Eight for Each State – Michigan

Welcome to the Eight For Each State US Geography tour. I am so glad you are joining us.

Michigan like so many of the northern most states is full of wonderful wildness. This is a point of pride for Michiganders. While I am continually surprised by each state, Michigan, is perhaps the first one that took my breath away with its beauty and diversity.

US Geography Michigan Feature

1. Books and Videos

  • Exploring the States Michigan by Amy Rechner – Our library carries the whole set of these state books. Ruth loves them. She can’t wait to look at each new one’s recipe, fun facts, and did you know sections. They work well for emerging or reluctant readers.
  •  Lake Michigan by Anne Ylvisaker – Even if you did take a look at the Great Lakes when we did Ohio, take some time and focus on Lake Michigan. I love the way this little book takes you on a tour of Lake Michigan. There is even a fun game in the back!
  • M is for Mitten by Annie Appleford – We no longer attempt any state study in our US Geography tour without one of these books. My children enjoy looking at them long after we have read them for our study.
  • Little Michigan by Denise Brennan-Nelson – A companion board book to M is for Mitten, Little Michigan is not just for your toddler. The fun riddles and lovely pictures will draw in your elementary travelers too.
  • US Embassy Vienna Michigan

2. Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison was one of Michigan’s most famous residents. Although his famous lab, now a national historic site, is in New Jersey, he grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. There was so much to learn about this amazing man, but perhaps our favorite thing to do was following in his footsteps as we created our own inventions with things lying about the house.

Here are a few resources to get you started.

US Geography Michigan Inventing

US Geography Michigan Invention

3. Henry Ford Museum

Henry Ford also hailed from Michigan. I thought it would be fun to read The Inventor’s Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford by Suzanne Slade. It was so new, I didn’t get it in time for this state study, but it looks so good!

4. Snowmobile Racing

Snowmobile Racing is quite the sport in Michigan. I had no idea. Watch some YouTube videos to get a feel for this snowy sport.

Snow Blast Snowmobile Drag Races East Jordan MI 2010

MXR Snowmobile Races!! Alpena County Fair Grounds!! 2014!! PT1

5. Legend of Michigan books

Who knew Michigan had so many legends? These will all make a great addition to your US Geography study of Michigan. After reading one, or all, try making up your own legend.

6. Blueberry slushy

Blueberry slushy has to be the easiest, tastiest, healthiest state food yet! We learned in our Main study, that blueberries are an important crop for that state, but Michigan produces even more blueberries than Maine! Enjoy this very tasty blueberry treat.

Blueberry Slushy

3 cups frozen blueberries

3 cups milk

3/4 cup sugar, or even a little less

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Freeze in ice cream maker until soft serve consistency. Store in a freezer container in the freezer. Serve when mixture is firm, about 2 hours.

US Geography Michigan Blueberries

7. Innovative Michigan Food

New Jersey may hold the most patents per capita, but Michiganders are also very innovative. Especially in one of my favorite areas, food.

American Landmarks Video Art Course

8. Wildlife and Landforms

Michigan has so many different landforms and wildlife. Spend some time making a list of all the landforms and wildlife you find in this state. Later, for a special project, make a salt map of Michigan. Add all the landforms you have learned about. Make models of the many different and amazing animals Michigan is home to, or use plastic models you may already have. This is a great project for presentations, geography fairs or just something to show grandma!

 Michigan: The Great Lakes State (Exploring the States) Lake Michigan (Land and Water: The Great Lakes) M Is For Mitten: A Michigan Alphabet (Discover America State by State) Little Michigan (Little State) Who Was Thomas Alva Edison? A Wizard from the Start: The Incredible Boyhood and Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison A Picture Book of Thomas Alva Edison (Picture Book Biographies) The Inventor’s Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford Henry Ford and the Model T W. K. Kellogg

8+. Great Lakes and Paddle to the Sea

Head on over to my Paddle to the Sea section from my Ohio US Geography post. If you didn’t get to it for Ohio, it is well worth doing for Michigan.

What crazy inventions did your kids come up with for Michigan?