This is part 7 of a 9 part hands on unit study on the 50 States. Construct sugar cube igloos, host a luau complete with grass skirts and hula dancing, carve soap scrimshaw, dramatize the Iditarod, sample regional foods, and more! My lessons are geared toward 4th 5th grade level children and their siblings. Another creative mom planned this lesson to do with our weekly homeschool co op. We meet each week for 2 1/2 hours and have 33 children between the ages of 1 13. Use these fun lessons with your class, family, or homeschool co op group!2. Briefly discuss what comes to mind when you think of Alaska and Hawaii. Quickly introduce those two states by showing the US map from "It's a Big, Big World Atlas" and asking the children what they see.
It's a Big Big WorldThis is my absolute favorite atlas to use. It's quite sturdy (board book thickness) and large (about 1 1/2 x 2 feet) which makes it great for using with large groups. It also includes what is found in each of the various regions. It includes a world map, each Oakley Sunglasses Sale of the continents, and then a map of the US. I have used this for numerous unit studies (Africa, Native Americans, Explorers, etc.). My children also love flipping through it just for fun. I am so glad that I bought this! I have used it over and over again.
ii. Have children make a sugar cube igloo. (We had the children work in pairs with their sibling.) You can watch the below YouTube video to get an idea of how to make it. Have the children turn their plates upside down and write their names on the plates. If desired, draw a circle on the plate to give an idea of where to put the cubes. Spread the icing to make a circle of icing on the plate. Lay the sugar cubes in a circle on top of the icing, leaving space for the entrance. Spread icing over that layer of sugar cubes, and stack subsequent rows of sugar cubes to the igloo, always applying icing between the layers. Decrease the layers and push they slightly inward as you go up. they are not simply cubes). To build the entrance, line up 2 4 sugar cubes on one side of the opening and 2 4 sugar cubes on the other side. If Oakley Sunglasses Wholesale desired, sprinkle powdered sugar over the igloo to make it look like snow. Cover the icing after children are finished using it or else it will dry out.
iii. Read some of This Place Is Cold by Vicki Cobb.
YOU WILL NEED: 1 paper plate (per child), 1 box of sugar cubes (per 5 children), white icing (made from confectioner's sugar and water), and a disposable knives or Popsicle sticks (per child)
This Place Is Cold: An Imagine Living Here bookThis gives a great overview of the many aspects that that make the state of Alaska unique. I skipped over the various places where the book mentions evolutionary theories and such, but this was overall a great book. It is longer than many picture books.
iii. Alaskan sampler plates. Have children each get a prepared plate that already has a sample size amount of all of the below items on it. Remind the children to not eat yet. Eat the items at the same time so you can talk about each one. We served the children canned salmon, canned cranberry sauce (or use fresh if they're available), blueberry cobbler, and sourdough biscuits.
YOU WILL NEED: props for Balto dramatization (can include: wagons, 2 ropes, winter jackets, hats, gloves, canned food, tools such as a hammer and small shovel, blankets, snow goggles/sunglasses, a small box to be used for the medicine), plates, forks, canned salmon, canned cranberry sauce (or use fresh cranberries if they're available), blueberry cobbler, and sourdough biscuits.
The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto (Step Into Reading)Before reading about the Iditarod, you need to read about how it all started a sled race against time to deliver medicine to cut off a diphtheria epidemic in Nome. All of my children (ages 2, 4, 6, 9) enjoyed this version about Balto. It is an easy reader book so there is just the right amount of text for everyone to enjoy. The illustrations are delightful as well!3c. Briefly discuss scrimshaw and show pictures of it. (You can see how it is made in the YouTube video below.) Have children make scrimshaw out of Ivory Soap. Have children select a picture they would like to carve into the soap. They should hold the picture above the soap and then use the bamboo skewer to poke holes through the paper along the lines of the picture. They can then remove the picture and use the bamboo stick to connect the dots. Deeper grooves are better at holding ink, so have the children run over the picture a few times with the bamboo stick. (Younger children may want to skip the part about actually poking a design into the soap and simply do random scribbling. That's okay.) Use the paintbrush to paint black paint into the grooves. Let the paint dry for a few minutes. Use a little bit of water and a paper towel to wipe off excess black paint.
YOU WILL NEED: newspapers, picture options (we used small magazine pictures that weren't too intricate), paper cut out to be the same size as a bar of soap, 1 bar of ivory soap (per child), 12 small paint brushes, 12 plastic knives, 12 bamboo/shish kabob skewers, paper towels, water based black paintIngredients1/4 c. bacon drippings1/4 lb salt pork diced12 small onions2 lb. cubed beef chuck roast3 c. water2 beef bouillon cubes2 tsp. paprika3/4 tsp. salt1/8 tsp. pepper3 diced medium potatoes3 medium diced tomatoes3 medium sliced carrots1 small head of cabbage1/8 cup of flour mixed with 1/2 cup of water
InstructionsPut 2 Tbsp. of the bacon dripping into a large saucepan and brown the salt pork and onions. Remove them from the pan and then add in the remaining drippings and brown the chuck roast on all sides. Stir in the salt pork, onions, water, bouillon cubes, paprika, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add the potatoes, tomatoes carrots and simmer for 30 more minutes. If desired, remove the tomato skins from the stew. Cut the cabbage into 6 wedges and lay them on top of the stew. Simmer it for 20 more minutes. Remove the cabbage and cut it into into smaller pieces. Stir the flour/water paste into the stew. Serve stew topped with cabbage.
Hawaiian Cooler1/3 cup sweetened cream of coconut2 cups cubed pineapple1 tablespoon lemon juice1 cup ice cubes or crushed iceshredded coconut (optional)cocktail umbrellas (optional)
InstructionsBlend cream of coconut, pineapple, lemon juice, ice for 15 seconds on high speed. Stir and then blend for another 15 seconds more on high speed. Pour the mixture into cups. Add a cocktail umbrella to each drink and sprinkle with shredded coconut if desired.
A is for Aloha: A Hawai'i AlphabetThis is my favorite book on Hawaii. Each page has a simple rhyme concerning the word starts with that letter and then includes a bit more about that particular regional animal, location, etc. It provides a wonderful overview of what makes Hawaii unique. Both modern and historical aspects of the state are includes. Plus, the illustrations are beautiful! If you're short on time, just read the overview sentences on each page. If you have extra time, you can read the details that are included as well.
Grass Skirts Hula Dancing
4b. i. Have children make "grass skirts" by cutting about 1/2 an inch off the bottom of a kitchen size drawstring trash bag. Then cut upwards toward the top so that you have strips all around the trash bag. (See below for a picture.) They can then step into the top of the bag and cinch it and tie it to hold it on.
ii. Briefly discuss hula dancing. Read some of The Story of Hula by Carla Golembe.
iii. Have children attempt to hula dance to hula music.
YOU WILL NEED: 1 kitchen size drawstring trash bag (per child) hula dancing music
The Story of HulaThis is a nice picture book that explains some of the history related to hula dancing.4c. i. Briefly discuss the 3 main types of volcanoes, their parts, and their relationship with the Hawaiian islands.