R9 K-5 Social Studies Support

October 2021

Dear Teachers,

Happy October! This year is flying by so far!

I know that your time is limited but I wanted to really encourage you to make your voice heard this year in the upcoming TEKS Revision process. TEA just recently announced that applications for the TEKS Revision Work Groups have been opened. I encourage you to apply and share your expertise. In addition, I encourage you to join this year's TXCSS Social Studies conference in November. Registration is open! This is a wonderful opportunity to grow your own learning and practice as well as a great networking chance.

Here are just a few items to bring to your attention in this issue:

  • TEKS Revision Work Group Information and Application
  • Region 9 Social Studies TEKS Revision Focus Group **Action needed**
  • HB3979/SB3 guidelines linked under Legislative Updates
  • Registration is open for the TCSS Conference in Round Rock at the new Kalahari Resort
  • Update: NCSS will be going virtual again this year. New registration information below.

As always, I would like to help in any way that I can to take something off your plate. Please feel free to reach out any time for a resource, idea, or support of any kind.



A few important dates for this month with some resources linked:


R9 Focus Group- Action Needed

Teachers and curriculum leaders, if you have suggestions on how to improve the Elementary Social Studies TEKS, now is the time to lend your voice! Please sign up at http://bit.ly/k3teksr9 for K-3 teachers or bit.ly/412teksr9 for 4th-12th grade teachers to let me know your availability for this important meeting! I will conduct one to two meetings for each group dependent on when the most teachers are available, but all meetings will cover the same information. Those who are interested in being part of the TEKS revision process will only attend 1 meeting total!

The polls below will close on October 22nd, and email invitations will be sent out by Monday, October 25th.

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Updates from TEA

Social Studies Work Group Application

The SBOE is now accepting applications to serve on social studies TEKS review work groups. The SBOE's TEKS review and revision process calls for multiple, separate work groups. Applicants do not need to be educators to apply. Please enter information in the application that best reflects your experience. A link is provided below to the application.


Work Groups

Throughout the revision process, applications are submitted to SBOE members for their review and approval. TEA then builds work groups from the pool of approved applicants and notifies selected applicants of their invitation to serve on a work group.

  • Work group members will be expected to complete an online orientation session prior to their work group meeting.
  • Work group members may be asked to complete pre-work exercises prior to their meeting.
  • Work group members may be asked to provide invited testimony at SBOE meetings.

Questions related to the application for the social studies TEKS review and revision process can be directed to teks@tea.texas.gov.

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Instructional Strategies and Skills Support

Checkology (News Literacy Project)

FREE Resource! Click here to register: https://get.checkology.org/

Truth, evidence and facts compete for attention alongside rumors, viral hoaxes, conspiracy theories and disinformation. This relentless stream of misinformation confuses and divides us, and can make us feel powerless. But we all can learn to identify misinformation.

News literacy — the ability to determine the credibility of news and other content — is the solution, one that’s urgently needed.

1 minute introductory video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enmB76wgaJE

Podsie (Frequent Retrieval Practice)

FREE Resource! Click here to check it out: https://www.podsie.org/

*Personalized Review

*Spacing & Interleaving

*Frequent Retrieval

1 minute introductory video: Click Here

TCEA Blog Post: Click Here

SS Content Specific Resources

We the People: Elementary Edition

Click here

Focusing on Details: Compare and Contrast

In this activity, students will 1) examine the Preamble as seen in the original draft and final version of the Constitution, and evaluate the significance of the changes in the text, and 2) rewrite the Preamble in their own words.

courtesy of docsteach.org
TEKS R US Social Studies Blog

6th grade World Cultures Unit 3 and Sustained Inquiry

Connect2Texas Free Virtual Learning Opportunities

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Google Arts & Culture Example

Texas History: Destruction of the Saint Saba Mission

Click here to reach this activity

History Detectives Template

FREE Resource!

Click here to make a copy: Template

6 C's of Primary Source Analysis

Edutopia: 7 diverse texts to bolster reading lessons

Texas History Tuesdays

Bullock Texas State History Museum

Social Studies Resource Run

K-12 Curated Resources for Social Studies credit: Crystal Klose Region 11 SS


Literature Resources

7 Diverse Texts to Bolster Reading Lessons

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credit: Jessica Torres Region 12 SS


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credit: Jessica Torres Region 12 SS


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credit: Jessica Torres Region 12 SS



Opportunities for your Students

4th Grade Essay Contest

Click here for the entry form and rules.

Deadline: November 20th, 2021

About the Contest

Each of us can point to something in our neighborhood, town, or city that's worth saving, whether it's a building, a public space, an organization, a cultural event, or some other special feature. Every community in Texas is unique and has its own history, including yours!


Each 4th-grade grand prize winner will be awarded a gift card worth $500. The five finalists in each grade will receive $100 gift cards. In addition, all winners and finalists will receive Save Texas History backpacks, a letter of appreciation signed by Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, and other items from the Texas General Land Office and essay sponsors.

Prompt: Answer the question, "What history in your community is worth saving?"

When: Entries must be received by November 30, 2021. Grand prize winners and finalists will be announced by December 10, 2021.

All inquiries should be sent to essaycontest@glo.texas.gov.

5th-8th Grade Essay Contest

Deadline: November 22, 2021

5th-8th grade topic: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Click here for advertising poster

Click here for rules

Grand prize: certificate, pin, and monetary award is presented to the national first place winner at Continental Congress.


Legislative Updates

HB 3979-> SB3

While HB 3979 went into effect September 1, 2021, the SBOE is required to revise the TEKS, as needed, by December 31, 2022. Since teachers must teach the current TEKS, they should continue teaching the current TEKS until the revision of the TEKS and the implementation of the revised TEKS have occurred. During the second special session of the Legislature, SB 3 was drafted, signed, and sent to the Governor's desk to be signed. Once it is signed (or after 30 days becomes law), it will supersede HB 3979. For more information and clarification, the Texas Council for the Social Studies has created some "guidelines" to assist with the interpretation of both - you can access those guidelines on the TXCSS website under the Advocacy tab or here for SB3 and here for HB3979.

SB 1063

SB 1063 provides for a new course combining personal financial literacy and economics. This course, once it is developed and has approved TEKS, can be used to satisfy a social studies graduation requirement. The bill did not add the course to the required curriculum. However, the State Board of Education (SBOE) has the authority to decide if the course should be part of the required curriculum and could make it so at some future date. If the SBOE does not take action, local districts will have the option to offer the course or not offer the course.


Additional PD Offerings Around the State


This fall, Humanities Texas will hold FREE professional development webinar series for social studies and ELA teachers in Texas schools. Teachers can apply to attend on the Humanities Texas website. Participants will receive CPE credit and a wealth of curricular materials. CPE hours will be based on Zoom attendance and adjusted if a participant misses any portion of the program. Teachers who apply will receive information about and access to each weekly session in the series.

NEW**The Court and the Constitution

Mondays • October 18–November 8, 2021 • 5:00–6:15 pm CT

This webinar series will focus on milestone cases in Supreme Court history related to civil liberties, civil rights, defining federal power, and criminal procedure. Cases to be discussed include, but are not limited to, Marbury v. Madison (1803), McCullough v. Maryland (1819), Gibbons v. Ogden (1824), Hernandez v. Texas (1954), Mapp v. Ohio (1961), Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), and United States v. Lopez (1995). Content will be aligned with the secondary social studies TEKS, with particular emphasis on the standards for U.S. government and history.

NEW** Teaching Edgar Allan Poe

Monday, October 18 and Monday, October 25, 2021 • 5:00–6:15 pm CT

The two webinars will focus on the varied work of Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1845). The first webinar, “Teaching Poe’s Poems,” will contextualize several of his major poems, including “The Raven,” “Annabel Lee,” and “Alone,” while the second webinar, “Teaching Poe’s Short Stories,” will examine classic tales such as “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Both webinars will consider Poe’s legacy and highlight the most important takeaways for middle and high school students.

NEW** Teaching Frederick Douglass

Tuesday, November 9 and Tuesday, November 16, 2021 • 5:00–6:15 pm CT

The two webinars will focus on the life and work of the great abolitionist and civil rights leader Frederick Douglass. The first webinar will provide a broad overview of Douglass's career, with some specific suggestions (such as how to incorporate photographs of Douglass into your teaching). The second webinar will focus on the challenges of teaching sections of the Narrative (1845) and "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" (1852). Both webinars will consider Douglass's legacy and highlight the most important takeaways for middle and high school students.

NEW** Teaching Media Literacy

Thursdays • October 28–December 2, 2021 • 5:00–6:15 pm CT

Each webinar in the series will provide resources and strategies to help middle and high school students become informed citizens and critical consumers of news in multiple media. Webinars include: “It’s News to Me”: Young Adolescents’ Perspectives on Journalism; “Fake News” in U.S. History; Teaching Students to Become Expert Readers of the News; More Than “The News That’s Fit to Print”: Video and Visual Media; and Teaching Strategies, Assignments, and Classroom Activities.

Teachers can apply to attend here:


Questions: institutes@humanitiestexas.org


Civic Conversations

Without an atmosphere of respect, the Founders would certainly not have been able to create a new government. And progress on civil rights for women, African Americans, and other minorities would definitely have been impossible until those communities were given the respect due to them by the government and civil society. The Bill of Rights Institute understands that the kind of difficult conversations you will inevitably have in your classrooms this year cannot take place without an atmosphere of respect. This is one of the reasons they have created the Civil Conversations speaker series on how to approach some of the most challenging topics of today including race, religion, and politics. Check out the video below for support in teaching religion in your classroom.


Upcoming Social Studies Conferences

Click the images below to reach the registration page.

NCSS Conference has gone virtual! Click above to register!


Chelsea Howells

Social Studies Specialist

Region 9 ESC

#GCT #iCivicsEducator #MIE #GridGuide #EdPuzzleCoach