Sunday, January 13, 2013

Texas Revolution

Texas history can be a lot of fun, but it can also be very boring. The Texas Revolution is an incredibly interesting part of our history and I have a few fun ways that I like to incorporate it into our classroom. 

To begin the unit, I hang up the "Come and Take It" flag in our classroom. I don't mention it, just carry on like nothing is new. Our social studies time is at the very end of the day, and by the time we get to it my students are just buzzing with questions about the flag. I use these questions as kind of an anticipatory set. We write them all down and check them off as we learn about them. 


Another fun idea has to do with Santa Anna taxing the Texans without reason. When students come in I tell them they have to take off their left shoe before they can enter the classroom. I usually get a lot of questions and protests, but I simply restate that they must take off their left shoe. Again, I act as if this is all part of the daily routine until we get to social studies. This usually leads to a really smelly afternoon in the classroom, but I make sure to stock up on air freshener before hand. Then, when we get to social studies we discuss what it was like to be asked to do something without any choice or reason.  This lesson always sticks with my students, I even have students from several years ago ask me, "If I remember when Santa Anna made them leave their shoe in the hall."

I would think that this lesson would work well anytime that taxation without representation is being discussed.  

Finally, when we are studying the final battle of the Texas Revolution the Battle of San Jacinto we talk about battle cries. The battle cries from this battle were "Remember the Alamo" and "Remember Goliad." We spend quite a bit of time discussing why these two phrases would mean so much to Texan soldiers. Then, we each create our own battle cries. It is always VERY interesting to see what my students come up with as well as what they believe to be their personal battles.  


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