I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.
Are you looking for fun worksheets and lapbook pages, children's books, and YouTube video clips for teaching and/or learning about Minnesota? Whether you're a school teacher, homeschooling parent, involved parent, librarian, lifelong learner, or a student searching for ideas and books on Iowa, look no further! This is part of a series of pages I created while teaching about the fifty states. You can find the links for my pages for each of the 50 states at Teaching the 50 States of America .
Fun Trivia Bit: Skyways
Minneapolis' skyway system includes 62 skyways that connect 52 blocks (almost five miles) of downtown so that people can shop, work and eat without having to head outdoors to face the elements.
Fun Trivia Bit: The Mayo Clinic
In the late nineteenth century, the Mayo brothers began the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Today this hospital is one of the top 5 hospitals in the nation, and people travel from around the world to receive top class treatment at their hospital.
Fun Trivia Bit: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Home
As a child, Laura Ingalls Wilder lived in Walnut Grove. The book, On the Banks of Plum Creek, describes their time there. A museum dedicated to her history there can be visited today.
Fun Trivia Bit: Spam, Green Giant, Bisquick, and Wheaties
Spam, canned precooked meat, was developed by Hormel Foods Corporation in Austin in 1937. Green Giant Vegetables, Bisquick, & Wheaties cereal were also developed in Minnesota.
Fun Trivia Bit: The Super Computer
Chippewa Falls was home to the first successful super computer, the Control Data 6600, which was used in the 1960's by the military to analyze nuclear research, Soviet codes, hurricanes and more.
My Favorite Picture Books on Minnesota
The Legend of Minnesota (Myths, Legends, Fairy and Folktales) by Kathy-jo Wargin is a sweet Native American legend describing how Minnesota got its name.
Larry Gets Lost in the Twin Cities by John Skewes is a cute story about a dog that gets lost in the Twin Cities. The dog of course visits all the major sites.
Marven of the Great North Woods by Kathryn Lasky is the true story of a Jewish boy who is sent to work at a lumberjack camp in order to be spared from the influenza epidemic in his town. It does a good job of describing the life of a lumberjack camp during the early 1900's in a manner that is of interest to younger children.
Minnesota's Sights and Symbols (Kid's Guide to Drawing America) by Jenny Deinard is part of an excellent 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.
North Star Numbers: A Minnesota Number Book (America by the Numbers) by Kathy-Jo Wargin is similar to V is for Viking: A Minnesota Alphabet by the same author, but it uses numbers rather than the alphabet as the overarching theme for introducing the history, sites, people, etc. of the state.
Hooray for Minnesota Winters!: For Minnesotans (and Those Who Wish They Were) of All Ages by Paul Lowrie covers the main aspects of the state in a fun manner and includes plenty of interesting tidbits about Minnesota winters.
Value of Sharing: The Story of the Mayo Brothers (Value Tale) by Spencer Johnson is our favorite book on the Mayo brothers. It has plenty of historical information and the illustrations kept the attention of even my 2 year old.
I Spy with My Little Eye Minnesota by Kathy-jo Wargin is a fun book that has pairs of photographs of various sites and scenery from Minnesota. Can you identify the changes that were made in one of the photographs in each pair? This is a fun way to learn a bit about the state!
Our Favorite Books for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
If you are looking for board books on Minnesota that will appeal to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, try Little Minnesota (Little State) Board book by Kathy-jo Wargin, Goodnight Loon Board book by Abe Sauer, Count To Sleep Minnesota Board book by Adam Gamble, 123 Minnesota: A Cool Counting Book (Cool Counting Books) Board book by Puck, and Hello, Minnesota! (Hello, America!) Board book by Constance Van Hoven
Great Chapter Books Related to Minnesota
On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House) by Laura Ingalls Wilder (352 pages) is part of the must-read Little House series. In this book Laura and her family settle in a sod house in Minnesota. We actually listened to the unabridged audio version of this book while on a car trip. Even my husband, who is not a huge fan of children's books, enjoyed listening.
Meet Kirsten (American Girl: Kirsten, 1854) by Janet Shaw (80 pages) is part of the American Girl series. In this book Kristen travels from Sweden to Minnesota in the mid-1800's.
All About Minnesota provides great links to printable worksheets, book suggestions, and activity ideas about Minnesota.
Minnesota for Teachers includes wonderful printable worksheets, activity ideas, and book suggestions.
On the Banks of Plum Creek Lapbook offers free lapbook pages and activity ideas for On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Marven of the Great North Woods Lapbook offers free lapbook pages and activity ideas for Marven of the Great North Woods by Kathryn Lasky.
Minnesota State Facts & Trivia lists numerous points of interest about Minnesota. The site also includes a number of helpful worksheets, links, and information.
Klara's New World Lapbook offers free lapbook pages and activity ideas for Klara's New World by Jeanette Winter. http://www.homeschoolshare.com/klara's%20new%20world.php
Gray Wolf Unit offers free lapbook pages and activity ideas related to gray wolves. http://www.homeschoolshare.com/gray_wolf.php