Teaching with History Lesson Plans

Teaching with primary documents encourages a varied learning environment for teachers and students alike. Lectures, demonstrations, analysis of documents, independent research, and group work become a gateway for research with historical records in ways that sharpen students’ skills and enthusiasm for history, social studies, and the humanities. Examples of Historic Lesson Plans with some relevance to the Old Spanish Trail include:

Lesson Plan Template LA Unified School District Westward Expansion – 8th Grade
This lesson plan studies the Westward Expansion of the United States during the period between 1840 and 1890 under the topic of United States History and Geography: Growth and Conflict

Utah Education Network Lesson Plan – Old Spanish Trail and Native Americans – 8th Grade
This lesson plan helps students name the American Indian people by tribe who lived in the lands which the Old Spanish Trail traversed. Students investigate and describe some impacts of western expansion upon the American Indians.

Utah Education Network Lesson Plan – Old Spanish Trail and Early Spanish Explorers
This lesson introduces students to the the early Spanish Explorations in Utah, namely Rivera and the Dominguez and Escalante expedition. It uses a graphic tour to orient students to the local flora and geography. Students learn key vocabulary terms related to exploration.

1848 – Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
This lesson correlates to the National History Standards. Era 4 – Expansion and Reform (1801-1861) Standard 1C – Demonstrate understanding of the ideology of Manifest Destiny, the nation’s expansion to Northwest, and the Mexican-American War.

Ute Leadership Curriculum Guide – 7th Grade
This lesson examines the lives of four important Ute leaders—Wakara, Black Hawk, Ouray, and Tabby-To-Kwanah. Each of these men guided their people through difficult periods in Ute history, and their examples of leadership

Hopi-Spanish Relations
This lesson correlates to the following Arizona Social Studies Standards 1SS-E8. Grade 6-8.

Old Spanish Trail Youth Education Program


NPS Junior Ranger Program and Coloring Books

NPS Junior Ranger Pamphlet – 2020

Coloring Book: Mules Sheep and Horses

Coloring Book: Story of the Old Spanish Trail – A Trade Route for Woolen Blankets


Other Ideas:

There’s a trail near you! Ask students to look for National Historic and Scenic Trails in their area or state. A complete listing by state is here to help: https://pnts.org/new/resources/resources-by-state/

Compare the Old Spanish Trail history and maps with those trails.