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TN History for Kids

TN History for Kids tent revival

Bobby Cain walks to school in August 1956
PHOTO: Library of Congress

Would you like help teaching Tennessee social studies and history? How about a day of fascinating presenters to help you bring the subject to life?

That's exactly what we will have at the Marriott CoolSprings Hotel/Conference Center on Monday, July 24.

Organized and underwritten by Tennessee History for Kids, this event targets teachers who teach social studies and history to students in grades 4, 5, 8 and 11 (years that cover U.S. and Tennessee history).

Registration is only $40 per person. Click here for a registration form.

Here are the scheduled presenters who are new to the tent revival:

 Cain today

* Bobby Cain on the integration of Clinton High School and what it was like to have gone through it.

Cain graduated from Clinton High School in Anderson County in 1957,  becoming the first African American to graduate from an integrated public high school the South.

His will be the keynote presentation at the 2017 tent revival.


* Hobart Akin on World War I and Tennessee

Akin heads the living history program for Tennessee State Parks


* John F. Baker Jr. on the Wessyngton Plantation and what it teaches us about slavery

Baker is the author of The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation: Stories of My Family’s Journey to Freedom. Click here to learn more about this.


* Dennis Boggs on President Abraham Lincoln and his connections to Tennessee

Boggs is one of the nation's foremost presenters of Abraham Lincoln. Click here to learn more about him.


* David Currey on the story of Fort Nashborough and the rebuilding of Fort Nashborough

Currey is the president of Encore Interpretive Design, the designer of Nashville's current Fort Nashborough project and the former president of the Tennessee Preservation Trust.


William "Freddy" Curtis on Integrating Civics into your Curriculum

Curtis teaches government at Cannon County High School and formerly was a middle school teacher and elementary school principal.


* David Ewing on the suffrage movement in Tennessee.

Ewing is a Nashville attorney and historian who teaches at Montgomery Bell Academy.

Debbie Austin with students at Fort Donelson

* Susan Hawkins and Debbie Austin on the Battle of Fort Donelson and how the Union takeover of it set the stage for just about everything else that happened in Tennessee during the Civil War

Hawkins and Austin are park rangers at Fort Donelson National Battlefield.

Maraniss (right) with Wallace




* Andrew Maraniss on Perry Wallace and the integration of the Southeastern Conference

Maraniss is the author of Strong Inside: The True Story of how Perry Wallace Broke College Basketball's Color Line. Click here to learn more about this book.


* Errol Rivers on the Tent City Movement of Fayette County

Rivers is a graduate assistant with the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis.


* Sarah Falck on the Battle of Franklin and the five bloodiest hours in Tennessee history

Falck is the education coordinator for the Battle of Franklin Trust.


Here are scheduled presenters making repeat appearances at the tent revival:


* Erin Adams on the world of Andrew Jackson

Adams is the education director at The Hermitage.

Bobo at the 2015 tent revival

* Pamela Bobo on the many chapters of the Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee

Bobo is a professor of history at Tennessee State University


* Bill Carey on what the future holds for Tennessee History for Kids and (separate presentation) and (separate presentation) on the bloody and harrowing story of Middle Tennessee from 1775 until 1800.

Carey is a former reporter, the author of Fortunes Fiddles and Fried Chicken, and the founder of Tennessee History for Kids.


* Aaron Deter-Wolf on prehistory in Tennessee.

Deter-Wolf is a prehistoric archaeologist with the Tennessee Division of Archaeology.

The Finchums

* Sherry and Mark Finchum on Cherokee culture and (separate presentation) on the Trail of Tears

The Finchums are professional educators from Jefferson County who also run a non-profit organization called Indian Creek Productions.


* Derek Frisby on "The Amazing and Forgotten Backstories behind the Tennessee Constitutions of 1834 and 1870"

Frisby teaches Tennessee history at Middle Tennessee State University.


* John Holtzapple on the life, times and homes of President James K. Polk.

Holzapple is the executive director of the President James K. Polk Home and Museum in Columbia.


Janice Kyser on "Developing College, Career and Citizenship-Ready Learners through Action Civics"

Kyser is the executive director of the Tennessee Center for Civic Learning and Engagement


* Jackie Morgan on "Free Resources for Teaching Elementary Content Related to History and Money"

Morgan is senior education specialist for the Nashville branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.


* Lisa Oakley on "The Great Depression and New Deal through Text and Thingumajigs" 

Oakley is the education coordinator at the East Tennessee Historical Center.


* Jeff Sellers on the exciting new Tennessee State Museum (now under construction)

Sellers is the education coordinator for the Tennessee State Museum.


* Rob Simbeck on Cornelia Fort and (separate presentation) on the stories behind Tennessee's symbols

Simbeck is the author of Daughter of the Air: The Brief Soaring Life of Cornelia Fort and also of Tennessee State Symbols. Click here to learn more about his books.

Sullivan at the 2016 tent revival

* Ed Sullivan on Oak Ridge, the Manhattan Project and the development of the atomic bomb

Sullivan is a school librarian and the author of The Ultimate Weapon: The Race to Develop the Atomic Bomb. Click here to learn more about his book.

Moore and Thacker

* Barry Thacker and Carol Moore on East Tennessee's Coal Creek saga.

Thacker and Moore are on the board of the Coal Creek Watershed Foundation.


* Kelly Wilkerson and Casey Gymreck on on connecting students to local African American history through the Green Book and the Tennessee State Library and Archives


Wilkerson and Gyreck do education outreach for the Tennessee State Library and Archives

The Tennessee Geographic Alliance will have its own room and lineup of presenters at the tent revival.

The presenters in the Tennessee Geographic Alliance room will talk about how to integrate geography into the social studies standards.

Here are the scheduled presenters for that room:

* Kurt Butefish (executive director of the Tennessee Geographic Alliance at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville)


* Sherri Collie (teacher at Collinwood Middle School in Wayne County)



* Ashley Flood (geography teacher at Franklin High School in Williamson County)


* Kristi Neuroth (geography teacher at Ravenwood High School in Williamson County)


* Michael Robinson (geography teacher at Houston High School in Shelby County)


* Jenny Shorten (geography teacher at Evangelical Christian School in Shelby County)


* Brian Smith (seventh grade teacher at Jefferson Middle School in Anderson County)