My Texas Symbols and Cultures Notebook

Welcome back for the Annexation edition of a peek inside my Texas History INB. If you would like to check out previous entries on setting up your notebookmapsregions of TexasNative Americans, European explorers, Spanish Missions, Colonization, the Texas Revolution, Republic of Texas, Annexation, Statehood, the Civil War, the Oil Boom, or Frontier Texas just click on the title. 
A blog post full of notebook pictures, recommended read alouds, ideas, and tips for teaching the unit.
You've made it! This is the last unit that I taught each year, and the end of this blog series, but you can click on any of the links above to find other units.

Texas Symbols was always a crowd pleaser in our class, because we were able to really have fun with it! It usually came during the last couple weeks of school after testing was done (sigh) and we had more time to devote to Texas History.
Each year I would start with the six flags that have flown over Texas. This fold-up is a great place to collect information. I challenge my students to go back in their notebooks and see if they can figure out where each of the flags are from and when they ruled Texas, and then we fill in the missing information together.
Then we move onto the symbols of Texas. This PowerPoint is a great jumping off place to filling in our fold-up and starting class discussions. We also read L is for Lonestar. After we have learned all about the different symbols, we play a game of Who am I? with the symbols. I just tape a notecard with a different symbol (there might be some repeats depending on how many students you have) on each student's back and then they have to ask other students questions to figure out which symbol they are.

Another great way to review the symbols is this I Have, Who Has? game.

After a few rounds of Who Am I? I am ready to test my students' knowledge on symbols and use these task cards in a scavenger hunt to get the job done.

Of course, it is also part of our standards for all students to learn our state song Texas, Our Texas. I don't know about you, but I do NOT have the pipes on me to belt this one out and teach it to my class, but luckily this YouTube video does a fine job of that! It is a instrumental version with the words on the screen, so that you and your class can sing along.
Next, we move into the predominant cultures in Texas. This is where I LOVE to invite in families form our school and community to share their heritage and traditions. These six cultures were predominant in our community, but you can choose any six (or more!) you would like. I had one family come in and teach us how to make tortillas, another who brought a tuba and taught us a polka, and yet another who brought kolaches for us all to share! Go wild on this one, because it really can be a lot of fun! 
A blog post full of notebook pictures, recommended read alouds, ideas, and tips for teaching the unit.

Favorite read alouds and reference books for this unit: 

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