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State of New York - Pottery and History Curriculum Lesson for Homeschooling or Summer Enrichment

Updated on February 19, 2014
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How To Use This Lesson

Did you know it took 31 years to build the New York State Capitol Building? Did you know there are 55 downhill ski tracks in New York state? There’s lots to learn about New York! Learn about these and other fun facts while doing a quick study of this state.

You can just use this lesson as-is to explore fun facts about New York, or you can use it as a starting point to discover more interesting facts. This lesson includes a fun pottery project that provides a hands-on learning opportunity as well.

New York's State Flag

Facts about New York

State Abbreviation: NY

Capital: Albany

State Nickname: The Empire State

State Motto: “Excelsior” (Ever upwards.)

State Song: “I love New York”

State Bird: Eastern Bluebird

State Tree: Sugar Maple

State Flower: Rose

State Mammal: Beaver

A Few of the Many Famous People Born in New York

Martin Van Buren, 8th US President

Millard Fillmore, 13th US President

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd US President

Christina Aguilera, Singer

Al Capone, Gangster

Neil Diamond, Singer

Jimmy Fallon, Comedian

Rita Hayworth, Actress

Ralph Lauren, Designer

Lindsay Lohan, Actress and Singer

James Patterson, Novelist

Fun Facts about the State

It is uncertain why New York is called the Empire State, but it is known that the building was named for the state and not the state for the building.

The New York State Canal System is 524 miles long and has 57 locks

In 1892 Ellis Island opened in New York Harbor as the primary immigration depot in the U.S.

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor on October 28, 1886 and was a gift from France.

The Adirondack Park in New York is larger than the Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, Grand Canyon parks combined.

New York City became known as the “Big Apple” in the late 1920s. The reason for this nickname is not clear.

New York City is now the most populated city in the USA with more than 8.2 million people.

New York City has 4000 street food vendors including hot dogs, pretzels, falafel, kebobs, and more.

Around 1870, on Coney Island, German immigrant Charles Feltman began selling sausages in rolls. These led to what we know as a Coney Island Hot Dog.

So, you guessed it….we’re making hot dogs!

Start with a chunk of clay.

Break it in half.

With one half, make a hot dog.

With the other half, make a hot dog and flatten it.

Fold it to make a bun shape.

If it's too long for the hot dog, trim the edges.

Scratch and wet the hot dog and place it in the bun.

Make a tiny long snake.

Place it on the hot dog to look like mustard.

Lunch is served!


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