Visit Iowa Now: Iowa for Teachers & Travelers
Are you looking for fun worksheets and lapbook pages, children's books, and YouTube video clips for teaching and/or learning about Iowa? Whether you're a school teacher, homeschooling parent, involved parent, librarian, lifelong learner, or a student searching for ideas and books on Iowa, look no further! This is part of a series of pages I created while teaching about the fifty states. You can find the links for my pages for each of the 50 states at Teaching the 50 States of America .
I've been to Iowa. Have you visited Iowa yet?
What Makes This State Special: Corn
Iowa is the nation's leading producer of corn. It has the largest popcorn processing plant in the country.
Favorite Books on Corn
The Life and Times of Corn by Charles Micucci was my favorite book on corn. It provided lots of information and had delightful pictures. Even I learned some things about corn from this book. My children (ages 4-9) enjoyed this book. My 2 year old wasn't able to sit through it but did enjoy the pictures. Corn by Gail Gibbons was my second favorite book on corn. It also has nice illustrations and good information. This would make a better book to read to a class because it's a bit shorter and had larger pictures. If you're looking for a simple book to read on corn that includes photographs rather than illustrations, the best one we came across was From Kernel to Corncob by Ellen Weiss. It would be most appropriate for Pre-K-Grade 2. Additional good picture books include Corn Is Maize: The Gift of the Indians (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Aliki and Popcorn! by Elaine Landau.
What Makes This State Special: Hogs
In addition to leading the nation in corn production, Iowa also leads the nation in pork production. Almost one-third of the nation's hogs are raised in Iowa.
What Makes This State Special: Winnebago's
Campers and motor homes known as Winnebago's are manufactured in Winnebago County, Iowa.
What Makes This State Special: Grant Wood
Grant Wood is most well known for his paintings of rural America, especially American Gothic. He was from Iowa and many scenes from his paintings were inspired by Iowa's people, landscape, and architecture. The house that served as the model for American Gothic still stands in Iowa today. Tourists can visit and can pose in front of the iconic home.
Our Favorite Picture Books on Grant Wood
Grant Wood: The Artist in the Hayloft (Adventures in Art (Prestel)) by Deba Foxley Leach is a simple picture book showing some of Grant Wood's paintings and including a bit about his style. Grant Wood (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists) by Mike Venezia is a wonderful picture book biography on Grant Wood. It includes his early life as well as his adult life as an artist. My children especially enjoyed some of the humorous illustrations includes in the book. We also enjoyed Artist in Overalls: The Life of Grant Wood by John Duggleby and Grant Wood, American Gothic by Ernest Goldstein.
What Makes This State Special: Quaker Oats
Quaker Oats, the largest cereal company in the world, is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
What Makes This State Special: The Kate Shelley High Bridge
When it was completed in 1900, the Boone Viaduct in Boone, Iowa, was the highest and longest double-track railroad bridge in America. It's name was unofficially changed to the Kate Shelley High Bridge in order to honor a 17 year old girl who risked her life to warn a passenger train that the bridge was out up ahead.
Our Favorite Picture Book on Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express
Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express (On My Own History) by Margaret K. Wetterer is the true story of a young girl in the late 1800's in Iowa as she saved 2 men after a train bridge washed out during a storm. We also enjoyed the picture book Kate Shelley: Bound for Legend by Robert D. San Souci.
What Makes This State Special: Fort Atkinson
Fort Atkinson was the site of the only fort ever built by the U.S. government to protect Native American tribes. It was built to protect the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago).
Iowa's State Flag and State Quarter
Iowa's state flag is blue, white, and red to reflect its loyalty to America. Also, the blue stripe stands for loyalty, justice and truth. The white stripe stands for purity. The red stripe stands for courage. The eagle holding the banner with the state motto inscribed on it comes from the state seal.
Iowa's state quarter features a schoolhouse with a teacher and students planting a tree because of its "Foundation in Education." It also includes the name "Grant Wood," the famous artist from Iowa.
Our Favorite Children's Books on Iowa
Our Favorite Children's Book on Iowa
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!
Best Board Book for Preschoolers, Toddlers, and Babies
We loved this series of board books that goes through the main landmarks, history, etc. of each state. It has wonderful illustrations and the perfect amount of text to make it ideal for the youngest of listeners. This board book on Iowa includes the walleye fishing grounds, the Iowa State Fair, Adventureland, National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, Effigy Mounds National Monument, and more.
More Good Picture Books on Iowa
Numbers in a Row: An Iowa Number Book by Patricia A. Pierce is just like H is for Hawkeye: An Iowa Alphabet but uses numbers rather than the alphabet to highlight various places and events of Iowa
How to Draw Iowa'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.
I Is for Iowa by Mary Ann Gensicke is a wonderful alphabet book that goes through the history of Iowa. Also look for I Is for Iowa People by the same author.
Tee Tee Peetum by Frank R. King is a story based on a real Native American boy who lived in Iowa during the late 1800's.
Hurry! by Harry Hartwick takes place in a small town in Iowa in 1916. It is about a ten year old boy who hears about an endangered species (that does not actually exist) and rushes out to try to get one.
Chapter Books Related to Iowa
(176 pages) Author Cynthia Rylant attempts to fill in the gap of the two missing years that take place between "On the Banks of Plum Creek" and "By the Shores of Silver Lake" in the Little House series. She includes Laura's baby brother being born and dying, her mother getting sick, and more. She includes both historical events and some fictionalized events as well.
More Chapter Books Related to Iowa
Wright on Time: Iowa (Volume 6) by Lisa M. Cottrell-Bentley (162 pages) is part of a series about a family who is traveling in an RV across the United States. Each book contains a mystery that must be solved and also is full of fun and interesting bits of information about the state.
Christmas on the Farm by Bob Artley (96 pages) This is an illustrated book for older children (ages 8-12). It's an autobiography about a man who grew up on a farm in Iowa during the Depression Era. It includes illustrations on almost every page. I had my 9 year old son read this on his own. He has written a number of other autobiographical books such as "Memories of a Former Kid," "Country School Days," "Once Upon a Farm," and more.
Blue Jasmine by Kashmira Sheth (192 pages) is about a teenage girl from India who moves with her family to Iowa. This book discusses the struggles and success she has in adjusting to a new culture. The author wrote the book based on her own experiences as a teenager moving from India to America.
The Luck of the Buttons by Anne Ylvisaker (224 pages) takes place in Iowa in 1929 and is about a twelve year old girl from a poor family who stumbles upon a mystery that she must solve.
The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill (336 pages) is about a teenage boy who is sent to a small town in Iowa to live with his eccentric aunt and uncle. The book is full of magic and mystery.
Cora Frear by Susan E. Goodman (64 pages) is historical fiction based on a memoir written by a girl who was born in the late nineteenth century and was raised on the Iowa prairie as her family responds to a prairie fire.
Our Favorite Free Worksheets and Lapbook Pages on Iowa
All About Iowa provides great links to printable worksheets, book suggestions, and activity ideas about Iowa.
Iowa for Teachers includes wonderful printable worksheets, activity ideas, and book suggestions.
Lapbook for "Hurry" offers free lapbook pages and activity ideas for "Hurry" by Harry Hartwick.
Iowa State Facts & Trivia lists numerous points of interest about Iowa. The site also includes a number of helpful worksheets, links, and information.
More Good Video Clips Giving and Overview of Iowa
The History Channel States Documentary (Iowa begins at 26:20.)
Where is Des Moines, the capital of Iowa?
© 2012 Shannon