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Curriculum:  Humanities  [ 110.55(b)]

The Texas Legacy site hosts a variety of educational curricula, lesson plans, keys and ideas, and supporting media, including video, databases, transcripts and other material.  Below you can find the TEKS standards for Humanities, section 110.55(b) with relevant activities drawn from this archive.

Goal:  The student reads widely to recognize writing as an art form:


Excerpts of TEKS Text

TexasLegacy.org  Relevance

Suggested Activities


(A)  read widely to understand authors' craft and to discover models to use in his/her own writing;










A number of authors have participated in the TexasLegacy.org project, and they represent a variety of art forms and movements that students can learn from.


Read the work from authors in the archive, including Jim Blackburn, Betty Brink, Scooter Cheatham, Carol Cullar, Fred Dahmer, Robin Doughty, Lou Dubose, Phyllis Glazer, John Graves, Pete Gunter, Michael King, Dan Lay, Char Miller, Bill Oliver, Gary Oliver, Daniel Quinn, Fran Sage, Andy Sansom, David Schmidly, Genevieve Vaughan, Andy Wilkinson, Diane Wilson and others. 

While there is certainly overlap, each writes in his own style, and often in largely distinct genres.  For example, Marjorie Adams, Betty Brink, Lou Dubose, and Michael King might be considered journalists who cover current events.  Carol Cullar, Fran Sage and Robin Doughty are poets;  Andy Wilkinson, Gary Oliver and Bill Oliver are songwriters.  Genevieve Vaughan and Pete Gunter write in the vein of philosophy and ethics.  Jim Blackburn, Fred Dahmer, Dan Lay, Andy Sansom, and David Schmidly write in the general area of natural history.  Scooter Cheatham and Kenneth Seyffert are more technical, verging into the area of natural science writing.  Diane Wilson and Phyllis Glazer might be best considered as memoirists.  As rooted as it is in current concerns, Daniel Quinn's work uses the tools of fantasy or science fiction.  Similarly interested in current events, Char Miller takes a retrospective look as a history writer.

Compare the work of two or three of these authors, and try to understand how the genres that they work in fit with the subjects that they write about, and the audiences that they write for.  How can you put these models to use in your own writing?



(B)  recognize the major historical and cultural movements as reflected in various art forms;

(D)  read literary responses to political, social, and philosophical movements;


Many of the authors in the  TexasLegacy.org have used their literary skills to respond to and comment on political, historical, social and philosophical movements of the day, giving humanities students opportunities to see the interplay between literature and many public discussions.


Read the works by John Graves which have straddled the line between literature and political commentary.  His contribution to the Water Hustlers, an essay critiquing the builders of dams, channels and pipelines is a more straightforward response, in comparison with the more lyrical approach of his novel and memoir, Goodbye to a River.  Consider the video excerpt where Mr. Graves, as he discusses the line between propaganda and literature.

Read the philosophical essay, For-giving, by Genevieve Vaughan, and then watch her video excerpt to better understand how her philosophical work is part of her reaction to the broad political and social currents of our times.

Read Jim Hightower's many books, including There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos and If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote, They Would Have Given Us Candidates.  Then watch the extended video excerpt about his Populist upbringing and attitude.  Think about how his writings respond to the social and political changes in the United States.



(E)  identify elements of literary creativity;


While TexasLegacy.org narrators deal with serious attitudes about real events of the day, they bring a variety of creative tools for their expression, including satire, farce, and fantasy.


Watch as the Pulitzer prize-winning editorial cartoonist, Ben Sargent, describes how he creates his cartoons that satirize many affairs of the day.

Listen to Pete Gunter's farcical song, The Texas Water Plan Calypso, where he lampoons the grandiose plans of the state to move water from the Mississippi to the High Plains.

Read from Daniel Quinn's Ishmael series, the fantasy or parable about the life we share with the many other creatures on the planet.



(C)  identify the elements common to literature and other fine arts;

(F)  develop and apply criteria for evaluating literary works and other art forms; and

(G)  read widely to see connections (commonalties) that literature shares with fine arts.


The TexasLegacy.org archive is fortunate to have examples of artistic expression in a variety of areas, including literature, filmmaking, photography, printmaking, and other areas that provide ways to find the elements common to all forms of art.


Consider artists that work in several areas, and see how they express different or similar ideas in their different venues.  For instance, look at Gary Oliver's editorial cartoons, and then listen to his songs.  Or, read Carol Cullar's poetry and then look at her etchings.  See how each of these artistic efforts complements or supplements the other. 

Look at how artists with different skills and  media interests work together.  For example, read the photoessay, Texas Lost, that Andy Sansom wrote with the photographer, Wyman Meinzer.  Similarly, look at how Jim Blackburn's text and Jim Olive's photographs balance and complete one another in The Book of Texas Bays.



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