Kelly Bellar is a Region 10 Social Studies consultant in Texas. She’s passionate about social studies education and creating engaging learning environments that integrate technology, collaboration and critical thinking. Texas has 20 different education service centers throughout the state that have been set up to support educators with their teaching. They offer everything from professional development on teaching, instruction and curriculum to bus driving courses. Their remit is to help school districts in any way possible.

How The Untold Content Was Discovered

In Fall 2020, in light of the Presidential election, Black Lives Matter and of course COVID, a school district reached out to Bellar and asked her to come and run a professional development session on untold stories. Bellar agreed, but had to think of the best way to approach such a session. Because of her love of history and experience as a social studies educator, she decided to look at untold stories from that lens.

She wanted to move beyond the textbook approach to teaching untold stories and consider the myriad of resources that are available to educators, so they could create dynamic lessons so these stories could be told. Whilst researching for the session, Bellar came across a webinar on Share My Lesson, Teaching the untold American History with Multimedia. Patrick Riccards, CEO of Driving Force Institute of Public Engagement, and Tara Walsh, Director of Engagement at Makematic, shared the resource their companies have created with organisations like New-York Historical Society, American Battlefield Trust and iCivics to engage young people in history and civics stories. This webinar led Bellar to the Untold website, where she was impressed by the stories being told.

What Happened Next?

In the professional development session that Bellar ran, she themed it around the Civil Rights Movement. She started by asking participants to think about and share who they think of when they hear the Civil Rights Movement. Most will instantly think of Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jnr. Her suggestion was to look beyond these stories and look at other stories, such as that of Claudette Colvin. The whole idea behind the session was to encourage the teachers to be willing to go beyond what’s in the textbook or written in the standards.

And There’s More

Because of the feedback of the professional development session, Bellar now runs a monthly webinar called Forgotten Voices in History in partnership with Crystal Klose at Region 11 ESC. Each month a guest speaker will come and share with Bellar and Klose’s community stories that are less well known. Topics covered have focussed on women in history, African Americans and the War of 1812. The idea is to continue this conversation. Interested in coming along? You can sign up here.


If you’re interested in more professional development resources, why not join our online community Video Supercharged Learning? With new courses released each week, the PD courses are filled with loads of research-based information, instructional videos, and resources for you to use in the classroom. Want to see what you can expect from the courses? Check out the vlog we created that explains how our courses work.