Everything’s bigger in Texas, especially Texan pride, which was part of the lesson plan for O.M. Roberts Elementary second-graders who participated in Texas Independence Day rotations.

Although the students were test-taking Thursday, the actual anniversary of Angleton Texans declaring independence from Mexico, they spent Friday learning all about the great state by going from class to class taking part in Texas-themed activities led by their second-grade teaching staff.

As part of Texas History Month, each year the Roberts staff works together to plan a teaching program for the day with each teacher taking a significant element of Texas history to present to their classes.

Teacher Leslie Calvillo’s class learned the “Remember the Alamo” battle cry as they colored paper replicas of the famous fort outlined with a bean border.

In the hallway, Calvillo had painstakingly crafted a large display replica of the landmark. The goal is to teach the kids important and cool parts of Texas history, she said.

“Do not eat the beans,” one kid warned their classmates as the students glued them to their pages.

“I learned that it was from the USA,” student Paisley Lane said about the lesson on the Alamo.

Learning about Texas history is fun and there’s a lot of things to do, Lane said.

Serenity Roberson now knows there is a museum she can visit with her family, she said.

As the students moved to the next class, they were greeted by the smell of chili wafting in the air. Each teacher had brought Crockpots full of the fare using their own recipes to serve the students at the end of the day.

The kids were also encouraged to wear Texan gear, and several were sporting cowboy hats.

“We’re focusing on everything that makes Texas, Texas,” teacher Brittany Rife said as her class made armadillos using templates.

Although Rife encouraged her students to make life-like copies of the state animal, Dominic Garza colored his armadillo green because he likes the color, he said.

The legend of the Texas bluebonnet was taught by teacher Lori Richards.

“I’ve taught second grade for eight years, and every year I do the bluebonnet because they get to paint and they enjoy it,” she said. “It’s just my favorite station.”

Student Zachary Francis thinks the flower is really beautiful and special, he said.

Although a little chaotic for the teachers as it challenged them to adapt from their ordinary curriculum and schedule, the kids were engaged in each craft and lesson.

As they finished their crafts, the students lined the hallways with their projects, which they took home and shared with their families at the end of the day.

Jessica Vancleave’s students made cowboy hats so every student had one to wear after all.

Students also got to create prickly pear cacti using their handprints in Lindsey Alexander’s class.

“It’s hectic, but it’s fun,” Alexander said. “I enjoy it. I think it’s really fun, because we cover Texas at the beginning of the year and then it gives us time with the rodeo and Texas Independence Day to review.”

It’s a great way to introduce why Texans have so much pride in their state, she said.

Dominic Sanchez learned a cactus is spiky and can hurt when touched, and it sometimes grows flowers, he said.

Texas Longhorn and native Austin resident Karissa Linford chose to share her personal pride with her students by teaching them all about the large animals.

“Texas is a good state,” said student Kolby Mears, adding it’s cool to be a Texan.

Gayla Murphy is assistant managing editor for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0155.

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