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Texas Panhandle

Prickly Pear Cactus

Background:

The Prickly Pear Cactus is found throughout this region. The prickly pear is the official state plant. It is green in color. Its “pads” are actually branches and its needle like thorns are “leaves.” It does bloom with either yellow, red, or purple flowers; and produces a fruit. The pads have been cooked and eaten as a vegetable for hundreds of years in Mexico! The fruit is cooked and eaten too!

Materials:

Procedure:

  1. Have students color each part of the cactus green.
  2. Glue the large rectangle piece around the toilet paper roll.
  3. Glue the tabs of each “pad” of the cactus to the outside of the toilet paper roll, two on one side and one on the other.
  4. Glue three or four broken pieces of toothpicks to each pad.

Additional Activities:

Create a Panhandle Landscape on a bulletin board or wall by taping or gluing student made cacti to a background of plains grass, have students help you!