My daughter created a portrait painting inspired by Grant Wood.
In the course of studying the American Plain States, we looked at artwork depicting the plains and studied the artist Grant Wood. The above painting from the book Can You Find It America? was by the artist Paul Sample.
One of Grant's most famous painting, American Gothic, shows a farming couple standing before a house. Since Grant Wood painted a portrait of people he was familiar with in the style of the Renaissance Artists, I asked my daughter to do the same thing.
Lesson 8: Heartland States
Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
With fields covered in grain, this is Little House Country. Small towns and farmland cover the center of the United States. For us, these are the states we drive through to reach skiing in the west, but I wanted my daughter to gain an appreciation for the heartland states; The Bread Basket of America.
We read the following books to learn about the Great Plains.
Lesson 9: Mountain States
Colorado, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming.
Wild horses, and ranching have long histories in these states which are also popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. Some of the nations best known national parks lie in these states including Yellowstone, Moab, and Glacier.
Learning about the mountain states we found three delightful books on cowboys. Jack Creek Cowboy gave a thorough picture of the life of a cowboy. It was quite a long picture book and good for children who are beginning to read chapter books to read on their own.
Tyler's New Boots tells the story of a boy going on a cattle drive. He doesn't want to get his new boots dirty.
A study of the mountain states wouldn't be complete without touching on Yellowstone National Park. The amazing land actually sits on top of a caldera volcano which is scary to think about. Here's an activity for kids to learn more about caldera volcanoes.- Yellowstone Caldera Volcano Activity
Project 1: We used canvas, acrylic paints and tape to make a geometric wall hanging.
Since moving into a home in November, we have been watching lots of HGTV. The show Design on a Dime has been really inspiring. In each episode, the designer completely transforms one room by doing projects such as painting walls, recovering furniture, painting furniture and adding wall art.
There are so many creative ways rooms are transformed at little cost. In one episode a piece of leather was attached to the top of a small table with lots of decorative tacks. The results were amazing. The creativity is impressive.
After watching several episodes, my 9 year old and I were itching to create some wall art.
We began by applying masking tape to a canvas. The canvas was completely covered to keep the spaces even.
Then every other piece of tape was removed as that is where we desired color.
Then we added more tape at a 90 degree angle to the first set of tape.
Finally we began painting every other rectangle red and brown.
Before the paint was dry, the tape was removed.
Then more tape was added over the red and brown to create canvas space for additional color.
A cream color was painted in the empty spaces.
Then all the tape was removed and the painting was finished.
Lesson 7: We read books about the mid-western states including; Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Missouri.
Settled by French fur traders, the mid-western states have a long history fur trading, fishing, shipping, and logging on the Great Lakes.
The book Paddle-to-the-Sea was an excellent spine books for this region as it was about a carved wooden canoe which floated with the current through each of the great lakes and to the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way, the canoe encountered ships, saw mills, animals and people each important in the Great Lakes region.
When we were finished with the book my daughter created a glitter map of the region.
First she hand drew an outline of the region on a white piece of cardboard.
Then she added the names of important cities and waterways including the major cities at each end of every great lake.
Next glitter glue was added covering each of the three different regions.
Finally permanent marker was used to outline the regions.
In addition to Paddle to the Sea the following books are fun to read with a mid-western state introduction.
The Relatives Came - Set in Appalachia, this book tells the story of a family summer vacation.
Lesson 6: We read books about the southeastern states including;
Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, South
The hot humid south, settled by the French and influenced by the Spanish still carries on a unique combination of traditions embedded into the culture. The following books are a good place to start learning about the southeastern states.