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Utah for Travelers & Teachers

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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.


Are you looking for fun worksheets and lapbooks, children's books, and YouTube video clips for teaching and/or learning about Utah? Whether you're a school teacher, homeschooling parent, involved parent, librarian, lifelong learner, or a student searching for ideas and books on Utah, 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 .

What Makes This State Special: Dinosaurs

Utah's Dinosaur National Monument is a U.S. National Monument at which visitors can view dinosaur fossil beds with hundreds of dinosaur bones exposed. Various dinosaur bones have been found at the site including the fossils of a crocodile, allosaurus, apatosaurus diplodocus, stegosaurus, iguanodon, and others.

Dinosaur National Monument

What Makes This State Special: Hoodoos

Bryce Canyon National Park includes a number of unique geological structures called hoodoos, which are rock pillars with stripes of red, orange, and white sedimentary rock. They have been formed by erosion. The park welcomes over 1.5 million visitors each year.

Bryce Canyon National Park

What Makes This State Special: Natural Arches

Arches National Park contains over 2,000 natural stone arches including Delicate Arch (pictured to the right), which is one of the most well known natural stone arches in the world. In addition to the stone arches, the park contains many other unusual sandstone formations such as The Organ, Tower of Babel, and Fiery Furnace. This area was also home to various Native America tribes including the Fremont people, Ancient Pueblo People, and the Ute and Paiute tribes. Their history, such as Ute petroglyphs, can be viewed in particular areas of the park.

Arches National Park Ranger Talk

The Great Salt Lake

Image credit:

Image credit:

What Makes This State Special: Bonneville Salt Flats

The Bonneville Salt Flats are the largest of many salt flats of the Great Salt Lake. It is known for the "Bonneville Speedway" with annual meetings at which cars compete in numerous high speed races.

The Great Salt Lake

Great Salt Lake (Rookie Read-About Geography) by Mary Schulte is a short children's books with good pictures of the Great Salt Lake. It does a good job of giving a brief overview of the lake without getting overly detailed. Bonneville Salt Flats by Louise Ann Noeth has great photos and descriptions of the many unique and unusual cars that race across the salt flats in Utah. My children loved seeing these photos and reading about some of the cars! The Story of Salt by Mark Kurlansky is a longer picture book that gives a history of salt. It is well researched and written in an engaging manner. It was too long for my youngest ones to sit through, but my older children enjoyed it. We all learned quite a bit about salt!

What Makes This State Special: Brigham Young and the Latter Day Saints

Brigham Young led his Latter Day Saint followers to Salt Lake City. He was also the first governor of the Utah Territory. Today the Latter Day Saints Square in Salt Lake City receives a number of tourists, including many who attend the performances by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Our Favorite Books on Brigham Young & the Mormons

Brigham Young: Pioneer and Mormon Leader (Legendary Heroes of the Wild West) by William R. Sanford is a short chapter book (48 pages) about Brigham Young. It includes numerous illustrations. If you would like a longer chapter book, look for The Coming of the Mormons by Jim Kjelgaard, which is 183 pages and is part of the Landmark books series.

What Makes This State Special: Skiing & Snowboarding

Utah is a favorite spot for skiing and snowboarding due to its especially dry snow. Some claim it has the world's greatest powder. It was the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics. The ski resort in Alta shown in the picture on the right), is one America's oldest ski resorts that is still in use today.

Snowbird, Utah, Alta/Snowbird Connection - Powder Skiing & Snowboarding

Utah's state quarter

Utah's state quarter

Utah's State Flag and State Quarter

Utah's state flag features a bald eagle, because of it being the national bird of America. It also has the state flower, the sego lily, which represents peace, and it shows a beehive in order to represent Utah's progress and hard work. The year 1847 was when Brigham Young and the Mormons arrived in Utah, and Utah because the 45th state in the year 1896.

Utah's state quarter features the locomotives Jupiter and No. 119 which met at Promontory Summit, Utah to complete the Transcontinental Railroad. The ceremonial final spike, the Golden Spike, is also included.

Our Favorite Picture Book on Utah

Good Night Utah (Good Night Our World) Board book by Mark Jasper - Image is from

Good Night Utah (Good Night Our World) Board book by Mark Jasper - Image is from

More Good Picture Books on Utah

Good Night Utah (Good Night Our World) Board book by Mark Jasper was our favorite board book, perfect for preschoolers, toddlers, and/or babies. It has one sentence per page and adorable illustrations that keep the attention of even the youngest of listeners. Each page features a different location or feature of Utah including the Great Salt Lake, the national parks, the Rocky Mountains, and more.

White Water by Jonathan London is about a father and son who take a week long trip rafting down the Green River. They view the beautiful scenery of the rock walls and face some peril, like poisonous snakes.

Coyote Steals Fire: A Shoshone Tale by Northwestern Shoshone Nation is a brief but beautifully illustrated traditional Shoshone tale about the arrival of fire in the northern Wasatch region.

Alfred Visits Utah by Elizabeth O'Neill is part of a cute series in which Alfred the Elephant visits the various sites in each state. In this one he visits Utah and learns about the history, geography, and famous landmarks of the state.

How to Draw Utah's Sights and Symbols (A Kid's Guide to Drawing America) by Eric Fein is part of a great 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.

Coyote Steals the Blanket: A Ute Tale (Ute Tales) by Janet Stevens is a cute tale about a coyote who steals a blanket, angers the desert spirit, and is then chased by a rock. My children found the book to be quite humorous.

The Night Before Christmas In Utah (The Night Before Christmas Series) by Sue Carabine is a Utah-version of the "The Night Before Christmas" story.

Pia Toya: A Goshute Indian Legend by Goshute Indians tells the legend of how the Deep Creek Range was created after the hawk punishes the coyote for his trickery.

Hannah Stands Tall by Shirley Rees (130 pages) takes place in the 1860s and is about a 14 year old girl who must take care of her family after her mother passes away. She endures wild animals, Native Americans, family disputes, crickets, drought, and more.

The Great Railroad Race: The Diary of Libby West, Utah Territory 1868 (Dear America Series) by Kristiana Gregory (204 pages) is about a 14 year old girl witnessing the building of the Transcontinental Railroad as her father covers the event as a reporter. It is written as if it was the diary of the girl. The end includes historical facts and photographs.

Hostage! by Edward Myers (192 pages) is about two teens, both part of a group learning about the dinosaurs and rock formations of the Utah desert, who are then are taken hostage by a man who stole a dinosaur egg from the Dinosaur National Monument.

A page from my son's notebook on Utah

A page from my son's notebook on Utah

Great Worksheets and Lapbooks on Utah That We Used When Creating Notebooks on Individual States

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

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

Lapbook for "Ten Mile Day And The Building of The Transcontinental Railroad " offers free lapbook pages and activity ideas for "Ten Mile Day And The Building of The Transcontinental Railroad " by Mary Ann Fraser.

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

Our Favorite Video on Utah: History Channel's States Documentary: Utah Starts at 25:26.

Good Overview of the State

Where is Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah?

© 2012 Shannon

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