If you are looking for quick, no prep activities for first grade students to learn and write about Texas Symbols, Maps, Governors and more, then you are in the RIGHT PLACE!
I'm a fellow first grade teachers and let me be honest by saying that planning social studies and science is never top on my priority list!
But, being a Texas Native, you know we do everything bigger (and better) here.
Read this post if you want to know everything there is to know about teaching your students about Texas symbols, maps and more!
I've even included my favorite books to teach about Texas with at the bottom of the post!
Let's get to it!
According to Texas State Standards, first grade students should be able to do the following:
Locate and explore the community, Texas, and the United States on a map.
Identify and describe the roles of public officials in the community, state, and nation.
Explain state and national patriotic symbols including the United States and Texas flags, the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, and the Alamo.
Recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag and the Pledge to the Texas Flag.
Identify anthems and mottoes of Texas and the United States.
Texas on the Map
Students should be able to locate and explore the community, Texas, and the United States on a map.
This is typically a skill that we do together as a class. The good news is that it usually does not take very long.
You would be surprised how many first grade students still don't have a solid understanding of the difference between a town, state and country.
I've found that the visual representations of these maps and having the students physically mark their place on the map is a very good activity for them!
Public Officials in Texas
I love using these Fact Posters (picture left) in place of a full mentor text to help save me time in the classroom!
The most important public official in Texas is our Governor.
The first Governor of Texas was Sam Houston.
According to our standards, the students should know that the public officals' job is to “provide leadership to keep the state functioning properly, facilitate teamwork among other officials and citizens, maintain fiscal responsibility, address the concerns of the community, maintain order, provide security, manage conflict”.
I love these “fact sheets” that you can see on the right. I like to substitute these for a mentor text or video when I'm running short on time but I need to introduce my students to new information.
I also think that “fill in the blank” style activities are super helpful for young learners. Not only are they building their knowledge of social studies, but they are also working on:
- context clues
Symbols of Texas
Texas Symbols for First Grade students to know:
- State Seal
- The Alamo
- State Flag: The Lone Star Flag
- State Tree: Pecan Tree
- State Flower: Bluebonnet
- State Large Mammal: Longhorn
- State Small Mammal: Armadillo
- State Bird: Mockingbird
Facts about the Texas Flag:
- adopted by the Republic of Texas in 1839
- the colors symbolize courage (red), purity (white), and loyalty (blue), as with the U.S. flag
- the 16th Legislature revised civil statutes in 1879 but failed to include an official state flag leaving the Lone Star Flag the de facto flag until 1933 when the when the 43rd Legislature reinstated the Lone Star Flag as the official state flag
The Alamo: Spanish mission in San Antonio and site of a pivotal siege/battle that served to rally support for Houston’s army leading to Texas independence in 1836
Anthems and Mottoes of Texas
Anthem of Texas: “Texas, Our Texas”
Motto of Texas: Friendship
I love having my students write about “The Motto of Texas”. This ties in so well with how our students treat each other, their teachers and their school.
And the best part?
This doesn't even have to be done during your “social studies or science” time!
You can throw it into your writing station during Guided Reading or make it one of your daily writing lessons!
And you know what that means? You have no freed up that last 30 minutes of the day for…you guessed it… reading and math intervention!