Scrambled States: Tennessee and Texas – 5/25


T-T-T-Tell us more!  Today we are learning about two “T” states. Tennessee has more species of trees than any other state and Texas has a lot of longhorn cattle!


Tennessee forests account for around 13.9 million acres of land with more than 8 billion live trees growing.  That’s somewhere around 1,200 trees for every person living in Tennessee!  Tennessee has the most diverse collection of trees with more than 200 species including sycamore, pine, walnut, spruce, hickory, oak, beech, elm, locust, maple, and poplar. 

Do you love trees? Read about trees with our read aloud story “I Love Trees” by Cari Meister

How many varieties of trees can you find in your neighborhood?  Go for a walk and collect different types of leaves!  Then, use the link below to identify the type of tree!

Learn more about Tennessee here!


Texas is the leading state in beef cattle production. When we think of Texas images of Longhorn cattle and cowboys might come to mind. For today’s lesson, let’s learn about the history of the Longhorn cattle, cowboys, and cattle drives in Texas. You’ll see quickly that cattle ranching today is very different than it once was!

To start, let’s learn a little about the history of Longhorn cattle in the Americas. The story starts in the late 1400s!

There are efforts today to maintain the Longhorn breed in Texas. See what these hard-working ranchers, breeders, and researchers are doing to maintain and promote Longhorns in Texas.

To learn more about cattle stockyards in Texas today, check out the Texas Farm Bureau’s Beef Connection:

For an activity, let’s learn how to design our own cattle brand! First, watch this short videos about the history of branding and the “rules” for how brands are designed.

To learn more about how brands are designed, check out this article:

Now see if you can follow the “rules” to create your own brand. You can draw your brand on a piece of paper, or even better, if you have pipe cleaners or flexible wire at your house, you can bend it into your own brand!

Learn more about Texas here!


For over 20 years, Tennessee was the home to the largest walk-in tree house in the United States!  Unfortunately it burned down in 2019.  If you were in charge of designing it’s replacement, what would it look like?  What materials would you use to make sure it as a safe building for tourists? Design and build a model out of recycled materials!

Something for Everyone

The longhorn is not only Texas’ State animal, but also a mascot to many sports teams.  Even longhorns love music and this one happens to be a fan of Michael Jackson. 

Assessment and Extended Response


  1. How many species of trees does Tennessee have? (Over 200 different species)
  2. How many trees would each Tennessee resident have to account for the amount of trees in the state (1,200 trees per person, over 8 billion living trees!)

*Can you think of a few reasons why trees are important to the environment?

*Why is it a good thing to have a lot of different types of trees instead of only a few?


  1. Why are brands used for cattle? (to identify the cow’s owner)
  2. What is the biggest single segment of agriculture in Texas? (beef cattle production)
  3. How is a cow’s stomach different from a human’s stomach? (Our stomachs have one compartment, but a cow’s stomach has four compartments!)

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