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At Home Learning

EDUCATION PACKETS

During the extended school breaks, the museum is offering fun, educational packets of activities to do with your families at home. The activities are great for kids of all ages and can be done with supplies found around the house!

Packets are available to download and print through the link below. Enjoy!

BATTLE FOR THE ALAMO

The Battle for the Alamo was a 13 day siege on the Alamo Mission in San Antonio from February 23-March 6, 1836. Approximately 150 Texan soldiers were stationed at the Alamo Mission when over 1500 Mexican soldiers surrounded it. At the end of the battle, there were no Texan survivors. "REMEMBER THE ALAMO!" rang out across Texas.

Make your own Alamo using supplies available to you at home including toilet paper paper rolls, construction paper, Lego, popsicle sticks and Playdoh.

CARBON DATING

Carbon dating is what archaeologists and paleontologists use to date certain artifacts. It can only be used to date those artifacts that were once living because it tests the half-life of the Carbon-14 atoms found in organic materials. The half-life of a Carbon-14 atom is 5,730 years. Testing how many half-life cycles have passed on an artifact can tell scientists how old that item is.

Your kids can do their own half-life experiment using the template below and items found at home such as beans, buttons or beads as "isotopes". Give each child an atom template and 50 "isotopes" to start. Then set a timer for 2 minutes. In the 2 minutes, have the kids remove 1/2 of their "isotopes". Repeat these 2 minute cycles until they are down to one "isotope". Finally, have them count how many cycles they did and multiple it by the half-life of 5,730 to see the age of their "artifact".

CONSTELLATIONS

Constellations are clusters of stars that form imaginary pictures in the sky of animals, mythological creature or people, and inanimate objects. Constellations have been used by people to relate stories and beliefs for centuries. An example is the story of Orion who was a great Greek hunter that was killed by the gods for boasting he could hunt all of the Earth’s animals.

Since stars can only be seen at night, you can make your own daytime stargazer telescopes using a toilet paper roll, the provided template, and a pencil. First, decorate the toilet paper roll however you want. Then, cut out the constellation sheets provided and poke holes in the “stars” with a pencil to make the constellation. Finally, attach the picture to the toilet paper roll using tape and hold it up to the light to see the different constellations!

Be sure to check tonight to see if you can find Orion and the other constellations in sky!

GO ON A CATTLE DRIVE

From 1867-1891, the Chisholm Trail was one of the largest cattle drives in the United States! Millions of longhorn cattle were guided from south Texas to Abilene, Kansas, by cowboys to be loaded onto trains out East.

Go on their own cattle drive up the Chisholm Trail. Be a cowboy and have your kids pretend to be longhorn cattle on the trail as you guide them through "Texas" to "Kansas" at home. Watch out for snakes, storms, and cattle rustlers!

LOG CABINS

When Texas was still a Mexican colony, people from the United States began moving west to settle on the land offered by the Mexican government. This continued after the revolution when Texas was its own republic and also after Texas became the 28th state of the United States. The United States government gave land grants to veterans of the Texas Revolution including John Leggett Marshall who built a log cabin on his land grant in the Little River-Academy area of Bell County. He then moved his family that included his wife and five kids onto the land to live in the one room log cabin on display at the museum!

Using materials you have at home and in your backyard, build your own 3-D log cabin!

MAKE YOUR OWN CODE

Morse Code was invented in 1837 by Samuel Morse as a form of quick communication through the telegraph. The code was used to send important coded messages throughout the military troops fighting over seas.

Using the Morse Code alphabet provided below, have your kids make their own secret messages. You can give them a prompt, have them write their names, or have them be creative.

MARBLE MAZES

Using supplies found at home, have your kids make a marble maze! The maze should have a distinct start and finish with a good number of twists and turns. Encourage them to make it difficult, but not impossible, for someone else to solve.

Supplies can include toilet paper rolls, straws, construction paper, toothpicks, little cups, paper plates, and of course marbles!

NATIVE AMERICAN REGALIA

Native Americans made beautiful decorations, called regalia, for their clothing with feathers or fur gathered on hunts. These decorations showed military rank and achievements as well as membership in a particular tribe. Regalia was worn in ceremonies and in battle to protect them from harm (both physically and spiritually). Feathered headdresses were only used in special ceremonies because feathers carried an important religious meaning. In addition, only members of the tribe who had proven themselves worthy through battle or spiritual journeys could wear eagle feathers as part of their regalia. Other regalia included belts, shields, breastplates, porcupine-quill necklaces, lances and buffalo headdresses.

Using materials you have at home, make your own beautiful regalia to wear.

PIONEER QUILTS

Quilts not only kept you warm at night, but could also tell a family history. Pioneers made quilts for their family members as wedding and birthday presents and these were passed down through generations as special heirlooms.

Using paper, felt or fabric, have your kids make their own family quilts. Encourage them to use traditional quilt patterns and be creative!

POP-UP BOOKS

Using supplies at home, have kids make their own pop-up storybooks! Encourage them to do multiple pages to tell a full story.

To make their pictures and characters pop-up, they can attach strips of paper to the back of their items and attach those items to the pages or they can cut and fold as seen in the image above.

ROCK ART

Paleoindian rock art can be found in many different parts of the world including the Gault Site near Florence right here in Bell County! The site dates to over 16,000 years ago making the petroglyph art found there the oldest in North America. The making of rock art continued throughout time with many Native American tribes making their own pictographs in caves showing important events in their history. Unlike petroglyphs, which are art carved into rock, pictographs are paintings. The paint was made from local flowers and berries.

Make your own rock art using paint, markers, or crayons. Be sure to tell a great story!

SOLAR OVENS

Discuss with them how ovens work and what they think is needed to cook using the sun. Then, using supplies found at home, have your kids make a solar oven!

Supplies should include any size boxes, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and anything else your kids think will be useful.

Be sure to test them out!

VICTORY GARDENS

During WWII, many foods and supplies were rationed to ensure there were enough produced to send the troops fighting on the frontlines as well as for those still at home in America. This included meat, sugar, eggs, canned fruits and vegetables, rubber, gas, and nylon. American citizens were given ration coupon books that provided coupons to be used to purchase rationed items at the store. These coupons were used in place of money to ensure everyone got just the amount they needed so it was fair for all Americans. To help get more from their food ration coupons, people would grow their own fruits and vegetables in their yards and even in pots on their porches or windowsills allowing them to use their ration coupons on different canned food items. These homegrown gardens came to be called “Victory Gardens”!

Plant your own victory garden at home using a paper cup, soil, and beans. Be sure to give your plant lots of water and sunlight to help it grow!

WWII TRIVIA

Using the template below, have your kids follow the instructions to make their own cootie catchers on World War II history.

Test each other's knowledge!
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