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.


  1. Funny because I just went through my purse the other day and found a Texas quarter. I live in Texas and had never seen the Texas one. I had to pay cash for something and I saved that quarter...lol. I'm sure it was meant for you! I can send it to you if you'd like :).

  2. Very good idea! And I just have to say, the quarter in the eye is too funny!

  3. I love this and I am going to get busy getting together the resources to incorporate this activity into our homeschool.

    You always take the cutest pictures ever!

    Thank you for sharing.

  4. This is a great idea! Thanks! We have been learning about the states and I did not think to use the state quarters!

  5. FUN!!! I love the eye picture too!

    Let us know what you think of that download too :)

    Legoboy got a small book (not a map - that would be cool!) with slots for each state's quarter. He's only "eh" about it. He likes it, he checks all his quarters as he gets them to see if he can fill in; and he has some state study books from Highlights (they even come with maps of the state). Perhaps we should bring state songs in too (he loves to sing!) ;)

  6. What a great idea! My son would love this :) thanks for all you fabulous ideas!

  7. Jennifer R,

    Thank you SO much for the kind offer! I JUST snagged a Texas quarter at the pharmacy this weekend!

  8. Nice information about Proof State Quarters. I'll visit again this site for update myself.

  9. I appreciate your mentioning my State song collection! I just finished The State Songs Volume Four. All 50 State Songs are now available in four CD volumes.
    Best wishes, Rick Pickren, www.bigstrikemusic.com.