Coronado Historic Site

School Resources

To schedule a tour please CLICK HERE to send a request and view available dates.

On-Site Group Tours

Coronado Historic Site and the Ancient Village of Kuaua are a truly memorable and educational experience for you, your students, and their parents. School group tours are always free and appropriate for K-12 and higher education groups. You can experience descending into a kiva, trying on Spanish armor, and exploring our newly redesigned museum exhibits, guided by knowledgeable docents and educators. K-12 groups are required to have 1 adult chaperone to every 10 students.

Things you should know:

  • To make a reservation for an educational tour, please contact us at least two-four weeks prior to the desired date of your visit
  • The tour will be a 60 minute narrated walk through the ancient village trail and down into the Painted Kiva
  • Groups are allowed to explore the museum and nature trails on their own
  • The museum, main interpretive trail, and restroom facilities are all ADA compliant
  • There are picnic tables in front of the  main building and along the river, if you choose to bring lunches to eat on site

 To schedule a tour please CLICK HERE to send a request and view available dates.

Questions or comments please contact:

Ethan Ortega - Instructional Coordinator



Off-Site Classroom Visits

You can bring Coronado Historic Site and the Ancient Village of Kuaua into your classroom with staff and docent led activiteis. Our classroom visits are tailored to each group and involve hands-on activites, story telling, and are designed with Common Core in mind. Cassroom visits are free and appropriate for K-12 groups or higher education groups.

To schedule a classroom visit contact:

Ethan Ortega - Instructional Coordinator



Printable Lesson Plans

Click the links below to explore K-12 lesson plans designed for New Mexico teachers with Common Core in mind.

Life in Ancient Kuaua

What was life like in the ancient pueblo of Kuaua? After a presentation of basic information about pueblo life, in this lesson, your elementary students will have fun acting out the picture above, complete notetaking and writing activities, and reassemble the sherds of an ancient Kuaua Polychrome pot. Cilck HERE to download. 

Pueblo Life Through Spanish Eyes

Using primary and secondary sources, students will examine life at the ancient pueblo village of Kuaua, one of the cluster of Rio Grande pueblos called Tiguex which was visited by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado during his entrada in 1540. Click HERE to download. 

Who was Coronado?

In 1540, a young Spanish nobleman led an self-financed expedition of Spaniards, Indian allies, and slaves north into what would become New Spain, seeking the wealth of the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola and the financial rewards due to Spaniards who increased the lands of the Spanish crown. Your students will investigate web resources to discover facts and complete a timeline of Coronado’s life in this printer-ready, standards-based lesson. Click HERE to download.

Columbian Exchange

After completing this lesson, the learner will be able to dentify the origin of plants and animals in the Columbian Exchange, they will also be able to complete a dinner menu which reflects New or Old World foods before and after the Columbian Exchange. Finally, they will write a paragraph about the impact of the Columbian Exchange on both the New World and the Old. This lesson is intended for students in upper elementary  through middle school.  The Powerpoint presentation is geared more for lower grades, but could easily be used with additional resource materials cited at the end of the lesson for seventh or eighth grade students.Click HERE to download. 

Poetry Analysis

Your students will write an historic poem about the ancient pueblo village of Kuaua by completing a prewriting exercise, watching a video, completing the tour of the site if you are able to come to visit us, reading a primary source article by a former caretaker of Coronado, a poem written about the site, and finally, writing a poem of their own.  The focus will be on the perspective of the writer and the difference point of view can make. Click HERE to download.

A Change of Attitude

Both of these documents were laws signed by the King of Spain, written thirty years apart and for different reasons, as Spain moved into the New World and began settlement and conquest in North and South America.  Investigate the reasons behind each document and how they were similar, or different, by looking at primary source quotes from each document as well as some of the artwork created in that time. Click HERE to download. 

Turkeys in Ancient Pueblos

Your students will answer this question after doing vocabulary study and going through ten different stations which will include both primary and secondary source information about turkey husbandry in ancient Southwestern pueblos. The lesson plans are written to address both Common Core and New Mexico state history standards.  A Powerpoint presentation is included as well to make discussion easy and fun with a large group. Click HERE to download. 

Coronado Had Help: The Indios Amigos

History tells us that in 1540,  Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and three hundred Europeans conquered thousands of   pueblo farmers in the middle Rio Grande Valley.  These conquistadors were metal-clad Spanish warriors on horseback.  Franciscan monks came with them to bring Christianity into the region.  Sometimes stories even mention Mexican Indians who came with the expedition as servants, porters, or slaves.  This myth is simply untrue. Primary source documents from that time tell a very different story.  And the army that Coronado brought into the Rio Grande valley looked quite different as well – it was an army primarily made up of Mesoamerican Indians from the Valley of Mexico.  Roughly 3,000 strong, these indios amigos, or “friendly Indians ” as the Spanish called them, spoke  the Nahuatl, or Aztec, language.  And the majority of them weren’t servants, porters, or slaves. Click HERE to download. 

The Tiguex War

In 1540, the Coronado Expedition moved into the middle Rio Grande Valley, now Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo.  They brought with them a sizable group of Mesoamerican warriors.  They encounter the Tiwa-speaking Pueblo people of the Rio Grande Valley, and what follows is the first war that takes place between European and Native American forces in the Southwest. Click HERE to download.

CSI: Kuaua Pueblo

After completing this lesson, the learner will be able to use multiple print and visual sources, primary and secondary, to make a decision about the function of a room in an ancient pueblo. They will present findings with a group and defend their decision with evidence from the archaeological record. And finally, write a field report which includes primary source and secondary source information, based on the archaeological record. Click HERE to download. 

Reading Resources for Teachers

This is a list that we have developed, using the suggestions from New Mexico educators and librarians from area elementary, middle, high schools, and colleges.  It is by no means complete, but it represents a start at an annotated bibliography of resources that are available which reflect the history and culture of New Mexico. Click HERE to download. 



Coronado Historic Site


Ethan Ortega

Instructional Coordinator