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Indiana for Teachers and Travelers

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I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.

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Are you looking for fun worksheets and lapbooks, children's books, and YouTube video clips for teaching and/or learning about Indiana? Whether you're a school teacher, homeschooling parent, involved parent, librarian, lifelong learner, or a student searching for ideas and books on Indiana, look no further!

Indianapolis 500

Indianapolis 500

What Makes This State Special: Indianapolis 500

Since hosting America's first ever long-distance car race in 1911, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has continued to host the largest annual motor-sport event, the Indianapolis 500 also known as Indy 500.

Our Favorite Children's Books on Auto Racing

Indy 500: The Inside Track by Nancy Roe Pimm was the book I used to introduce the Indy 500. My boys of course insisted that reading about the Indianapolis 500 is a must. This has photographs and has some interesting text. It is a bit longer that we would prefer, but it was the best option I could find. We also read R is for Race: A Stock Car Alphabet (Sports Alphabet) by Brad Herzog. Since I couldn't find any good children's picture books on the Indy 500, we read books on stock car racing. We really enjoyed this one. (Yes, I know the Indy 500 does is not a stock car race.) We also read the chapter on Jeff Gordon from Nascar's Greatest Drivers (Step into Reading) by Angela Roberts.

Orville Redenbacher

Orville Redenbacher

What Makes This State Special: Orville Redenbacher

Indiana born and raised Orville Redenbacher helped Indiana become one of the nation's leading popcorn producing states in the country with a specially hybridized kernel that produced a superior product.

Home of Levi and Katie Coffin

Home of Levi and Katie Coffin

What Makes This State Special: Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad

Before the War Between the States/Civil War, Fountain City was known as the "Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad" as Levi & Katie Coffin assisted over 2,000 runaway slaves on their way north to Canada. One of the ladies that the Coffins assisted was even used as the model for Eliza, a main character in Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Good Picture Book on the Underground Railroad in Indiana

Empire State Building, made from Indiana's Bedford Limestone

Empire State Building, made from Indiana's Bedford Limestone

What Makes This State Special: Bedford Limestone

Bedford Limestone, mined in the southern end of the state, is considered to be the highest quality limestone in the US. It was been used to build the Empire State Building, Pentagon, Biltmore Estate, Rockefeller Center, US Treasury, 14 state capitals, and numerous other government and university buildings.

Replica of Lincoln's boyhood home and farm

Replica of Lincoln's boyhood home and farm

What Makes This State Special: Abraham Lincoln's Childhood Home

Abraham Lincoln spent 14 years growing up in Spencer County, Indiana. His childhood home is now memorialized at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, which is maintained by the U.S. National Park Service.

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My Best Friend Abe Lincoln: A Tale of Two Boys From Indiana by Robert L. Bloch - Image is from

My Best Friend Abe Lincoln: A Tale of Two Boys From Indiana by Robert L. Bloch - Image is from

Our Favorite Book on Abraham Lincoln's Childhood in Indiana

My Best Friend Abe Lincoln: A Tale of Two Boys From Indiana by Robert L. Bloch is the story of Abraham Lincoln and his adventures with a fictional best friend, Sam Harding. It is a fun way to introduce Lincoln's childhood as he grew up in Indiana.


Indiana's State Flag and State Quarter

Indiana's state flag is blue and with a yellow torch in the middle. The torch represents liberty and enlightenment, and the rays of the torch around the torch show their far-reaching influence. It has 19 stars because Indiana was the 19th state to join America. It has 13 stars in the outer loop the represent the original 13 colonies, 5 inner stars to represent the next five states, and one large star above the torch to represent Indiana.

Indiana's state quarter features an Indianapolis 500 and 19 stars.

Favorite Picture Books on Indiana

More Good Options

Floating House by Scott Russell Sanders takes place in 1815 and is about a pioneering family who travels on a flatboat down the Ohio River in order to settle in the frontier village of Jeffersonville, Indiana.

How to Draw Indiana's Sights and Symbols (A Kid's Guide to Drawing America) by Jenny Deinard is part of a wonderful series that combines state geography with art. Each page contains something about the state (a state artist, the state flag, bird, tree, capitol building, areas of interest, and animals.) A photograph will be included along with a brief explanation about that item. Then the page opposite of that includes step by step directions on how to draw that symbol or site. Even my 6 year old is able to follow the drawing directions, and I've been amazed at how well my 9 year old has been drawing each of the state flags as he follows the instructions in the book.

A Goose Named Gilligan by Jerry M. Hay is the true story of a man in Indiana who was adopted by a wild goose.

Best Board Book for Preschoolers, Toddlers, and Babies

Ruthie's Gift by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (176 pages) takes place during World War I and is about an eight year old girl from an agricultural community in Indiana. She longs for female friends, almost dies from pneumonia, and might lose a brother to the war.

Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana 1932 (Dear America Series) by Kathryn Lasky (190 pages) is written in diary format from the perspective of an 11 year old girl from Indiana during the Great Depression. They take in her orphaned cousin who has experienced worse hardships. Her diary entries include quite a bit about the time period including Charlie Chan, Hooverville shantytowns, Amelia Earhart, and more.

The Bears of Blue River by Charles Major (108 pages) takes place in the early 1800's and is about a young teenage boy and the adventures he experiences on the frontier in Indiana -- including getting lost in the woods. The story takes place in Shelby County, which is a real county in Indiana.

Throwing Stones by Kristi Collier (208 pages) takes place in Indiana in the 1920s during the Prohibition. It is about a teenage boy dealing with the loss of his older brother, an avid basketball player, in World War I.

A page from my son's notebook on Indiana

A page from my son's notebook on Indiana

All About Indiana provides great links to printable worksheets, book suggestions, and activity ideas about Indiana.

Indiana for Teachers includes wonderful printable worksheets, activity ideas, and book suggestions.

Indiana History Lapbook offers free lapbook pages covering Indiana's history.

When the Frost is on the Punkin Lapbook offers free lapbook pages and activity ideas for When the Frost is on the Punkin by James Whitcomb Riley.

Indiana State Facts & Trivia lists numerous points of interest about Indiana. The site also includes a number of helpful worksheets, links, and information.

Indiana Family Farm - America's Heartland

Where is Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana?

© 2012 Shannon

What first comes to mind when you think of the Hoosier state? - Or just let me know you dropped by. I LOVE getting feedback from you!

Shannon (author) from Florida on August 30, 2012:

@KimGiancaterino: Thank you so much for your visit!

KimGiancaterino on August 29, 2012:

Thanks for featuring my Indiana quiz!

Shannon (author) from Florida on August 29, 2012:

@MimayManalo: Thank you so much for dropping by my lens!

MimayManalo on August 29, 2012:

ive never visited indiana yet but i would love to. thanks for sharing this lens, it gives an idea to where i should travel soon :)

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