Friday, March 16, 2012

Greetings From Texas!

Howdy Friends,
So much to share and so little time... Let's get to it. We have had a Texas sized heaping helping of fun learning about Texas, the symbols of Texas, learning some basic map skills and how ordinary people helped to shape our State.
We started out by learning about our flag. One of our favorite projects was painting flags to display for Open House. We learned that our State is called The Lone star State and that each color of the flag has meaning.
Red stands for bravery.
White stands for purity.
Blue stands for loyalty.
We were also able to compare and contrast the Texas flag and the American flag. We learned that both flags are made of the same three colors. Both flags have stars and stripes. We learned that the American flag has more starts and stripes than the Texas flag. We noticed that both flags were rectangles and they were the same size in our classroom. Once we started talking about flags we noticed flags around our school, in our neighborhoods and in the community.

Before we went on Spring Break we learned about Stephen F. Austin. He is the father of Texas. We learned how ordinary people, just like us, made contributions that shaped our State.
We learned where Texas was on our United States map and we learned how to identify the city we live in and the State capitol of Texas. We learned that the capitol was named after Stephen F. Austin. Naturally we were interested in where our friends and relatives were located on the map. We really wanted to know exactly where our pen pals were!
In my previous post I shared just how much I loved this book. And considering we were talking about Texas, we just had to create our own lesson for this because it was just to good to pass up. Like I said earlier, I went through several different versions of My Map Of Texas. I was super lucky that we had some rain days and I had a group of children that would try out just about anything for me. As I watched and listened to them as they worked, I was able to create version 2 then 3 then 4 and so on.
Here is version number 3. I have to admit some versions didn't even get a picture. As I was preparing for this post I realized that I did not have a good picture of our last version but I promise I will post it for you when we return from break because we were all just itching to try the new version!
So, after all of these versions what did we actually learn? We learned to create and interpret visuals, including pictures and maps. We learned that maps are pictorial representations of information and there are different kinds of maps.
We were getting ready for Texas Public School week and Open House so we had a few projects to complete. The hats are from our Take Home Project activity. The children take home cardstock copies of the hat and decorate it with their families. We had some creative hats this time around.
As with all of our projects the children try to match their own skin color with the paint, paper or crayons in the project. At this point in the year children can actually name their paint or crayon color!
 The multicultural paint sold by Lakeshore is my favorite because is has a great variety of paint colors and the paint names are common and familiar to the kids. It is always fun to see who is toast or cinnamon or toffee.
I was super excited to talk about the things we see in Texas especially our State Flower The Texas Bluebonnet. These is nothing that reminds me more of traveling across Texas than bluebonnets.

We had to make our annual Texas Bluebonnets!
Here's my right hand man Diego. He is never far from my side. He's following my guided art instructions just smiling away. I wonder what he is actually thinking as I am saying blend, blend, blend, twist, turn, blend...
Before we left for our break we just had to have some Armadilly Chili because chili is the official food of Texas.
It was the best chili ever. And we learned that chili is much better shared with friends!
If you would like to follow along and learn about Texas with us just click on the image above to go to my store.
Happy trails to you until we meet again...


Lyndsey (A Year of Many Firsts) said...

Oh my word! This whole post is precious. Makes me want to move to Texas NOW! I should do something like this all about Maryland. My students would totally eat this up. CUTE, CUTE, CUTE! Love it! Thanks for sharing.


A Year of Many Firsts

Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas said...

I want to go back to school and be in your class! What an amazing teacher you are!
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