Texas in Transition
Railroads, Oil, and the Rise of Urban Texas
Texas in Transition: Railroads, Oil, and the Rise of Urban Texas is intended for middle school Texas history teachers. The lesson plans
and activities here will introduce students to the practice of using historical archival materials on the web, and help students learn to use documents to reach conclusions about the past. This website focuses on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a period of intense change which transformed Texas from a predominantly rural state into a modern industrial power.
Texas in Transition: Railroads, Oil, and the Rise of Urban Texas was made possible by a Linden Heck Howell Texas History Grant in the amount of $5000 from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Humanities Texas conducts and supports public programs in history, literature, philosophy, and other humanities disciplines. These programs strengthen Texas communities and ultimately help sustain representative democracy by cultivating informed, educated citizens.
The goal of this project was to provide teachers with inquiry-based model lesson plans that combine TSLAC’s unique primary source material with exercises based specifically on TEKS curriculum (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies for Grade 7). The grant money was used to contract with the curriculum services staff at Education Service Center, Region 20, to develop the lesson plans. TSLAC matched the grant in-kind 1:1 by coordinating the topic selection; researching, selecting, and scanning the primary source documents from the archives; coordinating the scholarly review process; and building and mounting this website.
TSLAC creates and mounts in-depth online history exhibits on a regular basis. Though aimed at a general audience rather than specifically at teachers and students, these exhibits are used regularly by teachers seeking materials to complement the TEKS curriculum. Exhibits related to the theme of this project include: