Eight for Each State – Minnesota

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

Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, is a beautiful state to study. The state is peppered with lakes, many of them never even named. We enjoyed taking a look at it from afar.

US Geography Minnesota Feature

Minnesota was settled by a large population of Scandinavians and northern Europeans. We took advantage of Kirsten, an American Girl, resources found at our library for some extra projects to highlight the culture of Minnesota.

1. V is for Viking by Kathy-jo Wargin

If you have been traveling with us on our US Geography study for, you know that these books are indispensable. I have tried to do states without them; my stubborn children rebelled. V is for Viking is just another great state book, right in line with all of the other Discover America State by State books by Sleeping Bear Press. Be sure to check out their free teacher’s guides for each book!

Other books for Minnesota:


2. Videos

A video is a great way to start get the juices flowing for the notebooking pages part of our US Geography study.

Minnesota – US Embassy Vienna

Minnesota – The States – The History Channel

3. Meet Kirsten, An American Girl by Janet Shaw

Kirsten was a must add for our Minnesota study. Was I really going to read that book out loud? Yes, yes I was. Cheers and accolades of great volume besieged my ears. For a moment at least, I was mother of the year.

Kirsten’s Cookbook: A Peek at Dining in the Past with Meals You Can Cook Today and Kirsten’s Craft Book by Valerie Tripp are great resources for talking about and experiencing Swedish immigrant life in Minnesota.

Ruth decided it would be fun to try out the braided rug. One cut up old sheet later, we are well on our way to a snazzy braided rug!

US Geography Minnesota Braided Rug

4. Dala Horse

Dala Horses are popular in Sweeden. They symbolize the importance of the horse in everyday life. I found a very nice felt Dala Horse at Lova Revolutionary that inspired the girls to create their own designs.

US Geography Minnesota Making Horses

I used this template from Instructables to get us started. I cut out the horse pieces and allowed the girls to cut out the accessories. We used embroidery thread to add different colors to the horse. The finished products amazed me. A beautiful keepsake of our study of Minnesota.

US Geography Minnesota Horses

5. Wild Rice Soup

I was very surprised when the girls chose wild rice soup over any of the other treats we could have made for Minnesota. However, it was a hit! Any recipe will do, but we used the recipe in the back of Minnesota: The North Star State by Amy Rechner. It was SO GOOD! My husband even commented on how unusually tasty it was.

US Geography Minnesota Soup

6. Gopher State and Political Cartoons

Minnesota’s nickname came from the a political cartoon. This is not the only time political cartoons have shaped our culture and views.

Have some fun looking at and talking about political cartoons.

The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists – Free lesson plans on many political cartoons on a variety of subjects.

USA State Study Notebooking Pages

7. Minnesota State Dinner from A Common Shepherdess

A Common Shepherdess has entire meals for many of the states. Head on over for some tasty state meal ideas if you need an alternative meal.

8. Paul Bunyan and 10,000 Lakes

Legend has it that it was Paul Bunyan and his great blue ox Babe who created the 10,000 Lakes of Minnesota. American Tale Tales are a must for a US Geography study. Many of our great geographical features have been explained in Tale Tales.

Paul Bunyan resources:

 V is for Viking: A Minnesota Alphabet (Discover America State by State) Minnesota: The North Star State (Exploring the States) Minnesota (Hello U.S.A.) Weird Minnesota: Your Travel Guide to Minnesota’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets Meet Kirsten (American Girl: Kirsten, 1854) Kirsten’s Cookbook: A Peek at Dining in the Past with Meals You Can Cook Today (American Girls Pastimes) Kirsten’s Craft Book (American Girls Pastimes) Paul Bunyan (Reading rainbow book) The Bunyans Disney’s American Legends

What is the most interesting thing you have found about Minnesota?