TBH Lesson Plan

Lesson Title: Making Inferences about a Llano River Rancheria

Subject: Texas History

Grade Level: 7th

In this lesson, students will learn about the Indian groups who lived 1,000 years ago on the Llano River. The students will use paintings and photographs of tools and other artifacts to make inferences and conclusions about how the Indians lived. Then the students will teach the rest of the class about one aspect of the groups’ archeological history.


Lesson Duration: Two 45 minute periods or one 90 minute block



Step 1: Place the “Graham-Applegate Introduction” transparency on the overhead. Read the introduction to the class, framing it as a mystery. Explain that it will be their job to learn as much as possible about this elusive culture’s lifestyle based on artifacts found at the Graham-Applegate site.

Step 2: Place the “A Rancheria” transparency on the overhead. Explain that rancheria was the Spanish name for a temporary settlement inhabited by Native Americans. The students will search the painting for details that give clues as to the pictured Indians’ way of life. The students may point out clues from their desk, or come up to the overhead to identify them. As clues are identified, the teacher will lead the class in a discussion about the Indians, covering such points as:

Step 3: Divide the class into groups of 4-5. Once each group is situated, the teacher will give each one a different placard with a picture of an artifact on it. The teacher will explain that each picture illustrates an artifact found at the Graham-Applegate site. It is the group’s task to figure out what their object was used for. Each group should appoint a recorder to keep track of ideas as the group brainstorms.

Step 4: Allow ten minutes for each group to brainstorm, while monitoring their progress. If groups are still stumped after the allotted time has expired, the teacher may provide clues as to the artifact’s identity and purpose, using the Artifact Information Answer Key. If students guess the identity of their artifact without needing the clues, they may skip to step 4.

Step 5: After the students have learned the identity and purpose of their artifact, the teacher will give each group an information handout containing more information on their artifact.

Step 6: Have students view the following sites on the Internet and take notes that pertain to their group’s artifact:

Step 7: Each group should then come up with a way to teach the class about their artifact. It can be a skit or other presentation.

Step 8: Allow the groups to present their artifact to the class.

Modification: Provide a paragraph outline for special needs students.

Student Product:
Artifact brainstorming notes

Put the Introduction transparency back on the overhead. Have the students make conclusions about how the Indians at the Graham-Applegate site lived. Write the conclusions on the transparency.

Have the students write a paragraph about the Graham-Applegate rancheria. The paragraph should describe the lifestyle of the Indians who once lived at the site. Each paragraph should include the following words used correctly: rancheria, ear, chert or flint, granite, and cook.


Jason Terry

Running Brushy Middle School

Leander ISD, Leander, Texas

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