Geography: The United States of America !!!

posted in: Geography | 4

 

 

Aren’t you glad that our national emblem is the bald eagle instead of a turkey? Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey because the turkey was native to America. Congress debated and decided that even though an eagle was used by many other countries, the bald eagle was a unique North American bird.

Official name: United States of America

Capital: Washington, D.C.

Official language: None

Official religion: None

Year of founding: 1776

National anthem: “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Government: Federal republic

Head of state: President

Head of Government: President

Area of country: 3,794,101 square miles

Currency: the dollar

The Flag

Did you know that each time a new state joined the Union a new stripe and a new star was added to the flag? This soon became an overwhelming looking flag. Currently the United States flag has thirteen horizontal red and white stripes representing the thirteen original colonies. A new star is added whenever a new state joins the Union.

On June 14, 1923 leaders met in Washington, D.C. to draw up a set of rules for the proper handling of the United States flag. The last time the Flag Code was updated was in 1976.

Here are some of the rules:

  • The flag must be raised swiftly, but lowered slowly.
  • Do not fly a flag in bad weather unless it is an all-weather flag.
  • The flag should never touch the ground.
  • In the United States no flag should be flown higher than the American flag.
  • The flag can be flown upside down only during times of danger.

The pledge of Allegiance: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands: one nation under God, invisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The Statue of Liberty:

After president Abraham Lincolns death, the French citizens felt that a monument was needed to show Frances support for the United States. Bartholdi sculptured the Statue of Liberty. Barthold’s  mothers face inspired the head. Because the Statue of Liberty was taller than fourteen-story building, the statue needed to be easily assembled. Bartholdi used copper plates attached to a solid iron frame.

Poem written by Emma Lazarus, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breath free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door !

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The Great Seal:

The great seal is used on all official documents and treaties. On the front of the seal is the bald eagle, wings spread with a shield across its chest. The shield represents the original thirteen colonies. The shield has no straps on it which represents that the United States relies on itself. In one of the talon the eagle holds olive branches which stand for peace. In the other it holds arrows which stands for war. The eagle also holds a ribbon which is written in Latin words E pluribus unum, which stands for “From many, one” meaning from many states one nation. On the back of the seal is a thirteen-layer period which stands for the original thirteen colonies. The stones represent lasting strength. The Roman numeral date MDCCLXXVI (1776) is the date of the Declaration of Independence. The eye represents the all-seeing eye of Divine Providence. Above the triangle is says Annuit Coeptis which means “God has favored our undertaking.” Below the pyramid it is written in Latin Novus ordo seclorum which stands for “A new order of the ages.”

You can find the great seal on the back of a dollar bill.

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Nature Exchange Packages:

We absolutely love finding nature finds in our state when we take walks or enjoy the outdoors. For the past few months we have been exchanging nature finds with others who live in others states other than ours (California).. We also include all there is to know about our state with our goodies. If you are interested in doing a nature exchange with us please contact us. We live in California so we would love to be your nature pal if you live in another state other than California. If you do live in California we can help you connect with other families.

 

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Five-State Rummy:

We found this amazing game at the thrift store. The objective of this game is to collect five cards representing states that have touching (contiguous) boarders. For example Washington touches Idaho, Idaho touches Oregon, Oregon touches California, and California touches Nevada. Such a fun way to learn what state boards which state. Our kids loved this game.

To play this game you need two to four players. You want to first shuffle the deck of cards and deal each player with five cards face-down. Place the rest face-down in a draw pile. You then take turns choosing a card from either the draw deck or discard pile. After deciding which state in your hand has the best possibility for bordering, you discard one card. You continue playing until one of the players has collected five cards that touch boarders.

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Drawing the United States of America:

We know how hard it is to draw the map of North America by simply looking at it. Where do you start? How big or small should each state be? Well, I have exciting news to tell you : There is an amazing book out there that will show you step by step how to draw each state. The best part is that with time and practice your child or you can have North America memorized and there will be no need to look at a book to draw the map. Now that’s what I call impressive. 🙂 You can order Draw the USA at http://artk12.com.

We were blessed with Draw the USA for our honest feedback.

 

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Little Passports:

We were blessed with the first month: discovery kit for our honest feedback. We love the idea of receiving different state packets in the mail each month. This amazing company offers the USA Edition. The first month you receive an intro packet with everything needed to get your child started. What is included:  USA field guide, USA scratch book, Wall-sized USA map, a welcome letter from new pen pals Sam and Sofia, and a disposable camera and photo scavenger hunt project. The next month you will receive a 32 page activity-packed state journal, stickers, postcards, and pop-out models. This is perfect for children between the ages of 7 -12. To order visit http://www.littlepassports.com/little-passports-usa-edition.

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Peaceable Kingdom:

We received this amazing Get Going America, Games to go for our honest option. There are 17 pages of write and wipe activities. Perfect to take with you on a road trip. We also received a fold-out map with reusable cling stickers which we have been really enjoying. Every time we receive a nature box we put the colorful state sticker on the map. To order visit http://www.peaceablekingdom.com

 

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Cloth Map:

We made this beautiful map which we still have proudly hanging in our homeschool room about two years ago.

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What you need:
foam board
glue gun
glue sticks
printed states
lots of different material
tape
marker

Perfect project to do when it is raining. My kids did this project in one day and I would recommend to do one state once a week. Since my older two knew most of the states already we did it all in one day. Use different color of materials and be creative. Not all of the states will be the size that they should be. California was way smaller than should have been.

How to do this project:

  1. go online to www.50states.com and print out each state or to http://www.enchantedlearning.com/usa/states/
  2. find a window or door and take the outline of the individual state and a piece of material and tape together to the window.
  3. with marker trace the state to the material
  4. cut out the state
  5. once all the states are cut out put on the foam board to make sure the fit together
  6. glue on the states

Have fun 🙂

 

 

 

 

4 Responses

  1. The map you made was so pretty. I don’t like history that much but they way you teach the lessons makes me want to learn all over again!

  2. Wow, so many great ideas here! We have a USA floor puzzle. It is great! We’re just starting first grade so our geography lessons will be growing in complexity, but having her put it together while we talk about the states we’ve visited or the capitol cities and main attractions for each state has been a great introduction to our nation.

  3. These are amazing lessons! Geography is a favorite subject in our homeschool. We are currently learning about each continent one at a time with songs to help us memorize states and country’s locations.

  4. All kinds of inspiring ideas in this post! I like your nature exchange package idea. I’m sure that would be tons of fun!

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