Westwind Elementary didn’t let the cloudy weather and wind stop them from have a good ol’ time at their Western Day last Friday. Local authors, musicians, cowboys and cowgirls moseyed around the hallways and classrooms teaching students all about Western heritage. You could find two-stepping dance lessons in the gym, Western reading and writing in the classrooms, violin playing in the hallway, stick horse races in the cafeteria, a real horse in the library and much more.
Several community partners came together with the staff at Westwind to make the day authentic and educational for the students.
“We feel like our students are losing touch with Texas heritage,” said Randy Harman, teacher at Westwind. “Kids have become wimpy with technology, so we’re taking them back to the dirt. We want them to learn about the music of the west, Indian and pioneer art, writing and more.”
In preparation for Western Day, Westwind had an essay writing contest for the entire school. Students were introduced to horses and the western way of life when Cowboy Peter Dahlstrom came in February with his horse. Mr. Dahlstrom taught students the parts of a horse, how it walks, trots and gallops, the history of a cowboy and much more.
A video of the Texas Tech Masked Rider and her horse was shown to students which taught vocabulary words about horses and modeled the different ways a horse moves. After reading books, learning vocabulary and researching about horses, the students were given the prompt: Write about a day you rescued a horse and the adventure you had. All writing had to be done at school.
The top three essays from each class were selected and entered into the next phase of competition. The top three essays from that group were then the winners of the contest. The winners received an autographed copy of the newest Wilder Good book and had the opportunity to talk with guest author, S.J. Dahlstrom, in person along with Mr. Dahlstrom’s horse, Fancy.
Check out photos from Westwind’s Western Day in the gallery below.