A Brief History of the American Southwest for Kids is a curriculum podcast series to teach the history of this unique region.
The Children’s Hour Inc. has produced a six part podcast and curriculum series on the history of the American Southwest, in partnership with the Center for New Mexico Archaeology, the Native American Community Academy (NACA), NACA Inspired Schools Network, and numerous others.
Typically a region of the US that is overlooked in textbooks, the Southwestern United States history begins 23,000 years ago in what is now know as White Sands National Park. Students will learn how the area was settled, from its Indigenous beginnings through the brutal era of Colonization by Spain, and then the United States, and finally emerging into statehood. This series highlights the moments that changed the history of this region and this nation forever.
This series comes with a free, download-able Learn-Along Guide that meets and cites US national education standards for elementary through high school students. Find it, and a link to cite the national education standards below.
Our production began with “virtual field trips” for students that include expert interviews to better understand each time period. Students can hear the full conversations with our experts by watching the field trips.
Join us, and learn about our fragile, and deeply rooted story of our high desert region over six episodes, and through our Learn-Along guide.
Episode 1: A Brief History of the American Southwest for Kids
FootprintsA Brief History of the American Southwest for Kids Episode 1 starts our story some 23,000 years ago at White Sands National Park, with a series of fossilized footprints. We are joined by White Sands Resource Program Manager David Bustos, archeologist Mary Weahkee from The New Mexico Office of Archeological Studies, and Diego Medina, Tribal Preservation Officer for the Piro-Manso-Tiwa tribe, located near White Sands.The footprints preserved in the sand reveal days in the lives of the people who first came to the high desert Southwest, and include footprints from now extinct megafauna, like the Giant Sloth.Download the companion Learn-Along Guide (https://ChildrenHour.org/History) as you listen to this episode. Our Learn-Along Guide meets and cites national education standards, and helps students stay focused as they listen, while digging deeper into the vocabulary and ideas presented in this episode.
Episode 2: A Brief History of the American Southwest for Kids
Settling DownFor over 10,000 years, communities grew in the desert, with elaborate roads and structures that remain today. The complexity of Chaco Canyon’s architecture, engineering, and governance demonstrates the sophistication of the Southwestern cultures.In Episode 2, we learn about how these settlements flourished in the Southwest, and how they were interconnected with communities thousands of miles away. We see the development of roadways following trade routes that are still used today, along with architecture that celebrates celestial mysteries, and engineered waterways designed to transport precious water resources to grow foods to feed thousands of people.We will be joined by Chaco Canyon Interpretive Center educator Nathan Hatfield, as well as Mary Weahkee from the New Mexico Center for Archaeology, as well as Pueblo educator Jon Ghahate.
Episode 3: A Brief History of the American Southwest for Kids
Strangers ArriveIn July of 1540, the Ashiwi people watched as a group of armed strangers – who turned out to be Europeans – came into the desert Southwest, on horseback, and with an agenda of finding the cities of gold they had heard were located in the desert Southwest.Part 3 of our story tells the story of the day when the A:shiwi (Zuni) people met some uninvited visitors. We hear what happened, how this moment changed the course of the history of the people already living in the desert southwest, and we see artifacts preserved from that fateful encounter.We are joined by A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center director Curtis Quam, along with archaeologist Mary Weahkee from the New Mexico Center for Archeological Research, Pueblo educator Jon Ghahate, and Tribal Preservation Officer for the Piro-Mansa-Tiwa tribe, Diego Medina.
Episode 4: A Brief History of the American Southwest for Kids
Pueblo RevoltThe new neighbors had so many demands and harsh punishments, the pueblo peoples had enough and organized a revolt, sending the priests and other Europeans packing.Part 4 of our Brief History of the American Southwest for Kids tells the story of Po'Pay, the architect behind the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Since their incursion onto the homelands of the Pueblo peoples, the Spanish established a harsh colonial feudal rule which generated animosity. Po’Pay’s leadership united Pueblo communities, which resulted in forcing the Spanish to realize their only option was to leave.Our experts include Pueblo educator Jon Ghahate, and Piro-Manso-Tiwa Tribal Preservation Officer, Diego Medina.
Episode 5: A Brief History of the American Southwest for Kids
Episode 5: ColonizationWithin two decades, the Spanish settlers returned to the Rio Grande Valley, laying claim to the fertile valleys to build haciendas, churches and towns, to be owned by the Spanish crown. This virtual field trip to Los Luceros Historic Site will tell the story.Part 5 of our Brief History of the American Southwest for Kids tells the story of the Spanish colonial era of the American Southwest after the Pueblo Revolt. Representatives of the Spanish crown returned to terra nueva to claim territory in the southwest lost in the Pueblo Revolt. Estancias or ranches such as Los Luceros Historic Site is an example of how ranches operated, what they contained, and the impact upon the numerous, diverse indigenous communities in what was to become the State of New Mexico, then the eventual Mexican Independence and territorial acquisition by the United States and subsequent statehood.Our guests will talk about the geo-political and actual battles between Spain, Mexico and the United States to control the Southwest. We will learn about the encomienda, the Land Grants, and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and the impact on the population of Pueblo people.Our experts include Los Luceros Historic Site interpretive ranger Carlyn Stewart and Rebecca Ward, along with Piro-Manso-Tiwa Tribal Preservation Officer Diego Medina, archaeologist Mary Weahkee from the New Mexico Center for Archaeology, and Dava Fratello, Principal of the Comanche Academy in Oklahoma.
Episode 6: A Brief History of the American Southwest for Kids
NationalizationIn 1864, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo making the American Southwest a United States territory where the land would soon be crisscrossed with train tracks and roads, with new economies of health, culture and anthropological tourism, as well as harsh and inhumane impacts to the indigenous people.The 6th and final episode of our Brief History of the American Southwest for Kids series recording tells the story of the era of nationalization of the American Southwest after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo made the region a territory of the United States. Journey with us through the early part of the 20th century, when the Camino Real and Santa Fe Trail transformed into routes that paved the way for railway development, new economies of health, cultural, and anthropological tourism, as well as military industrialization, and statehood. We learn about the harsh and inhumane impact these changes had on the people who already lived in the southwest, and what they had to endure to preserve and sustain their communities and culture while their lands were annexed to the US Government.Our experts include historian Melanie LaBorwit, along with Pueblo Educator Jon Ghahate, and archaeologist Mary Weahkee from the New Mexico Center for Archeological Research.
Indigenous History becomes American History becomes our History
That will make fall in love with blended culture that is the American Southwest
Great for teachers!
Comes with a learning guide that meets and cites national education standards. First podcast series on southwestern history geared toward kids, that teaches about the 23,000 year old fossilized footprints, through the Pueblo Revolt, and all the way to the modern era. Fascinating, engaging, and a tool to teach critical thinking.