Lesson Plan

Lasting effects

Image of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo
Image of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo
National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 77, ARC #519682

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
History, Mexican War, Military and Wartime History, Social Studies
This lesson will take 30-45 minutes to complete.
Group Size:
Up to 24 (4-8 breakout groups)
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
treaty, mexico, Mexican War, peace treaty, government


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.


Guiding question:
How does the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo affect us today?

Critical content:
Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo

Student objectives:
  • Analyze the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo
  • Rewrite the Treaty in their own words
  • Write how the Treaty affects them today


Students can work individually, in groups, or as a class. Before starting, review and print out all the PDF files in the Materials section. Make sure there are enough dictionaries for students to use.


Materials for this lesson plan include:
  1. The Treaty Today Student Worksheet (PDF 53.2 KB)
  2. Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo Transcript (PDF 124 KB)
  3. The Treaty Today Answer Sheet (PDF 455 KB)


  • Ask students about a school policy they would like to change. (Option: Make up an issue about a new school policy that would be controversial like longer days, stricter dress code, etc.)
  • Divide students into two groups. One group will be for the issue and the other against.
  • Tell students they must negotiate and write down their negotiations. Give them five to ten minutes to complete this exercise.
  • Tell students they just negotiated a treaty. Ask them what a treaty is or have them look it up
  • Tell students that after the U.S.-Mexican War, the United States and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. This treaty outlined the way that land that belonged to Mexico would be brought into the United States and about the people living in that land. Today they will read the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo and put it in our own words.
  • Have students work individually, in groups, or as a class.
  • Give each group a copy of the Treaty, a copy of The Treaty Today student worksheet, and a dictionary.
  • Assign each group article(s) from the Treaty. (Note: Article #10 was deleted.)
  • Review the worksheet. Remind students to look up any words they don't know
  • Have each group share their Article(s) with the class.
  • Have a class discussion about how the Treaty affects us today.
  • Assessment

    Students performance will be assessed in two key areas:

    • Participation in group discussion
    • Worksheets
    Above Proficient
    Group discussion:  Offers information which directly relates and builds on the topic.
    Worksheets:  Thoughtful answers. Effective and accurate use of writing conventions.

    Group discussion:  Offers information which directly relates to the topic.
    Worksheets:  Completed. Effective and accurate use of writing conventions.

    Below Proficient
    Group discussion:  Offers very little information of which some relates to the topic.
    Worksheets:  Incomplete. Writing conventions are not always followed.


    1. Do in-depth research on one or more of the Articles.
    2. Find a newspaper or online article about how the treaty affects us today. Create a class display.

    Additional Resources

    Background information on the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo can be found at OurDocuments.Gov.
    The National Archives has a lesson plan about the treaty at Teaching with Historic Documents.


    Negotiate, Treaty