Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Story of the Arkansas State Flag

We travel enough inside of the United States that for for years now, our US geography study has consisted of a detailed exploration of whatever state we're planning to visit or have just visited. It always includes the following:
  • memorizing the state's details and symbols and notation of this information on a large US map (I recently tore down this map, since we're moving, and put together a smaller, portable version on a tri-fold dry erase board that Matt and I made)
  • reading the relevant book from the Discover America State by State series (I LOVE this series, and am slowly collecting all the volumes as I come across secondhand copies), and the completion of any activities that I especially like from the set's teacher's guides
  • reading any good living books about the state and, for Will, one of those larger non-fiction state books (I don't really have a favorite series, as they're all pretty dry)
  • cooking a recipe from the state--we still make Philly cheesesteak sandwiches a lot!
  • including notable places in our travel to that state--we've visited Gettysburg, the Crayola Experience, and Hershey's Chocolate World in Pennsylvania; the Yale Peabody Museum in Connecticut; the Trail of Tears and a set of gallows in Arkansas; redwoods and beaches in California; and of course EVERYTHING in Indiana!
As part of memorizing each state's symbols, I usually give the kids coloring pages, and then they research the correct way to color the state bird, say, or the flower, or the flag. Syd loves this coloring, and will often spend a ton of time making each page just gorgeous, but Will is a kid who is thirsty for facts, facts that even *I*, who also love facts, tend to see as dry, and she just soaks them up wherever they lie, and that's how I found that the simple request, "Tell me about your flag," led to a whole swath of information that I had no idea the kid had picked up in her research and retained. Obviously, I grabbed the camera and asked her to do it again!

 In lieu of studying every single state this way (it would take us to college and beyond!), my goal for us is to memorize all the US states and capitals during the course of our big road trip next month, and then to continue with our tradition of in-depth study of states that we're planning to visit.

I can't decide, though: memorize states in alphabetical order, by geographical location, or by order of statehood? Song, poem, or list? All of the above?


kirsten said...

The animaniacs song is still my favorite! :) and we have a us puzzle map app that works great.

Tina said...

We really like the animaniacs song too! We also LOVE Marbles the Brain Store's Tour of the States https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E2CNZIlVIg&feature=kp

You could learn the states by region, then add them to an alphabetical or numerical list. Not only can you learn the states that way, you can also include some of the other geographical information (weather, culture, land type, etc.)

When we were actively working on the states, I had Emma do a worksheet for each state that included the map, flag, quarter, facts, ect. then we added it to a binder by the date it entered statehood.

julie said...

Ooh, like maybe a combination of the Animaniac's song and something like this one:


Memorizing through song works really well for us!

Tina said...

That's a pretty cool video!