Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Learning the 50 States Using State Quarters
Kal-El has been having a lot of fun memorizing the 50 states. He uses our traditional Montessori puzzle map to practice these quite a bit. However, one day over spring break when his Dad and little brother were on an outing I brought out Dad's old, empty state quarters map. Kal-El spent three hours digging through every change jar in the house to fill in the map. He found every state except North Dakota, Nebraska, and Texas...
...oh wait, maybe that's Texas in his eye. Nope, still missing Texas. We have about 17 South Carolinas though...what is up with that?
If the coins are a little old and worn it is just more fun because you have an excuse to use the magnifying glass.
Using the state quarters has opened up a great line of inquiry about the different states due to the iconic pictures that were chosen for each quarter ("Why is there an astronaut on the Ohio coin Mom?") and sometimes the mottos. In fact, when I was digging through the "dollar days" sale this week at Scholastic I picked up an e-book "Teaching With State Quarters." I haven't had a chance to download it yet, but am looking forward to looking at it.
We are also "Learning the 50 States Through Song." Songs stick in my head like lint in a dryer vent. So, my strategy is to sing an iconic song to go along with any state the boys mention. It might be driving them nuts but it IS WORKING. Plus, I think I heard Me Too humming "Country Roads" yesterday.
Not everyone has a song pop in their head for every state in The Union (Including me, my Mom filled in what I couldn't. Like mother like daughter.). If you need a little help there are a few collections of State Songs by Rick Pickren available on Amazon and iTunes. I am not using the "official" state song for every state because it gets a little "academic." I'd rather spice things up with "New York, New York" and "Sweet Home Alabama" when I can. However, it's a good starting place.