About This Lesson
The lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file "San Antonio Missions National Historical Park" (with photographs) and materials prepared by the park and the Missions Education Committee. It was written by Fay Metcalf, education consultant. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson can be used in teaching units on Spanish conquests in the Americas or the early colonization of the United States. It could also be used in a geography unit to illustrate the movement and settlement of people.
Time period: Early 18th Century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To explain the significant role that Spanish missions played in the early history of Texas and the Southwest.
2) To describe the psychological and cultural factors that led the Coahuiltecan (Kwa-weel-tekens) Indians to accept mission life.
3) To explain the role irrigation systems, such as acequias (ah-SAY-key-ahs), played in the development of Texas farmland and other arid areas.
4) To investigate the early religious history of their own community.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) two maps of the mission sites;
2) two readings about mission life on the Spanish frontier and its impact on American Indian culture; and
3) five photographs and one drawing of Mission San José and a mission irrigation system.
Visiting the site
The missions of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park are located along Mission Road, south of San Antonio, Texas; signs help guide motorists along the route. The missions are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Daylight Savings Time), except for New Year's Day and Christmas. For additional information, write to the Superintendent, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, 2202 Roosevelt Avenue, San Antonio, Texas 78210 or visit the park web pages.