Monday, October 8, 2012

Mail from...Texas

I spent many, many summers working in Alaskan hotels, and so have heard my fair share of proud Texans try to incorrectly assert that they live in the largest state in the nation.  And, while, I've driven through Texas several times and would agree that it is a massive amount of open space, my alliances have to stick with my northern roots on this one...nonetheless, Texas is a great state and I was very excited to introduce it this week in kindergarten.  

Since the Texas state bird is the mockingbird, and we already studied it during Arkansas/Apple Week, I decided instead to focus on the Texas state mammal (how many other states have a designated state mammal?).  If, like me, you've done any driving in the Lone Star state, you know it's not just a stereotype that the same animal could also be designated the official state roadkill.  And as roadkill goes, I'm going to declare that the armadillo is absolutely the most disgusting!

Photo: Close-up of an armadillo

For the lesson, we looked at armadillo pictures and learned that armadillos like to burrow into the ground and use their noses to hunt for bugs.  We learned about the many different types of armadillos and then more specifically about the nine-banded armadillo which is the only armadillo native to the United States.
Photograph of the Armadillo
Texas State Mammal: Nine-Banded Armadillo
Beck's favorite was the Pink Fairy Armadillo which appears to be green and pink-two of his favorite colors. It also happens to be the smallest of the armadillos.

Unfortunately I had no time to get to the library this week, but I did find this online story about an armadillo named Arturo.  It wouldn't have been my first choice, but Beck liked it and it did teach how armadillos defend themselves in scary situations.
Clara and the Armadillo
My new favorite website is learn create love because it's full of printable cut-out templates and this is the one we used today...
Armadillo Printable from learn create love 

I really do love Texas.  I'm really glad I didn't go the cowboy route with this week's postcard.  I'm really glad Beck had so much fun learning about this odd little creature.  And I'm REALLY glad I'm not going to have to look at any more photos of this creepy little mammal for a very long time!

Have you been to Texas? 
 What is your favorite thing there?

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