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Texas Industries Then and Now


This lesson plan was written for grades 6–8.


Students will identify contemporary economic counterparts to industries featured in Texas bird’s-eye views.


Materials needed are:


The following definition from the Miriam-Webster Dictionary may help students during this lesson.

1. Have students access the 1892 bird’s-eye view of Dallas.

2. Have them read the text, which explains how this view is slightly different from the other bird’s-eye views, and discuss the idea of including the proposed improvements.

3. Introduce the following paragraph by the Library of Congress. “When reviewing published documents, remember that just because something was published does not make it truthful, accurate, or reliable. Every document has a creator, and every creator has a point of view, blind spots, and biases. Also remember that even biased and opinionated sources can tell us important things about the past.”

4. Discuss the bias in this view and list the important things that can be learned about the past from this image. Refer to the section “Were the Bird’s-Eye Views Accurate?” to bring the discussion to a close.

5. One of the areas of accuracy in this image is the list of businesses featured around the view. Challenge students to identify what the businesses sold and to identify a contemporary counterpart, if possible. Have students use the Goods and Services Data Collection Sheet to record their answers.


Have students address the following after completing the Goods and Services Data Collection Sheet.

TEKS Connections

Social Studies

Language Arts

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