Alabama for Teachers & Travelers
Are you looking for fun worksheets, books, and activity ideas for teaching and/or learning about Alabama? Included are links to wonderful worksheets, book suggestions for children, YouTube videos, DVD recommendations, and more -- all related to the state of Alabama! This is part of a series of pages I created on each of the fifty states. You can find the links for all 50 states at Teaching the 50 States of America .
Have You Visited Alabama Yet?
What Makes This State Special: NASA's Space Flight Center
Huntsville, Alabama, nicknamed "The Rocket City," is home to NASA's George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, well known for its' summer space camps. At the museum you can view numerous rockets, space shuttle and flying artifacts, and more. One of the most popular permanent exhibits is the Saturn V rocket, which takes up the main hall.
Advertisement for Huntsville, Alabama: A Smart Place
What Makes This State Special: The First Confederate's Capitol
Alabama's State Capitol was the First Confederate's Capitol in 1861, before it was moved to Richmond, Virginia. Many who live in Alabama continue to be proud of the state's Confederate heritage. The Confederate Memorial Monument, located on the north side of Capitol Hill, is dedicated to Alabama's more than 122,000 Confederate veterans of the Civil War.
What Makes This State Special: Birmingham's Civil Rights Movement
Birmingham, Alabama was a hot spot in the Civil Right's Movement during the 1960s with Civil Rights leaders such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. The peaceful protests began in 1963 and focused on Birmingham because it was one of the most racially divided cities in the United States at that time. Through the work of many protesters and much coverage by the media, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting racial discrimination.
Rosa Parks: Mini Bio
Klan Bombing of Birmingham Church in 1963
Martin Luther King, Jr.: Letter from Birmingham Jail clip
Our Favorite Picture Books on Birmingham's Civil Right's Movement
We read a few books on Rosa Parks. I enjoyed this one the most. My children (ages 2-9) enjoyed it as well, partially due to the lovely illustrations. This puts less focus on Martin Luther King Jr.'s work in the bus boycott and more emphasis on a group of women who helped Rosa.
More Good Picture Books on Birmingham's Civil Right's Movement
Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott (Graphic History) by Connie Colwell Miller was my boys' (ages 6 and 9) favorite book on Rosa Parks. They love the comic book format of the illustrations. The book still provides plenty of historically accurate information.
I am Rosa Parks (Ordinary People Change World) by Brad Meltzer includes Roas Park's childhood, the events that led up to her refusal to give up her seat on the bus, and the event itself along with the Montgomery Bus Boycott she inspired. My children enjoyed the comic book style illustrations, and I enjoyed the message that it portrayed about how sometimes change is difficult but you should try nonetheless when it is needed.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Bio-Graphics Set 2 (Graphic Planet)) by Joeming W. Dunn was the favorite pick of my boys (ages 6 and 9), both of whom enjoyed the comic book format of the illustrations.
Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington by Gary Jeffrey is another good option with much more detail. It is also written in a graphic (comic book) format.
Listen To My Dream by Debi Pearl is a poem about Martin Luther King, Jr. that highlights his childhood, events that led up to his actions, and his impact. It includes colorful illustrations and an overall positive message.
What makes Alabama special: The USS Alabama
What Makes This State Special: The USS Alabama
This battleship was commissioned in 1942. During her time in service, she never lost the life of one of her soldiers. In 1964 the battleship was docked in Mobile, just off off of I-10, and was converted to a museum ship that serves as a memorial to honor all who served in World War II.
What Makes This State Special: Helen Keller
Helen Keller, an inspiring woman who was both deaf and blind, grew up in West Tuscumbia, Alabama. She was faithfully tutored by Anne Sullivan, and was the first deaf and blind person to receive a bachelor's of art degree. She was also an activist for women's suffrage and advocate for people with disabilities. Her portrait is featured on Alabama's state quarter.
Our Favorite Books and Movies on Helen Keller
Helen Keller: Courage in the Dark (Step Into Reading: A Step 4 Book) by Johanna Hurwitz was our favorite picture book on Helen Keller. My children (ages 2-9) enjoyed this one. It covers her entire life and has nice illustrations. The text is the perfect length for preschoolers through middle elementary aged children.
Helen Keller: The World in Her Heart by Lesa Cline-Ransome is a picture book with gorgeous illustrations and focuses on how Helen learned about the world using her senses.
The Miracle Worker DVD tells the amazing story of Helen Keller. Even though it is an older movie, it still kept the attention of my children (ages 4-9).All my children enjoyed this simple 30 minute animated movie on Heller Keller's life, which brought out her determination and strong character.
Helen Keller DVD by Nest Family Entertainment is a 35 minute animated movie on Helen Keller that brings out her character and determination. All of my children really enjoyed it!
What Makes Alabama Special: Crimson Tide
Alabamans love University of Alabama's Crimson Tide football team. Bryant–Denny Stadium, located in Tuscaloosa is the home stadium for the University of Alabama football team.
Alabama's State Flag and State Quarter
Alabama's state flag simply contains a crimson saltire cross on a white flag. Some claim the saltire cross was inspired by the blue saltire of the Confederate Battle Flag which others claim it is related to Alabama's Spanish heritage. It was originally part of the Spanish territory of West Florida.
Alabama's state quarter features Helen Keller, a branch of the longleaf pine (the state tree), magnolia blossoms, and the words "Spirit of Courage" and "Helen Keller" written both in print and Braille.
Our Favorite Children's Books on Alabama
This is my favorite series on individual states! Each page has a simple rhyme about a word that begins with each letter of the alphabet (perfect to read if you have younger children). Then it includes a bit more about that particular regional animal, location, etc. It provides a wonderful overview of what makes each state unique. Both modern and historical aspects of the state are includes. Plus, the illustrations are beautiful!
Our Favorite Board Book for Babies, Toddlers, or Preschoolers
This 20 page board book is perfect for the youngest of listeners. It has minimal text and delightful illustrations that show off the sites of Alabama including the US Space & Rocket Center, Birmingham Zoo, USS Alabama battleship, Rosa Parks Library and Museum, Crimson Tide, and more.
More of Our Favorite Picture Books on Alabama
All over Alabama by Laurie Parker gives a nice overview of the sites of Alabama. The text is written in rhyme and the illustrations are lovely.
The Alabama Angels by Mary Barwick is the story of some angels who help with daily tasks of people living in Southern Alabama. It does a good job of showing the lifestyles those who live in rural Alabama (catching shrimp, getting a church ready for homecoming, taking care of children, etc.). It also encourages children to help others who are in need.
Stitchin' and Pullin': A Gee's Bend Quilt by Patricia McKissack reveals the tradition of quilting in rural Alabama communities such as Gee's Bend. It shows how the art is passed down through multiple generations and is used to pass along family heritage and stories from the past.
Santa Is Coming to Alabama by Steve Smallman depicts famous sites of the state as Santa flies over the Bryant-Denny Stadium, Rocket Park, Jazz Hall of Fame, and more.
How to Draw Alabama's Sights and Symbols (A Kid's Guide to Drawing America) by Jennifer Quasha - combines state geography with art. Each page contains something about Alabama (a state artist, the state flag, bird, tree, capitol building, areas of interest, and animals.) A photograph will be included along with a brief explanation about that item. Then the page opposite of that includes step by step directions on how to draw that symbol or site. Even my 6 year old is able to follow the drawing directions, and I've been amazed at how well my 9 year old has been drawing each of the state flags as he follows the instructions in the book!
Chapter Books Related to Alabama
This winner of the Newbery Honor and the Coretta Scott King Honor is about a black family from Michigan who visits their grandmother in 1963 in Birmingham and are there when their grandmother's church is blown up.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression. It is a classic chapter book that deals with racism through the eyes of a young girl with a heroic father.
Run Away Home by Patricia C. McKissack, which is set in Alabama in 1888 and is about a teenage black girl, whose family has just been freed from slavery, witnesses a teenage Apache boy escaping from a train as he is being transported from NM. Her family has to decide if they will risk their rights to save his.
Bird by Angela Johnson, which is about a teenage girl who runs away from home to search for her stepfather in Alabama.
Alabama Moon by Watt Key, which about a 10-year old boy who must live on his own in the wilds of Alabama after his father dies.
Our Favorite Free Worksheets and Lapbook Pages on Alabama
Great Worksheets on Alabama That We Used When Creating Notebooks on Individual States
All About Alabama provides great links to printable worksheets, book suggestions, and activity ideas about Alabama.
Alabama for Teachers includes wonderful printable worksheets, activity ideas, and book suggestions.
African American Resources includes free book suggestions and lapbook pages related to African American history.
Alabama State Facts & Trivia lists numerous points of interest about Alabama. The site also includes a number of helpful worksheets, links, and information.
More of Our Favorite Family-Friendly Video Clips Giving an Overview of the State
Excellent On-line Overviews of Alabama: History of Alabama from the History Channel
Man vs. Wild in Alabama
Where is Montgomery, the capital of Alabama?
© 2012 Shannon