August 16, 2011

The 50 State Project

This homeschool year, my family will be studying U.S. History.  My girls have had introductions to our nation’s history through books such as the American Girl series and by just showing interest in subjects such as the invention of the airplane among others.  Through these interests we explored, of course, the Wright Brothers followed by Amelia Earhart.  Now that was cool!  My girls thought it was the neatest thing.  A woman… flying… as the pilot! 

But this year, in order to really provoke interest in not only the history part but geography as well, I thought it would be fun to start out with a project.  The summer began with no ideas in mind but around the end of June it hit me.  I presented it to the kids and they thought it was brilliant.  {Because Moms are always brilliant, right?}

We were going to collect postcards… one from every state! 
postcard1
I don’t know about you but we don’t travel much.  And we only know a handful of people out of state.  So, I sought the help of my friends on facebook!  Surely my ‘friends’ know people from all over the country that could help us out.  My only request was that people write an interesting fact or two about the state.  

As it turns out, I was right!  My friends have friends, who have friends, who have relatives {or something like that} from all over the United States.  And soon enough, the postcards started trickling in. 

It’s been so much fun for the girls to check the mail every day to see if there’s a new postcard.  And where is it from?  What will we learn about this state?  Our favorite so far has been one from Alaska in which we learned that because it’s light 24 hours a day in the summer, they have plants that grow really really big!  The sender of said postcard mentioned the fact that his neighbor has a cabbage plant the size of VW Beetle. 

Crazy!

The postcards were coming quite consistently at first and now they’ve slowed to just a drizzle but we’re not giving up.  Some that were promised have not arrived {just a friendly reminder should do it..} and we’ve received several postcards from a handful of states.
postcard2  
Altogether, we’ve got 34 postcards from 12 different states, including Washington DC.  Oh, and one from Canada as well.  Not exactly U.S. but still fun to get in the mail.
We can’t wait to fill up our map with stickers to represent the arrival of a postcard.  How quickly do you think you could fill up the map? 

Brooke is a busy mom of 3 beautiful girls and 2 rambunctious boys.  When she’s not playing referee for her kids, she enjoys reading, cooking, scrapbooking, and blogging.  She enjoys the freedom that homeschooling allows for her family and loves watching her kids learn through creative play.  You can learn more about her family and what she’s up to on her blog… Babblin’ Brooke

15 comments - Add a comment below -:

Sue Smith said...

What a great idea! Hope you are able to fill your map with stickers!

Dana ♥ said...

Post cards are so fun! We collected them from a homeschool group list. It's so fun to see all the different places and know that that post card came from that place! Awesome map!

JRoberts said...

We did ours around the world, and what a fun project that was. We got postcards from places we had never heard of before and had to look up!

We live in Canada, so our country would only need a few to accomplish! :)

Good luck with filling your map.

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

We participated in a postcard swap two years ago. It was so much fun! We received one postcard a week from a different state. And we did get them all! It was always a fun surprise for the kids when checking the mail.

scrapmom4 said...

I saw a US map done with fabric scraps at this blog:

http://seekatesew.blogspot.com/2011/04/scrap-map-tutorial.html

It might be a fun project for little hands to help with.

Jen said...

we are doing a similiar project, I have lots of ideas for learning about the states and some state picture cards I made at my blog....under the Hawaii unit study :D

The Osborne's said...

That is such a fun idea! We live in Kentucky but are moving to back to Utah this weekend and will be going through IN, IL, MO, KS, OK, and CO, if you need any from these states I'd be happy to send them, just give me an address to mail them to... cariandanthony at gmail dot com

Sherral said...

Fun idea! Thanks for the post!

Brooke said...

Wow! It sounds like so many of you have already done this or something very similar. Where was I? It's been really fun for us. And Cari (I assume that's your name going by the email address), I will email you and let you know which of those states I need.

Thank you so much!

Mike and Wendy said...

Love this idea! We're planning to study the states this year and this will be the perfect addition.
Two things you might be interested in - 1) a show called Liberty's Kids which takes 3 fictional kids and places them in the events of the American Revolution. We get it on NetFlix. I'm not sure how you'd get it w/o NetFlix. The other thing is postcrossing.com You send and get postcards to people from around the world. I used it last year to teach my kids about other countries - very similar to what you're doing.

Me said...

I was going to add that if you needed Texas still let me know swainsrus **AT** gmail ...DOT... COM

Suzanne C Hansen said...

Looks like your dot is missing for NV. If you still need one send me the address to send it to Hansen.suz@gmail.com

Sara said...

If you still need Ohio...I'm sure my 5 year old would love to mail one! robisonDOTsaraATgmailDOTcom

Sara said...

If you still need one from Ohio (or Kentucky as we'll be there next week)...please let me know! My 5 year old LOVES to send postcards.
robison DOT sara AT gmail DOT com

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Great idea! I love how you used facebook to help get the cards. My kids would love doing this.