Activities and Lesson Plans
One State, Many Places
Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine, December 2009
You may print One State, Many Places children's pages from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine. We hope you'll consider a subscription to our magazine. Be sure to check out the Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine special offer for teachers. And please let us know your suggestions for future issues at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Suggested Topics: regions of Texas, geography, settlement, history, plants and animals, diversity, adaptation, conservation
Related 4th Grade TEKS:
- Language Arts
- 4.1 A,B,C: Listening, Speaking, Purposes : Listens Actively and Purposefully in a Variety of Settings
- 4.9 E: Reading, Vocabulary Development: Acquires Extensive Vocabulary through Reading and Systematic Word Study
- 4.13 D: Reading, Inquiry, Research : Inquires and Conducts Research Using a Variety of Sources
- Social studies
- 4.6 A, B: Geography: Use geographic tools such as maps
- 4.7 A, B, C: Geography: Regions: human activity, landforms, climate, vegetation from physical characteristics
- 4.9 A, B, C: Geography: Humans Adapt to and Modify their Environment
- 4.22 A, B: Social Studies Skills: Use Critical Thinking to Organize and Use Information from a Variety of Sources
- 4.23 B: Social Studies Skills: Communicates in Written, Oral and Visual Forms
- 4.24 A, B: Social Studies Skills: Problem Solving and Decision Making
- 4.1 A, B: Scientific Processes: Conducts Field and Laboratory Investigations
- 4.2 C, D, E: Scientific Processes: Develops Abilities to do Scientific Inquiry in Field and Laboratory
- 4.3 C: Scientific Processes: Uses Critical Thinking and Scientific Problem Solving to Make Informed Decisions
- 4.8 A, B: Science Concepts: Adaptations Increase Survival
- 4.3 A: Number, Operations and Quantitative Reasoning : Addition and Subtraction
- Look over the regions of Texas. Which region describes where we live?
- What animal is described for your region? Did you learn something new about this animal? Have you ever seen this animal?
- Read the descriptions of the regions.
- Name a species that was once rare but is now common. (answer: Wood duck, Prairies and Lakes)
- Name a rare species and where it lives. (answer: Ocelot, South Texas)
- Where is the largest bat colony in the world? (Bracken Cave, Hill Country)
- Where could you find a carnivorous (meat-eating) plant? Name one of these plants. (Pineywoods, pitcher plant, bladderwort, butterwort, sundew)
- How often do alligators eat in the summer? (once or twice a week, Gulf Coast)
- Where in Texas can you see the Chihuanhuan Desert? (Big Bend)
- What is a prairie dog town? (underground tunnels where prairie dogs live, Panhandle)
- How much precipitation is there in your region? Which region gets the most precipitation? The least precipitation? What happens to the amount of precipitation amounts as we look west to east in Texas? (Advanced: What do you think affects the amount of precipitation that falls on a region?)
- What region would you like to visit? Why?
- Learn About Texas
- Have students research the regions of Texas in the Learn About Texas section of the Kids' Pages. There is also a Learn About Texas version for less advanced readers.
- Consider the activity pages for each region. They include craft and game ideas and regional wildlife coloring pages.
- Make a list of plants and animals that are common and rare for your region. Using the web, look for images of these plants and animals. What plants or animals on that list have students observed? Have students ask family and friends whether they have seen the plants and animals listed for their region. Did they see these animals recently or long ago? Option: Make a chart and use check marks to indicate what plants and animals have been observed by students, their friends and families.
- For more indepth learning, explore the Learn About Texas Activity Books.
- Regional Activty Guides
- These downloadable pdfs offer a regional description, topography and characteristics, major cities / rainfall / elevation, common vegetation, rare plants and habitats, common wildlife, rare animals, issues and topics of concern, recommended Project WILD Activities, and related TPWD Resources. These are a handy compilation of information from our web site.
- Big Bend Regional Activity Packet
- Gulf Coast Regional Activity Packet
- Hill Country Regional Activity Packet
- Panhandle Plains Regional Activity Packet
- Pineywoods Regional Activity Packet
- South Texas Regional Activity Packet
- Texas Trivia
- After studying the Learn About Texas pages, try this triva game.
- Travel Agents
- Have students chose a region to reserach. Create a travel brochure, poster or presentation encouraging others to visit that region.
- Visit a State Park
- Set up a visit to a local state park. Tell the park manager or interpretor that your students are learning about the regions of Texas.
- Virtual Visits
- Find pictures and items that represent different regions of Texas. Decorate areas of your classroom to represent different regions, or highlight a different region each day. Include how people make a living and foods based on plants that grow in that region.
- Plant Texas
- Create a wildscape with plants native to your region. Some schools have created a Texas-shaped garden with plants depicting the different regions. Choose representative plants carefully so that they can survive the conditions where you live.
- Sing a Song!
- Sing the songs "America the Beautiful" and "God Bless America." Of the many wonderful things in those songs, which ones can you find in Texas?
- Find songs written about Texas, or write one of your own. What special things about Texas were mentioned in the song? Is anything in the song specific to a particular part of Texas?