The majority of Lori Lyn’s students at Hicks Elementary in Houston are new to America and, thus, new to Texas. Therefore, in addition to providing the fundamentals of an education, she’s also tasked with teaching state history in accordance with state standards. This responsibility inspired her to assume the role of tour guide AND teacher this summer as an FFT Fellow. In a Toyota Sienna minivan, Lori is logging 3,000+ miles driving across the Lone Star State to help her second graders students not only “Remember the Alamo,” but also master complex academic content and become active participants in their own learning.
The four-week itinerary includes:
- Fort Worth Stock Yards National Historic District
- Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, detailing information about John F. Kennedy’s life and assassination
- Texas State Capitol, Bullock Museum and Governor’s Mansion in Austin
- Alamo and Institute of Texas Cultures in San Antonio
- Brazoria County (“Where Texas Began”), NASA and the Texas Seaport Museum on the Gulf Coast
- Battleship Texas moored in the Houston Ship Channel, and
- Big Bend National Park.
“My students are curious about their community’s history, eager to explore their world, and enjoy learning about every place that is new to them,” said Lori. “This fellowship is helping me help students understand how landmarks, monuments, and historical buildings represent and influence current events, as well as the people, places, and ideas that are important to the society in which they now live.”
This fall, her new curriculum will address state symbols, mapping skills, and state celebrations, landmarks, monuments, museums and government buildings. Geography units will also help students to begin developing an understanding of where they are located in the state and nation.