State Sheets - Keeping children's attention

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State Sheets - Keeping children's attention

Unread post by dhudson »

Just Clay wrote:We are in Week 14 of Adventures. We having been "studying" a state a day for the last couple of weeks. We have found our routine (4 children) for coloring the US map, the bird, the flower, adding the sticker....

I am curious what others have done to keep it interesting over the course of 50 states. On the days I have located a book to read that pertains to the state, our coloring time is fun. On the days that I don't have a supplemental book, I am hoping for some ideas to stay ahead of my "team."

Thank you,
I read their history to them or our read aloud book at that time and it went very well.

I agree that reading something to them keeps their interest.
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Unread post by LA in Baltimore »

I'm only on Week 10, but I have found that during any coloring activity reading a book aloud to them helps it move along. I use the Read Aloud for this or another book that is from our book basket.
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Unread post by RachelT »

We are also on week 14 and are doing the same thing. I read parts of a book to them that is about that state while they work on the coloring. I also found some books at our library that are about all 50 states and I found a set of cards that are the flags of each state with interesting and fun facts on the back. I don't read everything, but just the things that seem most important or funny!

Here are some of the resources I have been using:
The Fifty Nifty State Flags (the box of informational cards with the flags on them, I found it at a popular book store)
Our 50 States: A family Adventure Across America by Lynne Cheney
Celebrate the 50 States by Loreen Leedy
First Facts about the States by David L. Steinecker
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

I agree with Rachel that if you can't find different library books on each state, then one general book that covers all 50 states might be helpful. There are suggestions in the manuals and in the "Ideas" forum. You could read poems from each state, etc. An encyclopedia or Google Images might also be a good source of colorful pictures of the state.

Other ideas I had copied down in my own notes from past discussions:

1. Let the kids highlight their favorite interesting topic on the back (Crystal's idea)

2. Kids decide on a "special color" to outline their state, based on what they learn when you read the other side. Each child might choose a different color & tell everyone why they chose it. (yellow/corn, black/coal) (this was from a Kelly but not kellybell)

3. Play hangman for the state motto (also from the "other" Kelly)

4. Learn a 50-states song to sing as you color (idea from Rene)

5. Add things they've collected to the page, such as state quarters, & show-n-tell the reasons they chose them (also from Rene)
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Unread post by doubleportion »

We found one book that has wonderful illustrations for the 50 states - "The United States of America, A State-by-State Guide" by Millie Miller and Cyndi Nelson. We have used that along with extra coloring pages from the crayola website. My daughter found the extra coloring pages more interesting since it includes the state flag and other state symbols beyond the bird and the flower. She always looks forward to the state pages and loves coloring them. We are finishing week 17. It does slow down as you get into week 16 (not as many states per week).

BTW- we loved the book "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" from our book list for Week 16. It is very silly and my dd loved reading the story and the illustrations.

We love MFW!!!

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ADV State Sheets?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

gratitude wrote:What did you do to make the ADV state sheets a success & interesting for the student. What did you do with a boy who likes to draw but isn't very interested in coloring?

I really like the idea of going through all 50 states, but I want it to be successful and would love to hear peoples ideas as they toured the states.

Thank you!
My son was in EX1850 and 1850MOD when we did the state sheets, but he used stickers instead of coloring. It seems like it was only about $10 for a set from StickerUSA that included all the birds, flowers, state abbreviations, capitals, flags (just the sticker set, at places like Rainbow & Amazon). They didn't really "fit" but went alongside the pictures.

We also did an idea from Crystal of using a highlighter on the back to show the favorite fact of the day (usually the silly one :) ).
Last edited by Julie in MN on Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ADV State Sheets?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

We checked out "A ________ State Alphabet" from the library for every state. They always start with with something the state is famous for - like "E is for Evergreen: A Washington State Alphabet." It was fun for my dd to find facts in the book that were also on the state sheet. Just an idea - sometimes having the info in two different ways makes it more exciting. And there's always great pics of the state flower, flag, tree, bird, etc., so you have neat examples to look at even if you don't color the page. And honestly, sometimes dd would love the book and skip the state sheet . . . I was ok with that.
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Re: ADV State Sheets?

Unread post by gratitude »

Well this is going much better than I expected, but differently too! I don't believe in un-schooling at all, but I have let each of them take over their own state sheet project. It is different than Marie planned, but it goes well with what they know and how my oldest approaches projects. It will work out. The facts on the back of the sheets was a great idea; I am looking forward to reading the backs to the kids. They are loving this project, and I didn't expect them to. They are fascinated by all the flags and cards, etc. :-)

Re: ADV State Sheets?

Unread post by cbollin »

maybe he could draw a different state symbol on the sheets? he likes to draw?
gratitude wrote:He does like to draw. Maybe he could try to draw the flag or the bird or the flower; I think he would go for the flag. I think I will try that today. Maybe we could look up some pictures from each state on the internet too... just another idea.
Curriculum is a tool, Carin. No two notebooks will look alike :) no time lines will look alike. no Jesus posters will look alike.
gratitude wrote:Thank you for the Encouragement. One of the things that I Love about this board is the fact that you understand the Special Needs side.

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Re: ADV State Sheets?

Unread post by erin.kate »

All that you and Crystal, and others shared, is awesome. I also wanted to add that we use Highlights Which Way USA? and while some of it is advanced for my girls, they really get into it and it livens up our state studies. We also study each state bird with the Burgess Bird Book for Children ... I read the chapter, they narrate, we listen to the bird's call/song online, and we find a good video of the bird, then they notebook the bird by accurately coloring the bird (from a Dover State Bird coloring book) and they paste it in their notebook and write a sentence or two about something interesting they love about that bird. We've all learned so much about the birds, and many of them overlap of course with the birds chosen by Marie for some of the science days in ADV. Just another thought to extend the state learning to encompass nature, too, which my kids cannot get enough of at this age.
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Adventure state sheets, disappointing and our fix

Unread post by laurelmarie »

Last week we started learning the states but am a little discouraged. 4 sheets to color a week and the info on the back is not 2-3 grade friendly. There is not enough time to really enjoy each state....2 days a state would work better...1 day for coloring the map, flag and locating it on large map: then day 2 to read and look at books about state along with making a meal/snack or fun craft for the state. At this pace all dd is getting is were the state is located. (great for K or 1st but 2nd or 3rd needs more)
I feel like the whole dynamics of the program changed. The first half was wonderful and dd was learning so much. The pace was great, a week spent on a historical figure or event, there was time to read and do crafts/notebooking pages (other then the MFW ones). Now it is state, state, state, quick mention of the Statue of Liberty and back to state, state, state. Even dd asked if we could do something more besides color.

MY FIX:(might help others who feel the same way)
After discussing this with my husband and asking God how to better use this curriculum we are able to work around the above problem. Since we start our school year in January and work through the summer if we followed MFW schedule we would have finished Adventures in Aug. or Sept leaving several months to fill. By scrapping the schedule for the state study and doing just 2 states a week like I suggested above we will have more time to learn and enjoy each state. I will still follow the science, Bible, and historical schedule. This will also allow us to spend more time studying the historical figure/ events as they come along.
I am also adding the following books to our curriculum to pull ideas from to help with the state portion of our study:
Cantering the country
Trail Guide to US Geography
Eat your way through the USA

If I get the chance to do Adventures again I would start the state study a few weeks into the curriculum instead of in week 12(?) doing 2 states a week and this would avoid any problems with the pile on of color sheets.
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Adventure state sheets, disappointing and our fix

Unread post by cbollin »

sounds like nice solution.., I'd be careful on adding too many resources on each state.

I'd like to add some other ideas to hopefully help someone...

In my opinion.. a 2nd/3rd grader should know the names and locations of states. MFW chooses order of states in order of admission to the union. Learn 2 facts (or fun facts) from the back side. Some additional resources will be nice later in EX1850/1850MOD when the pace is slower to allow for more. It's hard to get 50 states in.

Post the Finished Sheets on kitchen/dining room wall for a week at a time before placing them in notebook. That way they can see the information throughout the day.

Yes, there are some weeks in ADV where 4 states are covered (for example, scheduling the original colonies is faster pace especially since students have just covered that part of history, so in some ways they've begun to learn some info on those places."

some weeks.. it's 2 or only 1 state. There are a few weeks with 4 states. But it's not that pace for the whole study. from table of contents, one can plan for that. Some weeks there are 4 states because they all became states near same time in history. A few weeks didn't have any.

The only things to color are bird and flower. if that's too much... pick one or the other... alternate. Get a larger map and locate the places.. use the wall maps.

one of my favorite things to do is to get on the official tourism site and picks things that are individual for each student. Do they like sports? Well, print off the picture of various sports teams in that state and put those pictures below your state sheets on the wall. What does it look like in the autumn in that state? that is the kind of thing that helped my children to connect to a state at this age. What's something famous from there?

Oh.. another little thing we did... highlight (with highlighter or marker) 2 fun facts on back.

and a neat idea I heard once was..... after a week, one family liked to have a meal with flavors of states. Some times it was using the recipes given in the ADV manual. other times from other places. That way it was a fun meal to review places and tastes.

I liked using picture books from book basket ideas to help see scenery from around states.

remember to include "picture" based fact books in basket time. Don't go for information overload... look for the books that seem to be geared to youngest readers with lots of pictures. sometimes less really is more with books like that.

When students repeat state study over 2 years in EX1850/1850MOD, they can go more in depth on things and do more cooking from state... MFW includes a cooking through US book as well.

this year (ex1850).. when we did our individual state study report, it was interesting to note that not all parts of our state look the same. up northeast corner they have maple trees... and get colorful falls... we don't get that here... oh well.....

hope some of those experiences help someone out there adjust and tweak and look ahead

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Re: Adventure state sheets, disappointing and our fix

Unread post by kacairo1 »

One way that we have added to the state sheets is to draw a picture and add it to the front of the state sheet based on the material we read on the back side. I love the "Draw Write Now" drawing books and as we have the whole set, I have my dd go through the books and located one or two additional pictures to add to the state page. We've also worked on memorizing the states and capitals this year. Hope that helps...
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Re: Adventure state sheets, disappointing and our fix

Unread post by TammyB »

When we did Adventures, I don't think I even read from the back of the state sheets. (I thought it seemed a bit old for my 2nd grader and Ker.) Instead, I found a couple of neat about-the-fifty-states-kids'-books, and we read from them. I also piled our book basket with some awesome library books that had gorgeous photos of places of interest in each state. (My kids adored those!)

I also found sets of scrapbooking stickers of various states, and the kids decorated their state sheets with them. They loved that. I do remember my son putting more energy into the earlier sheets than the later ones, but I was okay with that since his overall enthusiasm never waned. (Mine did a little. :) ) I think he actually enjoyed moving through them pretty quickly. It was always like, "Ooh, which state are we learning about today?!)

We all have such fond memories of studying the states.....Each new state convinced us that we just HAD to go there for a visit!

Remembering our Adventures' days always brings warm fuzzies for me. It was my favorite year!

Blessings and ENJOY!
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Re: Adventure state sheets, disappointing and our fix

Unread post by afelton »

I think it is awesome that you are all remembering that we are the teachers not the curriculum, no matter how great it is. When we come to a point in the curriculum that we don't like or fit our children, situation or family then we adjust. Great to hear all of your thoughts on this topic. I will be starting Adv. in August.
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Re: Adventure state sheets, disappointing and our fix

Unread post by mlhom4him »

We are big foodies in our family! I found a wonderful way to "study" the states and incorporate the fun foodie side of our family. We are going to use the book American Grub: Eats For Kids From All Fifty States by Lynn Kuntz and Jan Fleming. Each recipe has a few fun facts about the state and then a recipe to try from that state. This will also incorporate cooking and baking which my daughter is all about. Don't tell her but she will also be doing math. ;)

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Re: Adventure state sheets, disappointing and our fix

Unread post by abrightmom »

Great idea to make Adventures work for you.

:-) For the record, my boys LOVED the state sheets and we never lost momentum with the program. My middle guy was six and he wept when we did the last one. If I could teach Adventures all over again I would. Best Schoolyear Ever! :-)

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Re: Adventure state sheets, disappointing and our fix

Unread post by Julie in MN »

abrightmom wrote:he wept when we did the last one.
Aw, that is so sweeeeeet !!
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