Regions of Texas: Mountains & Basins
Students first make predictions about physical characteristics of the Mountains and Basins region based on its name. Then they learn about and summarize the physical characteristics. Next they use a physical map to compare this region to the rest of Texas. Finally they create a map to encourage tourism to the region.
Regions of Texas: Great Plains
Students locate the Panhandle on an outline map of Texas. Then they describe the physical characteristics of the Great Plains, focusing on the landforms. Next they interpret a population density map to describe the population of the Great Plains region. Finally they research a fact about two animals of the Texas Great Plains: bison and prairie dogs.
Regions of Texas: North Central Plains
Students view a photograph of an unidentified bird (roadrunner) and try to name it. Then they describe the physical characteristics of the North Central Plains. Next they interpret a thematic map of population change to describe the region’s population. Finally they look at a historic railroad lines map and predict how the railroads may have affected the economic development of Fort Worth.
Regions of Texas: Coastal Plains
Students brainstorm names of cities in the Coastal Plains region. Then they describe the physical characteristics of the region. Next they interpret a political map and infer why the Coastal Plains is the most populous region in Texas. Finally they write a diary entry as an eyewitness account of a hurricane.
Comparing the Regions of Texas
Students label the four physical regions of Texas on a map. Then they create a general map of Texas, with a list of things to include. Next they create a chart comparing and contrasting the four regions. Finally they evaluate their school’s location and how it fits the region’s typical physical characteristics.
Arrival of People in Texas
Students brainstorm what they can learn from looking at artifacts. Then they examine two theories of how people first arrived in North America. Next they take a closer look at artifacts found in Texas and they explain what historians might learn from them. Finally they compare and contrast two Indian creation stories—one from a sedentary tribe and one from a nomadic tribe.
Settled Tribes: The Caddo and Jumano
Students brainstorm what people need in order to survive. Then they learn about the Caddo and Jumano tribes in Texas. Next they compare the houses of these two tribes and how the materials reflect the tribes’ adaptation to the environment. Finally they take a closer look at the Caddo culture and write a short report about an aspect that interests them.
Nomadic Tribes: Lipan Apache, Karankawa, and Comanche
Students imagine what their lives would be like if they belonged to a nomadic people. Then they learn about the Lipan Apache and Karankawa tribes and their cultural regions, creating charts to display the information. Finally they analyze how the arrival of the Comanche into Texas led to the relocation of other tribes.
Indian Tribes and the Environment
Students describe their own relationship to the environment. Then they analyze hunter-gatherers and the nomadic tribes’ relationship with American bison. Next they analyze early farming communities and how irrigation impacted settlement. Finally, they explain how tribes in the different Indian culture regions adapted to the physical regions.
Case Study of an Indian Tribe
Students create a case study of one of the three tribes of American Indians still living in Texas. First they develop inquiry questions and conduct research to answer them. Then they following the writing process to create a written report. Next they work in small groups to prepare and deliver an oral report. Finally, they evaluate their presentation using a rubric.