Saturday, February 14, 2015

Deep in the Heart of Texas Blog Hop

Welcome to the "Deep in the Heart of Texas" blog hop!  Over 40 Texas teacher bloggers have joined together to share what we love about our state as well as ideas and freebies that we love.  You will also have the opportunity to enter to win TpT products and/or TpT gift certificates by entering using the rafflecopters included in each post.  Down at the bottom, you will see all of the blogs participating in the hop.  Just click and you will be taken to their posts.  We hope you love what you find.  Happy Valentine's Day!

I am Vanessa Blandford (Crown) I just got married last summer and moved from the burbs to the big ole city of Houston! I have always lived in a suburb of Houston, but now that I actually live in Houston I look at the city a good way, because I really see everything that it has to offer.  

I love our parks. The Sam Houston statue can be found in Hermann Park. My husband and I took our engagement pictures there. The statue was unveiled August 16, 1925. It was restored in 1996 and is simply breathtaking. The surrounding area has changed somewhat, but the statue remains the same. 

The park is humongous and has lots of different areas, and is also home to some of the awesome museums Houston has, like the Houston Zoo and Houston Museum of Natural Science. 

I love the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. 
There are many aspects to HLS&R, like the World's Championship BBQ cook off weekend and parade downtown to kick off the festivities. And it's run by mostly volunteers. My husband is on the BBQ committee as a contest supervisor. It's also a family tradition to participate in & attend cook off. 

My mom and I at my Great Uncle's tent:

I volunteer on the Parade committee. 
Here I am with Howdy, the HLS&R mascot.

And a float during the parade, held in downtown Houston:

The rodeo also has concerts every night, a big carnival every day/night, an education center with free field trips and a live birthing center for live stock animals (plus lots of other educational attractions.) HLS&R also gives lots of money in scholarships and does a lot of great things. If you ever visit Houston at the end of February through March you must experience the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo! 

In Texas we did not adapt the Common Core. We follow the TEKS: Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. A big part of the Social Studies standards in every single grade level focuses on Texas. I always try to incorporate Social Studies into Reading, and therefore choose books about Texas as much as I can. I use the below ideas as more of a weekly unit about Legends, but you can adapt it to fit your classroom very easily. 

I LOVE reading "The Legend of the Bluebonnet" by Tomie dePaola since it is about Texas! I usually introduce the book by showing the pages and talking about each page, so my students can make personal connections to the book. The state flower of Texas is the bluebonnet, so everyone can at least make that connection. Then we'll "read" the book on You Tube so I can incorporate technology into the lesson. 

I'll have everyone talk about what they liked or disliked, draw their favorite scene, and explain what characteristics of the story make this a legend. We fill out a story map to explain the problem and solution and the main events of the story. For an art activity we use blue tissue paper and construction paper to make our own bluebonnets. 

The next day we'll read "The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush" by Tomie dePaola. 

The lesson is the basically the same as the previous day, only I will also ask questions to compare and contrast the two books. 
On the third day we'll complete a Venn diagram to formally compare and contrast the two legends. I'll also ask my students to discuss or write about which book they liked better and why. For the most part, my students like "The Legend of the Bluebonnet" better because it takes place in the great state of Texas! 

Tomie dePaola also wrote "The Legend of the Poinsetta," which is a great read around the holidays! 

This freebie is near and dear to my heart, because it is actually the first product I ever created to be on Teachers Pay Teachers. I intended to sell it, but then realized that you had to post a free product before you could actually sell anything! 

I created it using Publisher (now I use PowerPoint to create everything.) All it is is a sentence sort, based on if the sentence has subject-verb agreement or not. I used it in my second grade class, but I know it could be used for other grades. Click here to download it for free from my TpT store! 


Sandy Cangelosi said...

Thank you, Vanessa. I love those books and the wildflowers of Texas. Sandy

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