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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Great American Postcard Swap {Arkansas}


Facts about Arkansas:

  • We were curious about the pronunciation and spelling of Ar-can-saw, and I found the history behind its name here.
  • The South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink tomato is both the state fruit and the state vegetable of Arkansas. Botanically, the tomato is a fruit, but because it is usually used as a vegetable, the state legislature adopted it as both in 1987. (Tennessee's state fruit is also the tomato, but not a specific variety.)




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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Great American Postcard Swap {Arizona}




Facts about Arizona:


  • The Grand Canyon State's capital is Phoenix.  
  • The beautiful Saguaro Cactus Blossom is the state flower, the state bird is the cactus wren, and the state tree is the palo verde. 
  • The largest solar telescope in the world is located in Kitt Peak.  The London Bridge was pruchased from Britain by an Arizona buisinessman in 1968 and was reconstructed in Lake Havasu. 
  • 5 million people from around the world visit the the Grand Canyon, but Arizona is also home to the Saguaro National Park and the Petrified Forest National Park.  
  • The famous gunfight at the OK Corral occurred in 1881 and is reenacted daily in Tombstone.
  • The beautiful Two-tailed Swallowtail is the state butterfly.  
Books and Activities:

  • You can make a pretty butterfly picture by drawing one half of the butterfly on the fold of a piece of cardstock, then cut it out, open it up, and color it in with markers or colored pencils following the picture in the field guide.






  • Along with the book The Train of States, we are using Fast Facts About the 50 States to find information for the state notebook pages.  This book is full of fun trivia, and the boys love its colorful layout.



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Friday, March 12, 2010

Great American Postcard Swap {Alaska}







State flag
Facts about Alaska:

  • The capital of Alaska is Juneau.  
  • Alaska's most northern point is Barrow, and the sun doesn't set there for 84 days in the summer.
  • The state flower is the forget-me-not, the tree is the Sitka spruce, and the bird is the willow ptarmigan.  
  • The name "Alaska" came from the Aleut word "alyeska"  which means "great land."  
  • Alaska didn't become a state until January 3, 1959, making it the 49th member of the US. 

Books and Activities


  • We have a few books on our shelf, which although they are not all set in Alaska, they are relevant to read along with this state study. The first is The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett, which is set in the Arctic. Jan Brett has some great printables and activities on her website to accompany this book.






  • Another beautiful book is Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews and Ian Wallace which is set in an Inuit village in northern Canada.










  • Mama, Do You Love Me! has a section in the back with facts about the Inuit people and Alaskan animals.






  • Here is a good resource for printables and an Alaska unit study.
  • The Anchorage Museum website is a neat source for Alaskan art and history. 
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Great American Postcard Swap {Alabama}

We are participating in the Great American Postcard Swap with other homeschool families.

We are sending out postcards all over the country, and we will hopefully receive 50 in all!

Our first postcard arrived today from Alabama. The boys were so happy to have mail! We will be learning about the states and filling out notebooking pages (found here) as we go along.

Here are some facts about Alabama:


  • The capital of Alabama is Montgomery. 
  • In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus, and the Montgomery bus boycott began. The state tree is the southern longleaf pine, the state bird is the yellowhammer, and the state flower is the camellia. 
  • The state motto is: "We dare defend out rights."
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Monday, March 1, 2010

Hello Monday {Schoolroom Treasures}



Hello Monday is our place to welcome a brand new week and reflect on the old one. 

We had some weekend fun at the thrift store, which turned into a schoolroom treasure hunt!

A big Wild Thing to keep Max company, and the complete original Boxcar Children series. A shiny row of glass paperweights...





A cool spinning display rack (snagged for $3.00), perfect for holding readers and read-alouds. And a lighted globe, still in the box with the light bulb included -- a splurge at six bucks!

We never know what we'll find on a treasure hunt, but it sure is fun to add some pizzazz to the school room.