Alamo Unit: Town Hall Meeting (Social Studies)
The student will be able to:
- Articulate and orally convey the accurate depiction of one side’s stance in regard to the events that lead to the battle at the Alamo.
- §113.6. Social Studies, Grade 4.
- (b) Knowledge and skills.
- (24) Social studies skills. The student uses problem-solving and decision-making skills, working independently and with others, in a variety of settings. The student is expected to:
- (A) use a problem-solving process to identify a problem, gather information, list and consider options, consider advantages and disadvantages, choose and implement a solution, and evaluate the effectiveness of the solution.
- Graduation gown or other garment to depict a judge/mayor/etc.
- Pretend gavel
- Something to serve as the judge’s/mayor’s bench/stand
- Pen and paper for documenting notes and points to address later
- Name tag with pretend name (they can decide this)
- Optional props (i.e. cowboy hats, vests, sombreros, etc.)
- The teacher will build anticipation within the student by gathering the class’s attention via hitting her “gavel” on what will serve as the mayor’s bench and saying “Order in the room, order, order!”
- Proceed once you’ve gotten the classes attention (and while staying in character) as you explain there’s just too much strife going on within this great city of ours. Explain that you’d like to address all of the confusion that’s been accumulating, and you’d like to do it today – while you’re all here gathered at the town hall.
- Moving straight from the anticipatory set into the lesson, divide the class into two groups. Number them off 1,2,1,2,1,2, etc./Ones go to the right, twos to the left….Ones will be our Texan soldiers who are fighting for us at the Alamo, and twos will represent the citizens of the state who want answers pertaining to the Alamo.
- Remind students of the role of the two’s, as they didn’t have immediate news in 1836. There were no publicized updates, so many people had no clue what the current status of the situation was. All they knew was more soldiers were needed, more money was being demanded, more supplies & food was being requested, more artillery, etc. They wanted to know why. o Hand out a blank nametag to each student, or a small piece of paper you’ve cut to depict a nametag.
- Ask advanced “ones” to represent key roles from the Alamo such as Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, Santa Anna, William B. Travis, etc. and have all students write a pretend name on their nametag and attach it to their shirts.
- Explain that you are the current mayor of the town that will someday be called “San Antonio”, and that you’ll be mediating the meeting today. You’d like to address the following while you all are gathered here on this day in 1836, so let the records show that you’ll bring them up should no citizens be concerned enough to do so. Begin the debate by invoking one or two of these questions, calling on outgoing students to address their responses.
- Be sure to allow students to derive their own questions after the debate begins, only calling on your own should there be a halt in the meeting’s progression.
- HAVE STUDENTS LOOK AT THEIR KWL CHARTS FOR QUESTION IDEAS! They should fill in the answers to these questions as you progress.
Topics for Discussion from Citizen:
- What is the current status of the Alamo?
- Why are more soldiers being sought after?
- What are the chances of us winning the battle?
- What do you suggest we do to gather additional resources?
Topics for Discussion from Soldiers
- We need more of you to join!o We should be receiving a monetary pension!
- We need artillery and supplies (food, clothing, etc.)
- Provoke debate between the two sides so students become actively involved.
- Being to bring the meeting to a close by announcing Santa Anna is coming, or perhaps in saying something similar - make sure this is upbeat and energetic so students retain the activity as invoking and concrete, rather than it trailing off and simply ending abruptly, thus harboring a lack of acknowledgment).
- Have students go back to their desks as you come back into the role of teacher and summarize the town hall meeting with notes you captured throughout.
For Advanced Students
- Have these students assume one of the designated roles mentioned above. This will allow them to exude their grasp on the character they’re depicting while not overshadowing peers.
For Students Needing Assistance
- Allow these students to draw questions from a hat to address at the meeting. This way, they are still engaged and incorporated, in addition to begin done so without any obvious assistance.
- During the town meeting, have students address questions they’ve stated on their KWL charts (from lesson one, located in their Alamo Unit folders). Ask them to write the answers down (if applicable) in the “L” section of their chart.
- Collect KWL charts for assessment, or look at them within the folders themselves.
Teacher Made Materials
- Not applicable.
Resources & References
- Not applicable.