Teaching Texas History at Casis Elementary

 Over the past two weeks I piloted a new program called “Teaching the TEKS Through Theatre” (T5).  The idea is to use theatre techniques to help teach students about core curriculum.  I was contacted by first grade teachers at Casis Elementary who wanted a workshop about Texas Heroes. 

For this workshop, the students traveled back in time and went into role as Texas pioneers in the early 1800’s.  They went on a journey with Stephen F. Austin to settle in Texas.  While there, they helped Davy Crockett at the Alamo and helped Sam Houston sneak up on Santa Anna. 

I developed the lesson with University of Texas student, Leslie Chastain.  We quickly realized that this is going to be a popular lesson plan in Austin schools.  I already got a phone call from a teacher at a different school who had heard what we did at Casis and wants us to facilitate the workshop at her school.  It is a lot easier to remember the Alamo when you act it out.

Here are some quotes from the teachers at Casis:

“I am thrilled to be able to incorporate the arts. Using the arts to teach the objectives is wonderful. The threat of cutting the arts is looming. I think it is wonderful to showcase a program that is successful, developmentally appropriate and exciting to children. Thank you, Paramount for helping me reach my goals as a teacher. This group of children will NEVER forget this experience or what they learned about Texas Heroes!”

“The workshops made the curriculum come alive for my students. Every student felt successful and engaged. My learning goals were achieved and even surpassed by the workshops. I look forward to working with the Paramount again, as soon as possible!”


It looks like a bunch of pioneers are ready to settle in Texas with Stephen F. Austin.


 A student is helping Stephen F. Austin escape from jail.


Here are some students helping Davy Crockett at the Alamo.  The Mexican army was on the other side of the room.  The first person on each side to get a math problem correct won the battle.  And as it turned out…the Mexican army always won.  I’ll always remember…


It looks like this  student caught Santa Anna!  That’s always a danger with an afternoon nap.

letters0101 I like that Santa Anna has a lady bug blanket.





 In case you were wondering what a time machine looks like, this is it.




Apparently, there was a deer during the workshop that I didn’t know about.

This entry was posted in Teaching the TEKS through theatre (T5). Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Teaching Texas History at Casis Elementary

  1. Will Howard says:

    Just delightful !

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