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These Unit Plans correlate with TEKS social studies knowledge and skills for 4th- and 7th-grade Texas History. Lessons incorporate primary source materials based on archeological and historical investigations around the state. All were written by Education Consultant Dr. Mary S. Black, former classroom teacher and Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education at The University of Texas at Austin.

Prehistoric Life in the Oak Woodlands

drawing of village scene
A child plays with a family pet in this artist's depiction of a prehistoric campsite in east-central Texas, some 600 to 800 years ago. Drawing by Ellen Atha, courtesy Prewitt.

This unit plan for 4th- and 7th-grade students contains lessons and activities about the prehistoric people who lived in East-Central Texas about 600 to 800 years ago. Lessons focus on their economy, including pottery, weaponry, and how they adapted to and modified their environment. Other lessons incorporate archeological and geographical techniques, including making a topographic map and understanding environmental regions and landforms. The unit includes five lessons with colorful transparencies, maps, and student handouts and is provided courtesy of Prewitt and Associates, Inc., and Northwestern Resources Co. View TEKS and download page.


Living on a Cotton Farm: Mexican American Life in Texas

Family members work the fields in front of the Osborn tenant house in this early twentieth century scene. Image adapted from drawing by Eloy G. Zapata.

This five-day unit plan contains bilingual lessons about twentieth century Mexican-American cotton farming experiences in Texas, based on the Osborn Tenant Farm. Topics cover immigration, the twentieth century economy, sharecropping, farm houses, and children's activities. Among the several skills covered are map making and graphing. Teachers have the permission of TBH also to print out any of the images from the main Osborn exhibit for classroom use (note: if printing the entire page, set paper orientation to landscape). This unit plan was sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation. View TEKS and download page.

Piecing Together History:
A Turn of the Century African-American Farmstead

Rubin and Elizabeth Hancock were among the first generation of freed slaves to purchase and farm their own land in Travis County after the Civil War. Photograph, likely taken sometime between 1889 and 1899, provided courtesy of Lillian Robinson.

This unit plan contains seven lessons, four transparencies, a culminating project, and grading rubrics. Students use primary sources to learn about historical archeology and African American life at the turn of the twentieth century in Texas. The unit is suitable for 7th-grade Texas history. Teachers also may print out the main TBH exhibit of the Rubin Hancock farmstead to use in the classroom. This unit plan was sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation.View TEKS and download page.

Dr. Dirt's Archeology Lab

The lab is open!

Below are a set of lesson plans that simulate some of the analysis techniques archeologists use in the laboratory. These hands-on lessons use multiple intelligences and let kids practice critical thinking skills.

View TEKS and download page for "Tag It and Bag It"
View TEKS and download page for "Pieces of the Past: Pottery Analysis"