Educators and students in elementary, middle school, high school can use these free materials and links to learn more about Texas history.
THC Historic Sites Lesson Plans
Caddo Mounds State Historic Site
Why Coyote Stopped Imitating his Friends—1st Grade
This lesson provides material about the Caddo storytelling practice and how the stories themselves can be related to modern day stories and experiences.
Building a Caddo House—4th Grade
This art lesson was created to compliment historic lessons related to the Caddo Indians. Caddo Mounds State Historic Site is the sponsor of this lesson and related historical materials as they pertain to the Caddo Indians. This lesson is one of a series that incorporate art with history in relation to the Caddo people while meeting necessary national and state standards.
Caddo Indians—4th Grade
This lesson covers the origins, similarities, and differences of American Indian groups in Texas and North America before European exploration.
Caddo Indians—4th Grade
This Art lesson was created to compliment historic lessons related to the Caddo Indians.
Simple Machines, Tools, & Weapons of the Caddo—4th & 5th Grade
In this lesson, students will recognize that the Caddo Indians were a people that contributed to our national identity. The student will communicate in various ways an understanding of the systems that the Caddo used. They will know that tools and weapons of the Caddo are considered a system and/or structure. They will create models of these systems.
Reviving Caddo Pottery—4th & 7th Grade
Students will learn about the Caddo culture, especially with the art of clay pottery. The students will get background information about the Caddo tribe along with the history and uses of their clay pottery. They will then study about Jereldine Redcorn and her revival of this art, as well as trying to make their own, using the coiling method.
I Am a Caddo-a Multimedia Project—7th Grade
Students will research the lives and customs of the Caddo Indians. They will create a multimedia project, using Microsoft Photo Story 3, which tells the story of a Caddo Indian.
Traditional Caddo Stories—7th Grade
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration files for Caddo Mounds State Historic Site. It is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into classrooms across the country.
Elementary, Middle School, & High School
Caddo Mounds: A Regional Center of the Mississippian Culture—5th, 6th, 7th, 8th Grades & High School Social Studies
This lesson could be used in units on early history in the American South. It provides interesting context about the Caddo people who have lived in Texas since 750 AD.
Our Caddo Mounds State Historic Site hosted a summer 2016 Caddo Traditions Teachers' Workshop that offered opportunities for K-12 teachers to learn about Caddo cultural traditions from Caddo people and scholars. Workshop sessions covered Caddo pottery, iconography, dance, stories, food, religion, cane weaving, and more. The videos in this playlist give teachers and students short introductions to some of these Caddo traditions. This project was sponsored in part by The Summerlee Foundation and Humanities Texas.
El Camino Real De Los Tejas
El Camino Real De Los Tejas—1st Grade
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration files for El Camino Real de las Tejas. It is one that will bring the importance of historic places into classrooms across the country.
A Walk Along El Camino Real de los Tejas—4th Grade
This art lesson was created to compliment historic lessons related to El Camino Real De Los Tejas. This lesson is one of a series that incorporates art with history in relation to El Camino Real De Los Tejas while meeting necessary national and state standards.
El Camino Real—4th Grade
This lesson will focus on how one road can change over time to allow for developing background information, then lead into the specific history of El Camino Real and analyzing the people who used it and purposes that it served over time.
Exploring Caddo Culture Through Storytelling—4th Grade
This lesson will focus on the Origin Stories. Students will read through several Origin Stories and use their critical thinking skills to look beyond the stories themselves, but into what the stories offer for a glimpse into the life of the Caddo.
El Camino Real De Los Tejas—7th Grade
This lesson’s focus is to analyze the political, economic, geographic, and social (PEGS) connections to the El Camino Real de los Tejas potentially across multiple eras of Texas history beginning with Natural Texas and Its People (Prehistory-1528) through to Spanish Colonial (1690-1821).
Casa Navarro State Historic Site
Pre- and Post-Visit Lesson Plans—4th Grade
Educators can use the 4th grade lesson plans, which are aligned with TEKS, in the classroom or as an introduction/follow up to a visit to Casa Navarro. Lesson plans and activities include information on Casa Navarro, the life of Jose Antonio Navarro, and Historic Laredito.
Pre- and Post-Visit Lesson Plans—7th Grade
In this guide, you will find TEKS-aligned classroom lessons and extension activities that will prepare your students for a visit to Navarro’s historic home.
Pre- and Post-Visit Lesson Plans—High School
This TEKS-aligned classroom lesson plan prepares students for their visit to Casa Navarro by providing insight into José Antonio Navarro’s political influence as a Tejano leader by analyzing primary sources and charting his career on a timeline.
Expolre the buildings of "Little Laredo" using the Casa Navarro—Laredito Powerpoint
Starr Family Home State Historic Site
Pre-and Post-Visit Lesson Plans—4th Grade
In this guide you will find 4th grade TEKS-aligned classroom lessons and extension activities that will prepare your students for a visit to Maplecroft house, the centerpiece of the Starr Family Home State Historic Site. You may reproduce all worksheets within this Guide for your classroom use. In preparation for their visit to Starr Family Home State Historic Site, students will gain insight into how railroad expansion and the real estate land business helped to settle the frontier of Texas. Students will learn that the Starr family’s business dealings were major contributors to this growth effort.
Pre- and Post-Visit Lesson Plans—7th Grade
In this guide you will find 7th grade TEKS-aligned classroom lessons and extension activities that will prepare your students for a visit to the site. You may reproduce all worksheets within this Guide for your classroom use. In preparation for their visit to Starr Family Home State Historic Site, students will gain insight into the business dealings of James H. Starr and his sons and learn how immigrants contributed to the settlement of Texas by examining primary source documents and reproductions.
THC Historic Sites Activity Guides & Educator Guides
- Casa Navarro Activity Guide(PDF)
- Confederate Reunion Grounds Activity Guide (PDF)
- Fort McKavett Activity Guide (PDF)
- Fulton Mansion Activity Guide (PDF)
- Landmark Inn Activity Guide (PDF)
- Magoffin Home Activity Guide (PDF)
- Sam Bell Maxey House Activity Guide (PDF)
- Sam Rayburn House Museum Activity Guide (PDF)
- Caddo Mounds Educator Guide (PDF)
- Confederate Reunion Grounds Educator Guide (PDF)
- Eisenhower Birthplace Educator Guide (PDF)
- Fannin Battleground Educator Guide (PDF)
- Fort Griffin Educator Guide (PDF)
- Fort Lancaster Educator Guide (PDF)
- Fort McKavett Educator Guide (PDF)
- Fulton Mansion Educator Guide (PDF)
- Landmark Inn Educator Guide (PDF)
- Sabine Pass Battleground Educator Guide (PDF)
- Sam Rayburn House Museum Educator Guide (PDF)
- San Felipe de Austin Educator Guide (PDF)
- Varner-Hogg Plantation Educator Guide (PDF)
THC Educational Resources & Lesson Plans
- Texas Archeology in the Classroom—an educator's guide to teaching archeology with information, resources, and hands-on activities aligned with TEKS for classroom use (grades 3 through 12).
- What Does an Archeologist Do?—what's the difference between an archeologist and a paleontolgist or geologist?
- Careers in Archeology—are your students interested in archeology as a career? Find out more.
- Texas Archeology Month—each October organizations across the state celebrate the spirit of discovery.
Cemeteries: Where History Lives
Cemeteries are steeped in the history and the stories of real people. To help students interpret this information, the Cemetery Lesson Plan for Grades 4 and 7 explores typical memorial and physical features found in most cemeteries. By experiencing a gallery walk through Oakwood Cemetery (established in 1839), the oldest cemetery in Austin, Texas, and becoming familiar with cemetery-related vocabulary, students will build a foundation for understanding the history that lives in cemeteries in their own communities.
Learn more about Cemetery Preservation.
Historical Markers Lesson Plan
Texas Historical Markers Lesson Plan with associated activities introduces students to the importance of understanding and preserving local history by using Texas Historical Markers as a resource.
The Texas Prisoner of War Camps Lesson Plan for middle school students incorporates World War II into 7th grade Texas History. Extra resources are provided to give background information and enrichment for students.
The Prisoners of War in Texas Lesson Plan for high school students discusses the prisoner of war camps in Texas during World War II, as well as the lesser-known story of internment camps, and their economic impact on the state.
Additional Educational Resources
- The Institute of Texan Cultures The ITC's Education website has lots of information and activities for teachers, parents, and children, including "Just for Kids: Adventures in Texas History and Culture."
- TeachingTexas.org Teaching Texas is the premier site for finding resources to teach Texas studies. All resources are linked to 4th and 7th grade TEKS. The website is a collaborative project of the Texas State Historical Association, the Portal to Texas History, and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, as well as others. You can also find THC educational materials here.
- The Handbook of Texas Online The Handbook of Texas Online is a multidisciplinary encyclopedia of Texas history, geography, and culture sponsored by the Texas State Historical Association.
- Portal to Texas History The Portal is a gateway to Texas history materials. You may discover anything from an ancestor's picture in a college yearbook to a rare historical map.
- Texas Beyond History Texas Beyond History is a public education service of the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin, in partnership with the Department of Anthropology at Texas State University and 15 other organizations.
- The General Land Office Map Collection The vast Map Collection of the Texas General Land Office Archivesconsists of more than 80,000 manuscript and lithograph (printed) maps, sketches and documents dating from the early 1800s.
- Celebrating Texas This site supports Celebrating Texas, Honoring the Past, Building the Future, a middle school Texas history program from McDougal Littell.