Welcome to Alabama! Musings of Me and I are doing a trek across the US -- state by state.
Below are some hands-on activities for Pre-K to 1st grade about Alabama. Since I am writing this on Wednesday, we haven't quite finished our study of Alabama yet, so some of these activities have been created, but we haven't gotten to them yet. We will finish our studies of Alabama on Monday with a MLK Day lesson (a post about this on Monday).
Our sensory bin will slightly change weekly, accumulating items for each state we study until 4 states have been covered, and then the bin will change. This way, by the 4th week, the child can sort the items according to what state each item in the sensory bin belongs to.
In the Alabama sensory bin: (Since the Space and Rocket Center is in Alabama, many items are similar to Counting Coconuts space bin)
- black beans
- marbles to represent planets and a globe from the top of a toob
- pecans -- the State Nut
- small white pompoms (cotton)
- long pine needle and pinecones to represent the State Tree -- Longleaf pine
- the letters AL to represent the abbreviation for Alabama
- yellow feathers to represent the State Bird (not in our bin!)
- US quarter with Alabama on the back
- cutout of Alabama
Space related items:
We had a day with LOTS of space related items out, but I did not take any pictures of it. OOPS!
Alabama native Helen Keller:
One of the first things that we did was to see what it would be like to be blind. I know that Helen Keller was both blind and deaf, but simulating deafness is a little difficult to do in our household! So, I just went with the blind part.... (WARNING! This activity would have probably worked better IF I would have given him more warning about what it would be like to be blind. He was NOT happy about doing this!)
To simulate being blind, Aikman attempted to eat blindfolded, walk around the house, and attempt to get undressed --with the potential of getting dressed as an activity too, but that just DID not work out for us. As I say in the last paragraph, he was NOT happy about not being able to see, and was near the point of throwing a FIT if I didn't take the fleece earmuffs off his eyes. Oh well.... maybe next time this will be a fun activity! We did talk about how hard tasks can be if we cannot see, but by this point, he was DONE.
We're also planning a visit to the library tomorrow to look/touch a Braille book. If you'd like a free Braille alphabet card, please go here to sign up to get one in the mail.
Pecan sorting activity:
Sort the pecans from the non-pecan nuts, using tongs. Or, with the basket shown below, it can also be sorted according to the type of nut.
Cotton is one of the cash crops for this southern state. I thought about saying something about the cotton gin, but instead I decided to make an activity out of the old-school method of removing the seeds from cotton bolls -- by "carding cotton".
For this activity, place cottonballs between 2 dog brushes and rub back and forth. Sorry, I don't have a picture of this yet.... I forgot to buy the brushes! (If you live in a part of the country that doesn't have cotton, I've actually bought "educational grade" cotton bolls at a great price from The Cotton Man.)
Pinpush Alabama: (I'm hoping to get permission from a couple of people to provide you with a printable of this! I'll let you know when I hear something.... until then, you can find this image here.)
Print page from here (reduced to 2-in-1 when printed). Then we found an Alabama quarter and rubbed a colored pencil across the top of the paper. Make sure you hold the quarter carefully, or it won't work very well.
Major cities in Alabama:
Print map from here. Then add stars on the major cities (dots for each location are already on the map). Eventually, I'll be adding in a "map review" time, where we will try to find the name of the city on a more detailed map, and possibly then write that name on this sheet... but this is a thought for the future.
Alabama See, Trace, and Make:
(printable can be found here at Musings of Me)
State Bird -- the Yellowhammer: (printables can be found in today's post at Musings of Me)
(Above: counting out ants that the yellowhammer is about to eat.... that is, until the ants "attack" the poor yellowhammer --aaaaaahhhhh!)
We will finish with Alabama on Monday with a short lesson on Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights on MLK Day (We'll be adding a picture of MLK to the sensory bin at that point.), and hopefully, I'll have some more pictures for you then!