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New York for Teachers and Travelers

Updated on March 14, 2015
Image credit: http://www.history.com/topics/statue-of-liberty
Image credit: http://www.history.com/topics/statue-of-liberty

Are you looking for fun worksheets and lapbook pages, children's books, and YouTube video clips for teaching and/or learning about New York? Whether you're a school teacher, homeschooling parent, involved parent, librarian, lifelong learner, or a student searching for ideas and books on New York, look no further!

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What Makes This State Special: Times Square

Times Square, located in Manhattan in New York City, is a major commercial center. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the entire world. With about one third of a million new visitors every day, it has been nicknamed "The Crossroads of the World." Lining the streets are neon billboards and advertisements. It also includes numerous businesses, the Broadway Theater District, and numerous other entertainment venues.

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What Makes This State Special: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, frequently referred to as "The Met," is America's largest museum and one of the 10 largest in the world. It contains a wide variety of art and artifacts ranging from ancient Egyptian and Greece works to paintings by European masters to antique weapons and armor from around the world.

The Statue of Liberty image credit: http://www.history.com/topics/statue-of-liberty
The Statue of Liberty image credit: http://www.history.com/topics/statue-of-liberty

What Makes This State Special: The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty, located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, represents freedom and independence. Tourists have the option of viewing the statue from the ground level, pedestal level, and crown level. Because of its popularity, advanced registration is required for entering the pedestal and crown levels. Usually after visiting the Statue of Liberty, many tourists will take a ferry to Ellis Island and the Immigration Museum.

Favorite Books on the Statue of Liberty

We read many books on the Statue of Liberty. These were our favorites. Also look for The Statue of Liberty (Step Into Reading: Step 2) by Lucille Recht Penner, which provides a nice, brief explanation of the Statue of Liberty and how it came to be. It is the best option if you have younger children.

Library Book: The Story of the Statue of Liberty (Rise and Shine)
Library Book: The Story of the Statue of Liberty (Rise and Shine)

Of the MANY books I read with my children about the Statue of Liberty, this was the one that is best to read aloud to a group. The illustrations are eye-catching and large enough for a group to see. The text is interesting and informative. The length is just right to keep the attention of both younger and older children.

 
Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty (Jane Addams Award Book (Awards))
Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty (Jane Addams Award Book (Awards))

This does a nice job of explaining who Emma Lazarus was and how she came up with the poem that is inscribed on the State of Liberty that begins, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses . . . "

 

My Boys' Favorites

The below two books were my boys' favorite books on the Statue of Liberty.

The Story of the Statue of Liberty (Graphic History)
The Story of the Statue of Liberty (Graphic History)

My boys (ages 6 and 9) are especially fond of the Graphic History series, which features historically accurate stories with graphic (comic-book) illustrations.

 
You Wouldn't Want to Be a Worker on the Statue of Liberty!: A Monument You'd Rather Not Build
You Wouldn't Want to Be a Worker on the Statue of Liberty!: A Monument You'd Rather Not Build

We really enjoyed this book because it uses humor to introduce process of creating and building the Statue of Liberty. Unlike many of the other children's books, it includes many of the problems that were encountered and lets the children know it was a monumental task.

 
Image credit: http://thepurplepassport.com/picks/newyork/Restaurant/lombardis-pizza/
Image credit: http://thepurplepassport.com/picks/newyork/Restaurant/lombardis-pizza/

What Makes This State Special: America's First Pizzeria

In 1895, Gennaro Lombardi opened America's first pizzeria. The New York City pizzeria still serves fresh pizza daily.

Image credit: http://www.vacationhomes.net/blog/2012/04/19/top-10-educational-and-magical-places-every-kid-should-see-in-the-us/
Image credit: http://www.vacationhomes.net/blog/2012/04/19/top-10-educational-and-magical-places-every-kid-should-see-in-the-us/

What Makes This State Special: Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls State Park was the first state park in the US. It actually includes a series of 3 waterfalls which are located on the border between America and Canada. Numerous stunts have been performed here, from people going over the falls in barrels to people tightrope walking across them.

Image credit: http://desktoppub.about.com/od/booksmanuals/tp/Book_Publishing.htm
Image credit: http://desktoppub.about.com/od/booksmanuals/tp/Book_Publishing.htm

What Makes This State Special: Book Publishing

New York leads the nation in book publishing. 75% of America's books are published in New York.

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What Makes This State Special: Central Park

With almost 35 million tourists visiting it each year, Central Park is one of the most famous sightseeing spots in the state and is the most visited urban park in America. It is also one of the most frequently filmed places in the world. It is located in Manhattan in New York City and includes a carousel, numerous sculptures, the Central Park Zoo, a swimming pool/ice skating rink, a Conservatory Garden, a Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, and more.

New York's State Flag and State Quarter

New York's State Flag features a shield with the sun rising behind Mount Beacon over the Hudson River with ships. This represents the old and newer New York. On the right, a woman representing Justice prepares to fight tyranny with her sword. On the left, a woman representing Liberty places her foot on the English Crown to show they have overthrown rule by England. It also has a globe of the world to show how east and west, and old and new are brought together in their state.An eagle soars above the globe to lead the way to the new West. The ribbon at the bottom says, "Excelsior," which means "still higher" or "ever upward."

New York's state quarter includes the Statue of Liberty, 11 stars (because New York was the 11th state), and both the Hudson River and Erie Canal.

Our Favorite Children's Books on New York

My Favorite Children's Book on New York

E Is For Empire: A New York Alphabet
E Is For Empire: A New York Alphabet

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!

 
New York, New York!: The Big Apple from A to Z
New York, New York!: The Big Apple from A to Z

This has beautiful illustrations and lots of interesting facts about New York City as it goes through the alphabet briefly discussing various sites starting with the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, and more.

 

More Good Options

Times Square: A New York State Number Book by Ann E. Burg is similar to the above book, "E is for Empire: A New York State Alphabet", but it uses numbers rather than the alphabet to cover New York's landmarks, history, etc.

This Is New York by Miroslav Sasek was originally written in 1960 and shows the stereotypical New York City scene.

A Walk in New York by Salvatore Rubbino is about a father and son who spend the day touring New York City. This covers many of the famous tourist sites of the city and includes a number of interesting facts and trivia as well.

Larry Gets Lost in New York City by John Skewes is the cute story about a dog that gets separated from his owners and explores the sites of New York City (Times Square, Wall Street, Coney Island, Central Park, etc.) in order to be reunited with his family.

A Porc in New York by Catherine Stock is a funny tale about farm animals touring New York City. It is similar to "Click Clack Moo" by Doreen Cronin's.

Good-bye, Havana! Hola, New York! by Edie Colon is about a young girl who flees with her family from Cuba and moves to the Bronx. In this story she compares New York to her home in Havana and explores the differences between the two cultures.

Next Stop Grand Central by Maira Kalman goes through the many types of jobs at Grand Central Station, all of whom work amid the busy crowds.

I Live in Brooklyn by Mari Takabayashi shows what daily life is like for a young girl living in Brooklyn today.

Building Manhattan by Laura Vila gives a brief overview of the history of Manhattan as it was passed from the Native Americans to the Dutch to the English, and then to the American hands.

New York's Bravest by Mary Pope Osborne was written as a tribute to the fireman heroes of 9/11. The story takes place in New York City in the 1840s and is based on the true story of Mose Humphreys, who was a brave fireman.

Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet is the fun picture book biography about the man who created many of the floats used in the Macy's Parade.

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein takes place in 1974 and is based on the story of the French man, Philippe Petit, who walked between the World Trade Center Towers Twin Towers on a tightrope. This book won a Caldecott Medal.

Rip Van Winkle's Return by Eric A. Kimmel is a fun picture book adaptation of Washington Irving’s book “Rip Van Winkle.


Best Book for Preschoolers, Toddlers, and/or Babies

Good Night New York State (Good Night Our World)
Good Night New York State (Good Night Our World)

This is a wonderful board book covering some of the main sites of the state including Niagara Falls, the Finger Lakes, the Catskill Mountains, and more. It is perfect for even the youngest of listeners.

 

More Good Board Books for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

Good Night New York City (Good Night Our World) by Adam Gamble, Good Night Central Park (Good Night Our World) by Adam Gamble, and Good Night Brooklyn (Good Night Our World) by Adam Gamble are also excellent board books focusing a bit more on specific areas of New York.

Larry Loves New York City! (Larry Gets Lost) Board book by John Skewes is a cute story about a dog as he explores New York City.

Little New York (Little State) by Helen L. Wilbur uses rhymes and riddles to go through the state bird, flower, capital, etc.

Hello, New York City! (Hello, America!) Board book by David Walker follows a young child as he says, "hello" to various locations in New York City Times Square, Central Park Zoo, Lincoln Center, etc.

Chapter Books Related to New York

The Cricket in Times Square (Chester Cricket and His Friends)
The Cricket in Times Square (Chester Cricket and His Friends)

(144 pages) This is about the adventures of three friends, a cricket, mouse, and cat, as they explore New York City. This is a Newbery Honor Book.

 

More Chapter Books Related to New York

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (192 pages) is about a boy who runs about from his family's New York City apartment to live in the mountains and discovers quite a bit about himself.

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (176 pages) is about a girl and her brother who run away to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. They come upon a mystery about a statue at the museum. This book won the won a Newbery Medal.

Farmer Boy (Little House) by Laura Ingalls Wilder (384 pages) is about Almanzo Wilder, the man who would eventually become the husband of Laura Ingalls Wilder. This book describes his adventures as a young boy growing up on a farm in New York State.

Stuart Little by E. B. White (131 pages) is about the adventures of a mouse who lives with a family in New York City.

Our Favorite Free Worksheets and Lapbook Pages on New York

A page from my son's notebook on New York
A page from my son's notebook on New York

Great Worksheets and Lapbooks on New York That We Used When Creating Notebooks on Individual States

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

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

Statue of Liberty Unit offers free lesson ideas, book suggestions, and lapbook pages related to the Statue of Liberty.

Stuart Little Lapbook offers free lapbook pages and activity ideas for Stuart Little by E.B. White.

Also look for the free lapbooks at homeschoolshare.com based on Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Flight of the Union by Tekla White, and Fireboat by Maira Kalman.

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

Good Family-Friendly Video Clips Giving an Overview of the State

Good Overview of the State

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