Unveiling A Special Unit!

We have begun our study of the "Fifty Nifty United States".   I've been really excited to unveil this unit to the kids!  We began with watching this YouTube video of The Fifty Nifty United States song by Ray Charles... as my son later told me, "Mom, I wish you wouldn't have taught us that song because now it's stuck in my head and I can't concentrate on anything else!"

We love this video - I used it an infinite number of times when I taught elementary music, and my own children love it just as much.  I gave them an alphabetical listing of the states to help them follow along.  Right now Target has great state flash cards and puzzles, too. I also ordered this map of the United States and put it up in our kitchen... we are always looking at the map this way.  
In planning our state study, I found Jimmie's Squidoo lens to be very helpful.   We chose to use a 50 state notebooking set which we downloaded from Currclick.  My oldest will be expected to complete several notebooking pages on her own each week for the assigned state.   For my youngest, we are using the state printables from Crayola, which are perfect for his age.   

Thanks to Christine, at Fruit in Season, we have been receiving lots of postcards from different states.  If you ever have the opportunity to participate in a postcard swap, you should... it's enhanced our learning so much! Of course there are always a few people who don't hold up their end of the bargain in these swaps, but if you go into it realizing that, it's not so bad.  My children and I sent out our postcards in July and had fun learning many facts about our own state to include.  

I plan to choose a different patriotic song to highlight each week with my children.  This week the song is "This Land Is Your Land" by Woodie Guthrie.   They love it when we sit around the piano and mom plays and they sing...I just have to be intentional about doing it.

Our first state was Wisconsin.  I let the children choose which they want to study.  We have a lot of relatives in Wisconsin, and it was also the most recent postcard we had received.  Coincidentally, we read that malted milk was invented by James Horlick in Racine, Wisconsin.   I have an old Horlick's Malted Milk glass container from my mother, so we set the table tonight with that and our postcard.  We planned a dinner with malts for dessert and invited our granddaddy to share it with us.  

Chocolate Peanut Butter Malts with mini Oreos and marshmallows are quite decadent I must say.   Miss B and her dad made them.

I'm not sure if every state will get its own special dessert, but this was a fun way to remember this interesting fact about Wisconsin.

Have you done a 50 states unit with your children?    Do you have any suggestions and/or resources for me?    I love to fly by the seat of my pants, so I'm open to anything!