Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Kids Wednesday: Learning About Florida

My son has been doing a few states every summer and during the breaks if we get a chance.  We have already learned about Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Together we decided that we were going to learn about New York and Florida which are the two states where his grandparents live.We have a binder with all the states in it so the information goes in and out of there as we are working on it.  The finally binder gives all of the information that we get to have a finished copy of all the work that he has put in so that he could look at it.

He was excited to get started this summer and learned all about New York in the first half of the summer and Florida in the second half.  I got all the books from the library that we available from the NEA book list by state.  The books include the following:

  • Florida
    • Donald and the Fish That Walked by Edward R. Ricciuti
    • Panther Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
    • Bigmama's by Donald Crews
    • Shortcut by Donald Crews
    • Sam the Sea Cow by Francine Jacobs
    • Stealing Home by Mary Stolz
    • Sunken Treasure by Gail Gibbons
    • Michael Graves by Eric Kudalis
    • Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

My son read the two Donald Crews books by himself during his reading time one more.  We read the Sunken Treasure and Sam the Sea Cow together snuggled on the couch one afternoon.  We enjoyed the Because of Winn Dixie Book on CD as a family in the car when we went different places.  My son fell asleep and my husband and listened to the last few chapters and quickly went back and paused it near where my son fell asleep.  All the books were entertaining and there are always other books that you can find at your libraries to fill in the spaces or expand the learning.

We found a book on our shelves at home that was about the Manatees in Florida so we added that to the pile.  Manatee Blues #4 (Vet Volunteers) by Laurie Halse Anderson was an interesting find in our own books that we were going to read and learn more from after finishing all of the library books.

These are our wonderful at home resources so we can start on any state at a moments notice or look up additional questions about states or capitols.  This is a great start to any state learning.

I download and print the information from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom which includes the following:

  • Creative Writing (Make a Travel Brochure)
  • Door Hanger (Completion Certificate)
  • Handwriting Practice
  • Puzzles
  • Research Project
  • State Bird
  • State Capital
  • State Flag
  • State Flag Wall Card
  • State Flower
  • State Location
  • State Landmarks
  • State Wall Card
 We use almost all the information except the travel brochure because my son has never been really interested in doing those and it is a little too flexible a structure for him so I thought we might be able to take it on as he got older.

There is a wonderful cover for the state including a picture of the state with lots of the cities labeled.

This research fact sheet is usually completed in three different times because there is a lot of writing and research for our purposes.  The beginning is basic information that helps get to know about the history of the state.  The next section has different things that can be found in the state.  The last section is usually one of the last things that we do with the things that make this state unique.  It helps include all of the information that we have learned and add anything else that we might have not put anywhere else.

The first sheet that is completed is the state and the capitol with the practice on writing.  We try to write these are a few times which always depends on the mood that my son is in because he wrote this one three times after tracing the first.

The main part of the information is on these four sheets.  My son likes to cut out all of the pictures and glue them on the bottom of the sheets.  The next step is writing the words at the top in pencil.  Then there is coloring and fact finding which are normally done in another two stages.  These are the main part of our state learning.

The coloring of the flag is always something that is interesting.  We have a scrap piece of paper to test the color against the picture on the sheet of paper.  We worked on matching colors and finding the best to match the picture.  The detailed picture is always harder to do so my son pictures the color and I color in the sections that he tells me so that the final picture looks similar to the sample.

I also found another picture that I thought looked very interesting to add a little more creative aspect to the project and I went back and printed all of the states that we have already done.  I am not sure if we are going to get all of the past ones done but I do plan on adding these going forward but feel free to add them if you are interested.  You can find these pictures here.

Hope that you take some of this wonderful information and learn about the states with your kids!!  I promise that you will learn as much as they are because there is ton of information   Hope you enjoy all the learning!


  1. Oooh I'm so nostalgic for homeschooling! My youngest and I did state studies such as these too, back in the days.

    Kate DiCamillo was at the library in Clermont (15 minutes away) just a few weeks ago. She conducted the story time and signed books. She actually grew up in Clermont so she comes quite often. My kids really liked her books, growing up.

    1. AHHHH!! We should have come down! We loved Winn Dixie and just read the Edward Tulane one which my son loved and I liked. He is also reading the Mercy Watson series now. We are all Kate DiCamillo here right now with a little Narnia thrown in because we are on book 4 :) It was so nice to learn about these states this summer. I can totally see the progress from last summer on the work that he has done!


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