Eight for Each State – Nebraska

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

Nebraska is a corn growing, prairie state towards the center of the United States. At first glance, it doesn’t seem very exciting. But one thing we have learned on our US Geography study is that each state has a personality and excitment all its own.

US Geography Nebraska Feature

For Nebraska, we explored the wide world of corn, made the tastiest sod houses ever, and watched some videos about the life in a state that looks very different from our own. We would love to hear from those in Nebraska; tell us what you love about your state!

1. C is for Cornhusker, A Nebraska Alphabet by Rajean Luebs Shepard

If you have been following our US Geography study, you know that we almost always begin with one of these books. They are perfect to read to the entire family at Morning Time with their exceptional illustrations and interesting facts. If you have enjoyed the alphabet books in the Discover America State by State series and are up for a change, try Husker Numbers: A Nebraska Number Book also by Rajean Luebs Shepherd.

Other books we use for our US Geography study are:

USA State Study Notebooking Pages

2. Nebraska Videos

The girls always enjoy seeing the state they are studding. YouTube is a great resource for videos showing the landscape of unfamiliar states. Here are a couple we enjoyed.

Nebraska From Above – Best Highlights Montage (HD)

Nebraska Agriculture

3. The Huckabuck Family: and How They Raised Popcorn in Nebraska and Quit and Came Back  by Carl Sandburg

Ruth read this charming story out loud, and everyone enjoyed its crazy turn of events. With pictures added to one of Carl Sandburg’s famous Rootabaga Stories this family adventure comes to life.

Nebraska is well known for growing corn which is reflected in its nickname, The Cornhusker State. Enjoy these other corn resources.

4. Popcorn Balls

To celebrate popcorn even more, we made popcorn balls. I searched and searched for a healthy recipe, but finally gave up and went with the old fashioned popcorn ball recipe. It was so good. Like I had to try really hard to be a good mom and not eat them all before the kids came in from playtime.

US Geography Nebraska Popcorn Balls

5. Union Pacific Railroad

Omaha, Nebraska is the home of the Union Pacific Railroad. The Bailey Yard is the largest railroad yard in the world and is located in North Platte, Nebraska. Anything railroad related is always a hoot, or a toot if you are an engine, so take some time to explore real railroads and yards.

Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard

6. Projects about Westward Expansion by Marian Broida

I like this series of books from our local library. They have plenty of fun projects that my girls can do mostly on their own. Next to each activity there is a page of text written as if you were pretending you lived during the time of Westward Expansion.

 

7. Brownie Sod Houses

Early settlers to Nebraska built their houses out of what was available. Sod was very plentiful, so houses and stables were built out of dirt and grass. After learning that some of my husband’s family lived in a sod house, sod houses have fascinated the girls.

US Geography Nebraska Cabin Building

Instead of building a model house out of sod or mud, we took a suggestion from the above book Projects about Westward Expansion by Marian Broida, and used brownie bricks instead. YUM!

US Geography Nebraska Cabin

8. Febold Feboldson

Perhaps one of the wildest American Folk Tales I have never heard is Febold Feboldson. Paul Bunyan apparently tried to make a southern border for Nebraska, but it turned out too crooked. So, Febold Feboldson took up the task and became Nebraska’s own folk hero. But that’s not the only tale out there. Explore below for more.

 C is for Cornhusker: A Nebraska Alphabet (Discover America State by State) Nebraska (Hello U.S.A.) Nebraska: The Cornhusker State (Exploring the States) Nebraska Facts and Symbols (The States and Their Symbols) The Huckabuck Family: and How They Raised Popcorn in Nebraska and Quit and Came Back Corn The Life and Times of Corn Projects about Westward Expansion (Hands-On History)

Where has your US Geography study taken you lately?

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  • Sarah M says:

    Hey hey! Here’s my home state! 🙂

    You did a lot of great and fun projects, and read some good books. If you’re interested in a little more, and perhaps have a sports fan, it’d be worth it to read up on the Huskers football team. It’s the college-town, Lincoln’s, (my hometown) biggest claim to fame, I’d say. They’re actually quite good and not only have won big championships, but share with the men’s basketball team, and the women’s volleyball team. All three are exceptionally well known around the country.

    Another interesting fact about Lincoln is you can get a free tour of the capitol (you can’t miss it, it’s the tallest building in the city) and it’s the only state with a Unicameral as part of their government. You can read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebraska_Legislature

    If politics or sports are not your thing, the ONE thing you HAVE to do when you come go to Nebraska (or at least, the eastern side of the state) is go to the Omaha zoo. Everyone says their zoo is the best, but the Omaha zoo is internationally recognized and always flip-flops with the San Diego zoo (probably the most well known) every other year as the BEST zoo in the entire USA! It’s huge and completely worth the money, but take your own food since cafeteria food is often expensive and miniscule portioned. Who would have guessed the best (or second best, depending on the year) 😉 was located in a sparsely populated Midwestern state? They’ve even proposed a larger-scale renovation (they recently bought the major league baseball stadium right next door) to make it even bigger and better, giving the animals housed in the zoo proper areas more like their habitat and room to roam and run. I can’t wait to see it when it’s finished!

    Another big thing that snags tourists and nature-lovers alike is the annual SandHill Crane migration stop over. There are literally millions (80% of the world’s sandhill crane population) stop over in the same area to rest, feed, and mate. It’s incredible! See more here: http://www.nebraskaflyway.com/

    Nebraska City, NE (about an hour outside of capitol-city, Lincoln) is the home of Arbor Day. There is an excellent ‘natural’ kids play center, a walking tour of the woods, a factory peek where each person gets a free tree to take home and plant, and an amazing “AppleJack” festival during the first week of Fall with the likes of Carameled apples I have yet to taste better!

    Lastly, for literature fans, Willa Cather was born, raised, and wrote in Nebraska, and you can visit her house, the Willa Cather Foundation Center, and do lots of historical digging that way. Her books like My Antonia, were never my cup of tea, though. 😉

    Thanks for these 8 in each state–I love the projects & books you come up with. I’m learning alongside the kids!
    Sarah M

    • Jessica says:

      Sarah,

      Thank you so much for all these extra resources for your home state! You make me want to seriously consider living in Nebraska.

      I’m so glad you have enjoyed following along with us through the states!

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