Table Tennis


Latest Craze


The Latest Craze: Ping Pong 

  Table Tennis


Rules of Play: How is the game is played? 

Everybody & Anybody:What do you need to play?

Ping Pong Tournament

The GameSome winning strategies………….

Making a Ping pong set at home 


Ping Pong in Style

The Ping Pong song ::

Select five adjectives to write your own song

An afternoon of Ping Pong:

How is Ping Pong different from Tennis?

Valentine’s Day

The Origin of Valentine’s Day

Do you know what the Festival of Lupercalia is?

Click on images to view!


Who was St. Valentine?

Designing cards and lace by hand, the Baird who writes comic valentines! Take a look for yourself at the preparations for Valentine’s Day in 1903. Who says the saint is neglected! click

Click on images to view

Thoughts to ponder ::

How is Valentine’s Day the same today?

How is it different ?

The American Flag

For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our nation’s strength and unity. It’s been a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens and a prominent icon in our national history.

On January 1, 1776, the Continental Army  under George Washington’s control layed siege to Boston which had been taken over by the British Army. The Grand Union flag was hoisted above the base at Prospect Hill. It had 13 alternate red and white stripes and the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner (the canton). Highlights of its unique past are,

Betsy Ross and her three assistants, directed by Washington, made the first flag
  • June 14, 1777, to establish an official flag for the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: the flag of the United States  made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”
  • Between 1777 and 1960, Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag and allowed for additional stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state.
  • Act of January 13, 1794 – provided for 15 stripes and 15 stars after May 1795.
  • Act of April 4, 1818 – provided for 13 stripes and one star for each state, to be added to the flag on the 4th of July following the admission of each new state, signed by President Monroe.
  • Executive Order of President Taft  June 24, 1912 – established proportions of the flag and provided for arrangement of the stars in six horizontal rows of eight each, a single point of each star to be upward.
  • Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated January 3, 1959 – provided for the arrangement of the stars in seven rows of seven stars each, staggered horizontally and vertically.
  • Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated August 21, 1959 – provided for the arrangement of the stars in nine rows of stars staggered horizontally and eleven rows of stars staggered vertically.

Today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with 6 white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies, the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. Stars and Stripes or old glory. Flag day is celebrated in on June 14.

Click on the newspaper pictures to access the embedded links to read more about it:

Online Research::

The colors of the flag are symbolic:

Find the attributes that each color represents.

Red symbolizes _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ and _ _ _ _ _ ___

White symbolizes _ _ _ _ _ _ and _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Blue represents _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ , _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ and _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .

Suffrage & Slaughter

Below are excerpts of a letter written by Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter on the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, passed August 26, 90 years ago, granting women the right to vote.

Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 13, Number 02, Fall, 2001

Dallas Morning News in 1917

“Now remembered as Women’s Equality Day, this day marks the further enshrinement of the concepts of liberty and equality for which this great nation stands….

Margaret Bell Houston. 1st president of the Dallas Equal Suffrage Association.

The 72-year struggle of suffragists, from the First Women’s Rights Convention in July 1848 to the passage of the 19th amendment on August 26, 1920, bears witness to the sacrifice and dedication of the leaders of the early Women’s Rights Movement….

Description of the woman suffrage campaign in 1913

Today, we stand on the shoulders of the leaders of this movement such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and the other courageous women who organized the First Women’s Rights Convention in nearby Seneca Falls….

Nona Mahoney, last president of the Dallas Equal Suffrage Association.

Nona Boren Mahoney was the 1st president of the League of Women Voters in Dallas (1918-1920).

The “Declaration of Sentiments” speech that Mrs. Stanton delivered at the July convention called for “all men and women” to be recognized as created equal under the law….

Heritage, Volume 16, Number 02, Spring 1998

Hortense Ward, chief justice of the 1925 all-female Texas Supreme Court.

In Congress, we elected our first female Speaker, my friend Nancy Pelosi in 2006. When she took the speaker’s gavel, surrounded by her grandchildren, she said we had finally broken the marble ceiling….

On the back of the photograph is written: "Miss Lavinia Engle Organizer for the National Women Suffrage Assn 1913 Please return to Mrs. Helen Moore Texas City" On the bottom of the photograph is stamped: "National Women Suffrage Press Bureau, 505 Fifth Ave. New York City."

A portrait of Miss Lavinia Engle

And just this month the Supreme Court received its 3rd female justice when Elena Kagan joined fellow New Yorkers Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonya Sotomoyer. Today more women sit on the bench than at any other time in our nation’s history….

Born just outside Palestine in 1866, Mary Kate Hunter played a significant role in recording, promoting and preserving the history of Palestine and Anderson County. A supporter of voting rights for women, Mary Kate Hunter organized and was first President of the Palestine Equal Suffrage Association, and held statewide office in the Texas Equal Suffrage Association in 1915-16. In Addition to her civic Duties, Hunter also was a published poet, Editor of a local society journal and board member of the Texas State Library.

As the first act of this Congress and the first law signed by President Obama on January 29, 2009, The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act helps victims of discrimination in the workplace right the wrongs done to them and paved the way towards greater fairness….

But today’s working women across America still only earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by men….

Women today make up only 17% of the 111th Congress, with only 17 women in the U.S. Senate and only 75 women in the House of Representatives….

Thinking of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott reminds us to be relentless in seeking women’s equality.

The fight for women’s equality did not end in 1920, and we must continue to break ceilings and barriers for our future, and for the future of our children.


Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter

(Representing the People of New York’s 28th District)

Online Research :::

How many women are in congress today?  Search this database and find out which congresswomen are in office.  Choose one congresswoman and look at her website.  Tell your classmates something interesting you learned through your research.

Escaping Death

Who was Joe?  He was a slave of William B. Travis and one of the few survivors of the battle of the Alamo.

Rethinking ::

Rewrite the above advertisement for Joe in your own words. What are there differences in language between 1837 and today?

On August 26, 1837, the Telegraph and Texas Register, from Houston, Texas, stopped running the above advertisement.  This marked the day that Joe no longer had a price on his capture and could begin living as a free man.

Why do you think William B. Travis wanted to find Joe?

Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 2, No. 24, Ed. 1, Saturday, July 1, 1837

Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 2, No. 24, Ed. 1, Saturday, July 1, 1837

How did Joe survive the Alamo? He claimed that as the famous battle began he armed himself and followed Travis into the fray. After the battle the Mexican troops searched the buildings and called for any blacks to reveal themselves. Joe responded and was struck by a pistol shot and bayonet thrust before a Mexican captain intervened. Joe was taken to Bexar, where he was detained and interrogated by Santa Anna about Texas and its army.

Do you think it would have been better to be detained and questioned by the Mexican army or the Texan army? Why?

What happened after the Alamo? He somehow made his way to Sam Houston’s camp at Gonzales. He was questioned at Groce’s Retreat about the events at the Alamo.  He was then returned to Travis’ estate.

How did Joe escape? On the anniversary of the battle of San Jacinto he and an unidentified Mexican man escaped. A notice offering a fifty-dollar reward for his return was published in the Telegraph and Texas Register for three months and discontinued on August 26, 1837. Joe was last reported in Austin in August 1875.

Math Problem::

If Joe escaped Travis’ estate on the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto and the advertisement for his capture expired on August 26, 1837, how many days did Travis look for him?

Why do you think Joe and the unidentified Mexican man escaped on the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto?

reference used: Handbook of Texas Online

Who says summer isn’t Bad Bass?

Notorious Texas outlaw : Sam Bass

July 21, 1851, notorious outlaw Sam Bass was born in Indiana and then he was orphaned before the age of 13.  He worked at a sawmill in Mississippi and then rode a horse to cattle country in the summer of 1870.  He arrived in Denton, Texas in the fall.  He worked on a ranch outside of Denton but didn’t like being a cowboy so he moved back to Denton and handled horses for the Lacy Hotel.

A view of the business section on the north side of the Denton Square in 1886. All the buildings were constructed of wood, with board sidewalks of even lengths to aid the pedestrian in keeping out of the mud and sand of the unpaved streets. The vacant lot was where the Lacy Hotel had burned down two years before. A saloon stands next to it, connected to a large building in which a meat market was operated.

After working in the stables, he worked for Sheriff William F. Egan, caring for livestock, cutting firewood, and building fences.  Before long, in 1874, he decided to race his horse known as the Denton Mare and he won most of the races in North Texas.  Alas, his winning streak was soon to hit the finishing line.  Things started to go down hill for Bass in 1876.  To make some money, he gathered longhorn cattle for ranchers and traveled North to sell them.  After selling the cattle, he didn’t return to Texas to pay the ranchers.  Instead he gambled the money away in Nebraska and South Dakota, which was booming in gold mining.  He needed to re-earn the money and fast!  This is when he and his friend Joel Collins decided to rob stagecoaches.  They tried to rob to recoup their lost fortunes but did not succeed. So they rode to Big Springs, Nebraska, where, in the evening of September 18, they held up a Union Pacific train and took over $60,000 in twenty dollar gold pieces!  The bandits split up, Collins was killed a few weeks later, and Bass disguised himself as a farmer in order to return to Texas where he gathered a new group of bandits.

"We located our man at Round Rock"

"We located our man at Round Rock"

The Newspaper ad reads: “Back in 1878 a hard riding, fast shooting gent named Sam Bass was holding up too many Texas banks and railroad trains.  Not less than 150 Bass-hunters – detectives, marshals, deputies, Pinkertons, express and railroad agents – were after him.  But it took a Ranger and his special company to catch and erase the bold, bad bandit at Round Rock, on July 20. Lieut. Junius Peak commanded those Rangers.  Before this historic event June Peak had proved his cool courage and good judgment in quite a few encounters with enemies and outlaws.  Twice wounded in the Civil War, Peak subsequently served as deputy sheriff and marshal at Dallas. He had successfully mopped up New Mexico’s biggest band of cattle thieves, scouted Indians and charted waterholes in West Texas.  In 1880 Peak left the Ranger service for more peaceful pursuits such as railroad construction in Mexico and ranching in Shackelford County – another Ranger to leave his signature on the pages of Texas history…. ”

Reward: Sam Bass and Other Outlaws

Is your county within 25 miles of Dallas?

In the spring of 1878, Bass and his gang robbed four trains within twenty-five miles of Dallas.  They did not get much money, but the robberies aroused citizens, and the bandits were the object of a spirited chase across North Texas by posses and a special company of Texas Rangers headed by Junius Peak. Bass eluded his pursuers until one of his party turned informer. In Round Rock on July 19 Bass and his men became engaged in a gun battle in which he was wounded. The next morning he was found lying helpless in a pasture north of town and was brought back to Round Rock. He died on July 21, was buried in Round Rock, and soon became the subject of cowboy song and story. That’s right!  He died on his birthday.  Bummer.

Bad Bass Math:

How old was Bass when he moved to Texas?

How many years did he try to working other jobs in TX before robbing stagecoaches and trains?

How old was Bass when he died in Round Rock?

According to rural legend, Sam Bass used Rosston, Texas (20 miles from Gainesville) as a rendezvous point.  The community celebrates Sam Bass Day annually on the 3rd Saturday in July. Check out “The Ballad of Sam Bass

Links to Related Handbook of Texas Online ArticlesPEAK, JUNIUS W.TEXAS RANGERS ROUND ROCK, TX

My Texas Heroes : Elisabet Ney

Elisabet Ney was a progressive woman,  sculptor, and an advocate for the arts.  Biographies, such as Elisabet Ney Sculptor by Bride Neill Taylor,  portray her as a highly regarded woman who inspired others to continue her advocacy for the arts after her death.  However, she was criticized during her life because she did not fit into society.  She did not allow social pressures to persuade her to live within certain social rules. Elisabet did not see the need to dress like other women, identifying the dress code as monstrous because of it’s inability to show the true female figure.  After all,  she was a sculptor who appreciated the human body and its beauty!   Therefore, today, June 29, we remember Elisabet Ney on the the day of her death in 1907.

Portrait of Texas History

“She and her husband, Edmund D. Montgomery, moved to Texas in 1872 and purchased Liendo Plantation in Waller County.

She built a studio (now the Elisabet Ney Museum) in the Hyde Park area of Austin in 1892 and began lobbying notable citizens and the state legislature for commissions.

During the next fifteen years she completed a number of portrait busts as well as statues of Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston, now in the state Capitol, and a memorial to Albert Sidney Johnston, in the State Cemetery. Copies of the Austin and Houston statues are also in the United States Capitol. In addition to her sculpting, Ney took an active role in artistic and civic activities in Austin.”  The Handbook of Texas Online.

New Vocabulary :

sursum =‘Lift up your hearts’ or from below, up

“It represents two children, a boy and girl, with heads uplifted and eyes directed upward, moving toward a height.  It is a work of intense conviction and conveys unmistakably the fixed ideas of her life.  The girl leads, the boy follows resting his hand on her shoulder.  Both say, “Upward,” in every line of their figures, but the inspiration is all from the girl.”  Bride Neill Taylor

What do you see in her sculpture?

Elisabet was the subject of gossip but never let it get her down.  She continued to produce important artwork.  What about her, do you think, was so fascinating that compelled people to spread negative rumors?  Bride Neill Taylor mentions that the people of Austin had a problem with the way she dressed.

Portal to Texas History

Have you ever experienced this type of gossip?  How do you think her circumstances were different from yours?  Has time changed social behaviors or rules in the last 100 years?

Even though she faced ridicule  throughout her life for being different, four years after her death, a number of her supporters founded the Texas Fine Arts Association in her honor.”

Cattle Kings

Did you know?

The King Ranch in Texas is bigger than the state of Rhode Island!

Photograph of a field with a group of cattle and men on horseback near a small pond.

The back of the photograph reads “Bob Kleberg trading cattle with peeler. First time King Ranch purchased Longhorns.  Kleberg had photos taken to Document the historical event.  He used the images in advertising sale catalog in 1960’s.” (Portal to Texas History)

Check out this big bull!  He is a certain kind of breed called Brahman.

Photograph of a white Brahman bull (side view) standing in a (flower filled) pasture on the King Ranch.

Stamped on back of photograph in black: ” J. A. Dodd Commercial Photographer Apr [sic] 25 1948 Kingsville, Texas”. (Portal to Texas History)

What characteristics made Brahman Cattle a good pick for King Ranch?

An African-American man riding a Brahman cow

The man is wearing lace-up knee length boots, pants, long sleeved shirt, and felt cowboy hat. The cows are inside of a stock pen at the King Ranch. (Portal to Texas History)

small herd of Brahman cattle in a pasture on the King Ranch

During what time period was this photo taken on

King Ranch?

(Portal to Texas History)

Hint:  go to the Portal to Texas History and look at the “creation date”.  This is a type of information that is recorded so that people can identify when primary sources (in this case : photographs) were taken.

Watch the video below to see three men going through the various operations of branding calves.  The cameraman placed his camera near a fire where some branding irons were being heated.  In the background is a large herd of cattle.

Haute Trash : Cool People

Trashion Fashion

Contemporary Trashion Fashion

Many would say that trashion-fashion is a new trend, but people have been using recycled materials to make new clothing for decades.  What does it mean to create fashion out of your garbage bin?  Safety pin dresses, beer-can tunics,  “tired” shoes,  duct tape wallets, plastic soda pop tab purses and dresses made from recycled paper are totally trendy.

But is this really new?  No way!  The Portal to Texas History has the first clue.  Check out this amazing dress made of newspapers from 1897 :

Photograph of a young woman identified as Ruby Dee Austin. She is wearing a dress and bonnet made out of newspapers. Each panel in the dress says "Port Arthur Herald."

Personally, I love the creativity that goes into making new wearables from anything under the sun… whether it starts as corn husks, old bicycle parts or plastic chimichangas.  Anyone willing to make a fashion statement out of objects rescued from the dump… is a hero of mine.  Wanna know why?  For being so smart, we sure do waste a lot.  Waste Couture is not cool.

Artists that have shown their work in Texas have chosen places like the McAllen International Museum and have included Moschino, Remi Rubel, Issac Mizrahi, Gaza Bowen, and Swedish designer Charlotte Nilson who created a “newspapers-’round the world” dress in the 90’s. 

the TRASHIONISTA - Sustainable style and recycled fashion group on Flickr: Tu amor es un periódico de ayer: series

Create More : Consume Less

Here are some contemporary images of what people have created out of recycled materials.

How do you think you would design an outfit out of recycled paper?

Continue reading

Civil Rights – Yesterday and Tomorrow

The video of Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech and the images of contemporary Latino protests have a common message.   Why do you think people are debating civil rights issues today?

from the José L. Castillo Photograph Collection

Immigration Protesters

“According to the Dallas Police Department, at least 100,000 people marched in the most well-attended civil movement in the history of Dallas. The protesters demanded the legalization of Hispanic undocumented immigrants, estimated to be about twelve million in the United States.” (Portal to Texas History).

Historically, oppression has inspired people to fight for equal rights and human justice.  This VIDEO tells the great story of Sitting Bull.

Are there recent events in your state having to do with prejudice that have inspired people to protest?  Find a primary source from the event and share with your class.

" What would Martin Luther King Say?"

“Protesters carry signs that read, “Immigrants are humans and have rights too.
Stop HR 4437″ and ” What would Martin Luther King Say?” during a march to stop anti-immigration legislation.” (Portal to Texas History)

Ask two students and one adult the following question and share the answers with your class.  What does your school do to ensure civil rights on campus?

ACTIVITY:  Immigrants must go through a long process in order to become citizens of the U.S. of A..  Test your skills by taking this Citizenship Quiz hosted by the History Channel.

Demonstrators at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Washington, D.C., August 28, 1963.

Find out how many people in your county were born in another country? HINT: Check out this really cool map from the New York Times website.

"Just Like Dr. King / "I Have A Dream 2" / "Let Freedom Ring" / Now 4 Us"

“The so-called “mega march” was carried out to demand immigrant amnesty as members of the U.S. Congress debated immigration reform.” (Portal to Texas History)

ACTIVITY: Watch the Martin Luther King Speech and imagine the speech being given today. What do you think Martin Luther King meant and how does his speech apply today?

Want to know more? Think about politicians, activists, teachers, and peers who are talking about equality and civil justice.  Who do you respect in the current civil rights movement?  Write a short article, as if you were to publish it in a newspaper or e-zine, talking about whom you chose and why they remind you of Martin Luther King.