Unit Study: The Lone Star State
- Friday, November 09, 2012
“Is today the day, Dad?” Ten-year-old Bethany hopped from one foot to another, her blonde braids bouncing with each step.
“Not yet, sweetheart. Remember we have a few weeks to go before it starts.” Bethany’s father smiled at her.
“I can’t wait. Will the Ferris wheel be ready in time?”
“That’s what the newspaper says.”
“How big is it?” Bethany interrupted.
“The Dallas News said it will be the tallest Ferris wheel in all of North America.”
“It’s recorded to be 212.5 feet tall, like a twenty-story building. They have 44 gondolas, which will hold 264 riders.” He glanced at the paper.
“What’s a gondul?”
Her dad laughed. “Not gondul, honey, gondola. It’s like a big bucket.”
“Big, ’cause everything’s big in Texas, right, Dad?”
A chuckle escaped. “So they say. It’s reported that you’ll be able to see all the way to downtown Fort Worth.”
“But that’s forty miles away, isn’t it, Dad?”
“Good job, Bethany. I’m surprised you remember that.”
“I remember you telling me when it seemed to take forever to travel the forty miles to the airport to pick up Grammie and Grandpa. It’s about the same time it takes to watch my favorite movie, but it seemed a whole lot longer. So if I wave when I’m at the top, will people in Fort Worth be able to see me?”
“No, we can’t see small things from that far a distance.”
“Where did the Ferris wheel come from?”
“All the way from Italy,” Dad said. “It must have taken quite a while to ship all the pieces over so they could assemble it here.”
“I remember Mom teaching me about Italy last year. It’s all the way in Europe.”
“That’s right, honey.”
“I can’t wait to go.” Bethany gave her father a quick hug before going off to play.
Big Tex—the largest state fair in the nation—opened on September 28 in the Dallas area. Even if you don’t live in Texas, you can go on your own adventure as you learn about the Lone Star State and its fascinating history. Grab your hat, hang onto this magazine, and let’s get started.
Armadillo, bluebonnets, friendship, jalapeno, migration, Mexican free-tailed bat, monarch butterfly, pecans, prickly pear cactus, ranching.
- “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.” Psalm 50:10
- “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
- Write a story about a monarch butterfly that migrates from Texas to Canada. What things happen to it on its journey?
- The Texas state motto is “Friendship.” Write a story about this.
- The worst natural disaster in American history is the Galveston, Texas, hurricane of 1900. Over eight thousand deaths occurred. Write a newspaper article about this tragedy.
- Davy Crockett fought at the Alamo. Find out what you can about this man and write a book report.
- Austin, Texas, has the largest urban bat colony in the nation—up to 1.5 million bats can be seen at the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge near sunset from mid-March through early November. These are Mexican free-tailed bats. Find out what you can about these creatures and report your findings to your family. More species of bats live in Texas than any other area of the United States.
- The monarch butterfly is Texas’s state insect. These beautiful creatures migrate far distances. Discover more information about them and write about it in your journal.
- The armadillo is the state small mammal. They are unique animals. Research and learn more about them.
- More wool comes from Texas than any other state. See what you can find out about sheep.
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