Austin ISD Social Studies News

Vol. 23, April 2017

AISD Professional Learning Opportunities

SS HS Department Chair Meeting

When: April 11, 2017 from 1:00-4:00 pm

Where: Baker

Sign up here


  • Welcome - Icebreaker
  • BLEND module
  • Local Resources: Austin Monitor’s City Budget Simulation and Contest
  • Texas Folklife: Teacher workshop
  • BLEND Sandbox

This is the final meeting of the 16-17 school year. If the department chair is unable to attend, please find a representative for your campus to attend so that she/he can bring the learning and resources back to your campus.

I have enjoyed working with and learning from you this year!

USH District PLC

When: April 11, 2017 from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Where: Baker

Sign up here


  • Icebreaker
  • BLEND Spotlight: EOC Review Module
  • Semester 1 Review Activities
  • Semester 2 Review Activities
  • Wrap-up and Final Survey

This is the final meeting of the USH District PLC for the 16-17 school year. I hope that in addition to any new USH teachers who sign up, all previous attendees are able to come to share EOC review activities with each other so that our students can be as successful at showing their mastery as possible!

Dinner and a Movie: Wild Africa

When: May 1, 2017, 5:00-7:00 pm

Where: Bullock Museum

RSVP by signing up here

Austin ISD and the Bullock Texas State History Museum are teaming up for another “Dinner and a Movie Night” to educators in all areas of the district. Come see the IMAX film “Wild Africa 3D” from BBC Earth. Following the movie presentation participants will receive dinner while hearing from Austin Social Studies and Science teachers who will discuss classroom connection ideas from the film. You will go home with ideas and curriculum to use in your own classrooms.

While there is no compensation for teachers who attend, the dinner and movie are both free, and parking is complimentary in the Bullock Museum parking lot at 1800 Congress Avenue.

Teacher Opportunities

Controversy & Conversation Film Screening: "How to Change the World"

Thursday, April 6, 2017
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

APL Terrazas Branch Library
1105 East César Chávez Street, Austin, TX 78702
Free and open to the public.

In 1971, a group of friends sail into a nuclear test zone, and their protest captures the world’s imagination. Using the never before seen archive that brings their extraordinary world to life, How To Change The World is the story of the pioneers who founded Greenpeace and defined the modern green movement. Featuring music from Pink Floyd, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Brigitte Bardot, Country Joe Mcdonald & The Fish and the Can.

A reception with light refreshments will be held at 6:30PM. The screening will begin at 7pm, to be followed by a brief conversation and Q&A with two guests, David Lyon, a scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund Oil & Gas team, working on ground-breaking studies to quantify methane emissions from the natural gas value chain, and Dave Cortez, the Central Texas Beyond Coal Organizer with the Sierra Club and named 2015 Best Environmental Activist by the Austin Chronicle.

TAGE Geography of Africa Workshop

This workshop provides teachers with rich humanities content and appropriate instructional strategies for teaching about Africa. Sessions include an "Introduction to Africa" with Dr. Brian Cooper and "Africa: Challenges, Successes, and Prospects" with Nathaniel Dede-Bamfo. In the afternoon, teachers will engage in a hands-on activity "Highway Across Africa" with Linda Hammon. For more information, please visit and click on Professional Development.

Funded by a Humanities Texas grant.

The workshop is April 8 at Texas State University in San Marcos. Registration fee $10.

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When: April 22, 2017

Time: 9:30am-2:30pm

Where: SRH 1.208 at UT Benson Latin American Collection


Lunch and refreshments provided.

For more information, contact Lindsey Engelman at 512.232.2404

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TAGE Geography Education Survey

The Texas Alliance for Geographic Education is conducting a research study that includes a survey of K-12 geography educators. The purpose of the study is to assess current conditions in geographic education and future needs of K-12 teachers teaching geography content in Texas schools. As a member of TAGE and the geography education community in Texas, we ask that you consider completing this survey. Participation is voluntary. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes or less to complete.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Dr. Ron Hagelman ( or Maggie Hutchins (

Student Opportunities

Texas-Focus: ArcGIS Online U.S. School Competition 2017

Across the U.S., high school and middle school students are exploring their world and creating interesting map products with ArcGIS Online. Esri now challenges students to create and share maps about something in their home states, working to be among the best in the school, state, and nation.

The ArcGIS Online US School Competition 2017 is open to high school (gr.9-12) and middle school (gr.4-8) students in the U.S who can analyze, interpret, and present data via an ArcGIS Online presentation, web app, or story map.

Texas has chosen to keep the possible topics wide open, with no special theme, just focused inside the borders of Texas.

Deadline to submit maps is 6pm CST Monday, May 1st.

Learn more.

If you find any resources that you'd like to share...

just email Melanie with a brief description and the link!
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Austin ISD Secondary Social Studies

High School Specialist - Melanie Kirchhof

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me by one of the means below.

Also, if you enjoy receiving resources more frequently than once a month, follow us on Twitter @AISDSoc !