Teaching Social Studies

Resources for Teaching Texas History

   
Lesson Plans    

  • Stratigraphy: Layers of Time in the Earth - Using a geological perspective, the students will gain an understanding of peoples and cultures from the past. They are to complete a stratification diagram, as well as view finds by archaeologists (Texas Beyond History)
  • Ecoregions of Texas - Students map the ecoregions of Texas, illustrate native vegatation, and infer why hunter-gathers might have preferred to live in certain areas (Texas Beyond History)
  • The River - Ideas for teaching about the Rio Grande (Rice University)
  • Moving West with the Forts - Uses an interactive online map to plot the locations of Texas forts in 1849, 1854, and 1860 (Texas Beyond History)
  • Knowing Where You Are - Ideas for teaching students to read maps (Houghton Mifflin)
  • ‘My Town’ Brochure - In this geography lesson, students will be placed into groups and create a brochure about an assigned Texas town. The brochure is to include demographic information, climate, vegetation, landforms, landmarks, culture, a catchy phrase to promote the town, and more (Texas A&M)
  • A Native American Folktale - Through a variety of techniques including group work, class discussion, usage of maps, and teacher directed instruction, the students will identify different regions of Texas and the Native Americans that inhabited the regions. This can be used for Geography and/or Native Americans (TIDES)
  • Draw Your Own Rock Art - This is a fun activity that allows different types of learners to express their understanding of a big cultural aspect of Native Americans. In this lesson, in groups or individually, the students will create their own Rock Art on butcher paper or on their own drawing paper. They will create and use their own symbols which other students will attempt to interpret (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
  • Geology and Archeology of the River People - Students examine the life of the River People in connection with concepts of geography and archeology (Texas Beyond History)
  • Whose Buffalo? - This two part lesson looks at the Plains Indians of Texas and their battle with white buffalo hunters which led to the 1874 Red River War. In the lesson, the students will use graphic organizers, fact sheets, state maps, and more to help them draw conclusions at the end of the lesson which will answer the question. The end result will be a debate between the two sides of the issue. (Texas Beyond History)
  • Letters to Stephen F. Austin - students analyze fictional letters and then create one of their own detailing the reasons for and against settlement in Texas (Portal to Texas History)
  • Webquests to research Notable "Texans" of the Texas Revolution (TIDES) and Who's Who in the Texas Revolution (Texas State Historical Association)
  • Making Cents of Independence - Uses the 2004 Texas quarter as a hook into the causes and events of the Texas Revolution; may also compare to American Revolution (US Mint)
  • Timeline for the Western Frontier - Students create an illustrated timeline of events (Texas Beyond History)
  • Remember the Alamo - An overview of the battle, timeline, primary sources (Portal to Texas History)
  • Webquests to discover more information about  The Alamo (Glencoe Online) and the Defenders of the Alamo (Texas State Historical Association)
  • The Alamo - This lesson guides students to a website on which the public posts current research questions and debates about the Alamo to demonstrate that the Alamo is still relevant and to explore the depth and credibility of online discussions (Discovery Education)
  • Battle of San Jacinto - An overview of the battle, timeline, primary sources (Portal to Texas History)
  • Santa Anna and Texas - students examine a painting of the surrender of Santa Anna (TIDES)
  • Webquest to discover more information about the Battle of San Jacinto  (Glencoe Online)
  • Writing the Texas Declaration of Independence - Students become delegates at Washington-on-the-Brazos and are charged with the task of creating the Texas Declaration of Independence (Portal to Texas History)
  • Republic of Texas Presidential Debate - Students research the presidencies of Sam Houston and Mirabeau Lamar before debating their positions on the issues facing the Republic (Portal to Texas History)
  • Letters to Congress - Students write a letter to the Congress of Texas modeled after an acutal letter from the period (TIDES)
  • The Question of Annexation - Students use a timeline and period letters to examine the issues leading up to annexation before writing their own letters to relatives (TIDES)
  • United we Stand? - This lesson introduces students to the effect of slavery on Texas and the nation in the 1840s (Portal to Texas History)
  • Slavery in Texas - Using the Handbook of Texas and primary sources students prepare a position paper on slavery (TIDES)
  • African American Women before and after the Civil War (Women in Texas History)
  • "Divided we Fall": Comparing Texans' Civil War Views - Students review period newspapers to identify a variety of opinions held by Texans about the Civil War (News Bank, Inc.)
  • Dr. Bone and the Civil War - Students use letters from a Confederate doctor to examine the political, social, and economic impact of the war (TIDES)
  • Reconstruction in Texas (Texas State Historical Association)
  • A Reconstruction Plan for Texas (Texas State Historical Association)
  • Oil in Texas - Students explore the people, places, and events relevant to the oil industry; active learning components allow students to create a newscast and drill for oil (TIDES)
  • Life on a Cattle Drive (Frontier Texas!)
  • Making a Living on the Frontier (Frontier Texas!)
  • Lone Stars and Gun Smoke - Students explore the role of the Texas Ranger Frontier Battalion Company D in maintaining law and order on the border (Portal to Texas History)
  • Moving Towards Reform (Texas State Historical Association)
  • Winds of Change: The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 (Texas Archive of the Moving Image)
  • "The Plot that Failed" Texas, Zimmerman's Telegram, and World War I - Students explore U.S. involvement in the war and the significance of the telegram (News Bank, Inc.)
  • Mount Up! U.S. Cavalry Equipment, 1910s (Portal to Texas History)
  • 8,000 Miles from Home: A Texas Perspective on the Vietnam Era - Students study film and music to create news stories about the period (Texas Archive of the Moving Image)
  • The Fury of Nature: Hurricanes and the Gulf Coast (Texas Archive of the Moving Image)
  • Lyndon B. Johnson - Students think critically about the successes and controversies of Johnson's presidency, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and stuffed ballot boxes in 1941 (Discovery Education)
  • The Life and Times of Barbara Jordan - Students create a timeline to understand political, scientific, cultural innovations (University of Texas)
  • African American Women Trailblazers - A variety of classroom methods help students learn about leadership in general and the lives of Bessie Coleman, Gwendolyn Bennett, Lulu White, and Zelma George in particular (Women in Texas History)
  • Women in Twentieth Century Texas Politics (Women in Texas History)
  • Tejanas and LULAC (Women in Texas History)
  • Texas History Trading Cards (Portal to Texas History )
  • Castolon: A Meeting Place of Two Cultures - explores the early twentieth-century interaction of Anglo and Mexican Americans in West Texas; emphasizes skills with maps, images, and identifying facts (National Park Service)
  • Celebrate Texas! (University of Houston)
  • Texas in the Mirror (University of Houston)
  • Hispanic Celebration (University of Houston)
  • Taste of Texas - Students study various ethnic groups living in Texas and sample a traditional dish (TIDES).
  • Know Your Rights - overview of rights (Texas State historical Association)
  • Take a Stand - civil rights (Texas State Historical Association)
  • Claim your Power - division of powers between branches (Texas State Historical Association)
  • Branches of State Government (Portal to Texas History).
  • Celebrity Ball for Famous Texans - Students will pair off and conduct research to create a resume, speech, and business card for a famous Texan before portraying that person at a celebrity ball (Portal to Texas History)
   
Primary Sources    

   
Recommended Reading    

  • Presidio La Bahia - A detailed summary of events at the battle (Friends of the Fort)
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