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.

Vermont: Champy

I have to admit I love anything and everything Stephen Kellog, he just write and illustrates some of the cutest books.  I’m lucky and went to a conference he was at and he signed a book for me.

A couple of years ago when Superheroes and Princesses wrote about Vermont she mentioned Lake Champlain has an inhabitant rather like the Loch Ness Monster, she actually found a book about him, but my library didn’t have that.  However I own the next best thing a book not specifically about the Loch Ness Monster.


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Well, after reading it and talking about Champy, we took some time to make our own versions of him.


Isn’t if funny how they each have their own very distinct Champy?

And here’s the printable, if you want it: Vermont: Champy

Vermont: Nora’s Ark

I was badly burned by a “Noah’s Ark” retelling a year or so ago, it was horribly written and didn’t work for us at all.  So it was with a great deal of trepidation that I checked this book out.


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This is a well written and illustrated story.  It takes place during the 1920s during a flood in Vermont.  The actual story may not be true, but similar incidents happened.  Nora’s house was the one house in the area high enough to be out of the flood waters.  By the end of the story Nora had cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, and people in their house.


It’s a great lesson on what is truly important, and what isn’t.  As she says in the story, “The rest is just gravy.”



After reading the story I challenged them to fit as many things in their house as they could.  They had to have at least two of each different item Nora had in her house.  So, at least two cows, two horses, two chickens, two men, and two women.





Not too surprisingly they fit a lot of chickens in.  But, that’s just what happened in the story, she had over 100 chickens in her house.

Inside they had to write what they would save from their house if it flooded.


Can I just say it made me smile to have the kids all say they’d save their Bibles.

vermont flood

Here’s the printable for anyone able to find a copy of Nora’s Ark.

Vermont: Tricking the Tally Man

Tricking the Tally Man- it’s a super cute story about a town that sees the tally man coming and they don’t want to be taxed, so they lie about how many are in the town, only to discover he’s counting for the new government.  There’s several rounds of this, and it ultimately comes out right.



For our activity each of the kids got to hide a handful of peg dolls in one of the “cities.”  Afterwards we took turns finding all of them and counting them using tally marks.

Everyone enjoyed the mad dash to find and record the citizens.  Our littlest one even helped by bringing over random extra ones she found.


tricking hte tally man


To make it simple I just made a small chart.  Obviously you could make it into whatever format you wanted, but this was our different cities.  If you want to use ours, you can just click on the picture and it will take you to the download.


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Vermont: Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream

My kids have been asking for ice cream for ages and ages.  I was glad to have this excuse of getting some, but I have to admit I didn’t get Ben and Jerry’s.  I’m too loyal a Texan and I got Blue Bell.  Shocking and horrible.


So, I don’t really have any pictures from us actually doing this activty, because this is a clean version of my kids eating ice cream.  When you add in toppings and syrups…….  It was more of triage and keeping sticky hands off stuff.


We read the book, and talked about Ben and Jerry’s funny names they come up with for ordinary flavors.  Then the kids all happily designed their own flavors complete with funny names.

vermont ice cream


This is the printable we used, but Ben and Jerry’s website also has some fun games you can play, which we didn’t really get a chance to do.


Messiness and all that……..



Well, this is two posts in one day, but neither of them are particularly inspired, but putting them together in one post seems rather shoe-horned.  Or it does to me, and I know I have weird opinions, especially when I have a headache.  I’m gonna go eat something.


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Vermont: John Deere and tractors

I actually don’t particularly recommend the book we used, it was okay, but it was just a generic book about tractors and didn’t hold their attention to well.


I can’t even find it on amazon…….




Well after reading all about tractors and talking about John Deere and his plans to make farmers lives better, we all went to the table and designed our own wonder-invention.


It was amusing to see what all they came up with.



John Deere


This is Superman’s (in the picture above), his invention helps you get corn.  That’s the farmer riding inside of the corn growing machine. 


Here’s what the printable looks like.  If you’d like to download it, just click on the link and it’ll head right over to Scribd.

Rhode Island: Nathaniel Greene

So, one of the famous people from Rhode Island is Nathaniel Greene, Revolutionary war hero and general.  My library had NOTHING on him.  Or nothing that is age appropriate, so I made something up.

I took no pictures of us working on this because I was busy reading, and it would just be pictures of heads looking down.  But, I have a nifty printable, and a short Lego battle totally unrelated to him to share with you:
Nathaniel Greene Rhode Island(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); })();

The Battle of Fort Ticonderoga as enacted by Legos!
The British soldiers thought they were safe in their fort, so they all went to sleep in their beds.  Or bent over like they are bowing because that amused my boys.

The American soldiers attacked and took the fort with no shots fired.

Then came a scene of general carnage and destruction so horrible no pictures could be taken.  Or if you followed the real history they looted the cannons and took them down to Boston through an amazing feat of engineering.

Oh, I forgot to say.  I’m linking this up to All Things Beautiful and their geography/history linkie.