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Plateaus and Canyonlands Main
Prehistoric Texas Main

Teaching Resources

Welcome, Teachers, to the exciting world of Prehistoric Texas!  The lessons below will introduce your students to the remarkable native peoples who lived in the Plateaus and Canyonlands region of Texas for more than 13,500 years! Each lesson, based on colorful exhibits about ancient places in the state, is correlated to TEKS objectives and offers mutli-disciplinary learning opportunities in social studies, geography, science, and art.

What's Cookin' at Honey Creek? introduces students to the fascinating process in which prehistoric "chefs" on the Edwards Plateau cooked quantities of plant bulbs in earth ovens by using hot rocks. This cooking technique was used for more more than 8,000 years in Texas, so they clearly had a recipe for success!

Kincaid Creatures
This two-part lesson illustrates how archeologists use stratigraphy (layering of the earth) to help determine which animals lived (or were hunted) at the Kincaid Shelter over the last 13,000 years and how some of these animals may have become extinct. Students work with a partner to answer stratigraphy diagram questions, then search the Kincaid Shelter website to identify animals whose remains were found in different layers of Kincaid. The animals’ names are then used to solve a “Magic Squares” puzzle.

Comparing Two Cultures: Hinds Cave and Yours
In this lesson students compare their own culture with that of prehistoric people who camped at Hinds Cave in the Lower Pecos region of Texas thousands of years ago. Students become familiar with lesson-related vocabulary terms (in English and Spanish), locate Hinds Cave on a map, make cultural comparisons using a graphic organizer, and write a comparison/contrast essay on the two cultures. (4th and 7th grades)

Digging Deeper: Mission San Sabá is a lesson is aimed at students who already have an understanding of the Spanish mission-presidio system in Texas. The purpose of this lesson is to have students understand  Spanish motives for establishing Mission San Sabá and the reasons for the mission’s failure.

The Graham-Applegate Rancheria
In this lesson, students can learn about the Indian groups who lived 1,000 years ago on the Llano River.  The students will use paintings and photographs of tools and other artifacts to make inferences and conclusions about how the Indians lived.

Personal Painted Pebble
Students create painted pebbles and discuss possible uses of such artifacts. Elementary and middle school.