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Workshop Schedule


USS Constitution & the War of 1812

Teacher Workshop at the USS Constitution Museum

July 22 - 26, 2013 & August 5 - 9, 2013



Please note: Workshop schedule is subject to change

Sunday: Welcome and Orientation

All Day


Registration: The Constitution Inn

Members of the USS Constitution Museum staff will be on hand at The Constitution Inn to welcome and orient you. Pick up your registration packet and check in to the hotel. 




Tour: (optional) Museum Galleries - Museum Staff

Tours of the Museum galleries will be offered to Summer Scholars who arrive on Sunday afternoon at 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00. While not required, the tours will give you a chance to become familiar with the Museum, your home base for the week. These tours will be offered by members of the Museum's interpretive staff.



Welcome Reception: Location TBD

Join us as we kick off the weeklong study of USS Constitution and the War of 1812 with a wine and cheese reception. Get to know your fellow summer scholars and the project team.


Dinner: Charlestown

The Museum will make recommendations on a variety of eating establishments in the surrounding Charlestown area, all within walking distance. You'll be "on your own" for dinner but likely with the company of your fellow summer scholars. 



Monday: Seeds of Conflict
8:30-9:00 Gather/Coffee: USS Constitution Museum

Welcome and Orientation: Project Directors

Guiding Questions: Donald Hickey


Introduction to Curriculum Project

By the end of the week, each summer scholar will help to create an interactive exhibit on the topics covered by the workshop. In this session, you'll be introduced to the project including examples of interactive exhibit elements that will serve as inspiration as well as how this project can be used and replicated in your classroom.

10 - 12:00

Lecture & Discussion: Winding up to War - Donald Hickey

Hickey will begin the workshop by discussing the political landscape of the decade leading up to war, the strong feelings for and against war, and specifically James Madison's role in teh declaration of war. This will be followed by a discussion led by Hickey. A synthesis of the main take-aways from the discussion will also be included.

12-12:45 Lunch

Tour: USS Constitution in 1812 - Margherita Desy 

An introductory tour of the landmark ship, USS Constitution, will be led by ship's Historian Margherita Desy. It will highlight the ship's unique design, construction, and how it appeared in 1812. Summer scholars will be given access to parts of the ship that are not included on the public tour including the Captain's Cabin, Officer's Wardroom, Surgeon's Cockpit, and the Magazine (gunpowder storage) getting you down to the oldest parts of the Ship.


Teaching Models: Using Primary Sources - Rebecca Crawford

Teaching from the authentic object requires a skill set and vocabulary that is often not familiar to those outside the Museum field. Manager of Academic & Family Programs Rebecca Crawford will guide us in a series of activities that highlight primary sources in teh Museum's collection and build up our artifact and document analysis skills. 


Travel: USS Constitution Museum to Faneuil Hall

Travel to historic Faneuil Hall will be by water shuttle and by foot, please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring appropriate rain gear for the occasional Boston summer thunderstorm. 


Hands-on History: War of 1812 Town Hall Meeting - NPS Interpretive Rangers

Make your voice heard in the Great Hall of Faneuil Hall in the same place where Bostonians for generations have made critical decisions in the shaping of our nation. Building on the information learned during the morning lecture, you'll be asked to role play a character from the period and stage a town hall meeting taking a stance either for or against the War. You'll gain a perspective on the difficulties and realities that Bostonians, and indeed all American citizens, faced as they struggled to come to a consensus on declaring war on Great Britain. This program will be led by the interpretive staff of the Boston National Historical Park that interprets and operates Faneuil Hall. A discussion of how this type of activity can work in teh classroom will be included.


 Day One Synthesis - Donald Hickey & Master Teacher

Referring back to the guiding questions, Hickey & the Master Teacher will begin to help us synthesize the day's learning into manageable pieces and guide us in filling out a Classroom Action Plan which serves as a guiding document throughout the week. You'll end the day in the heart of downtown Boston with a variety of dining and entertainment options.



Tuesday: Boats and Bombs - War on Land and Sea

Hands-on History: USS Constitution - Museum & US Navy Staff

With an understanding of how the War began, you will board 'Old Ironsides' again, this time as a member of the War of 1812 crew. Together with your shipmates, you will forge a fighting team to accomplish some of the tasks required by crew members such as passing powder from the Magazine at the bottom of the Ship to the guns on the spar deck at the top. 


Lecture & Discussion: The War of 1812 - William Fowler

Fowler will lead us through the major land and naval battles of the War of 1812 as well as the stories of indigenous peoples and their involvement in the conflict. A discussion afterwards highlights the readings previously assigned. 

12:00-1:00 Lunch

Lecture & Discussion: American Naval Crews in 1812 - Matthew Brenckle

Brenckle will present over a decade's worth of research into the lives of the ordinary men who served on board Constitution in the War of 1812 and use this information to extrapolate the life of an American Navy sailor in 1812. These ordinary men from all walks of life came together to accomplish truly extraordinary feats and changed the young Nation's course. Participants will understand Constitution's role, and the Navy's, in the War of 1812 by looking through the lens of the crew. Included in the discussion are highlights from the Museum's collection presented by the curatorial department.


Work Session: Hands-on, Minds-on Exhibits for All Ages - Robert Kiihne

Tapping into the success of the USS Constitution Museum's research into family learning in history setting, Robert Kiihne, Director of Exhibits, will lead us in a workshop session to begin building your interactive exhibit elements. He'll present us with the basic building blocks of creating effective exhibits and prototypes and introduce us to the theory of informal learning and how we can learn from its practice in the formal setting of the classroom.


Day Two Synthesis: Donald Hickey & Master Teacher

Under Hickey and the Master Teacher's guidance, we will have time to digest the presented material using the guiding questions as a framework. you'll continue to strategize how to include the information in your project and continue to build on the Classroom Action Plan. You'll also be introduced to the Museum's curricular resources - "All Hands on Deck" and "A Sailor's Life for Me." 



Wednesday: Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times
8:30-9:00 Gather/Coffee

Lecture & Discussion: African American Combatants in the War of 1812 - Gene Smith

The role of African Americans in the War of 1812 will be covered in a lecture and discussion that explores the often overlooked service of Blacks in the military in our early republic. Smith will speak to how their involvement did not bring to fruition their hope of liberty and helped to accelerate the American Civil War. 

11:30-12:15 Lunch

Travel: USS Constitution Museum to Museum of African American History, African Meeting House

We will be walking to the African Meeting House, just under 1.5 miles away from the Museum. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring appropriate rain gear for the occasional Boston summer thunderstorm.


Tour: African Meeting House - L'Merchie Frazier

Built in 1806, the African Meeting House is the oldest black church building still standing in the United States. The building stands at the edge of what is now known as the North Slope of Beacon Hill. In 1812, this neighborhood was home to the large free black community of Boston, from which came members of the crew of USS Constitution during the War. We will tour the Meeting House and parts of the surrounding neighborhood to gain a better perspective on the lives of these ordinary individuals who served in an extraordinary time. The tour will include Belknap Street where Constitution sailor David Debias was born.


Tour: Harrison Gray Otis House - Historic New England

The Otis House is a property of Historic New England and is situated just 0.2 miles away from the African Meeting House. A tour of the home of Harrison Gray Otis, nineteenth century businessman, lawyer, and politician, will include a conversation about life on the home front during the War of 1812. A member of the state legislature in 1812, Otis was opposed to the War. The home is an excellent example of the Federal style and will demonstrate what life was life for one segment of the population in 1812.

3:15-3:45 Travel: Harrison Gray Otis House - USS Constitution Museum

Work Session: Group Work and Peer Feedback

Looking back on all the information we have gathered thus far, you will continue to build on the previous day's exhibit workshop and in creating your interactives. An opportunity for peer feedback will be included.


Day Three Synthesis: Donald Hickey & Master Teacher

Under Hickey and the Master Teacher's guidance, we will have time to digest the presented material using the guiding questions as a framework. We will continue to use our Classroom Action Plan and build on previous day's learning.


Thursday: Warring Perspectives
8:00 - 9:00 

Lecture & Travel: Boston - Salem - Robert Allison

From the USS Constitution Museum, we will load onto a bus and depart to Salem, Massachusetts for the day. During our travels, we will hear from Robert Allison as he provides us with a traveling lecture on how the War of 1812 affected New England and give us a solid foundation from which to understand the day's trip in the context of the overall workshop.


Tour: Peabody Essex Museum

Salem is the home of America's first global entrepreneurs and the town was a center of commerce for the young nation. Lots of Salem's material culture and art from the early nineteenth century still exists and can be viewed at the Peabody Essex Museum. We will be looking at art and artifacts from the period and discussing those that chose to record and remember the War of 1812 through art. Several instructional activities will be presented, including Visual Thinking Strategies, a critical thinking skill exercise with great applications in the classroom.

Note: The remainder of the day in Salem will change slightly depending on which week's session you attend. This is due to scheduling arrangements with the off site locations we will be touring. See below for a description of each of the tours and lectures.

  Week One
Week Two
11:00-12:00 Lunch 11:00-12:30 Tour: Salem Walking Tour - Salem Maritime National Historical Site

Tour: Breakout Options

Option 1: FAME of Salem

Option 2: Friendship and The Custom House

12:30-1:30 Lunch
2:00-2:30 Lecture: Fashion at the time of the War of 1812 - Emily Murphy, Park Historian 1:30-2:30 Tour: Friendship and The Custom House
2:30-4:00 Tour: Salem Walking Tour - Salem Maritime National Historical Site 2:30-3:00 Lecture: Fashion at the time of the War of 1812 - Emily Murphy, Park Historian
4:00-4:30 Day Four Synthesis: Donald Hickey & Master Teacher 3:00-3:30 Day Four Synthesis: Donald Hickey & Master Teacher
4:30-5:30 Travel: Salem - Boston 4:00-5:30

Breakout Options

Option 1: FAME of Salem*

Option 2: Travel Salem - Boston

Salem Walking Tour - Salem Maritime National Historic Site:

This ninety minute walking tour of Salem will illuminate the city as it appeared in 1812, a city deeply divided by the ideology surrounding the War of 1812. It will explore two separate areas of the city, Chestnut Street and the waterfront. Throughout the tour we will "eavesdrop" on a conversation between two Salem residents of 1812 as they discuss life on the home front, women in 1812, the major political and business players of Salem, and the ever-growing city they are a part of. 

FAME of Salem: 

Come aboard for a sail on the reproduction schooner Fame whose namesake sailed the Atlantic as a privateer vessel in the War of 1812. Captain Michael Rutstein will take us out onto Salem Sound while telling us about the practice of privateering during the war and Fame's fortune before she was wrecked in a storm in 1814. We will sail past lighthouses, old forts, and majestic waterfront home. The opportunity to lend a hand to the crew is available to those who wish to take it. Be sure to bring sturdy walking shoes, layers, and sunblock. Space on Fame is limited to 40 guests, maximum.

Friendship and The Custom House: 

A tour of two of the properties of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site will set the stage for a conversation about the merchant trade of New England and how it was impacted by the lead up to and consequently the War of 1812. One portion of the tour will be aboard Friendship, a reproduction of the original Salem East Indiaman ship that was launched in 1797. She was taken in the War of 1812 by the British sloop HMS Roasamond. The ship is moored to the shore and will not travel on the water. We will also visit the Custom House which housed the offices of the US Customs officials in Salem who were responsible for collecting taxes on the massive amounts of imports that streamed through Salem, a major American port. This example of a Custom House was built just after the War of 1812 and speaks to the neutral trade that was hard fought in the conflict. 

Fashion at the time of the War of 1812 - Emily Murphy, Park Historian

Park Historian Emily Murphy will present a brief but complete look at men's and women's fashion in 1812 to help give us all a sense of what life would have really looked like in the time period. 

* Transportation from Salem to Boston for those who wish to stay and sail with FAME on Week Two will be by commuter rail, leaving as early as 6:04 or as late as 11:24 and getting in to North Station, Boston - a twenty minute walk away from the Constitution Inn.


Friday: Memory and Meaning - Impact of the War of 1812
8:30-9:00 Gather/Coffee

Lecture & Discussion: Rebirth of a Nation - Sidney Hart

Sidney Hart, Senior Historian at the National Portrait Gallery, will present a lecture on the aesthetic response to the War of 1812. Hart will help us understand how artists led the way in creating memory for the nation during and after the conflict.


Panel Discussion: Forging a National Identity and the Impact of the War of 1812 - Hickey/Allison/Fowler

The end of the War of 1812 gave no concessions to either side and resolved none of the issues that led to the conflict. The legacy of the War of 1812 is complicated. Through a panel discussion, we will try to make sense of why the War of 1812 matters. We will trace the legacy from American, British, Canadian, and Native peoples viewpoints. In addition, we'll make sense of how the nation commemorated and later came to remember the War. The questions posed by Hickey at the beginning of the week will be re-examined and we will each draw our own conclusions.

1-1:45 Lunch

Work Session: Final Work Time

An opportunity to put finishing touches on the interactive exhibit elements as part of the final project. Assistance from Museum curatorial, exhibit, and education staff will be available.


Final Presentations

Each group will present their work to all participants and visiting lecturers. The final projects will be included in a temporary exhibit in the Museum theater after the workshop and be made available to the public.

5 - 5:30

Wrap up and Grog Toast

The week's work will be celebrated with a grog toast just as members of Constitution's crew would have celebrated in 1812.


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