Saturday, March 7, 2015

Teaching Pennsylvania History: Part 4: State Symbols

Bingo Board

Another way I teach about Pennsylvania is through the symbols for the state. Do your children know that these had to go through legislative channels to be chosen? One class had an especially good lesson on the process as they were instrumental in having a state insect chosen! read more

Different things students can do:
  • Make a list of state symbols and draw a picture of each.
  • Play Bingo. (Instructions at the end of this blog)
  • Have them research each symbol.
  • Make a book about the symbols adding information as they learn.
  • Make a chart with categories: state symbol, year adopted, scientific name, and one interesting fact.
  • Read my book: Phacops Rana and Other Pennsylvania Symbols

List of Symbols (in order of adoption)

State Bird: Ruffed Grouse 
State Tree: Hemlock
State Flower: Mountain Laurel
State Mammal: whitetail deer
State Dog: Great Dane
State Fish: Brook Trout
State Insect: Firefly
State Beverage: Milk
State Beautification and Conservation Plant: Penngift Crown Vetch
State Steam Locomotive: PRR K4 3750 and PRR K4 1361
State Electric Train: PRR GG1 4859 (Located at the Harrisburg Train Station)
State Flagship: U.S. Brig Niagara 
State Fossil: Phacops Rana
State Song: Pennsylvania by Eddie Khoury & Ronnie Bonner

Besides these, find out about the state flag, state seal, state motto, state nickname, and state slogans. 

Instructions for Bingo Game: Have student or students fold a piece of 8 ½ by 11 paper into thirds. Turn and fold in thirds the other way. They will end up with nine blocks. Have them draw lines down the creases. On each of the nine blocks have them write a name of a Pennsylvania symbol. Have them make a set of cards with the category of each symbol: state tree, state flower, etc. Tear up another paper to make Bingo chips or use buttons, pennies, or other small objects. Teacher draws the cards and students cover the related symbol with the small objects. First one to cover three in a row wins.

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