Geography Quest: Pacific United States

All aboard the HSM Express! Join us as we take a quick tour of the United States. Expect to learn a little geography, history, social studies, and more. Definitely plan on having tons of fun. 

……

Summer_GeographyHere we are again! The beginning of another beautiful summer and that means… summer school fun! As always, we are starting off our week with an exciting geography adventure. Unlike previous years, however, we will not be studying counties around the world, but will be learning about our own back yard, the United States.

Our first stop, the Pacific United States: Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, and Hawaii.

The first activity on our long list, is to print out handy-dandy coloring pages for each state. While the kiddos spend a few minutes coloring their pictures, we discuss some of the major topographic features in each state. You can find coloring pages for all fifty states HERE:

Crayola - California

Compliments of Crayola.com

Now that we have learned a little about what each state looks like, let’s take a few minutes to discover a tad more. (Please note: This is meant to be short, sweet, and as fun as possible; not long and arduous. Choose which areas to cover with care, noting which events can be accompanied by activities.)

Washington
Fifty-Four Forty or Fight
Mt. St. Helen’s / Volcanoes

Oregon
Shakespearian Festivals
Willamette Valley / Fruit Growing
Mt. Hood/Crater Lake (more volcanoes)

California
Mexican Dominion
Gold Rush
Grapes/Wine

Alaska
Dog Mushing
Designing the Flag

Hawaii
Volcanoes
Underwater Mountains
Pearl Harbor
Hawaiian Alphabet

As all of these states contain volcanoes, let’s review the Ring of Fire and discuss major volcanoes in each state, as well as the fact that Hawaii is actually an underwater mountain range.

Fruit growing and making wine are second nature to my kiddos (my father-in-law does both), visiting their house on Saturdays can be quite educational. We help grow trees, nourish them, pick the fruit, and stomp grapes.

For activities, build a mini-volcano. (While we’ve done this several times in the past, who doesn’t like a good, exploding volcano?) Reenact Shakespearian Festivals, acting out some of your favorite scenes from various plays. Bring out a wagon and attempt to teach your dog to ‘mush’. Watch a YouTube video of Hawaiian dancing, paying close attention to the steps; then, dance!

Need a mid-morning snack? Let’s have some sourdough bread! (This is a wonderful lesson, in-and-of itself. The history of this tasty snack, as well as the science of making the dough is remarkable.) If we want to take this a step further, we can make our own sourdough starter! (Be forewarned: The starter takes several days to make and needs to be ‘fed’ often.)

A good snack should always be accompanied by a good read. Don’t you agree? We could start Seabird by Holling C. Holling; a classic book.

Don’t forget to stamp your ‘passports’ with the states we’ve visited. We’re definitely going to want to remember our adventures.

Wow! We’ve learned so much about the Pacific United States! I can hardly wait to see what we learn this next week.

Time to Chime In: Which is your favorite Shakespearian play?

Help us Out: For added fun, we are trying to collect a postcard from each of the fifty states! If you, or someone you know, lives in one of these five states; would you consider mailing us a quick postcard? Email us for the address and, as an added bonus, we’ll mail one back to you!

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One thought on “Geography Quest: Pacific United States

  1. Pingback: Geography Quest: Western United States | A Homeschool Mom

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