a dinner and private book discussion at Anderson House prior to his public lecture on the topic; and the third to share original classroom activities created by the group’s participants as inspired by the book. This opportunity is offered free of cost and will be limited to ten area teachers.

Ten professional development hours conferred. Registration required—contact American Revolution Institute Director of Education, Stacia Smith at


Upcoming Conferences

American “Notions of Independence” 1775-2019
VIRGINIA COUNCIL FOR THE SOCIAL STUDIES 53rd Annual Conference for Educators: Voices of Democracy
Williamsburg, Virginia
Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26, 2019

In 1775 a British army captain encamped at Charlestown Heights wrote a letter describing how “this Country and its Inhabitants” were occupied by “the same Spirit … from Nova Scotia to the Carolinas; Burning with the Fiercest flame”. He observed that “The People … habituated by Notions of Independence, are and have been determined for some years past to throw of[f] the British Yoke; happily, indeed”.

Participants in this session will examine Captain Gunning’s letter, and connect it to famous as well as lesser-known American Voices of Democracy spanning two centuries—specifically: 1) the articulation of this “Spirit” in the Declaration of Independence, 2) the influence of the Declaration’s plea for American democracy as reflected in a patriot’s letters home in 1776, and 3) the legacy of the Declaration of Independence today.

Join the American Revolution Institute’s mission by learning more about the free materials and resources we provide students and teachers. Our session will feature an overview of the Institute’s online library and museum collections and the work of our master teachers, an introduction to our newly-launched educational video game Revolutionary Choices, and a lesson outline corresponding to the following Virginia Standards of Learning: Virginia Studies (VS.5a), United States History to 1865 (USI.6a and 6b), Virginia and United States History (VUS.4b and 4e), and Virginia and United States Government (GOVT.2e and 3.a-f) and featuring primary source materials from the collections of the American Revolution Institute.

Information regarding registration for the VCSS Conference is available at their website:


“That Blessing which Equal Heaven Bestow’d”–John Laurens’ Revolutionary Advocacy
NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE SOCIAL STUDIES 99th Annual Meeting: Informed Action
Austin, Texas
Friday, November 22 and Saturday, November 23, 2019

Session attendees will analyze the historical significance of Continental Army officer John Laurens’ efforts during the American Revolutionary War to convince Congress and the Continental Army to enlist enslaved persons in exchange for the freedom he described as “that Blessing which equal Heaven bestow’d upon us all” and will connect Laurens’ example of advocacy to the practice of informed action in 2019.

Those in attendance will also receive lesson plans and materials from the American Revolution Institute including an orientation to the Institute’s website which features online resources relative to John Laurens and to the democratic ideals of liberty, equality, civic responsibility and natural and civil rights. The Laurens lesson plan shared with teachers employs Common Core anchor standards in reading and literacy relative to history and social studies and challenges students to: 1) critically analyze Laurens’ advocacy and its reception, 2) create a digital product which synthesizes their understanding of Laurens’ role in the greater context of the struggle for human rights, then 3) evaluate America’s progress in civil rights over the course of two hundred years. Participants who are Texas educators will find connections between the efforts of John Laurens and the movements of various groups and key leaders in Texas during the twentieth century as identified in Chapter 113 of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies: James L. Farmer, Jr., Hector P. Garcia, Oveta Culp Hobby, Lyndon B. Johnson, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Jane McCallum, and Lulu Belle Madison White.

Information regarding registration for the NCSS Annual Meeting is available at:


For more information, contact:

Stacia Smith
Director of Education
202.785.2040 x416