Texas and the Mexican War of Independence
Students predict which colony in the Americas was the first to win independence from its European colonizers, and then they check their prediction. Next they learn about the government in New Spain and why the colonies rebelled. They learn about the new Mexican republican government and create a Venn diagram to compare it to the Spanish colonial government. Then they identify three problems facing the new nation of Mexico and analyze one of them. Finally they create a poster to explain Diez y Seis or Cinco de Mayo, in order to understand that the latter is not Mexican Independence Day.
Colonizing Texas, 1821–1830
Students brainstorm the activities of an entrepreneur. Then they examine the Mexican land grant program in Texas. Next they learn about empresarios, including Martín de León, and explain why settlers immigrated for the land. Finally they analyze how an empresario was a type of entrepreneur.
Austin's Texas Colony
Students read a quote by Stephen F. Austin and rewrite it in their own words. Then they learn about the Austin Colony and mark it on a map of Texas and its rivers. Next they analyze the requirements the Mexican government set forth for immigrants and explain why Austin considered it important for his colonists to be of good moral character. Finally students examine how the colonists interacted with the environment.
Life in the Texas Settlements
Students first brainstorm names of Austin downtown streets; all north-south running streets are named for rivers. Then students summarize details about different areas of life within the Texas settlements. Next they find a photo of a dog-trot house and infer how its structure helped residents adapt to the Texas climate. Finally they write a journal entry describing their life in the Austin Colony.
Conflict Between Texas and the Mexican Government
Students brainstorm different ways to solve conflicts. Then they learn about slavery and tariffs as sources of conflict between the Mexican government and the Anglo colonies, and they compare and contrast these groups’ cultural views. Next they identify two cause-and-effect developments in the relations between the Mexican government and Texas. Finally they examine the Anglo colonists’ demands from the Mexican government, and they write a letter demanding Austin’s release from arrest.