We enjoy learning together. One subject we’ve looped back to over and over are state studies. When my children were younger, we would sing the States songs, color flags, dream of National Parks to visit. With dreams of cross-country trips to visit all the National Parks, and eventually all the states, we’re embarking on our state studies again.
To begin, we were using a free State Study guide from abcteach.com which allows children to draw, or cut and paste, State Symbols onto pages. We used a list of State Identifiers, like date of statehood, State Motto, State Nickname, Capital, Major Cities, and State Symbols. This is where we collect the information, but it’s just a start. We also need to know more about the state, read stories, get to know the history and the people. With state studies, we also have the ability to weave in US History, Presidents, and major points of interest in the state or the country.
We also read. We read articles on the Internet, books from the library, books from our home library, watch documentaries, and write about what we’ve seen to family or friends if we’d travel there. The writing to friends or family actually started when we began our country studies of the world – we write ‘postcards’ describing what we’ve learned. The postcards are just drawn on paper, but allow us the creativity to create a visual representation of what we’d like to visit if we went to the country, our favorite things about the country, or unique aspects which would be postcard worthy.
We’ve started back on our State Studies this spring and decided to go through the states this time in alphabetical order. We’re memorizing capitals, creating a dream list of sites to see, and learning more about our country. We keep all our journal pages in a 3-ring binder, separated by state, with a few of the studies we’ve completed in the past. We have used simple books with state and capital only, flashcards, Highlights Brand Which Way USA, and read many, many books.
Books we’ve borrowed from the library on Alaska:
Among others. We’re reviewing documentaries to watch, including our working through the Ken Burns National Park series we own. The Deadliest Catch series is what I’d like them to see a bit of for Alaska. We watched a few movies on Netflix about Alaska a few months ago which led my boys to ask about starting state studies again.
If you’re interested in studying Alaska, I’m happy to share my worksheet and pages:
The worksheet I created is basic, pictured above. The version included here, and the one I printed for my boys, has a fun tree border. Sometimes, it’s the little things! We don’t have a color printer, but the boys doodle, use highlighters, and raw if they feel like decorating. Your students could also use stickers or stamps – there are no real rules in my home, as long as the students are engaged, learning, and having fun – it’s a win.
What resources do you use for state studies? Alaska?
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