When I started building my homeschool curriculum for the United States, finding Interesting Facts about Mississippi State was high on my list. It’s a really fascinating state with so much history–you’re not going to 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!
Because, when it comes down to it, that’s what this is about, right?! I just have enjoyed so much homeschooling my boys, because at the end of the day, I’m still learning, too.
And we’re all digging finding out more about our favorite states, like Mississippi!
Five Facts about Mississippi:
Mississippi has always had a special place in my heart. I don’t know why, could be the way my grandaddy taught me how to spell it (anyone with me? M i crooked-letter crooked-letter i crooked letter crooked letter i humpback humpback i? No? Just me?).
O, it could be the fact that growing up, it was faster to get to Mississippi than to get to “town”.
But regardless, it’s been fascinating learning more about it since it’s on our list of states to “dig-into” more this year. So, grab your plate of farm raised catfish (one of the biggest industries in Mississippi) and let’s start learning!
Fact One: The State Nickname is The Magnolia State
Mississippi is very proud of their beautiful magnolia trees and who can blame them? They’re a gorgeous tree with the most beautiful blooms that last throughout the blossoming season each year.
From Mississippi’s state nickname to being the official state tree AND state flower, Mississippi loves these rich, evergreen trees with their giant white blooms.
Resources to help you expand on fact one:
Get your hands dirty, help the environment, and just plain have fun by planting your very own Magnolia Tree! Double check that it can survive in your climate and/or learn what you need to do to protect it to enjoy these fragrant flowers every year!
Book: From Mississippi’s hills in the north to its southern shores, M is for Magnolia: A Mississippi Alphabet educates as it entertains with its fascinating state facts.
Art or Craft: Create your own coloring pages, printed wrapping paper, cards, etc with this beautiful Magnolia Stamp Set.
Fact Two: The Mockingbird is the State Bird
Now, I know more about the Mockingbird than a lot of folks, mostly because I heard a podcast about it the other day randomly and it was quite wonderfully detailed about this genuinely interesting bird.
So, it’s really no wonder to me why the state of Mississippi would adopt the mockingbird as their state bird. Even though this bird is only 8-10 inches long from top of head to end of tail, on average, this is a species of bird that can mimic not only other birds, but also is adept at mimicking the sounds made by insects and amphibians!
Yeah–really. I made that face, too when I found out.
Resources to help you expand on fact two:
Create your own bird house and/or bird feeder to put out this Spring. What birds can your backyard attract?
There are so many books you can absorb while learning about the Mockingbird! I have picked a few of my favorites:
- Little Maggie the Mockingbird
- Bird Watcher’s Guide to Mockingbirds
- The Mockingbird’s Manual: The Keeper of the Windclaw Chronicles (Keepers of the Windclaw Chronicles)
- To Kill a Mockingbird
Fact Three: The Western Honey Bee is the State Insect!
Now, I am a big believer that we all need to take every opportunity to teach our kids about the bee and it’s crucial role in our food chain. Because, without change, the bee’s plight can only have sour affects for the rest of us, too.
That being said, I am really excited to teach my boys about the Western Honey Bee and it’s designation as Mississippi’s state insect. Because the Western Honey Bee is a domesticated bee that originated in Europe (nope, not native to America, sorry to spring that on you), it just builds on this particular insect’s complex history that you can actually trace it all the way back to it’s roots in Africa!
Resources to help you expand on fact three:
Buzz from flower to flower with a sweet honeybee in this timely, clever, and breathtakingly gorgeous picture book, The Honeybee, from critically acclaimed author Kirsten Hall and award-winning illustrator Isabelle Arsenault.
Featuring a stunning center-fold spread that unfurls to nearly 38 inches, this lavishly-painted, Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera, is full of intriguing facts and meticulous details
Watch honey bees in their natural habitat… your backyard! With the Kibaga bamboo bee home you can contribute your share to the preservation of our bee population, while taking delight in several benefits that come along the way.
Personally, I love me some hands-on crafty fun! Don’t you? I (and the kid) can’t wait to make our own bees from pine cones.
This adorable Bee Puppet is perfect for story-telling and interactive play. No humble bumble, the Honey Bee puppet from Folkmanis is a plump and plush dynamo deserving of our attention. After all, life would not be so sweet without the important work of these busy pollinators.
If you have kids under 4, they can be involved, too! This adorable Bee Hive Sorting & Matching toy is a perfect way to keep little hands busy as you read stories and teach about the Western Honeybee.
Fact Four: Oprah Winfrey is from Mississippi!
Yes! Just like the world’s favorite vocal artist, Elvis Presley, the world’s favorite TV show host, Oprah Winfrey, is from Mississippi.
Even if she’s not one of your favorite daytime talk show hosts, I bet you’ve seen at least a portion of an episode. But if you’re anything like me, having grown up in the era before Netflix, I have seen more than my fair share of Oprah.
Given that she’s a huge inspiration and fills-out a true-life American Dream story, she’s definitely a person worth learning about in a Mississippi homeschool unit study.
Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.Oprah Winfrey
Plus, “you get a car, you get car, EVERYONE gets a car!” 😉
Resources to help you expand on fact four:
Create printable handwriting worksheets of some famous Oprah Winfrey quotes to help your middle elementary (and up) children practice and improve their cursive writing.
This online lesson about Oprah Winfrey can be adapted to any age level with very few modifications. Why work hard when Famous People dot com already did the work for you?
The Oprah Winfrey Story is the perfect book for beginner readers (approximately ages 7-10).
We all know Oprah Winfrey as a talk-show host, actress, producer, media mogul, and philanthropist, but there is so much more to the “Queen of Talk”! The richest African American person of the twentieth century, she wasn’t always so fortunate! Oprah is often described as the most influential woman in the world. Learn about her true-life rags to riches story in Who is Oprah Winfrey?
Kids’ Konnect has put together an awesome resource all about her. This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Oprah Winfrey across 21 in-depth pages.
Fact Five: Milk is the State Food.
Yeah. I know. I made the same face when I learned this, too. I mean, let’s be frank, milk is not even a food–it’s a drink.
But ok, even if we overlook that little tidbit, milk?!
Regardless, it’s definitely a fact that the Mississippi State does indeed love it’s milk and has a lot of history with this udderly-delicious drink. (see what I did there–yeah, I’m hilarious)
So, why is milk the state food of Mississippi? Well, for many years, milk production was a large part of Mississippi’s economic growth. But more than that, milk was, at one time, considered the most perfect food.
Makes sense, I guess.
Resources to help you expand on fact five:
This is such an easy theme to teach because there are so many options. You can learn about dairy cows like the Jersey Cow and Holstein Cow. You can learn about milk. You can learn about all dairy and why it is necessary in your diet. The list goes on!
So, I have chosen a few of my favorite things to help us cover Mississippi’s state “food”.
Your little ones can get some hand-on fun and letter recognition practice in with this printable Find the Letter H is for Holstein Cow worksheet.
We have gathered together an entire list of fun Jersey Cow crafts and activities for kids.
If you love simple science activities, you’ll love the magic milk science experiment, a lesson in chemistry and chemical bonds.
The best way to eat milk is frozen… that is why I love these 20 Ice Cream Recipes! 😉
Once Upon a Dairy Farm from Sophistishe is an awesome first-person view of a visit to a Dairy Farm.
I can’t wait for the books I ordered to arrive! We love to read. Don’t you? Anyway, we ordered the followiung books about cows, milk, and dairy farms:
- Grandpa Larry’s Not-So-Ordinary Dairy
- From Cow to Cone: Solving the Milk Mystery
- Kiss the Cow!
- Out and About at the Dairy Farm (Field Trips)