LESSON SEVEN: GEOGRAPHY OF THE STUDY OF THE SPANISH-SPEAKING PEOPLE OF TEXAS
the history, geographic features, and demographic makeup of Texas cities
facilitates a better understanding of the diverse nature of our state.
are shared by four Texas cities: El Paso, San Angelo, San Antonio, and
Corpus Christi? Conversely, what features make each city unique?
How does a study of other Texas cities help us understand our town?
7.8 (A) create thematic maps, graphs, charts, models, and databases
representing various aspects of Texas during the 19th and 20th centuries
7.8 (B) pose and answer questions about geographic distributions and patterns
in Texas during the 19th and 20th centuries
7.9 (A) locate places and regions of importance in Texas during the 19th and
7.9 (B) compare places and regions of Texas in terms of physical and human characteristics
7.9 (C) analyze the effects of physical and human factors such as climate, weather,
landforms, irrigation, transportation, and communication on major events in Texas
7.10 (B) explain ways in which geographic factors have affected the political,
economic, and social development of Texas
7.11 (A) analyze why immigrant groups came to Texas and where they settled
7.11 (B) analyze how immigration and migration to Texas in the 19th and 20th
centuries have influenced Texas
7.11 (C) analyze the effects of the changing population distribution in Texas
during the 20th century
7.11 (D) describe the structure of the population of Texas using demographic
concepts such as growth rate and age distribution
7.21 (A) differentiate between, locate, and use primary and secondary sources
such as computer software, databases, media and news services, biographies, interviews,
and artifacts to acquire information about Texas
7.21 (B) analyze information by sequencing, categorizing, identifying cause-and-effect
relationships, comparing, contrasting, finding the main idea, summarizing, making
generalizations and predictions, and drawing inferences and conclusions
- Texas map transparency
- Copies of cities fact sheets (one for each group)
- Classroom chart for sharing students’ answers to
fact sheet questions
- Computers with Internet access (minimum of four computers)
- Students will identify the physical features, demographic characteristics,
and history of the four Texas towns featured in Russell Lee’s
photo essay, The Spanish-Speaking People of Texas.
- Students will write a comparison paper to demonstrate knowledge of
the similarities and differences between the four towns.
Display the map
of Texas on the overhead, then draw points for the four cities featured
in Russell Lee’s photo essay (El Paso, Corpus Christi, San Angelo,
and San Antonio). Ask students to identify the cities and consider
why these cities will be examined in today’s lesson. Explain
to students that Professor George Sanchez and Russell Lee chose these
four cities for their study of Latinos in Texas.
Explain to students:
The purpose of today’s lesson is to gain a better understanding of the
cities that were documented in Russell’s Lee photo essay, The Study
of the Spanish-Speaking People of Texas. Working in groups, you will
study the physical and demographic characteristics of one of the cities. Afterwards,
your group will report your findings back to the class. Using these findings,
we will make a chart showing the cities’ similarities and differences. Finally,
you will write a comparison paper demonstrating your understanding of the unique
features of each city, as well as the traits they share.
Divide the students into four teams, and assign a city to each group. If
you have more than 24 students in your class, you may decide to create
more teams with two groups studying the same city. Assign jobs
to each member in the group. These jobs may include:
- Team leader: keeps track of the progress of the group
- Group mediator: responsible for asking for help from instructor,
problem-solves when issues arise within the group
- Record-keeper: records group findings on fact sheet
- Computer researcher: uses computer to locate information (this may
be expanded to two students if your class has access to more than four
- Presenter: presents group findings to class
- Reporter: adds group findings to classroom chart
Pass out a copy of the city research form to each group. Review
the questions on the fact sheet, and discuss your expectations for their
answers and behavior while working as a group. Discuss strategies
for research with students—should their group work on each question
together, or should they divide up the questions? Will they answer
the hardest questions first, or should they begin with the easiest questions? How
will they determine the reliability of sources?Next, explain to students
where they will find information about their cities. Possible sources
- The city pages of The Study of the Spanish-Speaking People of
Texas Web site, available one at:
Before students begin research, clarify any questions or concerns. Depending
upon the level of detail you expect for completion of the assignment,
give groups one or two class periods for research. Have students
fill in the class fact sheet chart as they find the answers to the questions
on their city fact sheets to avoid a rush at the end of the time allotted
When students have completed their research, call the class back together. One
student from each group will present their group’s findings. Afterwards,
pose questions that will encourage the students to compare the cities
and make generalizations about their research. Questions may include:
- Which city is the largest and which is the smallest?
- Which city experienced the largest population growth between 1900
and 2000? Why do you think this city grew more than the others?
- What similarities do you see between the cities? What differences
do you see?
- What did you find out about your city that surprised you?
- How is your city the same as where we live? How is it
- What more would you like to know about the city you researched?
- Which city would you most like to live in? Why?
- What challenges did you encounter during your research? What
was the hardest information to find? What was the easiest information
- Which resource was the most helpful? Which was the least
Using the Texas map from the anticipatory set of the lesson, have
students identify the names of the four cities studied in this
lesson. Ask the students to recall facts they have learned
about each of the cities.
If time permits, groups
may create a travel brochure for their city. Brochures can include
pictures of the city, cultural attractions, a description of the climate,
a brief history of the city, and important landmarks.