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This mini-unit lesson plan is intended for 4th-grade students to educate them about the history of the Republic of Texas. It also fulfills the purpose of supplying teachers with the materials and directions necessary to establish a comprehensive overview of the state’s history. The unit introduces students to the early history of Texas until its annexation into the United States. Students will learn about the significant events and individuals of the period and establish logical connections that link the Mexican Revolution and the state’s annexation, establishing a meaningful and valuable relationship with its past.
Social Studies Content
The independent history of the Republic of Texas will be the primary focus of the module. It will cover developments beginning with the Texas Revolution and ending with the annexation of the territory by the United States. Students will learn about the principal events of the period, their causes, and the prominent individuals of that time. They will obtain an understanding of the origins of the state of Texas, the roots of its demographics, and establish a knowledge base for further education in history. At the end of the unit, students are expected to be able to describe the period and identify the essential events as well as the primary reasons behind them.
History is fundamentally an inquiry into the societies of the past to determine why specific events took place and how modern norms have evolved from those of the times before. According to Ocal (2016), cultural-historical heritage courses are essential to social studies education because they help preserve the territory’s culture and values. Thus, learning why Texas chose to separate from Mexico and to become a part of the United States eventually is vital to understanding the community and becoming a citizen. Without this knowledge, students may struggle to integrate into society as they fail to recognize traditions and make mistakes.
As such, the discipline is closely related to social studies and is often considered a subset of the definition. The history of a student’s homeland is particularly relevant because it provides context to the community that is the reference point of most of his or her societal observations. Young children tend to observe and imitate their immediate surroundings, and so it is crucial that such behaviors are not undertaken blindly. Students should know the background and reasons behind the traditions and practices they see in their everyday life. In doing so, they will recognize their necessity or challenge them with modern perspectives while still understanding the original ideas.
The TEKS for this mini-unit has been taken from “Chapter 113” (2011).
- 15 (b) (3) (A) “analyze the causes, major events, and effects of the Texas Revolution, including the Battle of the Alamo, the Texas Declaration of Independence, the Runaway Scrape, and the Battle of San Jacinto;”
- 15 (b) (3) (B) “summarize the significant contributions of individuals such as Texians William B. Travis, …, and Enrique Esparza;”
- 15 (b) (3) (B) “identify leaders important to the founding of Texas as a republic and state, including José Antonio Navarro, Sam Houston, Mirabeau Lamar, and Anson Jones;”
- 15 (b) (3) (D) “describe the successes, problems, and organizations of the Republic of Texas such as the establishment of a constitution, economic struggles, relations with American Indians, and the Texas Rangers;”
- 15 (b) (3) (E) “explain the events that led to the annexation of Texas to the United States, including the impact of the U.S.-Mexican War.”
Daily Lesson Plans
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 5|
|LO||Students will be familiar with the names and dates of all significant events of the period||Students will possess in-depth knowledge of the Texas Revolution||Students will be aware of the essential events between 1836 and 1845||Students will understand the causes and outcomes of the Mexican-American War||Students will internalize the knowledge gained on the previous days and link it|
|Engage||The teacher will call upon the students’ existing knowledge of the events||Students will watch a video about the Revolution||The teacher will show a presentation on the history of the Republic||Students will watch a video about the conflict||The teacher will show a presentation that highlights the central events|
|Activity||Open discussion of the events||An inquiry into the reasons for the disagreement between Mexico and Texas||Group presentations on each of the presidents of the nation||The students will assume roles of various commanders in the war and play out battles||Students will highlight the topics that interest them and ask questions|
|Closure||A reiteration of the main points of the lesson||A summary of the results of the uprising and a look into the Republic’s early history||A conclusion on the success of the Republic||An explanation of the annexation process||A discussion of the historical importance of Texas joining the United States|
|Assessment||Small quiz with the names and dates of the events||An evaluation of the quality of each presentation||A quiz asking students to put the nation’s presidents in chronological order||A quiz about the dates of the essential events||A general test about various aspects of the period|
Chapter 113. Texas essential knowledge and skills for social studies. Subchapter A. Elementary. (2011). Web.
Ocal, T. (2016). The necessity of cultural-historical heritage education in social studies teaching. Creative Education, 7, 396-406.
Williams, T. (2016). The big resource guide to teaching and learning Texas history. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse.
Haynes, S. W., & Wintz, C. D. (Eds.). (2017). Major problems in Texas history (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.