MISD Social Studies Department

January Edition

Siege on the Capitol

How did we get to this point, and how do we make things better?

Not since the War of 1812 at the hands of British forces, have the halls of Congress been breached by violent intruders. As many of us watched the actions occur, it became a surreal experience likened to the Challenger Explosion or 9/11.

During your discussions on this topic, it is important to allow your students the opportunity to express their feelings and opinions and for teachers to support their voices. Help students to analyze the event and provide historical examples of conflict and resolutions in the United States. Most of all, make sure that students are directed to credible sources of information and follow back up with them if you assign something outside of class.

News articles


Pro-Trump mob storms U.S. Capitol in bid to overturn election


Trump Declares State of Emergency In Washington, D.C. Ahead of Biden's Inauguration

C-SPAN Resources

Violence at the U.S. Capitol:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Below are numerous C-SPAN resources to help in your knowledge and instruction on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Tour museum collections, hear from Rep. John Lewis (recently passed away), and learn about the inclusion of young people in the march.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Resources:

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Inauguration Day - January 20, 2021

Every four years, the U.S. celebrates the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next. The 46th President of the United States will be sworn in on Wednesday, Jan. 20 according to the Constitution on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Both the vice president-elect and president-elect will take Oaths of Office, which usually takes place at noon, followed by an inaugural address.

The 59th inaugural ceremonies are expected to look noticeably different than in years past due to surging COVID-19 cases. Opening remarks historically take place around 11:30 ET/8:30 a.m. PT. The inauguration is likely to be streamed by every major news station, in addition to being shared on platforms like Facebook Live, Twitter and YouTube.

If you have concerns about how to address the inauguration during these sensitive times, consider teaching about the inauguration itself with a critical literacy lens. A non-partisan approach acknowledges history in the making while also examining how we have reached this point. See some resources below.


Anti-Defamation League- 7 Ideas for Teaching About The Presidential Inauguration

NEA- Inauguration Day Activities

C-SPAN Classroom- Lesson Plan: 2021 Joe Biden Inauguration Viewing Guides

NEH.GOV- Lesson Plan- Presidential Inaugurations: I Do Solemnly Swear

americanhistory.si.edu- The Campaign Trail- Inaugurations

If you have any unique activities planned or displays on your campus, please let us know or send us photographs.

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Holocaust Awareness Week- January 25-29, 2021

According to TEA, teachers are required to provide education about the Holocaust in their social studies classes. The instruction will occur on the week of January 27 (Liberation Day).

In middle school and high school courses, you will find a Holocaust Remembrance Week tab in Eduphoria that provides resources that you may include in your instruction. There is not a requirement on the length of instruction during the week.

SB 1828- Texas Education Code:

To educate students about the Holocaust and inspire in students a sense of responsibility to recognize and uphold human values and to prevent future atrocities

The week should include age-appropriate instruction, as determined by each school district

Instruction shall include information about the history of and lessons learned from the Holocaust; participation...in learning projects about the Holocaust; the use of materials developed or approved by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission…

If you have any unique activities planned or displays on your campus, please let us know or send us photographs.

Black History Month

National African American History Month in February celebrates the contributions that African Americans have made to American history in their struggles for freedom and equality and deepens our understanding of our Nation's history. National African American History Month had its origins in 1915 when historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Woodson chose the second week in February, as it encompassed both Frederick Douglass’ birthday on February 14 and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12.

In the early 20th century, while he earned a Masters degree from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from Harvard, both in history, Woodson witnessed how black people were underrepresented in the books and conversations that shaped the study of American history. According to the way many historians taught the nation’s past, African Americans were barely part of the story—a narrative that Woodson knew was not true. So in 1915, he and Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, or the ASALH). The organization would promote studying black history as a discipline and celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans.

In 1976 this commemoration of black history in the United States was expanded to Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, and President Ford issued the first Message on the Observance of Black History Month that year.

In 1986 Congress passed Public Law 99-244 (PDF, 142KB) which designated February 1986 as "National Black (Afro-American) History Month.”

Sources: https://time.com/4197928/history-black-history-month/



We Are Teachers- 33 Black History Month Activities for February and Beyond

Edutopia- 6 Teaching Tools for Black History Month

Smithsonian- Black History Month

If you have any unique activities planned or displays on your campus, please let us know or send us photographs.

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National History Day- Saturday, January 30

This year Mesquite ISD will continue to participate in National History Day. The contest will be held virtually. Students that win at the MISD level will have the opportunity to compete at the district, state, and national level all of which are virtual this year.

We have about 6 middle school and high school campuses submitting entries this year. The deadline for submitting entries is January. 26. We are in need of judges that can score entries on Saturday, January 30 virtually. If you are interested, please contact Daniel Norwood (dnorwood@mesquiteisd.org).

Information on the district and regional contest contest. Click here.

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Professional Learning Opportunities in Social Studies

Please sign up for these great courses led by Atrice Adeniyi and Daniel Norwood.

Social Justice in Social Studies- January 27, 2021

Expanding Voices in Social Studies- March 3, 2021

You Gotta Fight...For Your Rights- February 24, 2021


There is a new platform for course registration- Eduphoria/Strive. Register through the Staff Portal and click on "my profile" if you have never visited the site.

MISD Spring Professional Learning Catalog link The catalog is also linked on the employee portal and is titled “Professional Learning Catalog”.

If you have any questions or problems registering call or email Diana Hill at extension 7737 or dhill@mesquiteisd.org

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TELPAS Writing Samples

TELPAS Writing will begin February 8 for our EL students. It is important to try and get as many authentic writing samples from these students in the meantime. You may need to put forth an extra effort to give students the opportunity to write responses to different prompts in class this month. Please be sure to extend the opportunity to VLA students as well.

Possible activities:

  • Short answer warm-up or exit ticket responses
  • Incorporate sentence stems to encourage written responses
  • Use images (pictures, paintings, drawings, graphics) to prompt written responses to a topic using the document analysis form

Atrice Adeniyi