How I Teach It: Spanish Missions in Texas

It has been a while since my last "How I Teach It" post, but I didn't forget about them. I plan to continue these posts every so often until I have gone through all of the major units that we study every year in Texas History.

Today's topic is Spanish Missions in Texas. I am fortunate enough that I have been able to visit the five missions that are in San Antonio. If you have a chance I would highly recommend making a day of it. All of the missions are connected by a hike and bike trails and it is a great way to see them all.

Now, on to how I bring the missions into the classroom:
This is one of our shorter units, usually takes a week or less to get through. I like to begin by showing my students picture of the different missions of San Antonio. Each mission we look at what makes them different. We make lists of architectural elements, artwork, the way they were built, and what the grounds look like.

Next we take notes about the five different missions using the Missions of Texas Fold-Up. This fold-up has some notes about all missions, and then separate notes about each of the five missions in San Antonio. These notes can be completed with your own information, the provided answer key, or research. If you choose to take the research route then you can use this quick QR Code Introduction and Research FREEBIE to help find some amazing resources about each of the missions. 

After we have learned all about the missions and students have their information together they each choose a mission to complete the Mission Clue Game Fold-Up which is also a FREEBIE in my store. Students choose four clues about their mission and write them on the instructed flaps of the fold-up. 

Then, using a structure like Quiz-Quiz-Trade students practice their knowledge of missions by quizzing each other with their clue fold-ups. During this time I like to circulate around the room so that I can get a good reading of who knows their stuff and who doesn't.

This pretty much covers our study of missions, but of course I try to keep as many books around the classroom as possible so that students can read all about them as well. I have listed some of my favorites below. If you click on the picture it will take you straight to Amazon where you can check them out for yourself!



Happy teaching! Let me know if you have any questions or if you have a great way of teaching missions yourself!


  1. Sending on to the 4th grade team at my school and the other school in my district!
    Great ideas!
    Fabulous Fifth Grade Fun

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