Texas Annexation Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

With this lesson plan, your students will learn about the annexation of Texas and the debate surrounding it. They will use primary sources to form delegations of Texans and argue for Texan annexation.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe major events relevant to the annexation of Texas
  • Explain the debate surrounding Texas' annexation from multiple points of view
  • Draw out major themes and ideas from primary sources


90-120 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making (e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed.


  • Copies of lesson quiz
  • Packets of primary source from Texans/Texians ca. 1834-1845, discussing annexation into the United States and/or the future of Texas


  • Start class by talking about Texas.
    • Where is Texas in the United States? What do we know about Texas?
    • Did you know that Texas has been under six different national flags? Can you guess which flags those were?
  • Begin the video lesson Manifest Destiny's Texas Annexation Problem.
  • Pause the video at 2:01. Discuss this information.
    • Texas was part of the Spanish Empire, and then became part of independent Mexico. Why do you think many in Texas did not want to remain in Mexico? How far is Texas from central Mexico, where the Mexican government is located?
    • Why do you think some people in Texas wanted to join the United States? What would be some pros and cons of remaining an independent country?
  • Resume and complete the video. Discuss this information as a class.
    • What were some of the issues surrounding the Texas problem?
    • The debate about Texas' annexation had a geographical component: Northerners, Southerners, and Westerners each felt differently. What does this say about the United States at this time? What event would occur 15 years after Texas joined the USA?
    • How do you think Mexico felt about the annexation of Texas into the United States? Have you ever heard of the Mexican-American War?
  • You may test student understanding with the lesson quiz.

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