ESC Region 17 Social Studies

History Rocks! Volume 5 Issue #1

“In playing ball, and in life, a person occasionally gets the opportunity to do something great. When that time comes, only two things matter: being prepared to seize the moment and having the courage to take your best swing.”

-Hank Aaron
The start of a new school year always brings happy smiles, a few nerves, fabulous new school supplies, and an opportunity to be a part of a child's learning path. While there will still be some unknowns this fall, try to channel your inner Hank Aaron and take that best swing this school year!

New Opportunity from TEA

Social Studies TEKS Review Work Group Application

The State Board of Education (SBOE) will soon begin the review and revision of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for K-12 social studies. The SBOE’s TEKS review and revision process calls for multiple, separate workgroups to make recommendations to the SBOE for revisions to the current standards. SBOE members nominate individuals, including educators, parents, business and industry representatives, and employers, to serve on TEKS review workgroups.

The SBOE is now accepting applications to serve on social studies TEKS review workgroups. Applications received will be submitted to SBOE members for review throughout the process.

Individuals selected will be asked to serve on one or more workgroups. TEKS review workgroups typically convene for two-day meetings and may include Saturdays. Additional days or meetings may be scheduled if needed. The Texas Education Agency is currently conducting TEKS review meetings virtually but is expected to return to face-to-face meetings later this year. The invitation to serve on a workgroup will include the format/location of the meeting.

To access the application and for more information regarding the K-12 social studies TEKS review, please visit the Social Studies TEKS Review webpage at

Questions regarding the application or TEKS review process may be sent via email to

Click here for the Application!!!!!!

Remember- all grade levels are needed!

Fall at the ESC

Canceled-Teaching Free Enterprise New Module Launch

Canceled and we will reschedule soon! October 4, 2021- Join us for lunch and the launching of a new module from Teaching Free Enterprise of the Bridwell Institute for Economic Freedom, at SMU's Cox School of Business.

Calling All 7th Grade Texas History Teachers!

The Ranching Heritage Center has a new project in the works! If you are interested in finding out more, fill out this google form!!!!

Historically Speaking

Session # 832570 (starts 9/16/2021) Twice a month, these afterschool discussions can help with planning for the upcoming units, learn new technology pieces, share resources, and talk about all things social studies. Join the zoom anytime. (3:00-5:00)

Region 17's 8th Grade Social Studies U

Session # 832544 (Starting on September 15) 8th Grade Social Studies teachers will meet monthly to work on content knowledge, strategies, and resources to help with unit instruction and student mastery. Each session is 3 hours long. (8:30-11:30)

And On the Same Day...Join Us for a New Monthly Session

Accelerated Learning for Social Studies and HB 4545

Session #832548 (begins 9/15/2021)To support the fulfillment of HB 4545, these half-day sessions will provide teachers with resources and strategies to use during the 30 hours of supplemental instruction time for social studies students. (12:30-3:30)

House Bill 4545

Accelerated instruction: For any student who did not pass STAAR grades 3-8 or EOC assessments, accelerated instruction must be delivered in the 2021-2022 school year (starting in fall 2021) or subsequent summer of 2022. Accelerated instruction entails either 1) assigning a classroom teacher who is a certified master, exemplary, or recognized teacher, or 2) delivering supplemental instruction (e.g., tutoring) before or after school, or embedded in the school day and meeting HB 4545 requirements.
Planning with the End in Mind for U.S. History EOC

Session # 832571 (starting 10/5/2021) This planning session is part of the 2021-2022 school year 4 day-series to preparation for student success on the state assessment.

ESC 17 Social Studies Leadership Meeting

Session # 828963 (9/21/2021) Join us for a meeting of instructional coaches, curriculum specialists, and department heads as we discuss TEA updates and social studies support for the 2021-2022 school year.

New to Social Studies Teaching Academy Day 2

Session # 829055 (01/25/2022) Participants who are new to teaching or just new to teaching social studies will continue to build their content knowledge of their TEKS, how to use assessment data to guide instruction, and plan for student engagement.

Happenings Around the State, Nation, and World

Updates from TEA

The revision process is about to start! Once we get more information about TEKS Review Committees, I will send out more information!
Big picture
Citizen Bee is Back!

Region 17 is hosting the 2022 Regional Citizen Bee competition on March 23, 2022! Check out the redesign of the website and email me if you have some questions about the Bee or if you are interested in entering a high school team!

Texas Council for the Social Studies Conference

Back in person, the 2021 TCSS Social Studies Conference is in Round Rock this fall! Click on the image below for a link to the registration page.

New for Elementary Social Studies!

The amazing folks at Texas Law-Related Education have released their new Civics Works! On their website you will find...

  1. An online book (with audio option), Scrappy Explores His Community, in both English and Spanish.
  2. Elementary and Secondary interactive maps to allow students to learn more about civic engagement.
  3. A civic pledge creator to allow learners to share how they might become more engaged.
  4. Color page options for students to explore their community.
  5. Lesson plans for educators

Free Humanities Texas PD Webinars Fall 2021

Beginning in September, 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.

Teaching about American Indians in Texas


September 13-October 4 (5:00-6:30 p.m.) "... focus on the long arc of American Indian presence in Texas from the pre-contact era through the “Indian Wars” of the 1870s."

Teaching America's Founding Documents


September 15-October 13 (5:00-6:15 p.m.)"...focus on both the context of the featured document (how it came to be and its impact/significance) and its actual contents (the most important things for teachers to know and share with their students)."

National History Day 2021-2022 Debate and Diplomacy in History: Success, Failure, Consequences

Each year, National History Day® frames students’ research within a historical theme. The theme is chosen for broad application to world, national, or state history and its relevance to ancient history or to the more recent past. The 2021-2022 theme is Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences. Watch the Introduction video below and click on this link to learn more!!!
Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences (2022 Theme Video)
Library of Congress Guide to Student Research

Check out this brand new resource from the LOC-the Guide to Student Research and Historical Argumentation. Click on the link to access the free guide.

Social Studies Resource Spotlight

Just A Little Social Studies Skill Practice...

Close Reading to Evaluate Sources

Stanford History Education Group

The close reading poster helps students evaluate sources and analyze rhetoric by asking them:
• What claims does the author make?
• What evidence does the author use?
• What language (words, phrases, images, symbols) does the author use to persuade the document's audience?
• How does the document's language indicate the author's perspective?

May need to create a free account to access all these amazing lesson ideas!

Organize and Interpret Information from Maps for K-2 Social Studies

Kid Citizen

"Explore a map from long ago and begin wondering about the places where people live." The group from Kid Citizen has put together a quick interactive video, primary sources, and a teacher's guide. Great for vocabulary, observations, and the See/Think/Wonder strategy built into the video lesson!

Finding a Sequence Using Primary Sources

DocTeach by the National Archives

"In this activity, students sequence key events leading to the Declaration of Independence by placing documents in chronological order." The interactive version can be adapted to be done without the computer, either with partners or solo, and used either for introduction or review at the end of the unit.

Miss a Newsletter?

Click here for the ESC 17 Social Studies SMORE Newsletter Archive. Home to past issues and Special Issue Newsletters!