Secondary Social Studies Resources

Engaging in Academic Discourse

Academic Discourse in the Classroom & Beyond

A supporter of Thomas Jefferson once called John Adams "a hideously hermaphroditical character." Former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton called Vice President Aaron Burr" bankrupt by redemption except by the plunder of his country," an attack so heinous that the men dueled, and Hamilton died.


Go through the nation's history, and the noise and heat in public political discourse have always been there, rising with the cycles of economic distress, immigration, and cultural upheaval.


- Ann Gerhart (The Washington Post, "In Today's Viral World, Who Keeps a Civil Tongue?" October 11, 2009.

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Inquiry Chart (I-Chart)

Being able to gather information from a variety of sources is an increasing necessity in the 21st century. This enables students to research a topic, compare and contrast information from a variety of sources, and synthesize their thinking.


The Inquiry Chart SOS Instructional Strategy touches on the following skills:


  • Citing Evidence
  • Comparing and contrasting
  • Identifying Key Ideas and Details
  • Researching
  • Summarizing



McREL Phases of Learning:


  • Make sense
  • Practice

SOS Instructional Strategy Video Prep

SOS Instructional Strategy: Inquiry Chart

Inquiry Chart Prepared Classroom Materials

Grab-and-Go Resources

Discovery Education provides a host of grab-and-go social studies support resources for teachers. Secondary TEKS-aligned social studies resources include Civics, Economics, Government, United States History, Geography, Ancient Civilizations, World History and so much more!


Discovery Education is known for its high-quality, engaging videos and video segments. Beyond videos, Discovery Education provides teachers with easily accessible interactives, lessons, activities, images, text, audio, and instructional strategies to enhance teaching and engage learners.

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Discovery Education virtual field trips take your students beyond the classroom walls and into some of the world's most iconic locations for rich and immersive learning experiences—no permission slips required.

Making a Life: The Strength of a Refugee

Field Trip Overview:


Teaching with Testimony | USC Shoah Foundation

Premiere: December 9 at 1pm EST

Join us for a Virtual Field Trip that will dive into the history and legacy of the Kindertransport and explore with students what it means to be a refugee. Explore how refugees adjust to their new homes and cultures and celebrate the strength people can have in times of great change.

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Engaging In Discourse in the Social Studies Classroom

Are you ready to have your students take charge of discussions and engage in academic discourse? When students participate in a small group or whole group discussions, engagement and schema strengthen and students develop their conceptual understandings of social studies. Get ready to transition from sage on the stage, to guide on the side.

In this workshop, we will:

  • Create norms and systems to establish a safe and respectful space for discourse to happen
  • Model how to facilitate conversations surrounding hard topics in the social studies classroom
  • Learn how to strategically use student-generated questions to activate student-led conversations
Register Here

Engaging In Discourse in the Social Studies Classroom December 7, 2021

Find Out More About Discovery Education

Contact Us

Distance & Digital Learning Team

Contact the Distance & Digital Learning Team at ESC Region 13 for more great TEKS aligned and STAAR support resources available through your Discovery Education Experience subscription.


Nikki D Robertson, M. Ed.

Digital Learning Project Coordinator


Tim Brown

Distance Learning Systems Specialist