Monday, February 25, 2013

Journey Through Colorado History {Booking Across the USA}

I am very excited to be part of the Booking Across the USA project hosted by Growing Book by Book.  Today I am joining over 50 other bloggers in sharing a children's book and activity for my state.  The Rocky Mountains always come to mind when people think of Colorado, but I wanted to cover a different aspect of the state.  I was happy to find a new picture book called Dreaming of Colorado: A Children's Bedtime Story, written by Grant Collier and illustrated by Stephanie Lowman.  The book takes its characters through a magical canoe ride backwards in time through Colorado's history.  So the girls hopped into their own magic canoe (laundry basket) and we set off on our own historical adventure...

The first stop in Dreaming of Colorado is ancient Colorado where dinosaurs roamed the state.  We talked a little bit about fossils and how paleontologists learn about dinosaurs.  E was excited to learn that the first stegosaurus skeleton was found in Colorado and that it is the state dinosaur (stegosaurus is her favorite!). 

I showed the kids photos of Dinosaur Ridge where you can see dinosaur footprints on the side of the hill right next to the road.  We talked about some of the things that dinosaur footprints can tell us about dinosaurs like whether they walk on two feet or four, how large they were, whether they traveled in groups, etc...

With a bit of paint and the kids' collection of plastic dinosaur figures, we made some of our own dinosaur footprints and made observations about them like telling the difference between the theropods and sauropods.

The next stop for the magic canoe in our book was a time period where sequoia trees grew in Colorado and volcanoes were active.

We looked at pictures of sequoia trees online. Then we made our own 'volcano' using aluminum foil.  The girls were mesmerized when I made it 'erupt' using baking soda and vinegar.  This is the first time we've done this, so the level of excitement was pretty high.

 I showed them some pictures of the petrified sequoia trees that were preserved by volcanic ash in the Florissant Fossil Beds in Colorado.  I'll have to add it to our list of places to visit this summer.

The story then takes us to the plains where we meet an Arapahoe Indian hunter on a horse chasing a herd of bison.

I know that making a Native American feather headdress is pretty cliche, but the girls had so much fun with it.  I also researched the Arapaho Indians and found that they played an interesting Hoop and Pole game that is similar to darts, but with a rolling target.

L sewed us a hoop by threading yarn through holes in a plastic ring from another game (you might also be able to do this with a paper plate).

Our version of this Native American game involved me rolling the hoop across the ground and the girls catching it with their feathers.

The fourth aspect of Colorado history in the book was meeting a prospector who was looking for gold.  So we decided to do a little gold panning of our own...

E created a sifter for us by punching holes in an aluminum pie tin using a skewer (yes it was sharp, but I was supervising the whole time).

I buried chocolate chips underneath some corn starch and the girls took turns sifting.  Then they enjoyed eating their treasures. 

The book Deaming of Colorado was a fun launching point to start teaching my kids about their home state.  Obviously all four topics we covered through our introduction to Colorado history can be entire units themselves, but the little activities we did were just right to spark my Preschoolers' curiosity.

To see what the other bloggers in Booking Across the USA did for their states, visit the links below:

All 50 States for Booking Across the USA Blog Hop 
Booking Across the USA Host:  Growing Book by Book
Blogging Across the USA Blog Hop button
 AlabamaFlag of Alabama from Wikipedia CommonsAlabama Blog Post by Everyday Snapshots Blog Alaska Flag of Alaska from Wikipedia CommonsAlaska Blog Post by Little Wonders' Days Blog
Arkansas Flag of Arkansas from Wikipedia CommonsArkansas Blog Post by Homeschooling in Arkansas ArizonaFlag of Arizona from Wikipedia CommonsArizona Blog Post by Simply Kinder  CaliforniaFlag of California from WikipediaCalifornia Blog Post by Juggling with Kids 
ColoradoFlag of Colorado from Wikipedia CommonsColorado blog Post by Learners in Bloom
Flag of Colorado from Wikipedia
Colorado Blog Post by Living Montessori Now
 ConnecticutFlag of Connecticut from Wikipedia CommonsConnecticut Blog Post By Teacher Park Blog DelawareFlag of Delaware from Wikipedia CommonsDelaware Blog Post by Mama Miss
FloridaFlag of Florida from WikipediaFlorida Blog Post by the Teaching Stars Blog GeorgiaFlag of Georgia USA from Wikipedia CommonsGeorgia Blog Post by Fabulously First Blog HawaiiFlag of Hawaii from Wikipedia CommonsHawaii Blog Post by Teaching with Style
Flag of Idaho from Wikipedia Commons
IllinoisFlag of Illinois from Wikipedia CommonsIllinois State Post by Growing Book by Book IndianaFlag of Indiana from Wikipedia CommonsIndiana State Post by Teach Pre-School Blog
 IowaFlag of Iowa from Wikipedia CommonsIowa Blog Post by Surviving a Teacher Salary Blog  KansasFlag of Kansas from Wikipedia CommonsKansas Blog Post by KCEdventures  KentuckyFlag of Kentucky from Wikipedia Commons Blog Post by Chicken Babies
LouisianaFlag of Louisiana from Wikipedia CommonsLouisiana Blog Post by Your Child's Next Book and Project Blog MaineFlag of Maine from Wikipedia CommonsMaine Blog Post by Country Fun  MarylandFlag of Maryland from Wikipedia CommonsMaryland Blog Post by Picture Books and Piourettes
MassachusettsFlag of Massachusetts from Wikipedia CommonsMassachusetts Blog Post by Mama Smiles Blog Michigan Flag of Michigan from Wikipedia CommonsMichigan Blog Post by Play Dr. Mom MinnesotaFlag of Minnesota from Wikipedia CommonsMinnesota Post by the Wise Owl Factory Book a Day Blog
 MissouriFlag of Missouri from Wikipedia CommonsMissouri Blog Post by Ready, Set, Read Blog MontanaFlag of Montana from Wikipedia CommonsMontana Blog Post by The Honey Bunch
 New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
 North CarolinaFlag of North Carolina from Wikipedia CommonsNorth Carolina Post by the Realistic Teacher Blog  North DakotaFlag of North Dakota from WikipediaNorth Dakota Post by ND Health Works Ohio
 Rhode Island
South Carolina
 South DakotaFlag of South Dakota from WikipediaSouth Dakota Blog Post by Wise Owl Factory Book a Day
 West Virginia

Please 'like' Learners in Bloom on Facebook for more fun!


  1. New book that looks like a perfect fit for young children especially where imaginations are encouraged. Fun to see others doing dream catchers, but I especially like the creative panning activity.

  2. What a cool book! And way to go, making it cross-curricular!

  3. Your kids look like they had a lot of fun. Thanks for linking up to The Children's Bookshelf.

  4. I absolutely LOVE how you brought the book to life. Sounds like a great book. Wonderful post!

  5. I thought you had made Dreamcatchers at first! Clever ideas!

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