Up next on our journey around the United States is Oregon! To aid you in your study here are some interesting facts about Oregon for kids.
As we study all of the states, (see the full unit study here: 50 states unit study) Oregon’s next on her life! Oregon is in the far west and its vast landscapes and diversity in geography set it apart from other states.
Oregon has an interesting history, especially throughout the 1800s. Despite its rich history with indigenous tribes, Oregon’s name actually comes from the Spanish language.
Many people know a lot of facts about the Oregon state flag and the state seal, but let’s dive deeper and discover even more!
Five Oregon Facts:
Today, Oregon is known for its landscapes and waterways. It is one of the more geographically diverse states. Learn more about this state with these five facts.
Fact One: Oregon’s state nickname is the Beaver State.
You can find a lot of little critters in Oregon, like squirrels, chipmunks, and coyotes, but Oregon is nicknamed the Beaver state! It’s no surprise that this rodent is the state’s animal and it appears on the reverse of the state’s flag.
Here are some ways to learn more about beavers:
Grab a Pringles can to make this fun beaver craft!
Build a beaver dam with this engaging STEM activity.
The Superpowered Field Guide to Beavers is a quirky, middle-school nonfiction book that shows you just how epic beavers can be! It’s humorous and informative.
If you have some empty toilet paper roles, make this fun beaver paper roll.
After learning about beavers, create a beaver paper sack puppet and make a beaver play!
Fact Two: Forestry and woods is one of Oregon’s main industries.
Because of their expansive wildlife, it’s no surprise that forestry is one of Oregon’s primary industries.
Learn more about forestry and woods with these ideas:
In honor of all of the different animal species in Oregon, make these animal track stamps! Try to make different stamps for different animals.
Make a vibrant woodsy, forest scene with this art project.
Create and compare habitats with this animal habitats project that creates two different habitats and compares the results.
Did you know some plants are edible? But be careful, some can be dangerous! If you’re interested in foraging, try the book Foraging For Kids, which gives 52 ideas for foraging.
Download the free template and make woodland animal puppets. Use them to tell a story about life in the woods.
Fact Three: Oregon’s official state fruit is the pear.
Did you know there are about 3,000 different types of pears in the world? The Massachusetts Bay Colony planted the first pear tree in North America in 1620. Besides Oregon, pears are grown all over the west coast including California and Washington.
Learn all about this fruit with these activities:
If you have some bubble wrap, make this pear craft.
Are We Pears Yet? is a fun picture book that talks about the life cycle of fruit.
Bring out your inner artist with these pear paintings.
Get creative with pear stamping art. Younger kids can have fun stamping, older kids can try to make more intricate designs with their peers.
Artist Paul Cezanne was known for his pear paintings. Attempt to recreate his work.
Fact Four: President Herbert Hoover grew up in Oregon.
When Hoover was ten, he moved to Oregon to live with his uncle. Hoover was president during the Great Depression.
Learn more about Hoover and the Great Depression here:
Hoover’s son had two pet crocodiles. Make your own crocodile out of clothes pins.
Crash by Marc Favreau explains how the Great Depression happened and includes a lot of information about Hoover’s life and presidency. It’s best for upper elementary students.
What Was The Great Depression? can be helpful for introducing the Depression to younger students.
During the Depression, foods had to be rationed. Make these simple, Great Depression-era sugar cookies.
Fact Five: The Oregon Trail was a route that connected the Missouri River to Oregon.
You may remember the Oregon Trail from the game, but the real Oregon Trail was a 2,100+ mile route from the Missouri River to Oregon. The route was dangerous and crossed several states.
Learn more about the Oregon Trail with these ideas:
Make your own covered wagon with this craft.
If you’re wanting a more interactive version, try making this edible wagon!
In this simulation, make your own pioneer journals.
Welcome to Kirsten’s World, part of the American Girl series, is great for both boys and girls because of their practical look at history in a fun and engaging way.
If You Were a Kid on the Oregon Trail is an excellent picture book introduction about life on the Oregon Trail…from the point of view of kids!
More Oregon Resources:
14 Pages: Oregon State Unit Study
Books about Oregon for Kids
Oregon Crafts for Children
Oregon Bucket List – must-visit attractions