Virtual Field Trip to The Alamo

Virtual Field Trip to The Alamo

Author: Katie Hannas

Students will be able to navigate the Alamo website to acquire the history and facts of the Battle at the Alamo by following the checklist provided, discussing with peers when prompted, and completing the worksheet questions.


TEKS: § 113.19. Social Studies, Grade 7

(b) Knowledge and skills.

(3)The student understands how individuals, events, and issues related to the Texas Revolution shaped the history of Texas. The student is expected to:

(c) Explain the issues surrounding significant events of the Texas Revolution, including the Battle of Gonzales, William B. Travis’ letter “To the people of Texas and All Americans in the World,” the siege of the Alamo and the 189 heroes all the heroic defenders who gave their lives there, the Constitutional Convention of 1836, Fannin's surrender at Goliad, and the Battle of San Jacinto


This virtual field trip allows students to explore the Alamo without physically being in San Antonio, Texas.  Students will learn important facts about the events leading up to the final battle at the Alamo by navigating themselves through a series of videos, pictures, discussions, and individual worksheet questions.  Each student will complete a worksheet after actively participating in the virtual field trip of the Alamo with 100% accuracy in groups of two.

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ALAMO TIMELINE 1718 - 1836

Colonization Through Revolution

    1724 - The Alamo is officially moved to its existing location today after bring moved three times.

1820 - Moses Austin reported that the Alamo was in poor condition during his visit to San Antonio.

1821-  Mexico gained its independence from Spain. Mexican officials ordered repairs on the buildings.


The Texas Revolution

Oct. 2, 1835 - Battle of Gonzales

Dec. 10, 1835 - General Cos and about 1,200 troops surrendered the Alamo to a volunteer Texan Army of fewer than 400 after a fierce battle for the city.

Jan. 7, 1836 - General Santa Anna and his army arrived at Saltillo.

Jan. 17, 1836 - Sam Houston ordered Colonel James Bowie to San Antonio de Béxar to evaluate the situation.

Jan. 19, 1836 - Colonel James Bowie arrived in San Antonio de Béxar with 30 men.


February 1836

Tuesday 2, 1836 -  Colonel Bowie and Colonel Neill held a conference in which they decided that the safety of Texas depended on maintaining the Alamo as a fortress.

Wednesday 3, 1836 - Colonel William B. Travis arrived in San Antonio de Béxar with 25 men. He agreed with Bowie and Neill that the Alamo must be defended.

Monday 8, 1836 -  David Crockett, former Congressman from Tennessee, arrived in San Antonio deBéxar with 16 men, totaling 142 men.

Friday 12, 1836 - Colonel Travis assumed the role of Alamo commander.

Saturday 13, 1836 - General Santa Anna’s army--headed for San Antonio de Béxar--was caught in a blizzard that left more than a foot of snow on the ground. In Goliad, Colonel James Fannin learned that General Urrea had brought 1,000 Mexican troops to Matamoros, intended to help suppress the rebellion.

Tuesday 16, 1836 - General Santa Anna crossed the Rio Grande and started for San Antonio de Béxar.

Wednesday 17, 1836 - General Santa Anna arrived at the Nueces River

Thursday 18, 1836 - A scout reported to Colonel Travis that the Mexican Army had crossed the Rio Grande.

Sunday 21, 1836 - A cloudburst swelled the Medina River, thereby preventing Santa Anna from crossing.


13 days of the siege of The Alamo

Day 1: Tuesday, February 23, 1836

General Antonio López de Santa Anna arrived in San Antonio that afternoon with the vanguard of his army. A bloodred banner was raised atop the bell tower of San Fernando Church, signifying that no prisoners would be taken. Colonel William B. Travis ordered a cannon fired in response. The Mexican soldiers fired back and the siege of the Alamo had begun. It was to last 13 days.


Day 2: Wednesday, February 24, 1836

Gravely ill, Colonel James Bowie turned over command of the volunteers to Colonel Travis. Travis sent Captain Albert Martin to Gonzales with a letter addressed "To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World."


Day 3: Thursday, February 25, 1836

A messenger reached Colonel James W. Fannin at Goliad. In San Antonio, Santa Anna moved his batteries closer to the walls.


Day 4: Friday, February 26, 1836

The Mexican Army tried to cut the Alamo’s water supply.


Day 5: Saturday, February 27, 1836

James Butler Bonham left the Alamo headed for Goliad and Gonzales. Back at the Alamo, nighttime activity by the Mexican Army kept the Texans on alert, allowing them very little sleep.


Day 6: Sunday, February 28, 1836

Colonel Fannin left Goliad at the head of a relief column but turned back after only traveling a short distance. Mexican artillery fire fell in and around the Alamo throughout the day.


Day 7: Monday, February 29, 1836

Santa Anna’s batteries moved still closer to the Alamo’s walls. [Note 1836 was a Leap Year.]


Day 8: Tuesday, March 1, 1836

Texans fired two cannon shots at the house on Main Plaza occupied by Santa Anna--one hit the house but he was unharmed.


Day 9: Wednesday, March 2, 1836

Inside the Alamo, the defenders were unaware that delegates meeting at Washington-on-the-Brazos had signed the Texas Declaration of Independence.


Day 10: Thursday, March 3, 1836

James Butler Bonham returned from Goliad to report that Colonel Fannin was not coming to the Alamo’s aid.


Day 11: Friday, March 4, 1836

Mexican cannonading started early and continued all day.


Day 12: Saturday, March 5, 1836

According to a popular legend, Colonel Travis drew a line on the ground with his sword and then asked those willing to stay and fight to cross over and join him.


Day 13: Sunday, March 6, 1836

5:00 a.m. Santa Anna gave the signal to advance just after 5 a.m. Casualties on both sides mounted during the intense fighting. The troops scaled the north wall and poured into the compound.

The fighting moved to the Long Barrack, Low Barrack, and former church.



William Barret Travis' Letter from the Alamo

William Barret Travis'

Letter from the Alamo

Commandancy of the Alamo

Bejar, Feby. 24, 1836


To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World


Fellow citizens & compatriots:


I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country



William Barret Travis,


Lt. Col. comdt.


P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.   - Travis


Student Instruction Sheet

Welcome to the Alamo! Today you will be taking a virtual field trip of one of the most famous landmarks of Texas. Use the checklist below to navigate the site, and use the information you learn to complete the activity sheet.

     First, double click on the Internet Explorer icon on the desktop of your computer to open the internet.

    Now, visit the Alamo website by typing www.thealamo.org into the URL box of Internet Explorer. Watch the intro video before the site’s homepage opens.

    Click on “THE BATTLE” to visit the section of the website dedicated to the battle of the Alamo.

    Next, click “HISTORY” and read the summary of the battle that opens. Remember to use some of this information to answer the questions found on your activity sheet.

    After you have read about the events of the battle, scroll back to the top of the page and find the link “MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS.” You do not need to read this whole page, but find a couple myths that interest you. Read the information on those myths to learn the truth about what happened at the Alamo!

   Now, scroll back to the top of the page, and click on the “CHRONOLOGY” link. You may skim through this information to see when the exact happenings of the battle took place. Remember to refer back to the questions on your activity sheet.

    After answering the questions, scroll to the top of the page and look for the links of the left hand side of the page. Click on “ALAMO BATTLEFIELD TOUR” to see some real pictures from the Alamo. This is what you would see if you traveled to San Antonio to visit the site today!

   Go back to the top of the page, and now click “IN THEIR OWN WORDS.” This section contains letters and accounts from those present at the Alamo years ago. Choose one individual’s account to read, and learn something from an insider’s prospective!

After you have completed these steps and the activity sheet, you have completed the virtual field trip! Congratulations! Now, you may scroll to the bottom of any page and click on the “JUST FOR KIDS” link. Explore this part of the site on your own, and play the games provided!


Activity Sheet

Who was the Alamo (Mission San Antonio de Valero) a home to originally?

“Alamo” is the Spanish word for _____________________.

How many days did the defenders hold out against Santa Anna’s army?  ________

Name 2 individuals part of the Alamo’s garrison.

Who won the battle of the Alamo?  The Mexicans    or     The Texans

Choose 2 myths or misconceptions you learned about, and explain them below. Make sure to define the myth, and then explain what the truth actually is.



Identify the dates that the following events occurred:

_________________: Bowie and Neill vow “…we will rather die in these ditches than give it up to the enemy.”

_________________: David Crockett arrives in San Antonio de Bexar with 12 volunteers.

_________________: The Alamo falls in a predawn assault.

Below, tell whose letter or account you decided to read. Summarize what that person had to say.

My Field Trip Report

Fill in the Blank (2pts each)

1. The Alamo is the sight and symbol of ____________  and  a   Spanish


2. Approximately 200 _________ barricaded themselves into the Alamo?

3. Who led the Mexican soldiers?

4. How long did the battle last?

5. How long did the siege last?

5. True or False: The Mexican army attacked from only one side.

6. How many Texans survived the Battle of the Alamo?

7. Six weeks later the Texans defeated the Mexican army in the Battle of ___________.

8. The Texans shouted REMEMBER THE _________

9. After the revolution _______ gained independence.

10. In regards to William B. Travis’ purpose for writing his letter?

           Who was the letter addressed to? 

           What was his purpose in writing the letter?

11. How many men gave up their lives? 

12.The battle of ___________ led up to the battle of the Alamo?


Short Answer (10 pts each):

If you were William B. Travis what would you have written in your letter?

Legend has it that Travis drew a line in the sand and asked the ones willing to fight to cross over the line and join him? Would you have crossed over line to stay and  fight or would you have returned home? Explain your answer