Connect 2 Texas web site

Self-described as "

Welcome to the
Connect2Texas web site!

The purpose of this site is to promote programs offered by interactive videoconferencing providers in the State of Texas. Click here to see the list of providers

TEACHERS: Not sure what to expect with a content program? Click here to see a sample program from Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, or click here for a brief overview of Connect2Texas (these files will play in Windows MediaPlayer).

An interesting development worth checking out .

Houston Chronicle's Today in Texas History

    The Houston Chronicle blog Texas on the Potomac for last several months has been rather steady in adding 2, 3, or 4 entries a week to their Today in Texas History postings.  Enough to keep regular tabs on, good reading.  I've added it to my Yahoo homepage.  You may want to try it.

Quarter Horse - Official Texas State Horse

Logan Head, a youngster in Bonham, led the posse that established the Quarter Horse (Steel Dust and all that) as the official Texas state horse.  Logan's effort has been noted elsewhere, but here's the anticipatory news as reported in New Zealand.  Good going Logan!
The American Quarter Horse Association is headdquartered in Amarillo, of course.  Logan is a Youth member.
While eating a supper of the official state dish CHILI, seasoned by the official state peppers JALAPENO and CHILTIPEN official state vegetable SWEET ONION and the official state small mammal the ARMADILLO and the official large mammal the LONGHORN, prepared in the official state cooking implement the DUTCH OVEN, cowboys and cowgirls, dressed in their offiicial fabric COTTON shirts and blouses, can tether their quarterhorses to the offical state vehicle the CHUCKWAGON which is always among a field of the state flower the BLUEBONNETS and the official grass GAMMA and the official state plant the PRICKLEY PEAR CACTUS and the official native shrub the PURPLE SAGE. If the chili is quite ready, sing the official song TEXAS OUR TEXAS and snack on the official snacks TORTILLA CHIPS and SALSA. Along with the chili, you'll want the official state bread PAN DE CAMPO.  Afterwards enjoy some official state dessert STEUDEL and SOPAIPILLA and the official health nut the PECAN. Relax under the official tree the PECAN, listen to the offiicial bird the MOCKINGBIRD and the official musical instrument the GUITAR supply music for the official folk dance the SQUARE DANCE, and watch your official dog the BLUE LACY snap at the official insect the MONARCH BUTTERLY, root around the gamma for the official reptile the HORNED TOAD and gaze in puzzle at the official flying mammal the MEXICAN FREE-TAILED BAT.  Non-dancers can chat about the official sport the RODEO, their last sighting of the official fish the GUADALUPE BASS, whether a saddle blanket can be made from the official tartan the BLUEBONNET TARTAN and whether one prefers our current state artist, historian, or poet laureate.

Tejanos in Texas History

Teachers may wish to consult the Tejana Pundit regarding profiles in Tejano history.
The Pundit also has a good list of Tejano blogs and self-describes her blog as "

"It's all about finding strength from within. It's about learning from the past, persevering in the present and having the ganas, or desire, to flourish in the future. I'm an American, but I'm also Indigenous, Mexican, French and German and that's a wonderful thing. One can't be anything if one doesnt know who they are. For centuries people have been trying to break through barriers and I've gone and continue to go through them as if they dont exist."



Texas Tribune - new newspaper

       The Texas Tribune is described by the Texas Community College Teachers Association:

The TCCTA description begins:  "A new approach to Texas journalism is getting cranked up, and you may want to have a look. It's the Texas Tribune, calling itself a "non-profit, nonpartisan public media organization," with promises to "promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government, and other matters of statewide concern." 
So far it looks like the effort will devote considerable energy to legislative and education issues."
Or go to the new Texas Tribune, headed by the former head of Texas Monthly, Evan Smith
Check its parts
  • Front Page
  • Topics
  • Library
  • Blogs
  • 2010
  • Calendar
  • CampusWire

    Writers include

    Julian Aguilar Brandi Grissom Reeve Hamilton Jim Henson Elise Hu Ben Philpott
    Ross Ramsey Emily Ramshaw Abby Rapoport Daron Shaw Evan Smith
    Morgan Smith Matt Stiles Brian Thevenot

    Parks & Wildlife - Keep Texas Wild - for Educators

    Keep Texas Wild
    The invitation from TP&W reads: "Dear Educators,
    We are excited to present to you "Keep Texas Wild" – a magazine section for kids.
    Our kid-friendly, four-page sections include fun facts presented with a lively writing style, eye-popping photos and a creative, whimsical design. The topics are Texas- specific, with special attention to conservation issues.
    "Keep Texas Wild" includes hands-on activities that cross the spectrum of curriculum (including art, math, science and social studies) and a call to action that encourages students to get outdoors and get involved."
    Special issues of the KTW periodical is accompanied by teacher lesson plans.
    The November issue:

    front page of the November 09 KTW November 2009 – Volume 2 Issue #3 (PDF): Bird Lips!?
    Teacher Lesson Plan 

    Half Broke Horses - Walls

    Half Broke Horses     'Half Broke Horses: A True Lfie Novel,' By Jeannette Walls
    Book Review by Juanita Sherwood
    The review begins:
    ""Half Broke Horses" is listed as a true-life novel. That designation is used because the book is based on experiences of the author's grandmother, which are true, but to tie them altogether, the author has added dialogue and information that she cannot substantiate. Thus, she has designated it as a novel.
    Lily Casey Smith is the main character. She was raised in two locations: west Texas and New Mexico. Her father was a rancher; the ranch she first lived on was very isolated."
    Read more at 

    Semicolon Remembers the Alamo

    A recent (10/13/09) Semicolon's "Texas Tuesday' focused on several young readers' volumes and the Alamo.



    Youth Writing - Sweazy

    Larry D. Sweazy writes "Youth Writing:  Corralling Young Readers: in the October issue of the Western Writers Association's Roundup, an online journal.
    Read it at http://www.westernwriters.org/OCT2009RU.pdf

    This issue also has article on the recently passed Texan, Elmer Kelton, the "Greatest Western Writer."



    H.G. Bissinger Inteview

    Friday Night Lights author H.G. Bissinger is interviewed, partially about last year's banning of FNL in Beaumont schools, in the annual report of the Texas ACLU review of Texas schools' recently banned books.  McCarthy's The Road and Sandra Cisneros' Woman Hollering Creek are on the lists.

    Page 8 reports "Where were the Most Challenges?

    Stephenville, Houston and Irving school districts reported the most challenges for the 2008-2009 school year. Stephenville ISD led the charge this year with 11

    challenges, all of which resulted in bans. Houston ISD and Irving ISD tied for the second most this year with six challenges each. This marks quite the improvement

    for HISD, as the district reported 20 challenges last year. Unfortunately, only one of HISD's six challenges resulted in the book being retained without restriction.

    While Irving ISD experienced just as many challenges, five of the six books challenged were retained without restriction: a sole book was restricted to the reference library. Tying for third was Seguin ISD and Klein ISD, each with four challenges."


    National Banned Books Week September 26 – October 3, 2009

    Luke and the Van Zandt County War - Alter

    Luke and the Van Zandt County War by Judith MacBain Alter tells a  story from a 14-year-old girl's eyes and her brother's, both children of a doctor.  She sees the Ku Klux Klan in East Texas.  There are objections.
    Reviewed at

    Jack Rabbit Moon - Darden

    Jack Rabbit Moon   Jack Rabbit Moon by Dorraine Darden is reviewed at

    11-year-old Marnie lives in SW Texas, and life is, well, just not perfect.


    Juan Seguin lesson plans - Harris

    Charlie Harris, formerly of Brooklyn and now of El Paso, has prepared a several page long background and lesson plan on Juan Seguin, the prominent Tejano whose life wrapped around the 1830's and beyond.  His family had been a pillar of Bexar for some time before.  Try the plan, available via UTEP's Center for History Teaching and Learning, at http://academics.utep.edu/Portals/1719/Publications/Seguin.pdf 


    Why Study History?

    The American Historical Association's website has a useful essay on "Why Study History?" by Peter N. Stearns.  Teachers and parents may wish to read the brief article to help their children find their value and identity within the historical stream.  Among the reasons is that history "harbors beauty."


    Young Adult Texana from Austin Public Library

    The Austin Public Library has a nice variety of lists for their teenage readers.  One of those lists features Texas authors which also includes titles about Texas.