2.25.2013

Booking Across The USA

Today I'm excited to be part of this AmAzInG blogging extravaganza 
hosted by Growing Book by Book 
and designed to celebrate a book that shines a light
 on the state in which each of us lives!

Click the graphic to get bookin'.

Since there are two other bloggers discussing books from Texas, I'm showcasing a creative masterpiece that's rich with food for thought about being who you really are and showing empathy for others woven into its storyline. Introducing . . .


Click this book cover to go to the author's website.

Simple Synopsis: An unhappy, bored Kansas decides to throw a getting-to-know-you mixer during which Idaho and Virginia convince rest of the states to swap places to "see a new part of the country." What will happen as they each journey to their new spot on the map? Well, the states start out excited but wind up anything but united. Minnesota, for example, ends up with a sunburn from moving south and Florida suffers from frostbite from its move north. Their new homes quickly help them appreciate what they had and realize that they want to go back to where they belong, satisfied with who they are and eager to resume their place in the U.S. of A.

So how would I use this national treasure? 

First of all, I'd read it aloud, making sure to stop often and show my students all of the hilarious sidebar conversations that Ms. Keller has woven into the storyline. Let them predict how they'll feel about their new neighbors. How could an arid Arizona feel about switching with a soggy South Carolina? How would Alaska get along with neighbors on both sides? What might happen to a lactose-intolerant California when America's Dairyland, Wisconsin, moves next door? 
Secondly, there's a 300-piece puzzle that complements this book and is such a beautiful metaphor for making the pieces fit together when life feels disconnected. Type the sayings below to put in the puzzle center so students can discuss them while they're working on the puzzle. Ask: How do these words of wisdom connect back to the book? 
Be true to yourself.
The grass is always greener. 
Bloom where you are planted.
Green with envy.
United we stand, divided we fall.
Put yourself in my shoes.
Third, this title would be a great springboard to introducing the states and their capitals. I vividly remember loving those days in elementary school when we were studying the geography of the states, their capital cities, their birds, their flowers, their mottos. We got to color the maps and learn where the states were located and what wonderful things we'd see if we were to travel there, places like Mount Rushmore, The Badlands, Hershey Park, Andrew Jackson's home, Gettysburg, and other great monuments or historical markers. Have students each select a state to research. Let them make a travel brochure advertising all of the great stuff that their state is known for and/or has to offer. If there a favorite recipe that a state is known for, encourage students to make a sample and bring it in for extra credit.
Finally, talk about empathy and what it means to understand how another person feels. Encourage students to journal about a time when they wanted to switch places with someone because they thought that that someone had it better than they. Or, conversely, have them write about a television or book character or a historical figure whom they wouldn't want to switch places with and why. An exercise like this could help elevate their empathy. Before writing, talk about what the states learned by switching places with each other.
For enrichment, read the sequel The Scrambled State of America Talent Show, then hold a talent show of your own. Turn it into a service project by inviting the community and asking for a non-perishable food donation for admission.

Check out this book and prepare to 
laugh out loud while you
study a little geography,
 learn a few interesting facts, 
and enjoy a lot of silliness. 


Interested in finding out more about the book related to your state? Here's a complete list of the bloggers on board - thanks, Jodie!



Arizona: Simply Kinder 
Connecticut: The Teacher Park
Delaware: Mama Miss
Florida: Teaching Stars
Georgia: Fabulously First
Indiana: Teach Preschool
Kansas: KCEdventures
Kentucky: Chicken Babies 
Louisiana: New Orleans Moms Blog 
Massachusetts: Mama Smiles
Michigan: Play DrMom
Minnesota: The Wise Owl Factory (free printable game too)
Missouri- Ready. Set. Read!
Montana: The Honey Bunch
Nebraska: The Good Long Road 
New Hampshire: Elementary Matters
New Jersey: The Pleasantest Thing
North Carolina: Realistic Teacher Blog
North Dakota: ND HealthWorks
Pennsylvania: Land of Once Upon a Time
Rhode Island: Smiling in Second Grade
South Carolina: Cookies and Kiddos and JDaniel4’s Mom
South Dakota: The Wise Owl Factory (free printable game too)
Tennessee: No Monkey Business
Washington: Home Learning Journey
Wisconsin: Reading Confetti


          Check out the Booking Across the USA Pinterest page {here}.


4 comments:

  1. Scrambled States of America is one of our favorite books. We live overseas and it was the first book I ever purchased to help the children connect to our home country. We'll definitely have to check out the sequel!

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  2. Looks like a really cute book to check out!

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  3. This topped off today's event for me. So many creative individuals willing to share. Tons of new resources that cover so many new opportunities to teach and enrich current practice. What you have shared here indicates that Scrambled States of America will be a great book to enjoy on it's own, but perfect to start a state trip with my group.

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  4. Thanks so much for being a part of the Booking Across the USA project! This looks like such a fun book.

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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