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Bound for Texas


This lesson plan was written for grades 3–5.


Students will:


Materials needed are:

Note: Those without classroom Internet access may use the poster of the 1891 Fort Worth view to complete portions of this lesson. The poster is available through the Amon Carter Museum’s Teaching Resource Center.


Note: Step three works best when students have access to a computer lab.

1. Explain that Texas grew from a small frontier state in 1846 to more than a half million residents by 1860. Immigrants to Texas came from both Southern and Northern states, as well as Europe and they arrived in different ways, including by ship, horse, wagon, and railroad.

2. Have students create a list of things that would be important to immigrants as they decided in which town to settle. After students finish brainstorming, have them read a selection from the Introductory Remarks to C. L. Riddle’s Immigrants’ Guide to Texas (1875) and answer the following questions:

Have students amend their original lists to include any of Riddle’s items that they left out. Then have them rank the items in order of their importance if they were planning to immigrate to Texas. Have students work with a partner to share their top three items and explain why they chose them.

3. Divide the class into groups, directing each group to look at a different bird’s-eye view from the same year. (The following years have three or more views: 1873, 1881, 1883, 1886, 1887, 1890, 1891, and 1892.)

As each group looks closely at their city’s view, have them complete the Texas Bird’s-Eye View Immigrants’ Checklist worksheet.

Closing and Assessment

Have students complete one or both of the following activities after they have determined their city’s available resources.

TEKS Connections

Social Studies

Language Arts


This lesson plan was created by the Education Department of the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, to accompany the Texas Bird’s-Eye Views Web site and was made possible by a generous grant from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Foundation representing BNSF Railway Company.