50 State Study: New York

Amazon.com Widgets

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……..

New York: Measuring the Statue of Liberty


Just like we did for whales, we measured out how big the statue of liberty was.  We measured several different parts of her using information I got from the Statue of Liberty information site.  It is fascinating to see how big she is. 



I wish I could say the kids were suitable impressed, but there were more interested at that particular instant in running around like mad men and trying their very best to see who could be the silliest.


I am sure this news totally shocks you.


So, for me this activity was spent with lots of, “No, look over here!  No really, if you pay attention we’ll get done very quickly.”  At which point I imagined all sorts of ways I could glue them to the floor.  Which probably would not have been a good idea.

Instead I’ll leave you with our printable:

Statue of Liberty New York(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “http://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();

New York: Tenth Avenue Cowboy


Tenth Avenue Cowboy is about a boy who moves from his ranch out west to New York City during the early 1900s.  All he wants is to be a cowboy, and one day his dream comes true, but not the way he wanted.


After reading it we talked about dreams that came true, but not the way we wanted.  Boy K had a great example, and Princess had a decent example, but my boys…….


After the discussion I had the kids all draw a picture of their dream coming true and write how it was different than expected.  Well……. Batman dreamed he was opening presents and the present was him.  Superman dreamed he was eating all sorts of food.


Princess was the primary one who understood the assignment, but her answer was very personal, so I’m not going to share it here.


That day the boys were just silly.  Silly Superman, Silly Batman.

New York: Oh Alice!


“What To Do About Alice”- is a cute picture book about Alice Roosevelt, daughter of Teddy Roosevelt.  It covers her life from birth to sometime after her father leaves the White House.


I highly recommend the book both for its wonderful pictures and for its great vocabulary.  Oh, and she’s so darn plucky!




But once we were done reading I was struggling to think of a good activity to do with the book.  I don’t really want to encourage the kids to follow her example……..  So, I alighted on the oh so boring and oh so great for educational purposes write a sentence about her……  We glued a picture of her on top and called it good.


I know boring, but then we talked about her Dad, Teddy Roosevelt.  For some reason our library didn’t have a particularly good one for reading aloud, it had several very good ones for 3rd grade and up, but nothing that was a good picture book.  Instead we talked about who he was and what he did.



Most notably of which is creating our national parks service.  If you’ve ever visited a national forest thank Teddy Roosevelt.  At this point my kids started being impressed because Batman loved the Grand Canyon.


After talking about that they designed their perfect park.


They happily drew and drew and drew, and you can tell their personalities.  Princess’ dream park has flowers and pretty stuff and her friends.


Superman and Batman’s dream parks have AWESOME playgrounds, and Superman added the extra detail of trees and water.


Sigh, water, I’ve heard that it can fall from the sky from time to time and get the ground wet.  Is that true?

New York: Norman Rockwell

We read this super cute book about Norman Rockwell, which is apparently part of a series.  At the time I wrote this I forgot to put the link in originally.  But I highly recommend it.  It tells a fair amount about his life and a little bit about how he drew and what his goals and aspirations were.


And then I googled Norman Rockwell pictures, and each kid wrote a story to go with their picture.  There was some last minute trading around of the pictures, but eventually everyone was happy with their pictures.

Here’s Princess’ story to go with this picture:  She is waiting for her mom and dad to come..


Pretty good handwriting for a 4 year old (she copied after I wrote it out for her).

I love the idea of taking a picture or illustration and writing a story around it.  Debbie over at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn had been doing this with Selena for a while, and I kept meaning to do this, and now I have.  Hopefully I’ll do it again soon.

New York: Under New York

“Under New York” is a fun book that talks about all of the things you will find under New York City.

It weaves a nice story and is a different way to talk about a big city about all of the business that goes on underneath.

Afterwards the kids got a piece of paper with a picture of the New York skyline on the front and the lifted it open and inside they drew what they thought of under New York…….

As you can imagine they each had different ideas of what to draw.  Princess had to draw something “pretty.”  That’s her new obsession drawing pretty stuff.

The boys latched onto something different.  You know that rumored to be there……..

Can you tell?  My boys BOTH drew alligators under the city.  They thought that one sentence was very cool and they wanted needed to draw it.  Our friend S drew a subway car.

And to show how much of a hit this book was, I’ve reread it at least a couple of times to the kids after the lesson because they dug it out of the library box and read it.

I’m gonna link this over to these fun linkies: Geography/History at All Things Beautiful and American History over at Journey to Excellence (both of which I need to figure out their button codes, for blogging so long I am rather untech savvy).

Shibley Smiles