Building homeschool curriculum for the United States, I wanted to focus on Interesting Facts about Indiana State because it’s actually a really cool place. So much “hidden” history–you definitely don’t want to miss all the fun things in this homeschool study unit-resource.
And if you’ve got big plans to do a whole lot of learning about the United States this school year, be sure to check out my 50 states unit study. You definitely don’t want to miss out on all the awesome resources I’ve pulled together and lesson plans I’ve pre-packaged for anyone who’s ready to learn!
I’ve just loved putting these resources together, because I really am learning along with all my homeschooling of the boys. It’s like a great reason to learn, myself, so that I can help them discover even more!
And we’re all digging finding out more about our favorite states, like Indiana!
Five Facts about Indiana:
Indiana is just such an unassuming state. But it’s a treasure-trove of special places you don’t even know are there!
Talk about covered bridges in North America? Indiana is going to come up (it’s the covered bridge capital of the US, after all). Wanna discus the Great Lakes region and all the fun things there? Indiana is on that list.
And don’t even get me started on the history of Vice Presidents of the US that have come from Indiana–there’s apparently some kind of connection there!
It’s just been fascinating learning more about Indiana State since it’s on our list of states to “dig-into” more this year. So, grab your popcorn (one of the biggest industries in Indiana) and let’s start learning!
Fact One: The State Nickname is Crossroads of America
Did you know….Even though Indiana is NOT the largest state (ahem, Alaska, Texas, hello…), per square mile, Indiana has more miles of interstate than ANY other state. It even has the nickname of “the Crossroads of America” because there’s just SO MUCH interstate mileage.
No wonder they started/hold/whatever you want to call it the Indianapolis 500 there! It’s like the whole state is geared-up to be the Indianapolis Motor Speedway–but the whole state. HA!
I can’t wait to work with the kids to make a fun “build your own road trip through Indiana” so we can talk about all the stops at the various “world’s largest” tourist traps, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (it’s epic) and so much more.
Resources to help you expand on fact one:
Since you are learning about The Crossroads of America, it is a good time to expand on the entire road aspect.
A few packs of these road base plates will allow your children to design and create their own LEGO roads. The more the merrier, right?
Build a world of rivers, roads and rails with this super fun board game! Each card has to connect perfectly to the next to create an intricate network for transportation. Plan ahead, from pathways and be the first to use up all your cards to win the game.
Create Your Own Maps: DIY Book of Roads – Take off on a creative artistic journey with this kids’ build your own town book of roads!
Next up, my book picks to help teach your children about how roads are made:
- Work, Dogs, Work: A Highway Tail (I Can Read Level 1)
- Road Builders
- How did they build that road?
- How to Build a Road
Fact Two: The Cardinal is the State Bird.
If you’re in the least interested in learning about the US state birds, it’s definitely worth pointing out that the pretty red cardinal–one of the most easily, readily recognizable birds, is the state bird of Indiana.
Little surprise–cardinals are ALL OVER the great state. And given that there are a ton of state parks and loads of places to do a little bird-watching, well, you’re definitely seeing cardinals in Indiana.
Resources to help you expand on fact two:
They say that when a Cardinal visits, that an Angel from Heaven is near. I don’t know about you, but I want all the angels possible visiting me and mine! That is why we have a Cardinal bird feeder outside our living room windows. Hang it up! You and your kids will love observing these beautiful birds!
My book picks:
- Facts about Cardinals
- Cardinal Connection: A Cardinal is Near
- Cardinals: Backyard Bird Series
- Cardinal Courage
Your child and create and tell a story with this fun Cardinal Puppet.
Fact Three: The Say’s Firefly is the State Insect.
Not into birds? Maybe insects are your thing! And wow–the state insect of Indiana is pretty much the coolest insect a state could adopt.
At least by my standards. And so much to learn about the Say’s Firefly!
Like how it’s bottom lights-up, how short it’s lifespan is, what it eats–and everything.
Definitely excited to dig into and learn more about Indiana’s favorite bug.
Resources to help you expand on fact three:
I love this adorable Firefly Egg Carton craft from Rainy Day Mum. You and your children should read the book she recommends, too.
This super simple fine motor activity from Pre-K Pages is a unique way to catch fireflies without harming any real insects.
Then, of course, because I am a believer in reading… here are my favorite books about fireflies:
- The Fireflies Book: Fun Facts About the Fireflies You Loved as a Kid (did you know different species have different flashing patterns!?
- It’s a Firefly Night
- The Very Lonely Firefly board book
- Lucy’s Light (Once Upon a Garden)
Magical Childhood has rounded up a ton of different resources to help you teach your children about fireflies!
Fact Four: Wilbur Wright is from Indiana!
Who doesn’t want to do a whole week of study on Wilbur Wright and his contribution to aviation?! The fact that this historic figure is from the state of Indiana is just a perfect excuse to make paper airplanes, talk about how wing shape affects flight and learn how this man made a dream come true through perseverance and ingenuity.
Resources to help you expand on fact four:
There is really no reason to reinvent the wheel here – not when Embark on the Journey has already pulled together a list of the best Airplane books!
OMG! How adorable is this Airplane Snack from Crystal and Company? My boys are going to love this!
Keep the little ones’ hands busy with this cute Airplane Pack from Homeschool Preschool.
This Paper Airplane Kit includes colorful sheets with cool designs to make 100 paper airplanes, a cardboard launcher, rubber bands, sticker sheets, and a 36-page booklet.
Paper not “cool” enough for the older crowd? Let them create their own 3D plane with this Balsa Precision Cut Airplane Kit.
Yes, the planes aspect has been super fun! But, don’t forget to teach your children about the inventors of such an insane item: The Wright Brothers! I have gathered by favorite books to help you:
- First Flight: The Story of Tom Tate and the Wright Brothers (I Can Read Level 4)
- Who Were the Wright Brothers? (Who Was?)
- Wilbur and Orville Wright: Young Fliers (Childhood of Famous Americans)
- Wright Brothers, Wrong Story: How Wilbur Wright Solved the Problem of Manned Flight
Fact Five: Indiana Produces More Popcorn Than Any Other State!
Popcorn. Popcorn. Popcorn.
I seriously don’t need a single excuse to talk about, eat, make, or learn more about this favorite treat. The fact that Indiana is the popcorn supply capital of the world (that’s not a fact, just some exaggeration on my part, but they do produce more popcorn than any other state in the US), that just makes me excited.
Who wouldn’t want to build a whole unit of study around the salty-sweet-popped-tastiness that is this awesome addition to Indiana’s GDP?!
I mean, sure, there’s a whole lot of Native American history in Indiana and it’s sometimes called the “land of the Indians” (ie., that’s it’s name, so….), but popcorn–that might be a more fun way to learn about Indiana, the history of the Native Americans there that first grew this popilicious treat, and experiment with how they made it!
Resources to help you expand on this fact:
Seriously, the best way to learn about popcorn is to make it happen, right? That is why you and your kids simply must get this Popcorn Popping Kit!
No one says you have to enjoy the popcorn plain! Mix up one (or more) of these delicious Gourmet Popcorn Recipes after you finish popping your corn!
This colored corn mosaic is a fun art project from Pre K Pages! You and your children will love coloring corn kernels and creating art.
I think kids learn very well through play. That is why I love these popcorn playsets:
- Learning Resources: Smart Snacks Count ’em Up Popcorn
- Barbie Sisters Popcorn & Souvenirs Playset
- Barbie Sisters Chelsea Doll and Popcorn Stand
- Play-Doh Popcorn Maker: This toy popcorn machine for Kids aged 3 and up cranks out buckets of pretend popcorn again and again
Finally, we already know that my list of resources will not be complete without a list of books:
- The Popcorn Tree: An Adventurous Tale
- Why Does Popcorn Pop?: and Other Kitchen Questions (Questions and Answers Storybook)
- Popcorn Country: The Story of America’s Favorite Snack