Our Alabama unit was a great addition to our homeschool geography lessons. For me it was a great revisit of some books we had read when the kids were younger, and since our library had a few new books a chance for me to add some new books to our book lists.
(there are affiliate links in here)
Alabama unit resources
I have yet to find any good videos for United States, or I should say a video my kids don’t mock endlessly. However I will torture y’all with the same videos I torture my kids with.
And one that is slightly less annoying, but likely to have really odd facts.
Alabama unit booklist
I loved our Alabama books, they were so much fun to read, and a reminder of having read them before.
Not too surprisingly given its location in the “Heart of Dixie,” quite a few of the books were all about the Civil Rights movement, and you’ll see a large portion of my Montgomery Bus book list came from our Alabama study.
- Alabama Spitfire: the story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird– this is from a series I recently discovered spotlighting authors of famous children’s books, and it’s well worth reading if you can find it
- Seeds of Freedom: the peaceful integration of Huntsville, Alabama– I love reading a story of peaceful integration
- The Youngest Marcher: the story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a young civil rights activist– I don’t remember this book super well, but it’s the story of the youngest Montgomery Bus Boycott protester
- Lonnie Johnson: NASA scientist and inventor of the Super Soaker– this was checked out when we studied Alabama, which made me sad since I grew up with Super Soakers, also Amazon has another book that looks better on him: Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
- Rosa Parks– a true book, which we only read a little bit of, because we had more
- Rosa’s Bus– the history of the bus she so famously refused to stand up on, I also think this is an interesting idea to think about how do you preserve history like this and do we always need to preserve things like this?
- Claudette Colvin: civil rights activist– prior to our Alabama study I didn’t know anything about her
- Sweet Justice: Georgia Gilmore and the Montgomery Bus Boycott– I loved reading the behind the scenes support of the boycott, so interesting
- Child of the Civil Rights Movement– another I don’t super remember, beyond having great illustrations
- A picture book of Rosa Parks– I love this series, always a great source of history
- Jesse Owens– my kids were surprised I wanted to read about an athlete, but he’s got such a great story, this is not the book at my library, I didn’t see it at the top of the list in Amazon, there are several books from simple books
- Say hey: a song of Willie Mays– sadly this was the best book our library had on Willie Mays, I wish we’d had a better book, the rhymes in this book didn’t quite work for me, it also may be out of print
- With books and bricks; how Booker T. Washington built a school– I love Booker T. Washington, and his story is great, so I was glad to find this book
- Pies from nowhere: how Georgia Gilmore sustained the Montgomery bus boycott– another book I hadn’t known about before and loved
- Helen Keller: courage in the dark– a good simple book about Helen Keller
- Helen’s Big World: the life of Helen Keller– a simple biography, great illustrations
- Annie and Helen– this focused on their friendship, including primary sources
- Stitichin’ and pullin’: a Gee’s Bend quilt– this was one of the books I remember reading years earlier, and I loved the story, probably partially because I love sewing
- Belle, the last mule at Gee’s Bend: a civil rights story– finding books like this are so much fun, because it was a small story in the Civil Rights movement that I knew nothing about
- Tambourine Moon– a great family story of how the young girl’s grandpa met her grandma on a dark scary night like this
- In the garden with Dr. Carver– as I’ve mentioned many times before, I like George Washington Carver ever since I wrote a report on him in 5th grade, so I enjoyed this picture book
- Boycott Blues: how Rosa Parks inspired a nation– this version was a bit more lyrical and unlike the last book that tried to rhyme and be lyrical, it actually worked
I had so much fun reading all of those books.
Alabama unit: notebooking pages
I used the United States notebooking pages to create the basis for our unit, and we filled that part out as we watched those absolutely wonderful videos. Wonderful….
If I keep repeating it often enough, I’ll believe it.
We studied Alabama back when the kids were little, so I still have some aspects of our original style of 50 state study. You can get all of these mini-books for free if you join my newsletter on the subscriber page.
- Alabama state symbols- I made this when we studied it in younger days, not so much now because it can be harder to find images not under copyright (back then I searched Microsoft clip art)
- Montgomery Bus Boycotts- the image is my line drawing from our history notebooking pages
- Willie Mays- an image of his baseball card
- Booker T. Washington- another image from my history notes made into a mini-book
- Helen Keller
- George Washington Carver
- Rosa Parks
Back when we first learned about Alabama, the only thing I really wrote about it was our Last Mule of Gee Bend craft. The post isn’t that much, but I really like the craft I did for it, so I’m going to keep it up.
I wish I could find recipes that were from each state
Okay, when I restarted our United States geography unit I wanted to try and cook a recipe from each state. Then I figured out several of the recipes I was finding were not actually indicative of the state, but the person contributing the recipe happened to live there. Alabama was one of those states.
More great learning fun
- Belize Unit
- Greensboro Protest Lesson
- Great Depression Dice Game
- Dragonfly craft
- Cinderella Around the World booklist