UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures “Tex-Kits” have been an interesting and fun way for teachers to recreate the immersive museum environment in the classroom. These travel-friendly kits provide self-contained lessons designed to supplement the curriculum and cement concepts for students through hands-on experiential learning.
Due to the pandemic, this program was suspended in early 2020. The ITC Education Department is designing new kits, emphasizing digital content for today’s tech-savvy students along with copies of primary resources such as historical documents, interview transcripts, and artifacts designed to be held, examined, used, and played with in the classroom.
Teachers receive guides and in-class activity sheets with tips on how to adapt the kit’s lesson and contents to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Previous Tex-Kits showcased the One-Room Schoolhouse, American Indians, Gone to Texas: Pioneers, and Cowboys and Cattle Drives.
Teaching with objects promotes critical thinking, observation, analytical inquiry, and visual literacy. Hands-on learning means students can develop skills independent of a book or classroom lesson. Learning with objects creates connections and relevance, building an appreciation of the past and a shared heritage.
While most commonly used in classrooms Tex-Kits have also been used by scout troops, senior groups, outreach efforts, and private events.
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