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Notable Texas Landmarks (Gr K–3, 4 and 7)
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About the Lesson
Prior Knowledge
Independent Practice

Students will be introduced to notable Texas landmarks through the use of primary source film and video. Students will then research and develop a presentation about an additional Texas landmark mentioned in the Social Studies TEKS.

Students are familiar with the concept of a landmark.

Students understand why something becomes a landmark.

As a class, explore the phrase “Notable Texas landmark.”

Start by first asking the class to answer the following questions. Collect answers on the board.

  • What makes a place notable?
  • What places have we studied so far this year that would be considered a Texas landmark?

Draw an outline of Texas on the board and place the landmarks on the side of the board.

Have the class point out where each landmark should go and move it to its designated spot.

Brainstorm additional Texas landmarks as a class.

Discuss why these places have become landmarks.

Do they fit into one of these categories: politics, business, culture, or science?

In which category was the class able to identify the most notable Texas landmarks?

Announce to the class that they will be viewing a number of videos featuring notable Texas landmarks (see Videos). Before showing each film:

  • Ask students what they know about each landmark.
  • Share historical information about each landmark from your text book, The Handbook of Texas (links are included below), or another reputable source:

The Alamo,

Spindletop Oilfield,

Texas State Capitol,


State Parks,

Falcon Dam,

Oil Fields,

San Jacinto Monument,

Shrine at Goliad,

French Legation,


Governor’s Mansion,

Fort Parker,

After each film, discuss as a class how this place fits in to the parameters of a notable Texas landmark.

  • In which area (culture, business, science, or politics) is this landmark notable?
  • How did these landmarks have an impact on Texas?
  • Are there any landmarks being created today? If so, what are some examples?
  • Have the credentials for becoming a landmark changed over time?
  • Is there anything happening today in Texas that you feel will eventually have its own landmark?

Individuals or student groups should choose an event, person, or idea from the below grade specific list and choose a Texas landmark that is still here today because of it:

Grades K-3 and 4

Cattle Industry


Texas Rangers


Six Flags that flew over Texas

Texas Independence Day


Cinco De Mayo


Grade 7


Texas Revolution

Constitutional Convention

Battle of Gonzalez

William B. Travis

Battle of Palmito RanchBuffalo Soldiers

Women’s Suffrage


Then, each student (or student group) should research their notable Texas landmarks and create a presentation for the class.

Grades K-3 and 4 Presentation Ideas

Students will write a short description of their chosen Texas landmark in their own words and draw a picture of the place. The descriptions and images will be compiled into a storybook about notable Texas landmarks that will be read aloud in class by each of its contributors. Stories should include a description of why the place is notable and why they relate to Texas history. The images should incorporate both concepts as well.

Grade 7 Presentation Idea

Students will create a promotional spot to convince people to visit their chosen landmark. Using one of the videos included within the lesson plan, or a related video of their choice from the website featuring the landmark, students will write and deliver a voiceover script. The script should use facts from their research to build a compelling case as to why the landmark is significant. Possible points to include in the script are: a history of the landmark, an explanation as to how the landmark relates to its area of influence (politics, science, culture, business), and how it represents the area of the state in which it is located. For examples of promotional films with voiceover, see the list below.

The Portal to Texas History,

Texas History Trading Cards, Portal to Texas History,

The Handbook of Texas,

Social Studies, Kindergarten

2A - Identify contributions of historical figures, including Stephen F. Austin, George Washington, Christopher Columbus, and José Antonio Navarro, who helped to shape the state and nation

2B - Identify contributions of patriots and good citizens who have shaped the community

14B - Obtain information about a topic using a variety of valid visual sources such as pictures, symbols, electronic media, print material, and artifacts

14C - Sequence and categorize information

15A - Express ideas orally based on knowledge and experiences

15B - Create and interpret visuals, including pictures and maps

Social Studies, Grade 1

1A - describe the origins of customs, holidays, and celebrations of the community, state, and nation such as San Jacinto Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day

1B - compare the observance of holidays and celebrations, past and present

2A - identify contributions of historical figures, including Sam Houston, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr., who have influenced the community, state, and nation

2C -Compare the similarities and differences among the lives and activities of historical figures and other individuals who have influenced the community, state, and nation

14B - Recite and explain the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag and the Pledge to the Texas Flag

14C - Identify anthems and mottoes of Texas and the United States

16B - Describe how technology changes communication, transportation, and recreation

17B - Obtain information about a topic using a variety of valid visual sources such as pictures, symbols, electronic media, maps, literature, and artifacts

17C - Sequence and categorize information

18A - Express ideas orally based on knowledge and experiences

18B - Create and interpret visual and written material

Social Studies, Grade 2

1B - Identify and explain the significance of various community, state, and national landmarks such as monuments and government buildings

2A - Describe the order of events by using designations of time periods such as historical and present times

2B - Apply vocabulary related to chronology, including past, present, and future

3A - Identify several sources of information about a given period or event such as reference materials, biographies, newspapers, and electronic sources

4C - Explain how people and events have influenced local community history

6B - Locate places of significance, including the local community, Texas, the state capital, the U.S. capital, major cities in Texas, the coast of Texas, Canada, Mexico, and the United States on maps and globes

10A - Distinguish between producing and consuming

10C - Examine the development of a product from a natural resource to a finished product

14C - Identify selected symbols such as state and national birds and flowers and patriotic symbols such as the U.S. and Texas flags and Uncle Sam

15B - Explain the significance of selected stories, poems, statues, paintings, and other examples of the local cultural heritage

17A - Describe how science and technology change communication, transportation, and recreation

18B - Obtain information about a topic using a variety of valid visual sources such as pictures, maps, electronic sources, literature, reference sources, and artifacts

18E - Interpret oral, visual, and print material by identifying the main idea, predicting, and comparing and contrasting

19A - Express ideas orally based on knowledge and experiences

19B - Create written and visual material such as stories, poems, maps, and graphic organizers to express ideas

Social Studies, Grade 3

1A - describe how individuals, events, and ideas have changed communities, past and present

14A - identify and compare the heroic deeds of state and national heroes, including Hector P. Garcia and James A. Lovell, and other individuals such as Harriet Tubman, Juliette Gordon Low, Todd Beamer, Ellen Ochoa, John "Danny" Olivas, and other contemporary heroes

15A -identify various individual writers and artists such as Kadir Nelson, Tomie dePaola, and Phillis Wheatley and their stories, poems, statues, and paintings and other examples of cultural heritage from various communities

17A - research information, including historical and current events, and geographic data, about the community and world, using a variety of valid print, oral, visual, and Internet resources

Social Studies, Grade 4

2C – Explain when, where, and why the Spanish established settlements and Catholic missions in Texas as well as important individuals such as José de Escandón

3A – Analyze the causes, major events, and effects of the Texas Revolution, including the Battle of the Alamo, the Texas Declaration of Independence, the Runaway Scrape, the Battle of San Jacinto

3C – Identify leaders important to the founding of Texas as a republic and state, including Jose Antonio Navarro, Sam Houston, Mirabeau Lamar, and Anson Jones

3D - Describe the successes, problems, and organizations of the Republic of Texas such as the establishment of a constitution, economic struggles, relations with American Indians, and the Texas Rangers

4B - Explain the growth, development, and impact of the cattle industry, including contributions made by Charles Goodnight, Richard King, and Lizzie Johnson

4C - Identify the impact of railroads on life in Texas, including changes to cities and major industries

15A – Identify the purposes and explain the importance of the Texas Declaration of Independence, the Texas Constitution, and other documents such as the Meusebach-Comanche Treaty

16D - Describe the origins and significance of state celebrations such as Texas Independence Day and Juneteenth

Social Studies, Grade 7

1A - Identify the major eras in Texas history, describe their defining characteristics, and explain why historians divide the past into eras, including Natural Texas and its People; Age of Contact; Spanish Colonial; Mexican National; Revolution and Republic; Early Statehood; Texas in the Civil War and Reconstruction; Cotton, Cattle, and Railroads; Age of Oil; Texas in the Great Depression and World War II; Civil Rights and Conservatism; and Contemporary Texas

2C - Identify important events and issues related to European colonization of Texas, including the establishment of Catholic missions, towns, and ranches, and individuals such as Fray Damián Massanet, José de Escandón, Antonio Margil de Jesús, and Francisco Hidalgo

3C - Explain the issues surrounding significant events of the Texas Revolution, including the Battle of Gonzales, William B. Travis's letter "To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World," the siege of the Alamo and all the heroic defenders who gave their lives there, the Constitutional Convention of 1836, Fannin's surrender at Goliad, and the Battle of San Jacinto

6B - Identify significant individuals, events, and issues from Reconstruction through the beginning of the 20th century, including the development of the cattle industry from its Spanish beginnings and the myths and realities of the cowboy way of life

6C - Identify significant individuals, events, and issues from Reconstruction through the beginning of the 20th century, including the effects of the growth of railroads and the contributions of James Hogg

7B - Define and trace the impact of "boom-and-bust" cycles of leading Texas industries throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries such as farming, oil and gas production, cotton, ranching, real estate, banking, and computer technology

7C - Describe and compare the impact of the Progressive and other reform movements in Texas in the 19th and 20th centuries such as the Populists, women's suffrage, agrarian groups, labor unions, and the evangelical movement of the late 20th century

Introspective Cage