Ecoregions of Texas

3rd - 8th

Students map the ecoregions in Texas and illustrate the vegetation native to the region. They will use their maps to investigate why prehistoric hunter-gatherers might have decided to live in one area over another, such as the ancient Gault site - home north of Austin, Texas.

Resource Details

Life Science
Instructional Design
Inquiry-Based Learning
Texas Beyond History
Audra Roach

The Neolithic Revolution

With the abundance of food products we can easily access in our society today, it is easy to forget the toll this can take on our global environment. Young learners will discover how the transition to agriculture and domesticated living from nomadic hunter-gatherer societies would also come to mean intensive exploitation of land. This is a great way to combine environmental study or Earth Day activities with a social studies lesson on the Agricultural Revolution!

Ecoregions of Texas

Seventh graders discuss why hunter-gatherers might have favored certain areas in which to live. In pairs, they research specific regions to examine in depth. Students present their eco-region vegetation findings (in this case Central Texas) with the class and speculate why hunter-gatherers were attracted to this particular site.

My How Things Have Changed

Eighth graders discuss the impact geography had on hunter-gatherer societies, their toolmaking. They work in groups to create a Web page that links pictures of artifacts to explanations about what the artifact tell us about the lives of the people who used them.

Looking Back and Moving Forward

Students culminate a measurement unit by linking measurement and geometry to create maps and charts to show spatial relationships, and to apply the principles of location, navigation, and direction by describing routes.

Rock Around the Map

Students research the geographical histories of various musical genres and make maps that note important places in music history. They Write geographical biographies about one of their favorite musical artists.

Urbanization and the Evolution of Cities Across 10,000 Years

Today, more than half of all people in the world live in an urban area. How did the early hunter-gatherer culture evolve into the modern city, and what implications does this continuing development have for the future of our world community? This video is an excellent way to prompt a discussion in your classroom about the needs of our growing population, and to consider how we can go about incorporating renewable energy and sustainable living into sprawling urban areas.

Lesson 2: Fight the Flu: Mapping

What is a map and what does it have to do with the flu? Traditional ideas are put to the test to expand kids' understanding of what constitutes a map as they split into groups and research 10 different concepts of mapping. In the second of a three-part lesson, learners use their new definition of a map to trace a hypothetical flu strain to patient zero. Each group selects a topic to collect data, analyze results, and share with the rest of the class. Some of the suggested ideas include coughing and sneezing habits, drinking fountains or other public surfaces, and room temperature. After learning how to track where the flu originates and how it spreads, the kids are ready to move on to the final of the three lessons.

Prehistory Web Quest

Sixth graders identify how geography and climate determine the lives of early hominids, the characteristics of hunter-gatherer societies, how animals affected the lives of early hominids, and how hominids overcame their physical environment. They identify the life of early hunter-gatherer societies was most influenced by their physical environment, and what distinguished Homo Sapiens from other hominids.

Native Americans in Georgia History

Let your learners find out firsthand what hunting and gathering was really like, with a role-play activity they will remember for years. The class researches how indigenous people used plants and animals to survive while respecting and conserving the earth's natural resources. They construct mock weapons, similar to those used by the Creek and Cherokee tribes, then go on a mock hunting expedition to get a firsthand understanding of what life was like for hunter/gathers. Each child composes an essay describing and explaining the weapon-making process as well as what it felt like to hunt for dinner.

Tea Gathering Quick-Write

Japanese tea gatherings are the inspiration for a great lesson. Learners are provided with an image of a tea caddy made for think tea and asked to describe what they notice and what that might mean. This leads into a larger lesson about the importance of the tea ceremony in Japanese culture. Additional information about Japanese tea and culture is included. 

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