In addition to traveling, we enjoy studying the different states.
Last year we focused mostly on state capitals and shapes. This year we’re revisiting shape/location and learning a few fun facts. When we got to the letter K my kids were eager to talk about Kentucky (mostly because we’ve lived there.) But, of course, we couldn’t skip over Kansas. My kids love that it’s the bullseye of the country with a tiny bite in the top corner.
My daughter exclaimed, “that’s really cool. But what else is cool about Kansas?”
Her question brought up a funny memory. When I was in 4th grade we got to do state projects. This was something every 3rd grader looked forward to participating in the following year. It was a BIG deal.
Not only did you get to work on the project throughout the year, but it culminated in a week-long fair where every classmate presented their state. People got really creative- dressing in costume, serving food specific to the state, and highlighting everything cool about their state.
Even at that age, I loved travel. I’d been to a pretty good number of states and I specifically hoped for one I had already visited. The day finally came to draw states. Reaching into the bag I pulled out “KANSAS.” I’m not going to lie, I almost cried. Kansas?!?! Really??? Was there ANYTHING cool about that state?
It took me a few months to grow an attachment for my assigned state. In fact, there were times when I still got a little jealous over my classmates states. But, all in all, Kansas turned out to be pretty cool. For example…
Did you know Kansas really is flatter than a pancake? It’s a proven Scientific fact! Scientists actually compared the topography of the state to an IHOP pancake.
It’s also illegal to hunt whales in Kansas. Which seems like a pretty ridiculous law considering there is absolutely no coastline!
There are also a few famous people from Kansas- most notably Amelia Earhart and Dwight D. Eisenhower. And, in addition to the large amounts of wheat produced in the state, there are also a few other famous foods from Kansas. It’s the home of the graham cracker, Pizza Hut, and White Castle (the first national hamburger chain!)
To a 4th grade me, these tidbits of information were fairly valuable. Of course I also had to report on the farmland, and wheat crops…but at least I had something. Admittedly, my project didn’t quite measure up to the ones from “cooler” states. But Kansas will always hold a special place in my heart!
Here are a few great resources if you’re making plans to visit:
What are your favorite family activities in Kansas?
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