The History of Spindletop and Its Impact on Southeast Texas

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This WebQuest is meant for students to be able to practice their research and critical thinking skills while learning about local history. The aim for this activity is for students 1. to understand the research process and importance of using valid sources, 2. to practice finding primary sources using the internet, and 3. to understand the importance of local history on a global scale. This WebQuest should take three to four days, depending on if the students will present their projects to the class.

Day 1:

Introduce the topic to the students, going over each part of the evaluation and what they are being expected to accomplish. This is also a good chance to review primary vs. secondary sources, MLA citation formatting, and how to check the validity of the sources they choose to use. If your students are not familiar with the history of Spindletop, then you can give them a quick overview.

Day 2:

Students will use this day to work on the research portion of this project. While they research, it is important to walk around and monitor their progress, helping them out when needed.

Day 3:

Students will use what they learned from their research to begin designing their presentations. I recommend letting the students choose which medium they want to use. Encourage them to be creative during this part!

Day 4 (Optional):

If you would like, this day would be reserved for the students to present their projects to the class. It would allow them to get feedback on their completed project as well as give them a chance to practice their public speaking skills.


This WebQuest follows the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) Standards.

(1) History. The student understands traditional historical points of reference in Texas history. The student is expected to:

  • (A) identify the major eras in Texas history, describe their defining characteristics, and explain the purpose of dividing the past into eras, including Natural Texas and its People; Age of Contact; Spanish Colonial; Mexican National; Revolution and Republic; Early Statehood; Texas in the Civil War and Reconstruction; Cotton, Cattle, and Railroads; Age of Oil; Texas in the Great Depression and World War II; Civil Rights; and Contemporary Texas; and
  • (B) explain the significance of the following dates: 1519, mapping of the Texas coast and first mainland Spanish settlement; 1718, founding of San Antonio; 1821, independence from Spain; 1836, Texas independence; 1845, annexation; 1861, Civil War begins; 1876, adoption of current state constitution; and 1901, discovery of oil at Spindletop.

(9) Geography. The student understands the effects of the interaction between humans and the environment in Texas. The student is expected to:

  • (A) identify ways in which Texans have adapted to and modified the environment and explain the positive and negative consequences of the modifications; and
  • (B) explain ways in which geographic factors such as the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the Dust Bowl, limited water resources, and alternative energy sources have affected the political, economic, and social development of Texas.

(12) Economics. The student understands the interdependence of the Texas economy with the United States and the world. The student is expected to:

  • (A) explain the impact of national and international markets on the production of goods and services in Texas, including agriculture and oil and gas;
  • (B) explain the impact of economic concepts within the free enterprise system such as supply and demand, profit, and world competition on the economy of Texas; and
  • (C) analyze the impact of significant industries in Texas such as aerospace, medical, and computer technologies on local, national, and international markets.

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