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The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > The South Texas Border, 1900-1920

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[Detail] Maria Gonzalez and soldaderas. Photographer - Robert Runyon.

Students can use South Texas Border to learn more about the Mexican Revolution while also practicing a variety of historical thinking skills. The collection's photographs can be used in fun timeline projects that encourage students to think chronologically and to research the Mexican Revolution in other resources. Other projects direct students to analyze the role images play in shaping public opinion and to examine the United States's military response to raids along the border. Finally, teachers can draw upon the visual nature of the collection to help students comprehend what it was like to live in the midst of the violence of a revolution, so far removed from most students' lives today.

Chronological Thinking

Students can create a timeline of the Mexican Revolution to practice thinking of history chronologically. To ascertain the major events of the revolution, students can use the special presentation, "The Mexican Revolution: Conflict in Matamaros", resources about the revolution referenced there, and other materials. Then have them search the collection with the names of Mexican and American military leaders, such as Villa, Madero, Carranza, Blanco, and Pershing, incorporating the images they find into their timelines. They can also illustrate their timelines with photographs depicting battles in Northeastern Mexico.

They can further develop their timelines by going beyond the geographic and chronological scope of Runyon's photographs to include such international episodes as the Tampico Affair, the siege of Vera Cruz, Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, New Mexico, and John J. Pershing's military expedition into Mexico. Finally, the timeline can be expanded to illustrate the place of the Mexican Revolution in world affairs by including other important events of the time, such as those surrounding World War I.