Sunday, October 23, 2011

Texas History and State Study Resources

What's Cookin'?

Tortilla Soup "a la leftovers":  I loosely followed a tortilla soup recipe (broth, diced cooked chicken, a handful of tomatoes from the freezer, sauteed then pureed onions, peppers, and a few tomatoes from the freezer in the puree, spices).  Then I dumped in all of the leftovers from the refrigerator (yes, even the bit of spaghetti!  It had grass-fed ground beef in it that I wasn't about to waste!).  I put some crumbled organic tortilla chips (to avoid gmo corn although they weren't treated with lime) in a bowl, served the soup on top, and garnished with shredded low-pasteurized swiss cheese and a dallop of Daisy sour cream (not organic but only has cultured cream in its ingredients).

Tortilla Casserole:  I (again) loosely followed a recipe that included making a mixture of cooked ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, shredded cheese, and a bit of milk to make it soupy.  Normally I would use homemade cream of mushroom soup but I had bought the only commercial one I could find that I could eat to keep at my mom's this summer when we were in and out of her house a lot.  I have to admit that it sure was convenient to grab a box!  Grease the bottom of a 9x12 casserole dish (I may have used butter but I can't remember).  Layer 6 tortillas on the bottom (I use either homemade tortillas or sprouted tortillas).  Spoon 1/2 of the mixture over all of it; repeat.  Finish off with some more shredded cheese.  Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.  The dc really liked it.  I would like to try it again with sprouted corn tortillas.

What I learned:  Freezing tomatoes is easy at both freezing and cooking time!  I had just quartered some farmer's market tomatoes and tossed them in a gallon bag to freeze.  I made sure to lay it flat so they would not freeze together so much.  At cooking time I got out what I needed and the peels just came right off by pulling it gently with my fingers - so easy!

Rice Krispie Treat Grotto for St. Bernadette:  Okay... I *finally* uploaded this photo that goes with this post!  It tells how I made the krispie treats, why I picked organic puffed rice, and how I made homemade marshmallows.  Sequences!

What's Schoolin'?

Here are some resources that I've been using to make materials for our Texas studies:

We started with the dinosaurs :).  I made 3-part cards and she uses them to place on the large felt map.  I also made a paper copy of it for her to make a booklet for her lapbook.  I selectively printed a few pages from this free activity/coloring book with great info:

Outline map of ecoregions:

Same map in color:

Nice map of major cities:

Different tribal maps (I really wanted to focus on the moment in time when Europeans first came; although things shifted and changed with some disappearing and others moving in from different directions.  I thought that a pinpoint in time would help dd have a focus; then we can branch out to how it was different later as we study more):

Labeled and unlabel map of major rivers:

Labeled/unlabeled and colored/uncolored maps of the regions:

Really cool site with lots of info:

Excellent resource on different tribes:

More info on specific tribes and a good map:

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept activity/coloring book:

Different maps of regions of TX (colored and uncolored):

Free curriculum for grades 4 and 7 that could be a stand-alone or supplement.  For me it's a supplement.  They are both parallel curr. so it would be easy to use for multi-age/grade groups or homeschooling.  Some parts need more depth (such as distinct tribes):

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