Curriculum Materials

Palo Alto Battlefield is pleased to offer a variety of lesson plans to help students learn about the U.S.-Mexican War. We encourage you to use these activities to supplement field trips or to reinforce other materials presented in the classroom.

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  • Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

    War numbers

    War numbers

    In "War Numbers" students learn how artists use positive and negative space to highlight parts of a drawing. Students will use this technique to create a timeline of significant events of the U.S.-Mexican War.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    Seventh Grade - Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    Art, History, Social Studies
    National/State Standards:
    National Standards: Gr 5-12 Social Studies World History Eras 4 & 7 Gr K-12 NL-ENG K-12.1, 4 Gr K-4 Fine Arts: Visual Arts 4 Gr 5-8 Fine Arts: Visual Arts 4
  • Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

    Casualties of war

    Casualties of war

    In this lesson, students do an interactive activity to compare the casualty rates of volunteers and regulars due to battle wounds vs. disease. Next, they study battle statistics and discuss what they mean.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    Eighth Grade - College Undergraduate Level
    Subjects:
    Health, History, Mexican War, Military and Wartime History, Social Studies
    National/State Standards:
    National Standards: Gr 5-12 Social Studies: World History Eras 4 & 7 Gr K-12 National Standards-Language Arts: 1, 3, 4, 12
  • Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

    The price of western expansion

    The price of western expansion

    Students calculate the cost per square mile of the land purchased by the United States from Mexico after the U.S.-Mexican War. They compare that to the price of the Louisiana purchase and the purchase of Alaska. They then calculate the price paid in 1848 to what the price would have been today.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    Sixth Grade - Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    History, Mexican War, Military and Wartime History, Social Studies
    National/State Standards:
    Gr K-4 National Standards-Social Studies: U.S. History 2, 3 Gr 5-12 National Standards-Social Studies: World History Eras 4 & 7 Gr 7 Common Core Math Content 7.EE.A.1 Gr 7 Common Core Math Content 7.EE.B.4b
  • Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

    Go exploring with Flat Ranger

    Go exploring with Flat Ranger

    Flat Rangers introduces students to a variety of National Parks. Students create paper cutout Flat Rangers and choose Parks for Ranger to explore. Ranger travels with a passport which is stamped by each park. Your students will receive brochures and other items from many National Parks. You will receive educational materials to further their learning. Their imagination is fueled as they explore beaches at Padre Island, wonder at Zion’s majesty, and study history at Appomattox Courthouse.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    Third Grade - Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    Conservation, Geography, Writing
    National/State Standards:
    The National Standards vary with the selected project.
  • Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

    Lasting effects

    Lasting effects

    Students will learn about the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, read the articles of the treaty, and rewrite them in their own words. Students then write about how the Treaty affects them today.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade - Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    History, Mexican War, Military and Wartime History, Social Studies
    National/State Standards:
    Gr K-4 National Standards-Social Studies: U.S. History 2, 3 Gr 5-12 National Standards-Social Studies: World History Eras 4 & 7 Gr K-12 National Standards-Language Arts: 1, 3, 4, 12
  • Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

    Pictures from home

    Pictures from home

    Modern photography did not exist during the U.S.-Mexican War. Instead, soldier’s kept photos of loved ones on daguerreotypes (də-ˈge-rē-ō-ˌtīp), an early form of photography made on a silver-coated plate. Daguerreotypes were often kept in highly decorated cases. In this lesson, students engage in an interactive activity about daguerreotypes. First, they discuss the difference between modern photography and daguerreotypes. Then, they create their own daguerreotype case.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade - Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    Art, Education, History, Mexican War, Military and Wartime History, Social Studies
    National/State Standards:
    National Standards: Gr K-4 Social Studies: U.S. History 2, 3 Gr 5-12 Social Studies: World History Eras 4 & 7 Gr K-4 Fine Arts: Visual Arts 4 Gr 5-8 Fine Arts: Visual Arts 4
  • Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

    Battling disease

    Battling disease

    During the U.S.-Mexican War, approximately 70% of deaths in the army were due to disease. In this lesson students engage in an interactive activity to show the percentage of soldiers who died of disease versus battle wounds. Students will also study about the four health threats facing the U.S. and Mexican armies: poor drinking water, filthy camp conditions, mosquitoes, and poor personal hygiene. Students compare and contrast how soldiers fought these threats to how we combat them today.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade - Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    Health, History, Mexican War, Military and Wartime History, Social Studies
    National/State Standards:
    National Standards: Gr K-4 Social Studies: U.S. History 2, 3 Gr 5-12 Social Studies: World History Eras 4 & 7 Gr K-12 Language Arts: 1, 4, 12 Gr K-4 Science: 6 Gr 5-8 Science: 6 Gr K-4 Health: 1,3, 6 Gr 5-8 Health: 1,3, 6
  • Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

    Historical characters

    Historical characters

    Students will discover how the characteristics of key participants in the Battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma and the Siege of Fort Brown influenced the outcome of these clashes. This includes Generals Mariano Arista, Zachary Taylor, Romulo Díaz de la Vega, Pedro Ampudia, Anastascio Torrejón, Majors Jacob Brown and Samuel Ringgold, Captain Charles May and Sarah Bowman. Students then compare their own characteristics to these personalities.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade - Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    History, Mexican War, Military and Wartime History, Social Studies
    National/State Standards:
    Gr K-4 National Standards-Social Studies: U.S. History 2, 3 Gr 5-12 National Standards-Social Studies: World History Eras 4 & 7 Gr K-12 National Standards-Language Arts: 1, 3, 4, 12