When we go up to visit Tara we drive through Missouri. It’s just a little corner as we drive up through Kansas, and then exit over to Missouri in Kansas City, but it’s a pretty regular drive. Jeff and I drove through it on our way up to Chicago for our first wedding anniversary, and we stopped and looked at the Mark Twain house. So I knew just a little bit about Missouri before we got into our Missouri Unit, but not super a lot, but it was a great geography lesson.
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I did a quick google search and found these great ideas to help our Missouri unit as I looked at what books to pick up.
It’s always important to torture your kids with videos like this. Especially since all the similar ones are…. much longer.
But this one is hopefully less annoying to older kids
I found out there were several people I didn’t know were from Missouri as we studied the state, in particular George Washington Carver, who I’ve admired since I wrote a report on him in 5th grade.
That’s right folks, those reports you write in elementary school can sometimes create life-long fascinations. There are way too many books on him on this list if I’m completely honest.
Also, a printable copy of this list is on my subscriber page (subscribe to my newsletter).
Nonfiction Missouri Booklist
There were so many amazing nonfiction books!
- Coming Home: from the life of Langston Hughes– books like this are so great for kids to see the childhood of famous people
- The Gateway Arch– a good general overview
- Harry S. Truman: 33 president– I love this series
- The heroine of the Titanic: a tale both true and otherwise of the life of Molly Brown– it looks like it might be out of print, but if you can find a book on her, it’s a great story
- Lews and Clark: a prairie dog for the president– probably my favorite everybody book for them
- The Lewis and Clark Expedition– a good overall information, but not one you read the entire book
- The little plant doctor: a story about George Washington Carver– a great young kids book
- A man for all seasons: the life of George Washington Carver– out of print, but the illustrations are wonderful
- Missouri– again great for information, but not great for reading aloud
- My People– a short, 33 words, poem with great portraits
- A picture book of George Washington Carver– I’m kind of sad they’ve changed the cover, but it’s still a great book
- Sail Away– another collection of Langston Hughes poetry, this with collage style pictures
- The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver– I didn’t like this one as much, but it’s still a decently good book (not sure why I didn’t like the illustrations)
- A weed is a flower: the life of George Washington Carver– it’s Aliki, and his books are always amazing
Fiction Missouri Booklist
Most of the fiction books, were fictionalized versions of the nonfiction stories.
- A girl named Dan– a great slice of life look at how 1 girl’s winning essay changed rules and the argument all the way up to the national government, I loved this book, the illustrations are great, and the story is told well
- I, too, am America– Taking Langston Hughes lyrical words and pairing it with great illustrations
- A song for Aunt Polly– this was my Mark Twain book, there are several great picture books simplifying his books
- Steamboat School– when Missouri law says you can’t teach African American students, Reverend John Berry Meachum builds steamboat school, I LOVE books like this
- Wagons ho!– a comparison of the Oregon Trail today and now, since Missouri was frequently the starting point for people heading West on the Oregon Trail (hence that whole Gateway Arch)
Missouri Unit notebooking pages
We filled out our United States notebooking pages (you can buy them, or if you subscribe to my newsletter as part of the welcome series you get a coupon to get this free), and the various little mini-books are also on the subscriber page I mentioned you get access to in the newsletter.
I created quite a few mini-books for our Missouri Unit, and there were a few from our first attempt at United States geography lessons.
- Tom Sawyer mini-book- we filled this out after reading the picture book version of it, and we have read both Tom Sawyer (which apparently I STILL need to write up) AND Huck Finn for book and a movie nights.
- If I created a Monument- after reading about the Gateway Arch we drew our ideas for making a monument
- Gateway Arch- just a way to write about what we learned
- George Washington Carver
- Molly Brown
- Missouri state symbols- this is from the original time we learned about the state