To assist teachers, Southwest Crossroads features Footpaths—lesson plans for students in grades 7-12, created by and for educators. Each Footpath presents selected materials and carefully designed questions that guide students through lessons tied to curricular standards. Footpaths encourage students to remain focused while exploring a diversity of documents, images, and multimedia features. Footpaths include practical information to help teachers plan and select appropriate lessons.
Title: Community Formation on the Belen Cutoff
Description: Many communities in eastern New Mexico formed in response to construction of the Belen Cutoff and other rail lines. These settlements were successful for decades until drought, hard times, and improved railroad technologies changed the region’s fortunes.
Standards: NM Public Education Department, SS, grades 9-12, I-A5, I-D3, I-D5, I-D6, I-D7
Title: Construction of the Belen Cutoff
Description: Construction of the Belen Cutoff triggered significant population growth through homesteading and settlement in eastern New Mexico, an area where few people lived previously. The railroad provided jobs and access to national markets, making farming and ranching more viable.
Standards: NM Public Education Department, SS, grades 9-12, I-A2, I-A5, I-D3, I-D6, I-D7
Description: This lesson examines the cultivation and culture of corn by American Southwestern indigenous peoples. Students will read three selections that describe the sources, uses, and culture of corn.
Standards: NM Public Education Department, SS, grade 7, A2, A5, D1, D2
Title: Cultural Encounters—Conflict at Oraibi
Description: In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the U.S. government had a policy of the forced removal of Hopi children from their families to attend boarding school. This lesson examines some of the effects of encounters between the Hopi and the U.S. government.
Students will read autobiographical secondary source material written by a Hopi elder who remembers those times.
Standards: NM Public Education Department, SS, grade 7, IA; A3; A6; D1; D2
Title: The Culture of the Horse
Description: This lesson examines the use of the horse, first by early Spanish explorers who introduced the horse to Native Americans in the American Southwest. Native Americans, particularly nomadic cultures of the Navajo and Apache, quickly adapted to horses; their legacy. This legacy has had a significant effect upon New Mexico’s development.
Students will view a slide show of historical photos of horses in a variety of time periods and cultural settings in the American Southwest. They will choose and read a selection that pertains to cultures built around the theme of the horse in the Southwest.
Title: Encounters—Hopi and the Spanish Worldviews
Description: This lesson examines some of the effects early encounters between the Hopi and Spanish. Each had a worldview that came into conflict with the other’s.
Students will be able to examine different points of view through reading primary and secondary source documents. Students will read a selection by an early Franciscan priest at Hopi and a selection describing the Hopi response to early Catholic missionaries.
Standards: NM Public Education Department, SS, grade 7, A6; C1; D1; D2
Title: In 1864—Navajos and the Long Walk
Description: This lesson examines the Navajos’ experience of the Long Walk in 1864. Students will read one or more selections from literature and history and write responses to four questions.
Standards: NM Public Education Department, SS, grade 7, I-D2; grades 9-12, I-A5, I-D6
Title: Invasions—Then and Now
Description: This lesson examines Fray Marcos de Niza’s route into New Mexico and his account of an early encounter at Zuni. Students will find the route on a map and read a first hand account of a sixteenth century encounter between two cultures. They will also read a contemporary poem and write their responses to several questions.
Standards: NM Public Education Department, SS, grade 7, I-D2; grade 8, I-D1; grades 9-12, I-D3, I-D6, I-D7
Title: Navajo Weaving: Culture and Change
Description: This lesson examines the role the introduction of sheep and weaving changed the Navajo’s culture.
Students will read selections that illustrate the role of sheep and weaving upon the culture.
Standards: NM Public Education Department, SS, grade 7;A2; A4; A6; C1; D1; D2
Title: Railroad Workers
Description: Construction of the major railroads in New Mexico occurred during a 30-year period from 1880 to 1910. Maintaining and operating the track system required many people in the early years and was an important source of jobs in most parts of the state.
Standards: NM Public Education Department, SS, grades 9-12, I-A5, I-D3, I-D6, I-D7
Title: Settlement and Homesteading in East-Central New Mexico
Description: New Mexico’s population grew during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as families moved into new areas and people came to homestead from other places in the United States. Construction of railroads on the plains helped spur settlement and a boom in farming that ended only a few decades later due to drought and changing economic conditions.
Standards: NM Public Education Department, SS, grades 9-12, I-A2, I-D1-3, I-D5-7