Connecticut, I finally get this written up

<a href=””> Widgets</a>
I have at least two more states to write about, and these help me get organized for my posts over at ABC and 123 that I’m writing once a month on geography.
Yeah……. not a lot.  Just no really great books at my library.
P.T. Barnum and the circus– there’s so much you could do with this, but we limited it to about 30 minutes of activities, and the page I added in after the fact.

Nathan Hale– I have to admit I’ve always admire him, and when I found out he was Connecticut’s state hero, than I HAD to do something with him, and I found the perfect book.

Yankee Doodle– the state song.  To the right are my kid’s illustrations of their verses.

Make a state symbol book– link is to the printable,

Our final activity was our ill-fated experiment to try and make “rubber balls.”  Yeah………  Not so much, heep big mess, yes.

Other things to study, which I didn’t get a chance to do: Benedict Arnold and robins
Sigh, so depressing, it feels like there should be so much more I could do with this state……..

I’m gonna link this over to:
Shibley Smiles

Connecticut: P.T. Barnum


One of the things I’m loving about doing geography with other families is form time to time one of the other moms or the kids will teach the lesson, and often times they’ll go in a completely different direction than I would.


She read several books on the cirucs and one book on P.T. Barnum (who’s from Connecticut), and then showed off some tin can stilts (she made her differently than I made mine).  All of the kids loved trying these, maybe I’ll make some spaghetti again………

We went to the table and everyone got busy coloring their big top circus tents……

With some adult help they were able to put together some very cute tents (detailed instructions at the link).

Here’s Princess’ tent.  The kids were disappointed you can’t cut out the door or the structure of the tent is not sufficient to stay standing up.  But, the lid is removable, so you can store all sorts of stuff in there…….

Yankee Doodle Widgets



I was quite amused to find out the state song for Connecticut (Does anyone else think in their mind as they spell that state: Connect I cut?  Or is that just me?) is Yankee Doodle.  I rather like that song and it’s one of the few nursery rhyme archetypes we have in America (I have all sorts of amusing theories on the things we’ve created in America, that I might expound on someday).



But, getting back to what I was talking about.  So, we read the very cute story up above which has multiple extra verses written by Mary Ann Hoberman that do a great job with rhyming and letting my kids work on predicting the rhyme, which they need work on.  And lets the older kids work on creating their own rhymes.




So, after listening to the story they all got an index card, and set to work creating their own verse to Yankee Doodle.  I love the illustration Oldest E came up with (at some point I’ll have to come up with nicknames for the families joining us in these studies).  I won’t be the least bit surprised if she becomes an illustrator someday.




There’s Superman sharing his illustration.  After drawing they each  took turns sharing their rhymes and illustrations with everyone.




Here’s their rhymes:


Superman: Yankee Doodle stuck a feather in his hat and called it T-Rex.  He stuck another feather in his cap and called it macaroni.


Batman: Yankee Doodle stuck a feather in his cap and called it Pteranadon


Princess: Yankee Doodle went to town riding on a pony, stuck a feather in his cap and called it dog.


I love how much their drawings  and rhymes indicate their personality.  Don’t you just love their illustrations?

Some other Yankee Doodle activities, I really wanted to play the game:

Superheroes and Princesses

Adventures in Mommydom (part of our nursery rhyme book)

How Stuff works (a game)

Connecticut: Nathan Hale

Pop quiz: What is Nathan Hale famous for saying? Widgets


I’ll put the answer in the comments section after a few people have guessed.  I love to collect quotes, and this was one of the first ones I memorized.  Why?  No clue, it amuses me.  Much like Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty, or give me death” speech.  Melodramatic?  You bet!

So, Connecticut has for two of it’s state symbols a state hero and state heroine.  Since I’ve long admired Nathan Hale, and because I knew there was no chance of finding a book on the heroine I opted to read about him.  And I loved the book.  Seriously, great for this state.



After reading the book and talking about their state heroine as well, we glued pictures of their statues onto a paper that summarized why they were heroes.


The pages were made by copying the material from the links above and putting a picture of the statue below to be cut out and glued on.  Super simple, but it conveys all the information without having to write a lot.  Since it’s not my creation really I’m not sharing it, but you can get the idea.


014Super simple, right?  But, why should I keep it simple.


So, I set them to making peg dolls of their chosen hero or heroine.  Not too surprisingly the choice split along gender lines.  All the girls chose to make Prudence (who they thought looked like a boy in her picture), and all the boys chose to make Nathan.




Can you tell which one I made and which one is Superman’s?  Poor guy went through two different clothespins before I gave him a peg doll, and even then he wasn’t happy with how it turned out.


Oh, and I’ve decided I need to order these in bulk, I really love how they look as people.

Science Sunday: Goodyear and rubber

We read the book “So You Want to be an Inventor,” it’s a great story that talks about different inventors and the many different ways inventors work.
For me the great joy was finding all of these different inventors in different places.  I was very surprised to find out Goodyear (I’ll go back and get his first name) was from Connecticut, I would have thought Michigan.  He’s a great lesson in persistence.  He spent over 10 years and most of his money, finally going broke before he figured out how to vulcanize rubber so it could be made into the many different things we use it for now.


And here’s where I remembered Christy from Superheroes and Princesses had done an experiment with Borax and glue to make bouncy balls, while not rubber, it’s still similar enough.

Well, we started working and mixing, and I got a few steps in the mixing wrong.


And then the problems really set in.  I let the kids measure the ingredients and I think they didn’t add quite enough cornstarch.  It was a hugely sticky mess.  Out of 10 kids, and my sample I think we got maybe 2 functional ones.  So, instead of being a neat lesson about how cool this pseudo bouncy ball is, it became a lesson in perseverance and how experiments don’t always work out……..  Oops.

It was still an enjoyable lesson.  It just didn’t work out how I thought it would.

I’m hoping someone had a successful science lesson this week.  This particular one was not as successful as we’d hoped.