Welcome to the Eight For Each State US Geography tour. I am so glad you are joining us.
Heading back south from Indiana we tackled Mississippi with zeal and fervor. After all, the end of our study promised Mississippi mud pie!
Come along with us on our US Geography tour as we learn about steamboats, Vicksburg, dolphins, puppets and more. Mississippi sure was fun!
1. Mississippi Non Fiction Books
We have used several series of books during our state study. Each one offers us a different perspective.
- M is for Magnolia by Michael Shoulders – We are slowly acquiring theses State Alphabet Books by Sleeping Bear Press. I have found them to be so helpful and just plain enjoyable to read. They offer so many jumping off points to our US Geography study.
- Hello USA Mississippi by Anna Ready – This is the set of books I bought especially for our US Geography tour. Ruth loves them because they are so well organized for her notebooking pages. They have geography, history, people, maps, culture, a recipe, and famous people.
- Mississippi Facts and Symbols by Karen Bush Gibson – These books are perfect for Sarah Joan’s notebooking pages. With a page each for the state flag and seal, name and nickname, bird, flower, tree, and more, this set of books are the perfect resource for more information on state symbols.
- Mississippi: The Magnolia State by Blake Hoena – We found this set at the library. They are a fun addition and sometimes add fun facts we didn’t find anywhere else. They also have a recipe, which makes them very useful in my book.
Steamboats were a very important means of transportation for decades. They made cargo and passenger travel on the rivers much easier and quicker. We enjoyed learning about one of the first steamboats, steamboat races, and how to build our own steamboat!
What a wild ride this book was! We have only read the first three chapters, but it is a winner. This older out-of-print book tells the fascinating story of the first steamboat ride down the Ohio River to the Mississippi River. Then its journey back up again. Down the rivers was one thing, most people thought that such a contraption was dangerous but probably would make it down the river. But up? Against the current? Never!
Even though this is an out-of-print book, I highly recommend it. Amazon has several very inexpensive copies. It was an amazing living history for my girls and they loved every exciting twist of the first stories.
More Books About Steamboats
- Steamboats: The Story of Lakers, Ferries, and Majestic Paddle-Wheelers by Karl Zimmermann – A nice big picture book full of big beautiful pictures of steamboats.
- The Great Riverboat Race: The Story of the Natchez and the Robert E. Lee by Manly Wade Wellman – A good read for an older child interested in steamboats and the Mississippi.
- American Steamboat Stories by Edwin P. Hoyt – More individual stories that can be read all together or picked up here and there as interest leads.
- Pioneers On Early Waterways by Edith McCall – Much like Steamboats to the West, this living history book will be an interesting read for sure. The last chapter tells about the boat race between the Natchez and the Robert E. Lee. Just a few pages long, it would make a perfect read aloud addition to your Mississippi state study.
World for Learning has a lesson plan for Mark Twain and Riverboats. I chose to save Mark Twain for Missouri, but there are some great steamboat resources and links. And if you decide to pair Mark Twain with your Mississippi study, then be sure to hop on over!
Vicksburg National Military Park is our landmark for Mississippi. Vicksburg was the site of a significant Civil War Battle. We enjoyed reading a few good books about Vicksburg and learning a little bit about the Civil War.
- Lucy’s Cave: A Story of Vicksburg, 1863 by Karen B. Winnick – A wonderful picture book introduction to the battle at Vicksburg.
- The Vicksburg Veteran by F. N. Monjo – A picture book written in diary format from the point of view of Fred Grant, General Grant’s son. I absolutely love the pictures! Black and white pencil drawings never looked so good.
- Vicksburg: The Battle That Won The Civil War by Mary Ann Fraser – An informative, but short non-fiction book about this important Civil War battle.
4. Southern Hodgepodge American Landmark Chalk Pastels
We are really, really, really enjoying Southern Hodgepodge art tutorials. Remember the lighthouses? Well, Sarah Joan’s lighthouse is hanging proudly in our local art museum for Youth Art Month.
It is true, you too can be an artist!
This time we chose the Civil War Cannon. I love the way she tells you the order you should draw things. So you don’t end up trying to put a light color on top of a dark color because you didn’t think your drawing through. It is nice to have guidance so that even a beginner can end up with a project they can take pride in.
5. Bottle Nose Dolphins
The Bottle Nose Dolphin is the official state mammal of Mississippi. From what I hear, Marine Biology is a popular subject of choice among the young. And why not? It is fascinating to watch these creatures.
Laugh, giggle, and learn as you seek to learn more about the playful Bottle Nose Dolphin.
- Dolphins! by Sharon Bokoske – A good introductory reader.
- Dolphin Adventure and Dolphin Treasure by Wayne Glover – True story adventure books featuring dolphins.
- Dolphin Anatomy Pack from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom – Free downloads and game ideas.
- Dolphin Unit Study from Homeschool Share – A great list of fun activities, crafts and snacks.
- The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies – Located in Gulfport, Mississippi, be sure to put this on your list for your dolphin lover. You can take a public tour as well as encounter dolphins up close!
6. Jim Henson
When your children ask you who Kermit the frog is, chances are it might be a good idea to pause here and discover the creations of Jim Henson.
The girls and I liked this picture book about Jim Henson.
There are so many YouTube videos to watch about Jim Henson and his creations. Here are just a few.
- CBS This Morning: At Home With Jim Henson
- The Puppets Inside Jim Henson’s Creature Shop
- The World of Jim Henson
7. YouTube Videos for Mississippi
YouTube is a underused resource. I am usually not one for TV, but sometimes when a book is not available or more information is wanted, a short video does the trick. Here are a few for Mississippi.
8. Mississippi Mud Pie
We did not make Mississippi Mud Pie. It was not due to a fault with our favorite US Geography cookbook, The United States Cookbook by Joan D’Amico. No, one child was sick, life activities had crowded out school, and
we I was packing us for our trip to Virginia.
So, I picked up a Turtle Pie from the freezer section and called it Mississippi Mud Pie. It was tasty. I think my kids got the idea. Someday we will make the real thing.
Just a reminder to enjoy your US Geography study together. While getting into the kitchen with my girls has been a highlight of our study, I am not afraid to put it aside when life happens.
M Is For Magnolia: A Mississippi Alphabet Book (Discover America State by State)Mississippi (Hello U.S.A.)Mississippi Facts and Symbols (The States and Their Symbols)Mississippi: The Magnolia State (Exploring the States)Steamboats to the West (Frontiers of America)Steamboats: The Story of Lakers, Ferries, and Majestic Paddle-WheelersThe Great Riverboat Race: The Story of the Natchez and the Robert E. LeeLucy’s Cave: A Story of Vicksburg, 1863The Vicksburg VeteranVicksburg: The Battle That Won The Civil WarDolphins! (Step into Reading)Dolphin Adventure:: A True StoryDolphin Treasure (Harper Trophy Books (Paperback))Jim Henson: The Guy Who Played with PuppetsThe U.S. History Cookbook: Delicious Recipes and Exciting Events from the Past
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