Modern industries in Texas such as aerospace and petroleum, Texas economics, water resources, science and technology, Texans in the arts.
Contemporary Texas unit contains 11 learning experiences.
Learning Experiences (Lessons) in Contemporary Texas Each learning experience takes about 45 minutes to teach in the device-enabled classroom.
Texas and the Aerospace Industry
Students learn about the role of Texas in the history of space flight. They research the history of the Johnson Space Center. Then they explain the contributions that the JSC makes to Texas. Finally, they consider the pros and cons of a manned mission to Mars.
The Texas Petrochemical Industry
Students trace the development of the petrochemical industry in Texas. Next they examine how global oil prices affect the Texas economy. Then they learn about the benefits and potential consequences of fracking. Finally, they explore alternative energy source production in Texas.
Boom-and-Bust: The Texas Economy
Students explore the changes in the Texas economy in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, including boom-and-bust cycles. They learn about the east Texas logging boom and bust. Then they create a sequence chart showing how the boom-and-bust cycle of the oil and gas industry affected other areas of the Texas economy. Finally, they explain the advantages of a diverse economy.
NAFTA’s Impact on Texas
Students explore the basics of NAFTA. Then they summarize the benefits and problems with maquiladoras. Next they analyze graphs and determine which Texas industries have increased exports under NAFTA. Finally they weigh the pros and cons of NAFTA and take a stand whether it is mostly positive or mostly negative.
The Texas Economy, Now and in the Future
Students explore the Texas economy today and consider how it might change in the future. They examine the role of the oil and gas industry and identify new industries that are diversifying the Texas economy. Then they imagine how Texas will look thirty years in the future.
Water Resources in Texas Today
Students identify the major uses of water in Texas in general and in their daily lives. Then they examine causes of water shortages in Texas. Finally, they consider possible solutions for conserving water in Texas.
Texans Adapt to and Modify Their Environment
Students learn about the Houston Ship Channel. Then they analyze the positive and negative consequences of this environmental modification. Finally, they imagine what changes may occur in the Texas environment over the next century.
Science, Technology, and Society
Students identify contributions made by Texans to science and technology. Students learn about three Texas leaders in the field of medicine: Michael DeBakey, Denton Cooley, and Benjy Brooks. Then they work in groups to conduct research on famous Texas scientists and inventors. Finally, they analyze how innovation builds interdependence between Texas and the world.
Texans in the Arts
Students are introduced to Texas folklorist J. Frank Dobie. Then they conduct research on famous Texas artists. Finally, they elaborate on the question, What make someone a Texas artist?
Texas Commemorative Maps: Honoring Our Past
Students first identify a commemoration that they have attended personally. Then they analyze a commemorative map, The Great Military Map of Texas. Next, they work in small groups and assign each group member a role. The small group creates a commemorative map of its own. You may let each group choose a topic or you may assign topics to the groups. Finally, each student uses a rubric to rate the small group work.