A Lesson in Citizenship

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What does it mean to be an American citizen? Lieutenant Colonel Commander William Barret Travis believed that it meant honor to country first—even above one's own life. Middle and high schoolers read his final letters from the Alamo that detail his need for reinforcements and support, and they answer six questions about the historical context and implications of the documents.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Provide additional primary source documents from other soldiers from the Alamo or media accounts of the Texas Revolution
  • Have learners discuss why the messages from Colonel Travis seem rushed, without proper punctuation or spelling, and have them consider how they would write a similar letter under similar circumstances
Classroom Considerations

  • Worksheet has a large amount of color in the background; consider copying the text onto another text document to save ink and keep readability
Pros

  • Prompts learners to use primary source documents as a basis for research
  • Provides a short background handout for reference
Cons

  • None