Welcome to the Eight For Each State US Geography tour. I am so glad you are joining us.
Our state study is trucking right along. We finished up Wisconsin this week and are excited to travel to California next. Our US Geography tour has added so much to our homeschool. We all enjoy exploring new foods, learning about exciting places to visit, and all the different cultures that have made our country unique.
Wisconsin, the chef’s hat, is full of surprises. One of my favorites is how that state got its nickname, The Badger State. Read on to find out!
B is for Badger is a part of the same collection of books we have been using for most of our US Geography tour. We love these books. They are expected each Monday when we begin our studies.
We use a number of nonfiction books throughout the week as we explore each state. For Wisconsin we used Wisconsin, the Badger State by Amy Rechner, Wisconsin Hello U.S.A by Bratvold. In the past we have used Wisconsin Facts and Symbols by
2. Effigy Mounds
Effigy mounds abound in Wisconsin. There are more effigy mounds here than any other state. These mounds were built by Native Americans in geometric or animal shapes. The purpose of these mounds are unclear, however, they are quite beautiful to look at.
- A picture gallery from the Wisconsin Historical Society – There are so many pictures here to look at. Spend some time browsing for the best.
- Native People of Wisconsin by Patty Loew – While not all about effigy mounds, this book has a couple of good pages explaining what they are and how they came to be. It also looks to be a great book about all the Native American’s from Wisconsin.
- Make your own mini effigy mound. Ruth enjoyed making a bird outside in our sand pile. What animal will you choose? Why?
3. On, Wisconsin and Other State Songs
On, Wisconsin is familiar tune for anyone who has ever played in a marching band or watched high school or college football. Enjoy this rousing tune with both sets of lyrics!
- Lyrics and a link to the music
- 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.
4. First Radio Station in the Nations
The University of Wisconsin played an instrumental part in the formation of radio broadcasts as we know them today. The history behind the development of radio stations is fascinating.
- Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research
- 9XM Talking on Project Muse – If you have a log-in for this site, you can use it, otherwise, just reading the chapter blips gives a good idea of the history of the first voice broadcasts in the United States.
- Build your own bottle radio
- Build your own crystal radio – If you need a visual, or do not have the supplies needed for this version of radio, check YouTube for more ideas.
- Sarah Joan decided to record her own radio show. She interviewed herself and told about her favorite game. This could be a fun activity for one, two, or many students.
5. Famous People of Wisconsin
Ruth was thrilled to find many famous people she knew from Wisconsin. Read a biography, do a project or simply mention one or two of them, our favorites.
- Frank Lloyd Wright – We went in depth with Mr. Wright for our Illinois US Geography study because he had his Oak Park studio in Illinois. Click on over to see the amazing project we did!
- Laura Ingalls Wilder – Another historical figure we have already covered in our Missouri US Geography study because Laura spent most of her adult life there. However, she was born in Wisconsin. So, if you missed out on the Missouri study, click back and have some fun with Laura Ingalls Wilder.
- Marguerite Henry – No wonder Ruth was excited. We covered the works of Marguerite Henry in our Maryland US Geography study. Mrs. Henry wrote many horse stories about Assategue Island. She was born in Milwaukee.
6. Wisconsin Map Work
I thought it would be fun to do some quick map work with Wisconsin. This is a good way to become more familiar with the state we are looking at. Great for when you feel like you are glossing over geography in your US Geography study for more entertaining options such as food and activities.
Print out just the map page if that is all you would like to do. The rest is fun, we don’t do it all, but I like the coloring pages for Sarah Joan.
Grab some colored pencils and begin! The idea is to get a general idea of the geography of Wisconsin. Do not worry if things are not exact.
- Place your pointer finger on the bottom line of Wisconsin, inside the state. Right above your finger, towards the middle with red, draw a star. This is Wisconsin’s capital, Madison. In pencil, write Madison or just an “M.”
- On the very left, just above your finger begin with blue to draw a river. Draw across and gently upwards until you reach just above Madison, then turn north. In the curvy way rivers go, continue north to the edge of the state. Label this river the Wisconsin River, or “WR.” Trace Wisconsin’s western boarder in blue and label it “Mississippi River” or “MR.”
- With blue, write “Lake Michigan” or “LM” to the east of Wisconsin. With blue, label “Lake Superior” or “LS” to the north west of Wisconsin.
- On the western edge of Wisconsin, just under the bump, draw a log house in brown. Label this “Pepin” or “P” for Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birthplace.
- Look again at the Wisconsin River. Where it turned north, in green mark “Wisconsin Dells” or “WD” to the east of the river.
B is for Badger: A Wisconsin Alphabet (Discover America State by State)Wisconsin: The Badger State (Exploring the States)Wisconsin (Hello U.S.A.)Wisconsin Facts and Symbols (The States and Their Symbols)Native People of Wisconsin, Revised Edition (New Badger History)Fantastic Facts About Badgers: Illustrated Fun Learning For Kids (Volume 1)
7. Cheese Tasting
Wisconsin is the top dairy producing state in the country. It is also famous for its cheese. To celebrate our Wisconsin US Geography study we decided to have a cheese tasting. I tried to find cheeses with the Wisconsin seal to be authentic, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter, just choose a variety.
We used our cheese tasting as an appetizer before dinner, but you can use it as a snack too. Everyone found something to like and dislike at our cheese tasting.
8. The Badger Sate or How Wisconsin Got Its Nickname
Now, the moment you have all been waiting for! How did the Badger State get its nickname? If you have read B is for Badger, then you already know the answer.
During the 1800’s, miners dug shelters in the hillsides for shelter. They would live in them through the winter, just like a badger in his den. People started to call these miners, “Badgers.” The name stuck hard, not just to the miners, but eventually the entire state!
- Badger facts for Wisconsin
- Badger coloring pages
- Fantastic Facts About Badgers: Illustrated Fun Learning For Kids by Miles Merchant
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