Thursday, July 14, 2011

Trekking Across the US ~Arkansas

We finally finished up Arkansas.  Hopefully the children know a lot about Arkansas as we spent almost two weeks working on activities from this state.

As we have with the other states, and will continue this format as it is working for this group, we made Arkansas books.  Here is a picture of the cover.

We always start a new state by boarding our pretend US Airlines and taking off
from the state we just studied.  We look out the windows and pretend to see all
the things we learned about the state.  As we approach our new state we have pictures
the children can see of some of the things in the new state.  After landing we place the
state up on our map of the USA (I will take a picture with our California unit).  This
sets the stage for learning about the state.  We then trace the state name, color the state,
and talk about the state motto.

Here is a picture of the next two pages of our Arkansas book.

We talk about where the state is on the USA map and color it, we spell the state
name, we trace and write the state name (older children do cursive), and then we
talked about the state flag and why it was designed as it is and then we tried
to color it.  That was a challenge for my older children... so the younger ones just did
there best... although the book above was a 4 year old.  Below are close-ups of
a few of the activities.

We also made windsocks with the same concept of the state flag.

Here is a pictue of the next two pages.

We talked about the state tree on the page to the left.  The state tree is the pine tree.
We did two activities in which we counted pine tree (you can find here) and sorted
pine cones by size (you can find here).  We talked about how there is many forests in Arkansas
and why it is called "The Natural State".  
On the right side we talked about the state mammal being the white-tailed deer and
talked about another forest animal... the raccoon.  They were very interested in this animal
due to one slipping in my garage recently, causing havoc while we were sleeping and getting to
watch through the door, animal control come in to get him out.  The little bugger must have
liked our garage because no matter how hard we tried to get him out... he wouldn't leave!
Anyways, we did a matching of animal tracks (you can find here) and we sorted forest
plant and animals (you can find here).
All of the forest printables I used were from 2 Teaching Mommies and you can find
more forest ideas here.
My older children had forest math to do and a forest word search instead of these
easier activities.
Below you can see close-ups of the activities.

We waterpainted a white-tailed deer.

Here are the next two pages of our Arkansas book.

We talked about raccons using Musing of Me's poem and raccon page to learn more
about raccons (you can download here).  We also made a paper piecing raccoon (you can find pieces here). 
We talked about the "Crater of Diamonds State Park".  It is the only public diamond mine in which
a small fee will allow you to search for diamonds all day.  You get to keep what you find.  The
children were very excited about this and all decided they would like to visit this park.  We
colored the colors of diamonds you are most likely to find in Arkansas and we matched diamond
rings (older children had different activities).  We then pretended to visit the park and dig
for our own diamonds in our sandbox.  The children (older too) just enjoyed this activity and
are still looking for diamonds in the sandbox!  I just used small clear beads.
You can see close-ups of the two pages below, the raccoon paper piecing and our diamond
digging adventure in our sandbox.

Here is a picture of the next two pages.

We talked about the state insect... the honey bee.  We talked about how honey bees live in there
hives and the job each bee has (Queen, drone, and worker).  We were going to do a tanagram of
a bee but it didn't work out so we just colored it and we matched
bees to flowers by the colors on the bees and flowers (you can find here).  We also made
toilet paper tube honey bees.
You can see the bee/flower color match and the toilet tube bees below.

Here are the last two pages.

On these pages we talked about the state flower... the apple blossom and colored a picture of
an apple blossom. 
We talked about the state music... bluegrass... and the different instruments
used (book in the middle which you can find here).  They really enjoyed listening and dancing
to bluegrass music and seeing and hearing some of the different insturments.  We also blew
over a bottle (jug) and tried to play the spoons... how fun that was!!!!  We found a great deal
of links on "Montessori Tidbits" Arkansas Adventure for our bluegrass adventure.
And we talked about square dancing.  Viewed some square dancing and gave it a try
ourselves.  The children had a blast doing this... we kept it simple... very simple.  We used Oh,
Sussana and simply walked in 3 and clapped, walked out three and clapped (repeat the in and
out), joined hands and walked to the right and then to the left, hooked arms and swung our
partners, and repeated the whole dance again.  Sorry... I had to keep it together so I don't
have a picture of this.
Below is pictures of us playing a jug (bottle was as close as I could get... and spoons).

You can download my part of the book here.

Hope you enjoyed our Arkansas Adventure!

1 comment:

  1. How fun! I will have to bookmark this page for when we study Arkansas. Two of my boys were born there!