Lesson Plan

Natural vs. Man-Made resources: The Arrival of the Spanish Settlers

Tinwork by: Jason Younis y Delgado, 5th Generation Tinsmith

Photo by: Jason Younis y Delgado

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Grade Level:
First Grade-Fifth Grade
Art, Education, Hispanic or Latino American History and Culture, History, Visual Arts
60 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 24 (4-8 breakout groups)
National/State Standards:
This lesson can be adapted for various grade levels

Benchmark: K-4 I-A: New Mexico: Describe how contemporary and historical people and events have influenced New Mexico communities and regions


With the introduction of metal, the culture of New Mexico has taken a dramatic and important shift in our history.


Know: Students will gain perspective of cultural differences and their distinctions that change communities and lifestyles in New Mexico.

Understand: Students will understand how man- made resources can either affect negatively or positively (or both) relations, culture and lifestyles in New Mexico.

Be Able to Do: Students will be able to distinguish differences between natural and man-made resources with the introduction to metal in New Mexico


How can a material item change/alter the ways in which we live?


Metal changed the lives of all the Native Americans living in New Mexico, both past and present. The introduction of this man-made material caused much anger, frustration, power, neglect, acceptance, beauty, culture and traditional ways of lifestyles among the Ancestral Puebloans and the Spanish settlers. Metal changed the way these two cultures interacted with one another: both positively and negatively. These interactions are a crucial mark in our history, as they defined the beginning and perhaps the lasting relationships between the two groups. Though metal was foreign at first when first introduced into the New World, it became very much a part of a New Mexican ideology and is a continuous symbol of our past, present, and future cultures.


Natural vs. Man-Made Handout

Resource Information Sheet



Completed Natural vs. Man-Made handout and presentation meeting all required above objectives

Park Connections

Spanish history in New Mexico


EXTENTIONS: Have students research man made materials today. (I.e. cars, computers, I phones, etc.) Tell students to make a list of the positive and negative effects of these items on our society today. Do these items make it easier to live today or 400 years ago in the same place? What natural resources do we still use and how do we use them? These are good questions that will help students develop research skills to better understand the Spanish influence on the Native Americans in several ways. *A good field trip would be a visit to the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque Website for Hispanic Cultural Center: http://www.nhccnm.org/

Additional Resources

Sánchez, Joseph P. Don Fernando Duran Y Chaves’s Land and Legacy. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico. 1998.

Sánchez, Joseph P. Between Two Rivers: The Atrisco Land Grant in Albuquerque History, 1692-1968. Norman: University of Oklahoma, 2008.

Children Resources:

Anaya, Rudolfo. La Llorona: The Crying Woman. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 2010.

Anaya, Rudolfo. The First Tortilla. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 2007.

Luenn, Nancy, and Robert Chapman. A Gift for Abuelita: Celebrating the Day of the Dead. Flagstaff, AZ: Rising Moon, 1998.


Tinsmith: tinsmith, or tinner or tinker or tinplate worker, is a person who makes and repairs things made of light-colored metal, particularly tinware. By extension, it can also refer to the person who deals in tinware.

cultural resources
natural resources
man-made resources

Last updated: February 24, 2015