I have to admit, going into our Utah unit study I was thinking our Utah study will consist of a “Great Salt Lake project,” and… That’s where I drew a blank. Thankfully, my library pulled it out for me. I found some fun library books and discovered a few things I didn’t know about Utah before our Utah unit study, and it made a fun addition to our geography lessons.
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- Bryce Canyon National Park– we didn’t read this book, but used it for picture reference of amazing landscapes
- Dinosaur mountain: digging into the Jurassic Age– I loved this, and it became the inspiration for one of our two activities
- Great Salt Lake– This is a good quick introduction to the Great Salt Lake, and designed to be read by a beginning reader, which means it’s really simple for my giant kids now. I like getting a quick intro for them occasionally
- The Wheat Doll– I love this story. It’s a great story of a pioneer in the 1800s, and we read this ages ago when the kids were little (I’ll link to that post down below). This time around we didn’t do anything other than read it. Sometimes my goal is to just enjoy reading the books.
- Utah: the Beehive State– This series is not one you sit down and read. It’s perfect if you’re elementary or middle school kid is writing a report on the state, and for getting a bit of information about the state.
Books we used last time, but I didn’t get this time
- Snowshoe Thompson– This book takes place in both Utah and Nevada, but most of it looks to take place in Nevada, so I’d probably put it in that state
- Trout, Trout, Trout– I apparently really enjoyed this last time around and described it as a “cute rhyming book
- Coolies– A great book about building the transcontinental railroad, and how much of the work was done by Chinese immigrants. It doesn’t whitewash the past, but it doesn’t unnecessarily wallow in guilt. I’ll include a link to the activity we did almost 10 years ago, wow my kids are getting big… Again, this wasn’t as specifically Utah, so I didn’t use it this time, I think this might have been a mistake
Utah videos to watch during your Utah unit study
If your library doesn’t have those Utah books I recommended, it’s always good to have a few videos you can show to your kids. I’m also excited because I just found a new channel to add into my “channels to check for videos.”
The video is a bit slow, but that’s helpful for kids like my daughter who get frustrated with the speed of most videos, and trying to write down useful information.
Our Utah notebooking pages and Utah activities
Why do we float in the Great Salt Lake– It’s always amusing to see how much salt you add into the cups to get eggs to float
Dinosaur Cookie Fossil Dig– My kids loved this dinosaur dig, we also done a pasta dinosaur dig (I’m warning you that post is OLD, and the pictures are TINY) and a dinosaur dig at the park. No matter which version you use, you can use the dinosaur dig project in the Utah pack (over in the subscriber area, join on the sidebar).
Wheat Doll– this is a project we did with this book back when the kids were in preschool, so the pictures are tiny (I’m going to update it), and it’s mostly an art project, the kids, however, loved it.
Coolies– this project was mainly a retelling of the book events, thinking about it now, I’d be inclined to add in a couple more activities to go with this…. Now I’m thinking about what else I could do with it.
I only had three mini-books or items to add to the United States Geography page (hint, if you join the newsletter, there is a coupon for this, and you’ll get the minibooks from the subscriber page). I found the Utah motto amusing because it’s just one word: “Industry.”
I lost my original pages, so I don’t remember what all I had originally written down for the interesting facts. For this version, I cheated and wrote down the many national parks.
The three mini-books are Anasazi artwork because one of the national parks has some fascinating ruins. I should actually go into that this fall when we study Native American cultures for history…. Hmmm… what can I do with that.
We recreated a dinosaur dig site, and that was quite fun. My recreation is apparently a bit messy, which makes quite a lot of sense because it got all messed up in carrying it over.
The final was our Great Salt Lake experiment I mentioned up above.
All in all, this was a fun unit study. I’ve got a plan for this fall to have the kids take turns planning our studies coming up, and I’m curious what they’ll do with that.
More fun geography unit studies
“Natural Bridge, Bryce Canyon, Utah” by diana_robinson is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
There’s a really cool dinosaur museum in Utah (near but maybe not in Salt Lake), if you’re ever there.