OnTRACK Social Studies Lessons Now Available!

Author: Rachel Hernandez, Social Studies Education Specialist

OnTRACK courses for World Geography, World History and high school U.S. History have been made available through TEA’s Project Share initiative.  These lessons are intended to supplement classroom instruction and provide teachers and students with a resource for intervention.  Teachers in K-12 public and charter schools currently have access to Project Share, an online learning community developed by TEA.  The lessons available in OnTRACK vary by course and are TEKS driven.  U.S. History, for example, has lessons available on the Progressive Era, Social Welfare Reforms, The Spanish-American War, U.S. Expansionism, Great Depression, Japanese
Internment, Korean War and Civil Rights.  The entire course has 6 units with a total of 45 lessons that incorporate engaging content through interactive experiences.  A lesson example from the module on Social Welfare Reform includes an introduction on Upton Sinclair and a short reading excerpt from Sinclair’s book, The Jungle.  Students can try an interactive exercise matching vocabulary and watch brief video segments on the impact of Upton Sinclair as a reform leader.  Mini-assessments are included in the modules for you to assess student learning.  The best aspect of these courses is the ability for you to modify, add or remove content to make the course customized to your liking.


A few items are worth noting:

1. OnTRACK lessons do not address all of the Social Studies standards for each respective course.

2. OnTRACK Social Studies courses should not be used by districts to provide course credit to students. (Why not?  See point #1).

3. You can use OnTRACK lessons to support individualized intervention or use all or part of a lesson with a class or group of students.

4. You need to spend “sandbox time” exploring the course lessons and consider ways to blend these resources into lessons that you already have for extended learning and review.


The bottom line is that these lessons are a great resource for you and your students; how you use them is entirely up to you.

Please note:  TEA has plans to add Grade 8 Social Studies and Bible Literacy courses to the OnTRACK offering list in the spring of 2013.  Additional lessons will also be added to the existing courses sometime in the near future.

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