Eight For Each State – New Jersey

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

New Jersey is not a state I expected to find out much about. It is small, shadowed by New York City, and doesn’t come up in conversation too much. I once visited New Jersey and remember being quite confused at how one city ended and another began without missing a crosswalk. So, imagine my surprise to find out that New Jersey really has quite a bit of character!

US Geography New Jersey Eight for Each State

1. U.S. Embassy video for New Jersey

Start here! The U.S. Embassy in Vienna has created a group of videos staring people from each state. These are a supper introduction to each state on our U.S. Geography tour. You could tell that the lady from New Jersey had a great time with hers!

2. Hello U.S.A. New Jersey

I have to admit, having a full set of state books has been a good thing for our study. This set is our go to for information and maps of each state. Here is a newer set.

Do you have toddlers or preschoolers along for your U.S. Geography tour? These Good Night books look really cute! Good Night New Jersey


3. Monopoly

The properties in Monopoly were based originally on the streets and properties of Atlantic City, NJ. Catholic Missionary Family linked to a neat article showing the streets and giving a few unknown facts about the game.

US Geography New Jersey Monopoly
We borrowed Monopoly and gave it a go. I was unsure how it would work for a six- and seven-year-old, but they did OK, and even played again on their own.

Tip, keep very simple rules. I gave bare bones instructions and left out things like “free parking,” mortgaging properties, and doing too much exchanging to build houses and hotels. When Sarah Joan came to me and said that Ruth couldn’t pay her, I told her she had won! Which was true… under my simplified rules.

4. Heroes of the Surf by Elisa Carbone

I am a big fan of reading living books for every subject and U.S. Geography is no exception. While I am using informational books to help us see and learn about each state, we do not read them cover to cover. This is the first of three living books we read for New Jersey.

Two boys aboard the Pliny headed to New York City play pirates to pass the time. One night the ship runs aground off the cost of New Jersey and the surfmen of the United States Life-Saving Service come to their rescue. Everyone is saved and the boys find a more worthy group of men to imitate.

Eventually these “Surfmen” would become part of the United States Coast Guard. Here are two books about the U.S. Coast Guard today.

The U.S. Coast Guard by Matt Doeden and Coast Guard by Julia McDonnell

 5. The Legend of the Cape May Diamond

What a beautiful book! The girls LOVED everything about this book. The pictures, the story, the wonder. Ruth loved that it mentioned the Lenape tribes again. Sarah Joan was fascinated by the rocks it described.

Cape May Diamonds are pieces of quarts that have been broken off far up the Delaware river. Legend is, they traveled down the river to be eyes for the river and one day return to tell her where she ended and what her journey was like. Sadly, they could never return, but they washed up on shore where a little boy found them.

Because of how special these rocks were, they were never to be used as wampum(money). They were to be given as a sign of great friendship. They story goes on to tell of the largest and most significant of these stones.

 New Jersey (Hello U.S.A.) Good Night New Jersey (Good Night Our World) Monopoly Board Game Heroes of the Surf The U.S. Coast Guard (Military Branches) Coast Guard (Us Military Forces) The Legend of the Cape May Diamond (Myths, Legends, Fairy and Folktales) NSI Rock Tumbler Classic 2 Pounds Brazilian Tumbled Polished Natural Stones Assorted Mix – Medium Size – 1 Sand in My Shoes Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives

The Pleasantest Things has a great post on Cape May sensory bins for toddlers.

For older children, get a rock tumbler and tumble some Cape May Diamonds for yourself. Or simply find some very smooth stones and talk about how they had to be polished. This is a great opportunity to get a little science in and talk about weathering of rocks.

USA State Study Notebooking Pages

6. The United States Cookbook

For our New Jersey food we did use the cook book. I read the girls the fun facts on the New Jersey page, but we let someone else prepare the recipe. Oh’ how excited they were as we went off to our local grocery store to get our submarine sandwich. I had them prepare it just like the book with the strange Italian ham, onions and all!

Then we picked up some pickles, chips and cranberry juice. Ruth thought of the cranberry juice because New Jersey is known for its cranberry production.

US Geography New Jersey Subs

They LOVED this lunch! It was very special, and I didn’t have to mess up the kitchen. So, don’t be afraid to take a short cut every once and awhile on your U.S. Geography tour as well!

7. Sand in my Shoes and other New Jersey Living Books

Sand in my Shoes by Wendy Kesselman – A wonderful book about the New Jersey shore. A girl says goodbye after a lovely summer and returns to the city for school.

Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team by Audrey Vernick –  for your baseball lover or anyone for that matter! A team full of brothers who grew up in Long Branch, NJ. Here also is a study/question guide for the book.

Timeless Thomas by Gene Barretta – A great Thomas Edison book.

8. More You Tube links for New Jersey

You Tube Video of Cape May

You Tube Video of the Sunken Ship off of Cape May

New Jersey turned out to be a very fun adventure. What are your favorite living books from New Jersey?