Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Journey Across America - Pennsylvania

This post is part of a 50 state Journey Across America. For information on the basics of this project check out this post. I wasn't planning on documenting this project until we were six states in, so the first five states are a bit lacking in original photos, but the next 45 will be full of them!

Pennsylvania week recap, check it out!

The Books:
We began by reading K is for Keystone and then Bean used the information she learned to make a notebook page for her United States scrapbook.

We also read Yonie Wondernose, a picture book about a curious, little Amish boy, and The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz, one of our favorite historical fiction authors. Don't let the 3.5 stars deter you. It looks like a teacher made her kids read the book and write a review for Amazon, then she posted them. Check out the one star reviews, most of them are clearly written by kids and were all posted on the same day. If your children like to read/listen to stories and like history, they will enjoy this book.

Another great Pennsylvania book by Jean Fritz is What's the Big Idea Ben Franklin, it fits in here because Franklin represented Pennsylvania at the Continental Congress. You can also learn about Groundhog Day by reading Groundhog Day! by Gail Gibbons (Punxsutawney Phil hails from Pennsylvania). And American Girl's Addy escapes to Pennsylvania in their six book series.

Finally, Kevin taught the kids about St. John Neumann (not to be confused with John Henry Newman) using the Our United States of America: Catholic Social Studies textbook. He was the 4th bishop of Philadelphia, founder of the first diocesan school system, and the first American male to be canonized... pretty amazing guy!

The Food:
I could not resist following the lead of Shower of Roses in making a Hershey's Chocolate Breakfast Cake. Not only does this tie in Hershey chocolate, which was founded in Pennsylvania, but it also ties in Bill Cosby, who is from Pennsylvania. If you aren't familiar with what Bill Cosby has to do with chocolate breakfast cake, give this comedy sketch a watch.

P.S. You could also make ice cream soda, as it was invented by Robert M. Green in Philadelphia!

The Activity:
Because there is still a strong Amish presence in Pennsylvania, we made paper quilt squares. Yes, the Amish are known for making well crafted real quilts, but we aren't ready for a sewing machine. has lots of ideas for similar crafts. It was quick and easy, which always piques my interest.

Image from

Up next is New Jersey!


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