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QR Challenge: Spanish Colonial Era

Created using the ClassTools QR Treasure Hunt Generator

Teacher Notes

A. Prior to the lesson:

1. Arrange students into groups. Each group needs at least ONE person who has a mobile device.

2. If their phone camera doesn't automatically detect and decode QR codes, ask students to

3. Print out the QR codes.

4. Cut them out and place them around your class / school.

B. The lesson:

1. Give each group a clipboard and a piece of paper so they can write down the decoded questions and their answers to them.

2. Explain to the students that the codes are hidden around the school. Each team will get ONE point for each question they correctly decode and copy down onto their sheet, and a further TWO points if they can then provide the correct answer and write this down underneath the question.

3. Away they go! The winner is the first team to return with the most correct answers in the time available. This could be within a lesson, or during a lunchbreak, or even over several days!


4. A detailed case study in how to set up a successful QR Scavenger Hunt using this tool can be found here.

Questions / Answers (teacher reference)



1. Spain had been busy establishing colonies in Mexico and New Mexico; however, when they discovered Fort Saint Louis, Alonso de Leon was sent to destroy it. The discovery of Fort St. Louis led Spain to renew its colonization efforts in Texas.1
2. In 1682, the Spaniards established the first Texas missions near present day El Paso. Corpus Christi de la Ysleta was the first. The purpose of this mission was to spread Christianity to Native Americans. Corpus Christi de la Ysleta was successful. Spain promised to build more.2
3. Father Damain Massanet had traveled with De Leon to destroy Fort St. Louis. He had met the Caddos and interpreted their friendliness as an eagerness to become Catholic. De Leon and Massanet convinced the viceroy (governor) of New Spain to colonize Texas and convert the Caddos to Catholicism. They were sent with several priests, and about 100 soldiers to colonize East Texas. The expedition resulted in many missions in East Texas, however, the missions were failures.3
4. San Francisco los Tejas was the first mission built in East Texas. Shortly after it was built, it was in a crisis. Droughts caused crops to fail, disease killed many of the helpful natives, and many natives did not want to give up their way of life. It soon became clear to Spanish officials that missions could not survive without a constant flow of supplies. In October 1693, Spain ended its first attempt to settle Texas. Spain did not become interested in colonizing Texas again until they discovered a French trading post in Mississippi and Alabama.4
5. Father Francisco Hidalgo had been a Spanish priest at the East Texas Missions. When the missions closed in October of 1693, Father Hidalgo contacted French Catholic priests. He was concerned about the Native Texans in East Texas who had converted to Christianity. He asked the French priests to offer services to the Native Texans. The request worried the Spanish government.5
6. For 20 years, Spain put little effort into colonizing Texas; however, Spanish officials realized they would lose Texas if they did not start building missions. The Spanish viceroy sent an expedition led by Domingo Ramon to reestablish the missions in East Texas. The Ramon Expedition set out in 1716, and reopened Mission San Francisco de los Tejas. Additionally, six more missions were built along the Neches River. The opening of these missions in East Texas led Spain to build a support post near the San Antonio River, the midway point to the Rio Grande.6
7. On May 1, 1718, the Ramon Expedition established Mission San Antonio de Valero, a presidio and a permanent settlement. The settlement would eventually become the most important Spanish colony in Texas and later the city of San Antonio and the capital of Texas.7
8. In 1719, war broke out between France and Spain. When the French in Louisiana learned about the war, they sent soldiers to capture a Spanish mission in East Texas. They took what they could from the mission including the chickens. Some Spaniards escaped but this incident forced the Spanish from East Texas. The incident became known as the Chicken War. Spain was HUMILATED by the incident and became more determined than ever to reclaim Texas. 8
9. The Chicken War demonstrated Spain’s weakness in Texas. They were determined to prove they could control Texas. In 1721, Aguayo took charge of the effort to reestablish Spanish authority in East Texas. Aguayo reopened 6 missions that had been abandoned after the Chicken War and left priests, supplies, and soldiers at each one. When Aguayo finished his expedition, ten missions and four presidios had been established. Spain had reclaimed Texas.9
10. In order for the new colonies to grow and thrive, settlers were needed. In 1719, Aguayo had asked the Spanish viceroy to send 400 settlers to Texas. 12 years later, 55 families from the Canary Islands arrived in Texas. The Spanish gave these colonists money, land, and supplies to colonize Texas. They settled near present-day San Antonio. This further strengthened Spain’s hold on Texas. 10
11. In the mid-1700s, Spain began its last expansion effort in Texas. Although France was no longer threatening to take Spanish lands, French traders had become a problem in East Texas. Spain had two goals – run the French traders out of East Texas and secure Spanish land claims in South Texas.11
12. Count Escandon was chosen to led Spain’s expansion efforts in South Texas. In 1748, Count Escandon settled 3,000 soldiers, priests, and settlers along the Rio Grande and Nueces rivers. Fifteen missions were established and he moved La Bahia mission and presidio to present day Goliad. Laredo was one of the towns he settled.12
13. In 1763, Spain gained control of Louisiana. The French threat was gone, and maintaining the missions was a drain on Spain’s finances. Spain decided to close the east Texas missions. Three of the missions were moved to San Antonio, making a total of five missions there.13
14. Spanish settlers in the East Texas area were upset that Spain had decided to close the settlements. In 1779, a group led by Gil Ybarbo returned to East Texas. These setters founded the community of Nacogdoches.14
15. By the 1800s, about 3,500 colonists lived in Texas. The population was concentrated in three main areas: the missions in San Antonio, La Bahia, and Nacogdoches. About 7,000 more colonists lived in present day South Texas.15


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