Traveling the States with Gage – West Virginia

Gage goes to school Monday-Thursday and mornings are a time he usually is willing and wanting to learn a little, so I decided to start doing a little state work each three-day weekend.

West Virginia: The Mountain StateExploring the States:West Virginia, the Mountain State. We start by reading through the book and then I chose some  5-10 minute activities over the three days.  My goal is really just two activities  for each of the three days and then two books, this one and one more picture book.

I was fighting off a cold last weekend so I was a little uninspired, but here’s what we did.

1. Traced the state map, marked the capital, and wrote West Virginia.

2. Colored and painted the very intricate state map.wv


3. Colored a picture of the state animal, the black bear.wv2

4. Did you know that West Virginia is the only place you can find Cheat Salamanders?  We watched this video on Canaan National Park and spotted the salamander and the train. 

We read three great books.

5. John Denver's Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver & Kids Book Series)Take Me Home, Country Roads.  Adapted and Illustrated by Christopher Canyon.  The cd with the song by John Denver was included.  Loved being about to read the book and listen the music together.  Excellent representation of the state.

6. Looking Like MeWalter Dean Myers was born in West Virginia so we read Looking Like Me, written by him and illustrated by his son, Christopher.  This book was excellent in content and busy with illustration.  A great story that is sure to boost self-esteem.  It’s all about embracing all of the different things that you are, in his case: brother, son, writer, city child, artist, dancer, talker, runner, dreamer. It then encourages you to look in a mirror and find all the things that you are.  A great opportunity for me to help Gage realize who he is in all of his glory.  Definitely one I’ll be buying.

7. We Are America: A Tribute from the HeartWe Are America also by Walter Dean Myers and Christopher Myers was a more traditional book that showcased some of America’s historical periods. This was a bit of a stretch for Gage because the pictures didn’t much interest him and the poetry was beyond his understanding, but amazingly he sat through half of it at the first reading and even asked a few questions.  I think it would be a great book for him in a few years.

Keep sending me ideas for your state – especially book ideas!

Our Ohio activities. Pennsylvania activities.



My West Virginia weekend

Last night we arrived home at 10:30pm from a weekend in West Virginia to a dark house.  It seems that while we were enjoying beautiful weather Hurricane Ike moved all the way to Ohio and took out trees and power.  Lucky for us, it is back up.  Eight of us stayed in a cabin and the men went whitewater rafting while us two gals hiked, shopped, and took in the area by foot, car and boat.  It was more beautiful than I expected.

new river

We were having a wonderful Saturday until Ohio State lost (and that’s kind) to USC.  The campground showed the game outside on the big screen and there were many unhappy Buckeye fans that night. 

Since there were three guys in the car with me I chose comedy cds for some entertainment.  We listened to the Blue Collar Comedy Tour on the way down and the Blue Comedy Tour Rides Again on the way back home.Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall, and Ron White each took a turn entertaining us.  If you need to pass some time in a car full of guys these cds are a good choice, and I even got them from the library.  The second one was a little more mean spirited at times than the first, but still funny.