Fourth graders at Saint Andrew Catholic School experienced their history lessons on an interactive level Tuesday during the school's annual Texas Day.
Saint Andrew’s Texas Day is held every year for the school's fourth graders as an enhancement to their social studies curriculum, which focuses on the history of Texas and current economics.
A mass of western-themed organized events orbited around a life-size chuckwagon on the Saint Andrew athletic fields yesterday as students rotated through different games, art projects and activities led by teachers and parent volunteers.
“For today, specifically I try to pick activities that would have been done either through the actual Texas Independence Day, through the settling of Texas or things that cowboys would have encountered on the Texas cattle drives,” said Jennifer Birbeck, a special project coordinator at Saint Andrew.
Chuck Wagon Cuisine Catering Company furthered the students' “first hand experience” by providing ways for students to touch, see, feel and taste Texas’ history. Along with providing an authentic western lunch of beef sandwiches and homemade ice-cream, the company also brought the chuckwagon, a 90 percent authentic 1895 Studebaker model and the knowledge to talk with students about it in detail.
The company owner Randy May was on site dressed in full western garb down to his pepper colored handlebar mustache to talk with students about Texas heritage.
“What Texas went through to become the republic first and then part of the Untied States, there is just a lot there that we fought for, and it is important that the kids know that. We want try to do anything that we can to keep that old history alive and give the kids a chance to touch it, feel it and get their hands on it,” said May.
According to Debbie Cremeans, a forth grade teacher at Saint Andrew, Texas Day not only enhances the student’s history curriculum, “it really helps to pull all the things together that we have talked about throughout the year.”
But she also said it gives them the opportunity to do things they may not be able to do elsewhere such as grinding coffee from scratch on an authentic chuckwagon.
Saint Andrew holds a different historical day throughout the year for grades K-7 depending on each grade’s historical curriculum. Second graders will experience what it would have been like to immigrate to the United States via Ellis Island on their Ellis Island Day Friday.