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)

North Carolina: Blackbeard’s Last Fight


We read this when we first studied North Carolina, and the kids were a little weirded out by it then because it’s a little scary, but they’re older now, and a bit more bloodthirsty, and besides our geography group skews heavily to the boy side of things, so anything with pirates is good.


When I read it 3 of the boys (including mine) were absolutely spell bound and kept creeping closer and closer to me, so they were almost on top by the time I was done reading it.


At first I didn’t have a great idea for a craft, and then as we did the protest signs for “Freedom on the Menu,” it came to me!  Blackbeard’s corpse sinking into the waters, yes that was our craft.


008So, I got out small Dixie cups, popsicle sticks, and cut index cards into little bitty pieces to fit into the cups (approximately fourths).  Then I set the kids to drawing their Blackbeard, when they were done they glued their card to a popsicle stick and we stuck it through the bottom of the cup.


They happily sat there pulling him up and down in the cup, and watching his body drown…..  Yes, they loved this craft.


Afterwards Superman had a blast stacking cups and making pyramids.

North Carolina: The Flyers


“The Flyers” is a very cute book with several kids who have been watching Orville and Wilbur Wright trying to fly.  Each of the kids dreams about what might happen sometime in the future if they are successful.


Most of their dreams have come true, not always how they were thinking.  The back of the book gives examples of how their dreams came true.


I thought this was a super cute way of telling this story, interspersing what actually happened during the first flight with what the kids are dreaming about.



After we read it, each of the kids drew a picture and wrote a sentence about their dreams for a future plane.  Wright Flyer printable


There were lots of plane/car creations or plane/helicopter hybrids.


I did this first because I knew once we started


flying paper airplanes, there would be no going back.  This was also our last activity for the day.  I especially loved that our littlest one got in on the airplane throwing fun.




Our last time around we made this a science experiment (over at Almost Unschoolers she showed me a much better plane), which I could tell my kids still remembered because they tried to make all sorts of modifications to their planes to see if that worked.



Of course a few ended up in trees.


North Carolina: Greensboro sit-ins


Freedom on the Menu is about the Greensboro sit-ins that happened during the 1960s.  It mainly focuses on a family and the daughter, who is about 7 or 8, and tells it from her point of view.


She talks about how unfair it is to not be allowed to sit at the counter on the swivel chairs and eat an ice cream sunday, and how proud she is of her brother and sister for participating in the protests.


This led to some great discussions in our group, what is fair, and what isn’t.  How can you protest something unfair without being violent or disrespectful.


Afterwards we made protest signs with index cards and popsicle sticks.  I could tell they really got it when they started their own protests.




Snow Doggy joined in too.

Linking up to: All Things Beautiful, Journey to Excellence 

abc button

Shibley Smiles

Science Sunday: North Carolina: tar and water proofing

Science Sunday

North Carolina is nicknamed the “Tar Heel state,” I read a couple of reasons for this but it all boiled down to there is a lot of tar there.  Tar was originally used for water-proofing boats.  I don’t have any boats to try water-proofing with, but I have paper.

North Carolina Tar Heel State


First, I smeared the various things that have been used for water-proofing onto the papers and let that soak in for a while (I gave it about 30 minutes).




Then each of the kids got to take turns putting water with an eye dropper onto the various pieces of paper.


As you can see it was very exciting results.  I was even surprised by some of them.


I wasn’t too surprised the butter and oil repelled water, those I expected because they were used in the colonial time periods to make cheap semi-translucent window coverings that were somewhat waterproof.  The paint also didn’t surprise me because we used paint to seal wood against water for our houses.  The rubber glue and the Elmer’s glue did surprise me.  Elmer’s because it is water-soluble, and the rubber cement because I only put on a very thin layer.


Of course the plain old paper immediately soaked up the water.  I want to repeat the experiment and keep checking back to see if it has soaked in, that was my original plan, but some of the papers were thrown away right away.


How about you guys?  Anything fun this week?  Any surprising new discoveries?

Preschool Corner: North Carolina and more


Well, last week was one of those not so productive weeks, but wait until you see the upcoming week.  I’m presenting at our local mops group, and so I wanted lots of examples to share.
014So as per usual we’ve been reading lots and lots of books.  This is a picture of 5 or so of them so I would remember them for my WMCIR post.  We’ve taken to grabbing about 4 books at a time and just sitting and reading all of them in a marathon streak.  By we, I really mean me.  But, they’ve been enjoying this, and I get several requests to read some of the books again.
The boys are continuing to move along in their reading skills.  They’re pretty good at sounding out/have memorized the books they can read, but they’re still struggling with some of the sight words, so I need to work on some games or their cards.  Princess is at the point I’m thinking I’ll actually start working on her reading.  Right now I’ve been making a sound and having her find that sound in the books her brothers’ are reading.  She’s been enjoying that.

068So, the kids are moving on in math.  We’ve started doing representational addition.  And I’m thinking I’ll probably start trying to do at least a couple of these a morning.  They also desperately want to buy everything, but most of their money is in coins.  So I made the printable below for them to figure out how many dollars they had.  Now if I can just keep the boys from mixing their money, all would be well.  And, I just want to complain that Microsoft has no good clip art of coins.  Really, these were the best I could find and I really wanted to have both heads and tails (and I will not get started on my rant of how hard it is to train kids about coins when the government keeps changing them).  Oh well, maybe later I’ll get out my coin stamps from my teaching days and use those.
Money Match Up


005We attempted to fly paper airplanes and make predictions about which would go furthest, that didn’t work out so well.  Oh well.  If you want to see more go here, and I got a lot of great suggestions of how to fix the experiment.  So, I really want to blow something up this week in honor of China having discovered black gunpowder, but I’m scared to look it up on Google or something in case I get tagged for looking up explosives.  So, I need to get some serious looking down between now (on Tuesday) and Friday.  Batman has decided our experiment this week is finding out how tea is made.  So, we may go with that less exciting, but not likely to get me on a government watch list idea.


022 We learned about North Carolina, and as usual my lapbook is not put together, nor is the one about California.  The only hands on activity we did was the flying airplanes for science, but we read a fair number of books, but nothing that really went “OH, this would make a great activity!”
Now China!  That I’m swimming in ideas, and I don’t know quite how we’ll put it all together, but then Asia is the first continent I’ve been able to come up with something besides animals.  Our library had nothing that was age appropriate for South America or Australia to read, but I’m thinking I’ll swing back to those two later to do some more crafts, besides I’ve got all the goodies from Elise at Inspiration Surrounds, Creativity Abounds to add in now, and my kids would love them.



They continue to create “art” out of whatever they find.  Here Superman is adding stickers to a page he cut out of a coloring book.  He then delivers these to whomever.  I don’t have a picture of it, but his brother drew a masterpiece on a wipe.  Inspired his sister took it a step further and used a Kleenex.  Don’t ask me how.

When we went out to lunch the other day a very nice older gentleman asked if he could give our kids this dump truck, and we said yes.  So the kids happily took turns pushing it around the outside of Olive Garden while we waited for our table to be called. 

The boys continue to play Jump Start as often as they can.  Really, I have to pry them off of it.  Not that I really set that great of an example.  They’ve also added Lego Batman on the PS3 into their obsession rotation.  That’s slightly frustrating because they can’t quite play it on their own, and need help fairly often.

Princess and I went out to get the last of the clothes we need for my Mom’s wedding (except my boots, which I forgot to get, I need to check if the ones I have that aren’t cowboy are okay), and she spent most of the night telling her friends on her “phone” what we were doing “We’re going to the little room to dress Mommy now, okay I need to go potty!”  What is it about a young child that they need to go potty as soon as you’re undressed and not able to take them?  Really?  I mean we went 4 times in less than an hour.

Don’t forget to enter my CSN giveaway, it’s ending soon, but you still have a few more days to enter.

And, finally head on over to Homeschool Creations for more great preschool and kinder ideas.

North Carolina and airplanes…..


So, since North Carolina is the state of flight, we tried out paper airplanes, I went to paper airplane design  to find all of our different ideas and then we had fun…….


Only, it didn’t quite go as planned.  I carefully chose planes they said would fly very far.  I had them all makes guesses, and then here’s what happened with our planes.





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In case you can’t tell, the picture on the left is my plane up on the roof.  As far as I know it’s still there.  The kids planes all went straight down.  You can kind of see one in the bushes.

004Batman checking out what happened.  This was not the amazing experiment I was hoping for.  Undaunted we tried again, this time not from our balcony, which I was so sure would give that extra UMPH to the experiment, and make me the SUPER COOL MOM who let her kids throw paper airplanes off the balcony.


So, we tried again from the front porch.  Again, the planes didn’t go so far, like maybe to the end of that little walkway, and all three of the different styles went about the same distance.  Which is almost nowhere.



And here’s the science behind it.   Really, this didn’t go as well as I was hoping for.  I told Jeff when he left for work that the kids were going to be talking about it when he came home from work.  We went to lunch with him and they barely remembered doing it.  With a little prodding they told him about it, instead they told him all about how they drew and that they got to paint, and who knows what else, but airplanes, not a whit.


Oh well, maybe with our study of Asia and China we’ll blow something up next week, that’ll be interesting, right?  They’ll remember it enough to talk about it to Jeff that night…..  That’s my theory.  I mean if the weather had cooperated we could have flown kites and compared those to our planes.


Sigh, hopefully soon we’ll be off this unsuccessful science streak it feels like we’re in.  So, I know you’ve told me before how your experiments didn’t go well either, but this one really felt disappointing.  We didn’t even get to recover by eating ice cream.

So link up, encourage me with your successes or entertaining stories.  And then after you’ve linked up go over and give yourself another entry for my CSN giveaway

What did we read this week? Oh, that’s right


I learned something this week.  I can only check out 45 books from the library at a time, they gave me special dispensation to have out 56 just this once, because they might be behind on checking in books.  But, this was said very grudgingly, so all of the books I’m talking about were taken back to the library as soon as they were read, so the librarian wouldn’t glare at me again. 


So, our books went all over, China, North Carolina, and I think Montana.


You know, now that I look at it, I don’t think we actually read that Tiger book, I think it’s another.  Oh well, the tiger book was good, so I’ll have to search it out.


Wee and the Wright Brothers– this was a clever take on the Wright brothers building their plane.  We really enjoyed reading about it, and I didn’t know that they were travelling between their home in Ohio (I think, already returned the book, so I can’t double check) and North Carolina.


Blackbeard’s Last Fight– I would not really recommend this for preschoolers.  The syntax and amount of words are a little long for their interest level, and at the end Blackbeard is beheaded and his body thrown in the water.  My kids then obsessed about his body being eaten by sharks.  Lesson learned, stick to more cartoony pirate books.


The Adventures of Miss Pace– very cute book about a teacher who goes to a dude ranch for the summer to find two of her students have followed her.  It felt to me like this was set more up North, but I have no solid reasoning for it.  The kids really thought this was funny, and the twin boys who kept showing up kept cracking them up.


Animagical Colors– Cute riddle book with colors, and the riddles were not patently obvious, so that was enjoyable.  So many of these books you look at it and know before you read the words what it is.  I think a few of them were a bit of a stretch, but it was fun to read.


The Story of Chopsticks and The Story of Noodles–  These are two books in a series of books about how different things in China were invented, and we really enjoyed the interactions of the three boys.  And, later this week you’ll get to see a funny post about our art project or food project……


Tiger– that’s the link to the actual Tiger book we read (though I think we have checked the other one out, I checked out about 5 of them).  Honestly I don’t know how much they liked this and how much was their just wanting me to keep reading so they could keep drawing and putting stickers everywhere.  I thought it was a bit simple, but they would have loved it a year ago, and it would have been perfect then, hence why I checked it out.   I know we’d read others from this series before and loved them.


Now for more of these great book recommendations, and maybe ones written a little less tongue in cheek, go over to Natalie’s blog over at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.   Which, I’ll probably actually link up to tonight, I’m off to a MOPS conference tomorrow, I get to learn how to be a better Creative Activities director.  I’m guessing it’ll be full of important tips like don’t eat the glue.  Seriously, I’m guessing it’ll be a blast, but since I’m leading the discussion, I better have some clue what I’m doing.