Upcoming Online Trainings & Seminars for Teachers


We are currently offering several free trainings to assist teachers as they move online. These one-hour weekly sessions provide a model for how to use a Close Up resources to facilitate open, respectful dialogue about important issues and difficult topics. Close Up is also a offering a series of virtual seminars led by policymakers, Close Up partners, and policy experts. Upon request, teachers can receive a letter certifying their participation in a teacher training or seminar.


Date: Friday, May 29th at 1pm (PDT)/ 4pm (EDT)

Webinar Topic: ACLU – Privacy and Education Equality and COVID-19

Speakers: Chad Marlow, Senior Advocacy and Policy Counsel; Neema Singh Guliani, Senior Legislative Counsel; and Jennifer Granick, Surveillance and Cybersecurity Counsel, Legal/Democracy – Speech, Privacy and Technology Project

ACLU: The American Civil Liberties Union is committed to defending and preserving the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. The Close Up Foundation partners with the ACLU to run Advocacy Institutes for high school and college students from across the country. The ACLU Advocacy Institutes bring together diverse groups of students to participate in firsthand learning experiences for the next generation of social justice advocates.



Date: Wednesday, June 3rd at 3pm (ET)

Training Topic: Factors for Youth Civic Engagement – What could I be doing to (better) encourage voter participation among my students?

Classroom Resource: Voting by Mail

Speakers: Sarah Andes, Research and Impact Fellow at CIRCLE, and Abby Keisa, Director of Impact at CIRCLE.

CIRCLE: The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, is a non-partisan, independent research organization focused on youth civic engagement in the United States. CIRCLE’s research informs policy and practice in order to drive substantive change–whether in the classroom, the county clerk’s office, or the community organization–that promotes stronger youth development and a more inclusive society.



Date: Thursday, June 4th at 4pm (ET)

Seminar Topic: Religious Liberty & COVID-19

Speaker: Benjamin P. Marcus, Religious Literacy Specialist with the Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute.

Bio:  Mr. Marcus has developed religious literacy programs for public schools, universities, U.S. government organizations, and private foundations, and he has delivered presentations on religion at universities and nonprofits in the U.S. and abroad. He has worked closely with the U.S. State Department, Interfaith Youth Core, the Foundation for Religious Literacy, and the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme in the United Kingdom.




Previously Recorded Online Trainings & Seminars for Teachers

Spanish Flu & COVID-19

In this session we explore the use of storytelling in instruction and how bringing to life the human element behind our history can yield important lessons for our present.

COVID-19 and Political Reform

John Milewski on political reformDuring this seminar, available on-demand, Close Up’s, Joe Geraghty discusses COVID-19 and political reform with John Milewski, Director of Digital Programming & Managing Editor and Host of the Wilson Center ON DEMAND from Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

5 Questions to Identify Reliable Media Content


In this session you will become familiar with five specific questions that can be applied to media content to test its reliability.

COVID-19 and the Economy

COVID-19 and the EconomyDuring this seminar, available on-demand, Close Up’s, Joe Geraghty discusses the impact of COVID-19 on the economy with Arlington County Board Member, Christian Dorsey.

What to do when discourse breaks down?


This session provides teachers with the facilitation skills and strategies to reorient students when discourse becomes challenging.

Building a Virtual Community


This session models establishing expectations for productive online conversations about current issues using a Close Up lesson plan.

Classroom Resource: Building a Virtual Community 

Citizenship & Media Literacy


This session models how teachers can use a Close Up lesson plan to help students understand media bias in a virtual classroom.

Classroom Resource: Constructing Media Bias

Facilitating an Online Discussion


This session models how teachers can use Close Up’s blog in a virtual classroom.

Classroom Resource: Humans, Animals, and Viruses

Leading an Online Deliberation on a Policy Discussion


This session models how teachers can use Close Up’s Controversial Issues in the News digital library in a virtual classroom.  For a free trial to our library, register today.

Classroom Resource: The Homelessness Crisis