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Kentucky Lesson and Classroom Resources

Updated on June 2, 2016
Kentucky Derby image credit: http://www.kentuckyderby.com/
Kentucky Derby image credit: http://www.kentuckyderby.com/

Are you looking for fun worksheets, books, and activity ideas for teaching and/or learning about Kentucky? Included are links to wonderful worksheets, book suggestions for children, YouTube videos, and more -- all related to the state of Kentucky! Whether you're a school teacher, homeschooling parent, involved parent, librarian, lifelong learner, or a student searching for ideas and books on Kentucky, 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 have been to Kentucky. Have you?

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Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby image credit: http://www.kentuckyderby.com/news/photos/oaks-138-race
Kentucky Derby image credit: http://www.kentuckyderby.com/news/photos/oaks-138-race

What Makes This State Special: The Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is an annual horse race held in Louisville, Kentucky that has been occurring since 1875. It is known for elaborate hats, mint juleps, and of course horse racing.

2015 Kentucky Derby

Fort Knox

Fort Know Gold Bars image credit: http://2sistersfromtheright.blogspot.com/2011/08/is-there-gold-in-fort-knox.html
Fort Know Gold Bars image credit: http://2sistersfromtheright.blogspot.com/2011/08/is-there-gold-in-fort-knox.html

What Makes This State Special: Fort Knox

Fort Knox, officially know as The United States Bullion Depository, is a fortified vault in Louisville, KY used to store the second largest portion of the US's official gold reserves with approximately 5050 tons of gold bullion.

A Tour of Fort Knox Part # 1

Kentucky Fried Chicken Image Credit: http://www.kfc.com/
Kentucky Fried Chicken Image Credit: http://www.kfc.com/

What Makes This State Special: Kentucky Fried Chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken, based in Louisville, Kentucky, is a fast food restaurant chain known for its fried chicken seasoned with a secret blend of 11 herbs and spices. It was founded by "Colonel" Harland Sanders, who started selling his famous fried chicken from a roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky during the Great Depression. His first KFC franchise was opened in Utah in 1952.

Daniel Boone

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What Makes This State Special: Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone was an American pioneer, frontiersman, and explorer. He is most famous for his help in settling the Commonwealth of Kentucky (which was called Virginia back in his time). Today numerous cities and towns still reflect his name and pay homage to the great frontiersman who paved the way for American settlers to head west along the Wilderness Road into present day Kentucky.

Kentucky Bluegrass Music

Bluegrass music image credit: http://www.everthusthedeadbeats.com/band-tours/kentucky-bluegrass-festival.html
Bluegrass music image credit: http://www.everthusthedeadbeats.com/band-tours/kentucky-bluegrass-festival.html

What Makes This State Special: Kentucky Bluegrass Music

Kentucky is known for its unique bluegrass music, inspired by the music of Appalachia. It's traditionally played on acoustic stringed instruments including the fiddle, 5 string banjo, guitar, mandolin, & string bass.

Mammoth Cave

Mammoth Cave image credit: http://www.nationalparkreservations.com/mammothcave_activities.php
Mammoth Cave image credit: http://www.nationalparkreservations.com/mammothcave_activities.php

What Makes This State Special: Mammoth Cave

Mammoth Cave, located mainly in Edmonson County, Kentucky, is the longest known cave system in America, stretching 390 miles. It was used by various Native American tribes, and a number of artifacts have been unearthed in the cave. There are numerous legends about how the cave entrance was "discovered" in recent times including one tale about a many shooting a bear and chasing it into the cave entrance.

Louisville Sluggers Image credit: http://blog.travelpod.com/
Louisville Sluggers Image credit: http://blog.travelpod.com/

What Makes This State Special: Louisville Sluggers

In 1855 J. F. Hillerich opened his woodworking shop in Louisville, Kentucky. Due to his son's prodding, the company eventually because famous for their production of baseball bats known as "Louisville Sluggers." The world's largest bat can be seen outside their building.

Kentucky's State Flag and State Quarter

Kentucky's state flag shows a pioneer (representing either Daniel Boone or all frontiersmen in general) and a statesman (representing either Henry Clay or all statesman in general) greeting one another. Encircling them is the state motto, which comes "The Liberty Song", which was a patriotic song from the American War for Independence.

Kentucky's state quarter features a thoroughbred racehorse behind fence (because of the Kentucky Derby). Behind the horse is the Bardstown mansion located at My Old Kentucky Home State Park on Federal Hill. This is probably what inspired Stephen Foster to compose "My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night".

Our Favorite Children's Books on Kentucky

Our Favorite Picture Book on Kentucky

B Is For Bluegrass: A Kentucky Alphabet (Discover America State by State)
B Is For Bluegrass: A Kentucky Alphabet (Discover America State by State)

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 Picture Books on the Kentucky Derby

The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby: The Story of Jimmy Winkfield
The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby: The Story of Jimmy Winkfield

Also look for "The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby: The Story of Jimmy Winkfield" by Crystal Hubbard, "Perfect Timing: How Isaac Murphy Became one of the World's Greatest Jockeys" by Patsi B. Trollinger, D is for Derby: A Kentucky Derby Alphabet: A Kentucky Derby Alphabet" by Helen L. Wilbur and Jaime Corum, "Seabiscuit vs War Admiral" by Kat Shehata and "Derby Day: A Pop-Up Celebration of the Kentucky Derby" by Pamela Pease.

 
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Daniel Boone's Great Escape by Michael P. Spradlin - Images are from amazon.com.Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett by Steven KelloggCaves and Caverns by Gail GibbonsHow to Draw Kentucky's Sights and Symbols (A Kid's Guide to Drawing America) by Jenny Deinard Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend) by Deborah Hopkinson
Daniel Boone's Great Escape by Michael P. Spradlin - Images are from amazon.com.
Daniel Boone's Great Escape by Michael P. Spradlin - Images are from amazon.com.
Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett by Steven Kellogg
Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett by Steven Kellogg
Caves and Caverns by Gail Gibbons
Caves and Caverns by Gail Gibbons
How to Draw Kentucky's Sights and Symbols (A Kid's Guide to Drawing America) by Jenny Deinard
How to Draw Kentucky's Sights and Symbols (A Kid's Guide to Drawing America) by Jenny Deinard
Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend) by Deborah Hopkinson
Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend) by Deborah Hopkinson

More Good Picture Books on Kentucky

Daniel Boone's Great Escape by Michael P. Spradlin was our absolute favorite book on Daniel Boone. It focuses on how he was caught by the Shawnee and how he fled from them to save the fort. The illustrations are excellent. The length of the story was perfect for my children (ages 2-9) to all enjoy this story together. Some of our other favorite picture books included "Bewildered for Three Days: As to Why Daniel Boone Never Wore His Coonskin Cap" by Andrew Glass, "Daniel Boone" by Thomas Streissguth, and "Daniel Boone: Frontier Adventures" by Keith Brandt.

Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett by Steven Kellogg is a fun tall tale about Sally Ann Thunder of Kentucky who eventually marries Davy Crockett (in this version). The illustrations are delightful, and the story is perfect for my children (ages 2-9) to sit through together.

Caves and Caverns by Gail Gibbons gives a good overview of caves and caverns in general. It does briefly mention Mammoth Caves.

How to Draw Kentucky's Sights and Symbols (A Kid's Guide to Drawing America) by Jenny Deinard does a great job of combining geography with art. Each page has a photograph of a symbol of Kentucky (state seal, flag, tree, bird, etc.), a little bit about that symbol, and easy step-by-step instructions on how to draw it. We used these for our notebooking pages.

Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend) by Deborah Hopkinson is a cute tale about Abraham Lincoln as a seven year old boy and his best friend as they dare each other to cross a river. It a a good reminder that Lincoln was born in Kentucky. It also includes nice illustrations that show the rolling mountains and rushing waters of the Kentucky valley.

Today Is Monday in Kentucky Board Book by Johnette Downing is a simple board book that shows some of unique foods of Kentucy including the Kentucky Derby Pie and Rolled Oysters.

The Best Book for Kindergartners, Preschoolers, and Toddlers

Good Night Kentucky (Good Night Our World)
Good Night Kentucky (Good Night Our World)

We loved this board book that goes through the famous landmarks of Kentucky such as the Kentucky Derby, Mammoth Caves, Louisville Slugger Museum, Black Mountain, Dinosaur World, and more.

 

Chapter Books Related to Kentucky

The Mystery at the Kentucky Derby (15) (Real Kids Real Places)
The Mystery at the Kentucky Derby (15) (Real Kids Real Places)

(143 pages) This is about a family visiting Louisville, Kentucky. They must travel the state (and learn some of the history of the state) to solve a mystery. It is a fun way to learn about Kentucky!

 
Journey to the Bottomless Pit: The Story of Stephen Bishop and Mammoth Cave by Elizabeth Mitchell - Image credit: amazon.com
Journey to the Bottomless Pit: The Story of Stephen Bishop and Mammoth Cave by Elizabeth Mitchell - Image credit: amazon.com

More Chapter Books Related to Kentucky

Also look for "Mammoth Cave: Journey to the Bottomless Pit: The Story of Stephen Bishop and Mammoth Cave" by Elizabeth Mitchell (128 pages), "Midnight in Lonesome Hollow: A Kit Mystery" (American Girl Mysteries) by Kathleen Ernst, "On the Kentucky Frontier: A Story of the Fighting Pioneers of the West" by James Otis, "Keeper of the Doves" by Betsy Byars, "A Happy Little Family" (Fairchild Family Story) by Rebecca Caudill, "Borrowed Children" by George Ella Lyon, and "Tarantula Shoes" by Tom Birdseye. Good chapter books on Daniel Boone include: "The Trailblazing Life of Daniel Boone and How Early Americans Took to the Road" by Cheryl Harness, "Daniel Boone: Frontiersman" (Heroes of History) by Janet Benge (224 pages), and "Daniel Boone: Young Hunter and Tracker" (Childhood of Famous Americans) by Augusta Stevenson (192 pages).

Free Worksheets and Lapbook Pages We Used When Making a Notebook About Kentucky

One of the pages from my son's notebook on Kentucky
One of the pages from my son's notebook on Kentucky

Below are some of the free worksheets and lapbook pages we found helpful when preparing a notebook on the state of Kentucky.

All About Kentucky provides great links to printable worksheets, book suggestions, and activity ideas about Kentucky.

Kentucky for Teachers includes wonderful printable worksheets, activity ideas, and book suggestions.

Kentucky Unit Study offers many helpful links and activity ideas about Kentucky.

Kentucky Derby Unit Study contains a unit study with worksheets to create a lapbook and book suggestions.

Lapbook for "Journey to the Bottomless Pit" includes free lapbook pages and activity ideas for "Journey to the Bottomless Pit: The Story of Stephen Bishop and Mammoth Cave" by Elizabeth Mitchell. Also look for the lapbook on the Kentucky-based picture book "My Mountain Song" by Shutta Crum from the same webpage.

Kentucky State Facts & Trivia lists numerous points of interest about Alabama. The site also includes a number of helpful worksheets, links, and information.

More Good Video Clips Giving an Overview of Kentucky

Good On-line Tour Overview of the State

Where is Frankfort, the capital of Kentucky?

A markerFrankfort, Kentucky -
Frankfort, KY 40601, USA
get directions

What first comes to mind when you think of Kentucky? - Or just let me know you dropped by. I LOVE getting feedback from you!

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    • LornsA178 profile image

      LornsA178 5 years ago

      Great lens about Kentucky. I would love to go back here to watch more of your videos. Loaded with great information. Thanks!

    • TimArends profile image

      Timothy Arends 2 years ago from Chicago Region

      Good ideas! Also, Berea Kentucky is an attraction a little off the beaten path and has an Appalachian museum. It is known as The Folk Arts And Crafts Capital Of Kentucky.

    • iijuan12 profile image
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      iijuan12 2 years ago from Florida

      Thank you for the tips!

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