Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 4-12, students explore BrainPOP features and resources to learn about the events that led up Texas declaring independence. Applying what they learn, students will select and write a newspaper article about one event of the Texas Revolution.  

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify Texas on a map.
  2. Brainstorm what they know about events and people associated with the Texas Revolution.
  3. Watch a BrainPOP movie about the Texas Revolution.
  4. Use the Make-a-Map tool to identify details about one event of the Texas Revolution
  5. Write a newspaper article about the event and share with the class.

Materials:

  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • World map
  • A collection of newspapers (optional)

Preparation:

Preview the movie Texas Revolution to plan for any adaptations.

Collect newspapers to bring to class as models.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. DIsplay or project a world map. Ask a volunteer to find Texas on the map. Ask what country they think Texas was once part of. Students should recognize that Texas was once part of Mexico. Tell them that today they will find out how Texas gained its independence from Mexico, and ultimately became the 28th state.
  2. Have students brainstorm what they know about the Texas Revolution, including events and people. Jot their ideas on the board. If students aren’t sure, prompt them by sharing the battle cry “Remember the Alamo.” Then explain that the Battle of the Alamo was the pivotal event of the Texas Revolution and one they’ll learn about in the BrainPOP movie today. This may helps students recall more events or people related to this time in U.S. history.
  3. Now project the movie Texas Revolution on the whiteboard. Read aloud, or invite a volunteer to read, the description that appears along the bottom of the screen.  Then show the movie to the the whole class once through without pausing.
  4. After watching, divide the class into groups of five. Display the Texas Revolution Activity on the whiteboard. Tell students that each person in their group is to select and write a newspaper article about one of the five events, so that each student is writing about a different topic. If they have trouble agreeing, you can assign the topics.
  5. Remind students that when writing a newspaper article, they need to identify the 5 Ws and H about the event: who, what, when, why and how.  Having answers to each of these questions will enable them to summarize the event.  Then have students watch the BrainPOP movie Texas Revolution again, this time within Make-a-Map at their own computers or devices.  As they watch, have them take notes in Make-a-Map on the 5Ws and H related to their event. If students prefer, they can they take notes offline. If students need more information about their event, they may conduct further research either on- or offline.
  6. After watching the movie and taking notes, students are to write a newspaper article as if it their event is current, not historic. Encourage them to review articles in the newspapers you’ve brought to class as a reminder of the styles and tone of a news article, and to see how they include answers to the 5 Ws and H. Encourage them to come up with a catchy headline and to include a byline.
  7. Have students swap articles with someone else in the class who has written about the same event and instruct them to edit each other’s articles for clarity, grammar, accuracy, etc. Having written about the same topic, they will better be able to edit on that event.
  8. Finally, have the small groups come together and share their articles with each other.

Extension Activities:

Challenge students to put their knowledge of Pearl Harbor to the test by playing Time Zone X: Texas Revolution.

Invite students to complete the Design It activity by creating a recruitment poster for the Texian army after the fall of the Alamo.