About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Vieux Carré Historic District" (with photographs) and other source materials about the Vieux Carré. It was written by Byron Fortier, a former Park Ranger at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. It was edited by Fay Metcalf and the Teaching with Historic Places staff. 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 could be used in teaching units on colonial history, westward expansion in 18th- and 19th-century America, or multiculturalism.
Time period: Colonial to 19th-century America
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 describe the boundaries of colonial Louisiana and list the succession of colonial governments that controlled the area.
2) To explain the political and strategic significance of New Orleans in colonial and American history.
3) To describe the origins and evolution of Creole culture in South Louisiana.
4) To explain how European concepts of style were modified to fit local conditions, producing a distinctive architectural legacy, and how those styles changed as the area became increasingly "Americanized" physically and culturally.
5) To identify physical evidence of various cultural influences in 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-quality version.
1) five maps of the French and Spanish claims in North American, the Louisiana Purchase, the Mississippi Delta, and New Orleans;
2) two readings about the history of New Orleans and its Creole culture;
3) seven photos of the area, including street scenes and historic structures;
4) three drawings of a typical Vieux Carré townhouse architecture.
Visiting the site
The Vieux Carré is located in downtown New Orleans, roughly bounded by Canal Street, Rampart Street, Esplanade Avenue and the Mississippi River. A French Quarter Visitor Center, operated by Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, is located at 419 Decatur Street in New Orleans. For more information, contact the park at 504-589-3882 or
visit the park's Web page.