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TG New Mexico State

New Mexico is located in the southwestern United States, bordered by Texas to the east and southeast, Oklahoma to the northeast, Colorado to the north, Arizona to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora to the south. New Mexico's blend of natural beauty, rich history, and cultural diversity makes it a unique and fascinating state within the United States. A state research project is the perfect summative activity for any U.S. Region, Geography class, or general research unit of study. Students will love learning about state landmarks, mottos, fun facts, history, and so much more! Research is an important skill for children to learn at a young age; it exposes students to expository text, gives them practice determining important information, and enhances note taking and presentation skills. Students will enjoy learning all about New Mexico, and why it is such a wonderful place to live and visit.

Student Activities for New Mexico Teacher Guide

Essential Questions for New Mexico

  1. What are some significant events in the history of New Mexico?
  2. What are some facts and features that make New Mexico unique?
  3. What are some interesting places in New Mexico that people would want to visit?

All About New Mexico

Date of Statehood: January 6, 1912 (47th state)

State Motto: It Grows as it Goes

State Nickname: The Land of Enchantment

State Bird: The Roadrunner

State Tree: Pinyon Pine

State Flower: Yucca

Tourist Attractions: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, White Sands National Park, Los Alamos, Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, Old Town Albuquerque, Taos.

Famous Citizens of New Mexico: Jeff Bezos, Neil Patrick Harris, Demi Lovato, Demi Moore, Georgia O’Keeffe

Capital City: Santa Fe

Major Cities: Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Roswell

Brief History of New Mexico

Ancient Inhabitants: The area now known as New Mexico has been inhabited for thousands of years. Early cultures include the Clovis people, who are among the earliest known inhabitants of North America, dating back around 13,000 years. Also known as the Anasazi, these people lived in the region from approximately 100 to 1600 AD. They built sophisticated cliff dwellings and pueblos, such as those found at Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde. By the time Europeans arrived, various Native American groups lived in New Mexico, including the Apache, Navajo, and Pueblo peoples.

Spanish Exploration and Colonization: In 1539, Spanish explorer Francisco Vázquez de Coronado led an expedition into the area in search of the mythical Seven Cities of Gold. Years later, in 1598, Juan de Oñate established the first permanent Spanish settlement in New Mexico, San Juan de los Caballeros, near present-day Española. This marked the beginning of Spanish colonization. In 1610, the city of Santa Fe was founded by Spanish colonists, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the United States.

Mexican Period: In 1821, Mexico gained independence from Spain, and New Mexico became a part of the Mexican territory. The opening of the Santa Fe Trail in 1821 created a major trade route connecting Missouri to Santa Fe, boosting economic interactions.

American Period: During the Mexican-American War in 1846, U.S. forces under General Stephen Kearny captured New Mexico with little resistance. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 ended the war, and New Mexico became a U.S. territory. The mid-to-late 1800s saw conflicts between Native American tribes and settlers, as well as the expansion of the railroad, which brought increased settlement and economic growth.

Statehood and Modern Era: New Mexico was admitted to the Union as the 47th state on January 6, 1912. New Mexico played a crucial role in the Manhattan Project, with the Los Alamos National Laboratory being a key site for the development of the atomic bomb. The first atomic bomb was tested at the Trinity site in southern New Mexico in 1945. Following World War II, New Mexico continued to grow, with significant developments in education, technology, and the arts. The state became known for its diverse cultural heritage, natural beauty, and scientific research institutions.

Students will create a historical timeline, a postcard, a spider map, and a fun facts storyboard showing what they have learned about New Mexico. Creating these visuals gives the students the opportunity to show their creativity and their unique view of the state that they have researched. In addition, the combined use of words and illustrations allows students with different learning styles to show what they know in an exciting and eye-catching way.

Image Attributions
  • 19491525 • Ambient Vista • License Free To Use / No Attribution Required / See for what is not allowed
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