Now is the perfect time to start making your summer plans and including some potential social studies learning opportunities! Many different organizations offer on-site professional development programs that provide you both the knowledge and experience about the topic that you can use to enhance your instruction with your students.

Additionally, many of these programs are of little to no cost to the participant. Below are some opportunities for you to consider:

Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute

A variety of different topics are offered for Grade 3-12 teachers that focus on different aspects of life in colonial Virginia during the American Revolution and its impact beyond this time. Scholarships are available. If you have questions, contact

Ford’s Theater Summer Programs: Civil War Washington and Set in Stone: Civil War Memory, Monuments and Myths

These programs incorporate historical site experiences with resources that will help teachers provide students the opportunity to grapple with Civil War history and its impact today. They are open to K-12 teachers and free of cost to selected applicants.

Fort Ticonderoga Institute

Open to K-12 teachers, this institute explores the American Revolution through place-based experiences and the exploration of artifact collections. It takes place July 14-19 and applications are due on March 1.

George Washington Teacher Institute

On-site professional development at Mount Vernon is included in each of the five-day programs offered. Current K-12 teachers are eligible to apply and the cost to attend is minimal for selected applicants. The application deadline is quickly approaching, on Jan. 15.

Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminars

Applications are open for each of the four in-person seminars being offered this summer, with a deadline of March 5. Selected applicants will pay less than $100 for registration and reading materials. Some travel stipends are available.

Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institute

This program takes place on-site at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and focuses on strategies for using primary sources with K-12 students. The deadline to apply is Feb. 16.

Monticello Teacher Institute

This week-long program has two sessions this summer that are open to K-12 classroom teachers. Selected participants will be immersed in professional development that will transform their learning into new resources for their classroom. The deadline to apply is March 8.

National Endowment for the Humanities Institutes

A variety of different institutes centered around different topics are available this summer. Visit the page to learn about these offerings and the eligibility for each. The application deadline for these programs is March 5.

Retro Report Civics Summer Institute

This institute will provide the opportunity to pilot resources from their current project about student discourse and discussion that will be available to classroom teachers for free. Stipends are available. Secondary teachers may apply by Jan. 22.

USS Midway Museum Institute for Teachers

Two different topics are offered this summer for social studies teachers to learn from scholars and place-based experiences: The Cold War, Korea and Vietnam” and “World War II in the Pacific: Clash of Nations.” The deadline to apply is March 15.