ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: 50 State Study: New Jersey and Georgia

Sunday, August 7, 2011

50 State Study: New Jersey and Georgia

I just about had a panic attack when I thought I was late posting this, and then I happily discovered it wasn't scheduled until today.  It's felt like these last few months I've been playing catch up.  Now it's time to get everything back on track and soon........

New Jersey is the third state to enter the Union, and there's probably a lot more to cover than I actually did.  For our studies we're dependent on what is in the library at the time we're studying it.

For the actual lapbook pieces are rather light, mainly because the activities didn't lend themselves to lapbooking pieces.

state animal lapbook pages
The state animal of New Jersey is the horse, along with about five other states.  In this particular instance we didn't expand on that, but you could very easily do a small study on horses looking into the oddities of them or some of the fiction for them.
New Jersey state symbols
I had wanted to do the animal pages on the Hadrosaurus because it is the state dinosaur, and the first dinosaur skeleton found that was nearly complete, but there just isn't enough information.  We were able to do a simulated dinosaur dig.

Supplies: rice, plastic tub, pasta shell, penne pasta, macaroni noodles, orzo

Each kid had the same materials in their tub and were trying to find all the pieces to reconstruct their skeletons.  It's harder than it seems because the orzo blends in and you have to extrapolate based on the shape and what you have for what each pieces is.

New Jersey claims to be the blueberry muffin capital of the world.  There are a whole slew of books about blueberries, and blueberry muffins in particular, in the carousel I linked to two of them, however my kids' favorite was "Irving and Muktuk."  The main characters are polar bears attempting to crash a blueberry muffin festival, and they use disguises to try and sneak in.  Our activity was to make our own Irving or Muktuk in a disguise.  Superman is holding up his Muktuk disguised as a police man.

Other options: Blueberries for Sal (I opted to save this for one of the New England states), A Fair Bear's Share.  This could lead into a several studies: sorting fruit into their different types, looking at the differences and similarities between berries, making jam, making blueberry muffins.......

When our group studied Thomas Edison one of the older kids taught about him.  She challenged them to do what he did, think of ways to make everyday items better.

The kids all enjoyed this challenge, but it's fairly free form, so here's some alternatives: but a kit to create a light circuit, read up on the process of experimentation, make a movie in honor of his inventing the video camera, sing a song into a recorder in honor of his inventing the phonograph.

Things we did not get to study, but would make great activities:

18 Penny Goose- this didn't come in until we had finished the state, a great non-violent story of the Revolutionary War.  A little girl is worried the soldiers will steal her pet goose, and she left a note to try and protect it.

  • you can explore letter writing, the value of items then and now, coins
New Jersey has the most number of diners in all 50 states.  The two books I linked are both great books for activities to draw on:

Minnie's Diner- multiplication, food pyramid, chores

Every Friday- family traditions, food pyramid, friendships


This was a much busier state, and there is still more we didn't touch on.

Georgia is one of the largest peanut growing states in the nation, so I decided to do several activities with this, after first making sure there are no peanut allergies.

We examined a peanut and looked for the "baby plant," and discussed the importance of the different parts of the peanut.  Then we brainstormed what people use peanuts for, and came up with a variety of recipes.

Finally we learned about how peanut butter was made and ate a peanut butter cookie.

Martin Luther King Jr. is from Georgia originally so we read a book called "Martin's Big Words," and talked about his dream.  Then all of the kids drew their own dream.

If you have more older kids you can also talk about the Civil Rights movement and why this was so controversial.

Georgia is the state the Cherokee were originally from and is the start of the Trail of Tears.  The state flower of Georgia is the Cherokee Rose, and I found a wonderful book about the Trail of Tears to explain what happened and what the flowers means.

After reading the story, and talking about the symbolism of the rose we constructed one and on the inside the kids all wrote a short synopsis.

Georgia is also where Coca-Cola was invented.  When I think of Coke I think of their amazing commercials, and how well we all remember them.  So, our activity was to design our own Coke commercial after watching several of their ads.

If the kids you're working with are older this is a great writing exercise.  It's also a great time to pair a younger and older child because the younger child can design the visual element while the older child can design the writing.

Other ideas:

Georgia is the peach state.  You could study a fresh peach and look at the different parts of it or look at the canning process to can peaches.

Georgia also had many pirates.  There is a great lapbook unit on Homeschool Share using the Mem Fox book "Tough Boris."  I also did a mini study looking at fiction versus non-fiction.

I can't wait to see what you have for New Jersey and Georgia because both are states I feel could have been done better.  Come back September 5th for Massachusetts.  There's a whole lot there!

1 comment:

  1. I told you my brain was gone, I was planning to schedule this for Monday.....