Indiana for Teachers and Travelers
Are you looking for fun worksheets and lapbooks, children's books, and YouTube video clips for teaching and/or learning about Indiana? Whether you're a school teacher, homeschooling parent, involved parent, librarian, lifelong learner, or a student searching for ideas and books on Indiana, look no further!
I've been to Indiana. Have you visited Indiana yet?
What Makes This State Special: Indianapolis 500
Since hosting America's first ever long-distance car race in 1911, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has continued to host the largest annual motor-sport event, the Indianapolis 500 also known as Indy 500.
Our Favorite Children's Books on Auto Racing
Indy 500: The Inside Track by Nancy Roe Pimm was the book I used to introduce the Indy 500. My boys of course insisted that reading about the Indianapolis 500 is a must. This has photographs and has some interesting text. It is a bit longer that we would prefer, but it was the best option I could find. We also read R is for Race: A Stock Car Alphabet (Sports Alphabet) by Brad Herzog. Since I couldn't find any good children's picture books on the Indy 500, we read books on stock car racing. We really enjoyed this one. (Yes, I know the Indy 500 does is not a stock car race.) We also read the chapter on Jeff Gordon from Nascar's Greatest Drivers (Step into Reading) by Angela Roberts.
What Makes This State Special: Orville Redenbacher
Indiana born and raised Orville Redenbacher helped Indiana become one of the nation's leading popcorn producing states in the country with a specially hybridized kernel that produced a superior product.
What Makes This State Special: Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad
Before the War Between the States/Civil War, Fountain City was known as the "Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad" as Levi & Katie Coffin assisted over 2,000 runaway slaves on their way north to Canada. One of the ladies that the Coffins assisted was even used as the model for Eliza, a main character in Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Good Picture Book on the Underground Railroad in Indiana
Based on the true story of how Lyle Station, Indiana was founded, this picture book tells the story of a family who was freed from slavery in Tennessee in 1832 and headed to Indiana to start a community of freed slaves, many of whom they helped to escape.
What Makes This State Special: Bedford Limestone
Bedford Limestone, mined in the southern end of the state, is considered to be the highest quality limestone in the US. It was been used to build the Empire State Building, Pentagon, Biltmore Estate, Rockefeller Center, US Treasury, 14 state capitals, and numerous other government and university buildings.
What Makes This State Special: Abraham Lincoln's Childhood Home
Abraham Lincoln spent 14 years growing up in Spencer County, Indiana. His childhood home is now memorialized at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, which is maintained by the U.S. National Park Service.
Our Favorite Book on Abraham Lincoln's Childhood in Indiana
My Best Friend Abe Lincoln: A Tale of Two Boys From Indiana by Robert L. Bloch is the story of Abraham Lincoln and his adventures with a fictional best friend, Sam Harding. It is a fun way to introduce Lincoln's childhood as he grew up in Indiana.
Indiana's State Flag and State Quarter
Indiana's state flag is blue and with a yellow torch in the middle. The torch represents liberty and enlightenment, and the rays of the torch around the torch show their far-reaching influence. It has 19 stars because Indiana was the 19th state to join America. It has 13 stars in the outer loop the represent the original 13 colonies, 5 inner stars to represent the next five states, and one large star above the torch to represent Indiana.
Indiana's state quarter features an Indianapolis 500 and 19 stars.
Our Favorite Children's Books on Indiana
Favorite Picture Books on Indiana
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!
More Good Options
Floating House by Scott Russell Sanders takes place in 1815 and is about a pioneering family who travels on a flatboat down the Ohio River in order to settle in the frontier village of Jeffersonville, Indiana.
How to Draw Indiana's Sights and Symbols (A Kid's Guide to Drawing America) by Jenny Deinard is part of a wonderful series that combines state geography with art. Each page contains something about the state (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.
A Goose Named Gilligan by Jerry M. Hay is the true story of a man in Indiana who was adopted by a wild goose.
Best Board Book for Preschoolers, Toddlers, and Babies
We love this series that is perfect for the youngest of listeners. It goes through the main landmarks and sites of the state including Soldiers and Sailors Monument, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and more. It has one sentence per page and illustrations that are appealing to young listeners.
Most Popular Chapter Book Related to Indiana
(370 pages) This takes place in the early 1900's in Limberlost Swamp in Indiana. It is about a teenage girl who is determined to succeed in life despite the hindrances of her poor home and embittered mother. She raises money for school by collecting butterflies and moths for a wealthy woman. Meanwhile, a man from a wealthy family takes an interest in her as well.
More Chapter Books Related to Indiana
Ruthie's Gift by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (176 pages) takes place during World War I and is about an eight year old girl from an agricultural community in Indiana. She longs for female friends, almost dies from pneumonia, and might lose a brother to the war.
Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana 1932 (Dear America Series) by Kathryn Lasky (190 pages) is written in diary format from the perspective of an 11 year old girl from Indiana during the Great Depression. They take in her orphaned cousin who has experienced worse hardships. Her diary entries include quite a bit about the time period including Charlie Chan, Hooverville shantytowns, Amelia Earhart, and more.
The Bears of Blue River by Charles Major (108 pages) takes place in the early 1800's and is about a young teenage boy and the adventures he experiences on the frontier in Indiana -- including getting lost in the woods. The story takes place in Shelby County, which is a real county in Indiana.
Throwing Stones by Kristi Collier (208 pages) takes place in Indiana in the 1920s during the Prohibition. It is about a teenage boy dealing with the loss of his older brother, an avid basketball player, in World War I.
Our Favorite Free Worksheets and Lapbook Pages on Indiana
All About Indiana provides great links to printable worksheets, book suggestions, and activity ideas about Indiana.
Indiana for Teachers includes wonderful printable worksheets, activity ideas, and book suggestions.
Indiana History Lapbook offers free lapbook pages covering Indiana's history.
When the Frost is on the Punkin Lapbook offers free lapbook pages and activity ideas for When the Frost is on the Punkin by James Whitcomb Riley.
Indiana State Facts & Trivia lists numerous points of interest about Indiana. The site also includes a number of helpful worksheets, links, and information.
More Good Video Clips Giving and Overview of Indiana
Indiana Family Farm - America's Heartland
Where is Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana?
© 2012 Shannon