The Battle of the Alamo Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Shelly Merrell

Shelly has a Master's of Education. Most recent professional experience is an educational diagnostician. Prior, she taught for 8 years.

In this lesson, we'll discuss the Battle of the Alamo and its importance to Texas and the nation. Read on to discover the interesting story behind the Alamo and its historic battle.

The Alamo: A Historic Site

Have you ever heard of a person becoming famous because they lost a game? Is it possible for a place to become an iconic landmark even though Americans were defeated there? Well, it happened! Let's read on to find out about the Battle of the Alamo.

The Alamo Mission is an old building in San Antonio, Texas, that was originally designed to be a church. The Christian missionaries and Native Americans converting to Christianity used the building as a home while it was being constructed. Many people believe the mission got its name from the cottonwood trees that grew nearby--the Spanish word for these trees is alamo.

The mission was made from thick blocks of limestone. Unfortunately, during construction, everything collapsed except these sturdy outer walls. What was going to be a beautiful church was never restored and completed before it was abandoned in the late 1700s.

The Alamo Mission in the 1700s
Alamo

The Battle of the Alamo

In the early 1800s, Texas belonged to the country of Mexico but the Texans wanted to be independent. The Texan people declared themselves free from Mexico. Under the leadership of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the country of Mexico fought this and declared that Texas would not be freed--after all, Mexico did not want to lose this huge piece of land. Since the Texans and Mexicans could not come to an agreement, many battles occurred before the problem was solved.

Mexican President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
Santa Anna

The Texian Army knew of the Alamo Mission and sent troops there. This church building was in a good location, as it sat on a road that the Mexicans would travel to get into the state of Texas. The leaders of the Texian Army were William Travis, Davy Crockett and James Bowie. These men went with 200 soldiers and weapons to the church and tried to prevent Mexican soldiers from coming into Texas.

Santa Anna learned that the Texan army was occupying the Alamo, and on Feb. 23, 1836, he sent his large army of about 2,000 men to defeat the 200 Texian soldiers. The battle was fought for 12 days with cannons, guns and other artillery. Finally, on the 13th day, the Mexican army moved in, climbed the walls and knocked doors down. They outnumbered the Texans and defeated them. All of the volunteer soldiers and leaders died that day in the horrible massacre. Mexico still had control over Texas.

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