Welcome to the Eight For Each State US Geography tour. I am so glad you are joining us.
Rhode Island, the smallest state in our country with the shortest motto to match, “Hope.” While small in size, Rhode island is not small in character. Ocean shorelines, mansions, inventions, and lighthouses are just a few of the things we had fun learning more about.
Rhode Island is another one of those states where my girls took over the study in some parts. This has become my favorite part of our US Geography tour. I love watching them get excited about a topic and seeking to learn more about it themselves! Check out our costume jewelry below. It was all their idea!
I have to tell you, I have begun purchasing the rest of this book series. If you are doing a US Geography tour, these are the best books. Enjoy both the rhymes and the extra information on the side. Flip to the back for fun trivia questions, and check out the free teacher’s guides.
2. Costume Jewelry
In R is for Rhode Island Red, the girls learned that costume jewelry was invented in Rhode Island. Cheaper metals were plated with the more expensive gold or silver to give a shiny look, but a lighter and lower price. Now more people could look their best!
The girls were so inspired that they immediately asked if they could make some. At first I thought that we could use foil to “plate” some beads, but that didn’t work very well. In the end we used the leftover clay from our Edgefield Pottery to make beads. We “plated” them with this fun metallic paint. To finish up we strung our beautiful new beads on Stretch Magic.
3. Famous People
Rhode Island has many famous people to study. Here are a few we learned about.
- Samuel Slater – The father of the American Industrial Revolution
- Roger Williams – Started the settlement of Providence
- Black Beard and Captin Kidd – Pirates
- Ida Lewis – Lighthouse keeper and hero.
We loved the story of Ida Lewis and her lighthouse so we decided to make lighthouses of our own! I found several pictures online, but finding materials was a bit difficult. I have simplified the project for you here.
- Plain red paper party cup, the kind you find at the dollar store
- Clear plastic cup
- White washi tape or wide Christmas ribbon
- Black washi tape or black construction paper
- White paper or card stock
- Double sided tape
- Electric tea light
- Use tape or Christmas ribbon to decorate the red paper cup with strips.
- Use tape or construction paper to make windows and a door.
- If your plastic cup does not fit on top of the red paper cup, cut up the side of the plastic cup, then around the bottom. You should end up with a plastic strip that wants to curl. Place this strip just inside the edge of the bottom of the paper cup. Tape the sides of the plastic strip together with double sided tape.
- Turn tea light on. Place in lighthouse.
- Cut a circle out of the white paper or card stock and place on top of the plastic strip with double sided tape.
Now you have your very own light house nightlight or table decoration. The girls loved turning their lighthouses on at night so those who walked through the house at night would have a guide.
Awhile ago, Tricia over at Hodgepodge sent us American Landmarks, Chalk Pastel Art for All Ages. I have to admit that although I printed it out, I let it sit for many weeks. We had all the supplies but I thought it might be hard, or messy.
Enter one cold, dreary afternoon. We needed some fun, and a spontaneous art lesson was just the ticket. I don’t know about my girls, but I had a BLAST! Who knew chalk pastels could be so forgiving, or relaxing. We had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
And, I think that our lighthouses turned out pretty good too.
5. Johnny Cakes
Oh’ my what a mess! What a fun, glorious messy breakfast mess!
This recipe was the first I set the girls completely loose! They read the directions, and after I got the griddle down from the top shelf, they were on their own.
Johnny Cakes were standard fare for colonial times. They could be a good food to make for any of the original thirteen colonies if you needed to substitute a recipe.
Rhode Island a Blast Off Reader featured these small corn pancakes.
Hasbro toys began in Providence as a company that sold textile remnants. Later, they sold school supplies. Finally in the 1940’s toys were introduced.
R is for Rhode Island Red: A Rhode Island Alphabet (Discover America State by State)FolkArt Metallic Acrylic Paint in Assorted Colors (2 oz), 667, Gunmetal GrayPepperell 1mm Stretch Magic Bead and Jewelry Cord, 5m, Black
My girls nearly leaped into my lap to point at their favorite toy as we read about Hasbro in R is for Rhode Island Red. My Little Pony, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Monopoly, and practically every other board game you remember from your childhood, are just a few of the toys and games Hasbro now creates and sells.
Check out this fun interview of a couple of Transformer Designers. I think their job is pretty cool.
7. State Songs
At the beginning of our US Geography tour I really wanted to do something special with the state songs. Play them at least, sing them if we could. If you are interested in adding some music to your study, here are a few great resources.
Rhode Island State Song on Youtube
- Most of the state songs can be found on YouTube. Simply search Name of State + song and what you need should come up.
- State Songs Albums – These sound great if you would like to have them on hand for the car.
- Hello USA series – Besides all the great information and fun facts, these books also include the state song with music in the back.
8. Record your US Geography Tour
We have been enjoying our Eight For Each State so much that our list of places to visit continues to grow! Pam, designer extraordinaire, has created this fabulous printable for us, and you, to keep all your “places to visit” in one spot!
Have you been to Rhode Island?
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