ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: 50 State Study: Massachusetts

Monday, September 5, 2011

50 State Study: Massachusetts

Massachusetts is one of those states that you can always find at least one book on.  So much of the American Revolution centers on this state, and in particular Boston.  When our geography co-op learned about this state we spent almost a month on it, and even with that it was barely scratching the surface of the materials I'd collected.

Included in the lapbook:

Left hand page:
Troubles in Boston- from Time Travelers: American Revolution, you could probably do a similar activity using a map from the time period and making your own icons.  For a more detailed description of the activities go here (it also includes some you tube videos about Paul Revere's ride, and the "Shot Heard Round the World")

Massachusetts State Symbols- link goes to the download, I continue to be amused at the sheer number of states that have a ladybug as their state insect.

Right hand page:
Massachusetts picture- found at Musings of Me.
tea cup- talking about the Boston Tea Party.  To make it all you need to do is print a clip art of a tea cup and clue it onto a strip of paper, then cut around the tea cup.  We wrote what the people did and why they were angry.  An excellent resource for this is the TV show "Liberty Kids," they have an entire episode about this.  It is currently on Netflix streaming, and I highly recommend the show.
Make Way for Ducklings map (see left)-  After we read the book we traced the route the ducks took through Boston.  I detailed several other units I found for this book on my post about Make Way for Ducklings (including several full units for it).

Not part of the lapbook, but good activities:

Mayflower/Plymouth- We made milk carton Mayflowers and watched the Charlie Brown special about why the Pilgrims sailed in the Mayflower.  I've seen a couple of good ideas recently that I've put up on my pinterest board for Thanksgiving that would make great additions to this study.  If you have any good Mayflower posts this would be an excellent time to link up.

Kate Waters has a great series of books about the Pilgrims told from several sides and genders.  We didn't read them due to lack of time, but I do recommend them.

Sisters of Scituate Light- an excellent story about 2 sisters who are able to forestall an attack on Boston during the War of 1812 by tricking the British soldiers.  This also led into an impromptu lesson about lighthouses and the variety you can find in them.

Pennies for Elephants-  during the early 1900s the children of Boston were challenged to raise money to buy 3 elephants for the Boston zoo.  The Boston paper published daily reports of how the children did, and what they did to raise money.  The illustrations are excellent, and the story is very endearing and well told.

After reading the story the kids got together and wrote or drew on index cards what they would do to earn money.  They had to come up with an activity and name a price in keeping with the time the book was set in.  It was interesting to see the ideas they came up with.

Green Eggs and Ham- Dr. Seuss was challenged to write a book using only 50 words, and that is how Green Eggs and Ham came to be.  I created a quick Green Eggs and Ham printable of 10 of those words, and we graphed 20 pages worth.

I remember my 3rd grade class doing this when I student taught, and it was very challenging for them.

Boston Massacre woodcarving- They got to pretend to carve wood like Paul Revere did and discovered that wood carving, or in our case styrofoam carving is much more difficult than it appears.

And that finishes off the activities we did for Massachusetts, there are many more things we could have done, but I could tell the kids were starting to get antsy so we moved on.

Other activities or subjects to study
1.  "The Boston Coffee Party"- a somewhat fictionalized account of several ladies who rebelled at one man's refusing to sell coffee until the prices had gotten much higher.
2.  Salem Witch Trials- this will really depend on the age and maturity of your group.  I chose not to cover it because I knew my kids would not be up for it, but it could make a great lesson on the dangers of peer pressure and mob rule.
3.  Deborah Samson- state heroine, she fought in the Revolutionary War disguised as a man until she was wounded and thus discovered.
4.  herbal teas- after the blockade started Boston wasn't able to get tea, so the tried different herbal teas.  You could taste and see which ones you liked.
5.  Justin Morgan- Morgan horses were first bred in Massachusetts, Marguerite Henry has a wonderful story called "Justin Morgan Had a Horse," it's a great novel for any horse crazy 3rd grader.
6.  Revolutionary heroes from Massachusetts- Paul Revere, Sam Adams, John Adams
7.  The Battle of Lexington and Concord- Liberty Kids has a great episode about this and the confusion surrounding that battle.

Any suggestions of what else we could have covered?

1 comment:

  1. Great post Ticia! I just got back from visiting MA this week. They happen to have a fantastic children's hospital:) If I get a post together of all the great historical sites we visited I will be sure to link up!