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Escape to Hawaii
Hawaii for Teachers & Travelers
Aloha! Are you looking for scenic video clips, fun worksheets, and entertaining children's books for escaping to Hawaii? Included are links to wonderful YouTube videos, worksheets, book suggestions for children, and more -- all related to the state of Hawaii! Whether you're dreaming of a summer tropical paradise getaway to Hawaii or looking for teaching ideas on Hawaii, you've come to the right place!
What Makes This State Special: Orchids, Macadamia Nuts, Cacao Beans, and Vanilla
Big Island is the world's leading producer of orchids & macadamia nuts. It is also the only place in America where cacao beans (chocolate) & vanilla are grown.
What Makes This State Special: Pineapples
Hawaii produces over 1/3 of the world's pineapples. Lanai used to have the world's largest pineapple plantation.
What Makes This State Special: Volcanoes
Kilauea is the world's largest & most active volcanoes. It has been erupting continuously since 1983.
What Makes This State Special: Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, a lagoon harbor on the island of O'ahu, is most well-know for the surprise military attack on December 7, 1941. The USS Arizona Memorial is one of the top tourist destinations in Hawaii.
Our Favorite Book on Pearl Harbor
"The Attack on Pearl Harbor" (Disasters in History) by Jane Sutcliffe was our favorite picture book on Pearl Harbor. My boys loves this comic book style account of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They learned almost as much from it as they would have from a longer chapter book. We also enjoyed "Pearl Harbor" (Ready To Read Level 3) by Stephen Krensky.
What Makes This State Special: The Animals
Hawaii has developed a unique fauna due to an absence of natural predators. Only 2 known native mammals, the monk seal and the hoary bat, can occasionally be spotted. In Hawaii more bird species have become extinct than anywhere else in the entire world. Underwater there are about 680 fish species & 40 species of sharks. Find out more at www.to-hawaii.com.
Our Favorite Books on Marine Life of Hawaii
Our overall favorite book was the very simple picture book, "What am I? A Hawaii Animal Guessing Game" by Daniel Harrington. Also look for "DK Readers: Shark Attack!" by Cathy East Dubowski, "Sand to Sea: Marine Life of Hawaii" by Stephanie Feeney, "Baby Honu's Incredible Journey" by Tammy Yee, and "Baby Honu Saves The Day" by Tammy Yee.
What Makes This State Special: Royalty
Polynesians were the first settlers of Hawaii. At various points in history the Russian, French, and British all laid claim to the islands. Eventually America took control of Hawaii despite the pleas by Hawaii's last native ruler, Queen Lili'uokalani.
Favorite Books on Hawaii's History
"The Last Princess : The Story of Princess Ka'iulani of Hawai'i" by Fay Stanley is one of the books at the top of my list when studying Hawaii. It is a longer picture book but is absolutely fascinating and has wonderful illustrations! Also look for "Kamehameha: The Boy Who Became A Warrior King" by Ellie Crowe, "Hawaii, Gem of the Pacific" (Landmark Chapter Books) by Oscar Lewis, "Georgia in Hawaii: When Georgia O'Keeffe Painted What She Pleased" by Amy Novesky (a picture book), and "Kaiulani: The People's Princess, Hawaii, 1889" (Royal Diaries Chapter Book) by Ellen Emerson White.
What Makes This State Special: A Royal Palace
The only royal palace in America is Iolani Palace. It is located in Honolulu and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the capital city.
What Makes This State Special: Hula
Hula is a traditional Hawaiian dance form. It usually dramatizes a story.
Our Favorite Resources on Hula Dancing
"The Story of Hula" by Carla Golembe is a neat picture book that includes the history of hula dancing and what it looks like today. It also includes a CD! Also look for the fun picture books "Legend of the Hula Moose" and "Maile and the Huli Hula Chicken." If you would like a compilation of Hawaiian music that includes hula music, we most enjoyed "Hawaiian Playground" produced by Putumayo Presents.
What Makes This State Special: Surfing
1/3 of Hawaii's best surfing beaches are on Oahu, which is the most visited island in Hawaii.
Our Favorite Books on Surfing
Surfer of the Century: The Life of Duke Kahanamoku by Ellie Crowe is a great picture book biography on Duke Kahanamoku, who was considered the father of modern surfing. Also look for "Rhinos Who Surf" by Julie Mammano. It is a very short, cute picture book that includes vocabulary used by surfers. Other good picture books about surfing include "Story of Surfing" by Carla Golembe, "My Daddy Taught Me to Surf" by Joseph Tomarchio, "Dude: Fun with Dude and Betty" by Lisa Pliscou, "Surf's Up For Kimo" by Kerry Germain, and "Moki and the Magic Surfboard: A Hawaiian Fantasy" by Bruce Hale.
What Makes This State Special: Wind Power
Oahu is home to the world's largest wind generator. The tower itself is 20 stories high.
What Makes This State Special: Sea Cliffs & Waterfalls
Maui has the world's highest sea cliffs & the state's longest waterfall.
What Makes This State Special: The Largest City
Honolulu is the largest city in the world according in terms of border length because it includes all unnamed islands within the Hawaiian Archipelago. That makes Honolulu almost 1,500 miles long -- which is a length more than halfway across the 48 contiguous states.
Looking for Family-Friendly Movies on Hawaii?
Some great family-friendly movies that are specifically related to Hawaii include "Princess Kaiulani", "Lilo & Stitch", "Blue Hawaii" (with Elvis), "Peal Harbor" by the History Channel, and "Hawaii" (with Julie Andrews).
Hawaii's State Flag
Great Children's Books on Hawaii
Best Books for Babies & Toddlers
Also look for "Diving for Fun in Hawaii, A Touch-and-Feel book" by Johann Bosgra, "My Day at the Beach in Hawaii" by Dennis Fujitake, "Baby's First 1-2-3 in Hawaii" by Jon J. Murakami, "Mo'o's Colors" by Tammy Yee, "Hawaiian Alphabet" by Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, and "Too Many Mangos" by Tammy Paikai.
Favorite Picture Books on Hawaii
In addition the books that I listed above under specific categories (surfing, Pearl Harbor, etc.), also look for "Goodnight Hawaiian Moon" by Dr. Carolan, "The Hawaii Snowman", "Froggy Goes to Hawaii" by Jonathan London, and "Luka's Quilt" by Georgia Guback. We also loved "How to Draw Hawaii's Sights and Symbols" which isn't a picture book. It's a great book that combines Hawaii's geography with easy art lessons.
Favorite Books on Hawaiian Tales & Legends
Also look for "Pig-Boy: A Trickster Tale from Hawai'i" by Gerald McDermott, "Pele and the Rivers of Fire" by Michael Nordenstrom, "Menehune and the Nene" (Treasury of Children's Hawaiian Stories) by Susan Yamashita, and "Snow White and the Seven Menehune" by Donivee Martin Laird.
This is my favorite series on individual states. Each page has a simple rhyme concerning the word starts with that letter and then 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!
Good Chapter Books Related to Hawaii
If you need more options, look for "Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board", "The Secret of the Golden Pavilion" (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories) by Carolyn Keene, "Junie B., First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha! (Junie B. Jones, No. 26)", and "Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet" by Graham Salisbury.
Good Chapter Books Related to Hawaii
This is a great for early readers and also makes a wonderful bedtime reading story!
Helpful Worksheets and Lapbook Pages on Hawaii
Hawaii's State Quarter
Great Free Worksheets and Lapbook Pages on Hawaii
All About Hawaii provides great links to printable worksheets, book suggestions, and activity ideas about Hawaii.
Hawaii for Teachers includes wonderful printable worksheets, activity ideas, and book suggestions.
Volcanoes Unit Study contains a unit study with lapbook pages, activities, and book suggestions on volcanoes.
Lapbook for "The Island Below the Star" includes free lapbook pages and activity ideas for "The Island Below the Star" by James Rumford.
Hawaii State Facts & Trivia lists numerous points of interest about Hawaii. The site also includes a number of helpful worksheets, links, and information.