50 State Study: Indiana


In order of popularity with the kids:

Indie 500– let’s face it any activity that involves building with Legos is always a hit…….

Raggedy Ann and Andy– Who’d have thought designing paper dolls would be such a hit?

Creating a floating house– because my kids always like peg dolls, who doesn’t?

My Freedom place– looking back at this week, it was an amazing hit, all of these activities were popular




There are some times where it’s nice to have a simple geography week, okay this wasn’t one of them, but it was somewhat simple………

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linking over to: Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns, and All Things Beautiful 

or theoretically I will because I’m on a GREAT ADVENTURE now (who heard Steven Curtin Chapman start singing when I said that?)

50 State Study: Louisiana


Louisiana is a fun state to study, we spent a couple of weeks on it and I feel like there is still so much we could have done.

Going clockwise, starting in the top left:

Louisiana state picture

My plan to save the levies- this is one I never blogged about for some reason, but we talked about how New Orleans is below sea level and the devastation from Hurricane Katrina.  Afterwards the kids drew their plans to fix the levies.  For whatever reason Princess decided they really needed to rebuild it with stronger bricks.


Down in Louisiana– I seriously love Johnette Downing’s books, and this was one of the first ones we read.  We also did a project with Chef Creole, but that has disappeared into the nether


Battle for New Orleans- I mentioned this battle and song when we first learned about Andrew Jackson for Tennessee.  This time we talked about it some more and then we drew who they would draft into their army.  My kids were so amused by the crocodiles in the song they all decided to draft crocodiles……


Blues invented in Louisiana-Any excuse to play big band and blues music to my kids is always welcome.  My kids are going to grow up with very interesting taste in music (as I’m typing this my playlist changed from “Into the Woods” to “Chicago.”).  They drew all in blues to illustrate what it sounded like.  It led to some fun illustrations.


Not shown in the picture because certain 5 year old girls lose things and “forget” to glue them in, I’m not naming any names……..


Study of crawdads

Chef Creole from the Johnette Downing books…….

Mardi Gras masks……  This one has disappeared into their rooms, and has been repaired many many times by me.  I might break down and make one out of fabric.

A whale for Jean Laffitte (who will reappear when we get to Texas, apparently he founded Galveston)


Okay that last one wouldn’t have fit in her book anyways, but it has been interesting finding bits and pieces around the house………

50 State Study: Ohio

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We completed all of our activities for Ohio in one week, but there were several books I wasn’t able to fit in that I wanted to do something with, but I didn’t have quite enough for a full second week, so we moved on.  I’ll probably talk about those more in my post at ABC & 123.
What’s included in the lapbook:

My Great Invention– Ohio is the home to the Invention Museum, and I found a great book about inventions taking place in Ohio.  The kids designed their Lego creation and then wrote about it in their book.

Covered Wagon– Anything that is a cut and paste is a hit around here.  This was no exception.  The boys loved figuring out how to best protect people and what they REALLY needed.  The girls loved filling their wagon with kitchen stuff.

Neil Armstrong, what I want be when I grow up– After reading about how hard Neil Armstrong worked to become an astronaut we talked about what we need to do to get the job we really want when we grow up.
State Symbols pages – another ladybug.  I really wanted to do something with the trilobites, but couldn’t think of a good activity.  Anyone have a good trilobite activity?

50 State Study: Tennessee

Tennessee was one of those states where I had lots of ideas, but none of them worked quite right……..  Sigh.


What all is in here:

Swamp Angel (Tarnation hit the stars and looked like this)- This is a super cute tall tale, and I’m always a sucker for tall tales.  I look forward to Montana when we get to read about her further adventures.


Sequoyah– The man who brought writing to the Cherokee people.  You can see our plan for this on the lower left hand side.  This activity was really a bit over my kids, but it was a good stretch for them.


Andrew Jackson– I still find this president amusing.  I don’t know why.  I got to bring him up again when we got to Louisiana, that was fun.


Luck with Potatoes– Another Tennessee tall tale, or maybe this author just made it up, either way it’s a fun story about a farmer who has some bad luck until he plants potatoes.  I highly recommend this book if your kid likes silly books.


Tennessee State Symbols– Princess was happy because they have a state horse.


Casey Jones– This was one I knew the name, but didn’t know too much about this real life hero.  That’s always a fun surprise for me to discover something I didn’t know too much about.


Done, but not included in the lapbook, which I guess is really more of a notebook.

Davy Crockett peg dolls–  I found a great book for this, and I really wanted to make coon skin caps, but wasn’t sure how to do that in a way that made sense with 6 other kids there, and that could be completed in a timely manner.


So the Davy Crockett peg doll was born.  He’s kinda disturbing.



Banjo Granny– the world’s cutest book, and each time we looked at the illustrations we found more in it.


Afterwards we made a banjo for our dolls with a popsicle stick and some brown card stock.  Very fun and very popular.

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So any suggestions of things I could have added?  Or ways to do this better?  I always like to add in people’s suggestions for when I write about this over at ABC & 123.  There were a few things I didn’t have the right books for, but over all it was a fun idea.

I’m gonna link this over at All Things Beautiful and her geography/history link up.

50 State Study: Kentucky

Kentucky was a fun state, and I enjoyed getting to watch some of the Kentucky Derby videos while we were studying it.

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This is what happens when you let the kids be “responsible” for their stuff.  Two of the items are lost/missing and one is glued in upside down.

Well, from top right going clockwise:

Young Abraham Lincoln– He was born in Kentucky before moving to Illinois, and there’s a great book about friendship and it’s also a great book to compare truth and fiction in a biography.  We wrote what makes a good friend.


Mohammad Ali– I learned so much about him from the books I checked out, and we all wrote catchphrases.  Of course ours weren’t really that catchy……..  More on monologues.


Daniel Boone– We had fun observing pictures of the real Daniel Boone and talking about him and making our own surveying equipment.


Yeah……..  That’s the pages I could find, not found:


Night Boat to Freedom– What color would you wear to freedom, or as all the boys there interpreted it that day: “How to arm a rowboat with nuclear missiles.”


State symbols– I love that they have a state motto: “To the stars through difficulty.”


Not included because they weren’t paper products:


Kentucky Derby hats– because making hats out of paper plates and plastic bowls is always fun.


Happy Birthday to You- Ummmm, we read this book about the authors of that song, but for some reason I can find no information on what we did.  GROWL………………

50 state study: Vermont

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Vermont had some really fun books to go with it, and a few that weren’t specifically Vermont, but fit in with things they were known for:

Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream– let me tell you, any book and activity that includes ice cream is quite heartily approved of.


John Deere tractors (which looks to be missing from this page)- if you go to the post there are several suggestions for great books.


Champy- Vermont’s very own version of the Loch Ness Monster, Christy, who is now blogging over at Snacks and Stories, turned me on to the idea of Champy.  We used Mysterious Tadpole, which is really about the Loch Ness Monster, but it worked just fine.  I also have to add, I LOVE stories like this.


Nora’s Ark– super cute true story, and it gave my kids a lot to think about for what they would save if they had to leave their house.


Tricking the Tally Man– mwa ha ha, bring in math and history all in one well written and illustrated book, SCORE!


I’m gonna link this over to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns and her reading linkie.

50 State Study: Rhode Island

This is one of those states where I just didn’t have much to go on.  So if you live in the area or have been there I’d love some extra suggestions of what else to tell people about for when I write for ABC & 123.


Don’t you just love all of the empty space on Princess’ pages?  She was quite insistent on gluing it all in this way…….  Sigh, and she lost her carousel symbols.


Carousels– Rhode Island was the site of the first carousels in America, and was famous for the designs on their carousels.  For that alone I want to go there.


Yes, I liked carousels.  I’m a complete sucker for them.



Nathaniel Greene– famous general from Revolutionary War, and there was not one book about him specifically at our library.  Sigh, so I made something up using Wikipedia.





Finding Providence- I did not write a post on this one because I didn’t have any pictures of the activity.


And now I see why having taken a picture of the end results.  The activity was to write down different ways you can know or learn God’s will, because Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, trusted to God’s Providence.

It’s a good activity, just not very photogenic, or exciting.


Seriously, any other suggestions.  Christy from Snacks and Stories (she used to blog at Superheroes and Princesses) gave me some good suggestions of making “Cabinets,” which sound a lot like milkshakes, I think Phyllis from All Things Beautiful had a similar suggestion.



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50 State Study: North Carolina

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As you can see North Carolina was not heavy on printable activities.  Actually it wasn’t super busy this time through, most of the books I found were checked out of the library and didn’t straggle in for a while.

North Carolina state symbols

Design our own airplane-of course a favorite activity

waterproofing– what is the best way to waterproof your paper


If I had thought about it, I could have put a pocket in to save their protest signs…….


Of course I don’t know that I want to encourage their protesting……….



The other activity from North Carolina I couldn’t put in was their drowning Blackbeard puppet.


My two posts I have saved on North Carolina:

All Things Beautiful has a North Carolina post.

Weiser Academy has one on studying rocks.


And I’m going to link this over to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns and All Things Beautiful (who I’m still waiting for her button Smile)

50 State Study: New York

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This is one of those states that I know we spent several weeks on, but there wasn’t much that was bloggable about it.  And yes bloggable is a word.


So……  let’s see what’s in their books:


Norman Rockwell– on the inside is the story written by that kid.  My kids only wrote one sentence, but for older guys you could challenge them to come up with more.


Building New York– one of the non-bloggable activities.  We read the book, and then put the timeline of activities in order from the page at the back of the book.  I liked this one because it does a great job of providing a nice timeline activity to look at.


Under New York– a great story about what is happening underground.  I learned some great things from reading it, and was very amused by it.


Tenth Avenue Cowboy– A wonderful story about a boy who dreams of being a cowboy, and how his dream comes true.  Everyone wrote how their dream came true, but most of the kids wrote rather silly answers.


My Ideal Park– we tied this into “What to do About Alice,” but it’s not supremely related.  Teddy Roosevelt founded our national parks, and so we talked about that a lot.


Franklin Roosevelt and Teddy Roosevelt pages- These are just a simple 2 flap book with their images glued on top.  If the boy from the book pictured above had written smaller he would only have one book with something written about each of those presidents written under the flap.  But….  he’s six, and has rather messy handwriting.


Statue of Liberty– We measured it out and saw the relative sizes….. link to the printable is there as well as a link to the site that had the measurements.


And finally: New York State Symbols


Well, now I’m staying current, more or less, with our state study reviews.  I just need to go back and add in the ones I haven’t done yet……..

50 State Study: Virginia

ARGH!  I had this almost 100 percent done and then it disappeared on me!  Evil evil computer.  Now to reconstruct, but how will I rewrite the brilliant quips?

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George Washington– I’m still amused at how much they liked making fake teeth.  But I guess any activity with play dough is fun.  The piece here is a 3 page book with one fact on each page.


Chincoteague pony– or in the boys’ case, the amazing Technicolor pony


Thomas Jefferson-or design your own house.  The boys houses still amuse me, dedicated Halloween room indeed……


Patrick Henry– Two months later my kids still remember that he failed as a farmer and a store keeper but he was good at arguing.


Robert E Lee- I’m still amused and find it interesting that he was actually against slavery, but felt he should help his fellow Southerner.  Imagine how much sooner the war would have been over if he had fought on the North’s side.  Or maybe he was a child of Rome, and that’s why he fought on that side (okay, who got that reference?).  If you want pictures to make your own piece, they can be found here.  I just folded half a piece of paper and had them write a fact about him.


Civil War soldiers from Junior General – I also found a copy of the Monitor and the Merrimac, which I was very happy to find.  They’re two of the famous battleships from that war, and I was very sad my library didn’t have any good books on the subject.


Promise Quilt– I think this was almost Princess’ favorite activity, cut paper into lots and lots of small pieces and glue it on, yes please.


And finally, the state symbols booklet:

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Now before it crashes on me again, head over to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns for other books people’s kids are reading.  All of these were big hits with my kids!