Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)


This page includes curriculum directives from the State of Texas to all public schools regarding the American Revolution for K-12.  As presenters, it useful to know what the state requirement is and that will determine if our presentations are appropriate.  For example, Ben Franklin and George Washington pop up throughout elementary and junior high.  Teachers could include a class program that would address these two prominent figures.  Most states require the teaching of the American Revolution time period in 5th grade, 8th grade, and high school government.  The remainder of this page provides a bit more background on the TEKS while the three links below provide detail information by grade and/or subject.  I hope you find this information to be of value.

Thomas Jackson

President (2018-2019) Texas SAR


School level TEKS links

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies (TEKS) - Elementary School

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies (TEKS) - Mddle School

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies (TEKS) - High School


What are TEKS?


TEKS is an acronym for Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.  This is the official K-12 curriculum for the state of Texas and details the curriculum requirements for every course.  State-mandated standardized tests measure acquisition of specific knowledge and skills outlined in this curriculum.  Between September 1998 and September 2003, TEKS was mandated only for foundation subjects such as math, English language arts, science, and social studies.  Since September 2003, TEKS-compatible instruction is now required in both Foundation and Enrichment subject areas (Scott, 2004).  The TEKS curriculum calls for technology to be broadly incorporated into K-8 classes, while high schools offer specific technology courses.


Why do we have TEKS?

“Because of student mobility, Texas has adopted curriculum standards that are to be used in all the state's public schools.  The current standards, which outline what students are to learn in each course or grade, are called Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).  The standards are adopted by the State Board of Education, after extensive input from educators and other stakeholders.” (TEA Website)


How do I look at TEKS?

What Am I Looking At?
When you look at the TEKS, they seem complicated at first.  However, when you first look at anything new, you tend to look at different pieces before understanding the big picture.  For example, when you are shown a picture, most will look at the different details before determining whether or not you like the picture as a whole.  Understanding the TEKS and what you need to know by the end of the year is like the same thing.

What Are The Parts Of The TEKS?
Whether you are in science, social studies, math, language arts, band, or physical education, there are TEKS that outline what is to be taught.  No matter which subject area, all TEKS have four basic parts.

Part 1:  The Strand.  The strand is a group of TEKS that have a common theme or concept that they share.  In social studies, there are eight different strands that the TEKS are classified by:

    1. History - The people, places, and events
    2. Geography - How people affect the planet, how people affect people, and how the planet affects people
    3. Economics - How people/governments create/lose wealth
    4. Government - How different types of governments are created, how they operate, and how they change over time
    5. Citizenship - How people in different societies participate in government
    6. Culture - How different societies live and interact with other societies
    7. Science, Technology and Society - How advancements in technology, science, and medicine affect societies
    8. Social Studies Skills - How to develop research, reading, thinking, writing, and communication skills

Part 2:  The Knowledge Statement.  The knowledge statement is always the sentence that follows a number in the TEKS.  The knowledge statement gives you the big idea or concept that has to be understood.

Part 3:  The Student Expectation.  The student expectation is the part of the TEKS that always follow a letter in the TEKS.  The student expectation tells you exactly what you need to know as it relates to the knowledge statement.  More importantly, student expectations are not just lists of stuff you have to memorize and repeat back.  They tell you how much you have to understand something and how you are going to show how well you know it.

For more information, see the "Deconstructing the TEKS" document for Texas Social Studies.