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Oklahoma for Teachers & Travelers
Are you looking for fun worksheets, children's books, video clips, and points of interest for teaching and/or learning about Oklahoma? Whether you're a school teacher, homeschooling parent, involved parent, librarian, lifelong learner, or a student searching for ideas and books on Oklahoma, 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 Oklahoma. Have you visited Oklahoma yet?
What Makes This State Special: The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, located in Oklahoma City, focuses on preserving Oklahoma's Old West heritage. The museum contains a large collection of Cowboy/Western and Native American art works and weapons, rodeo and saddlery pieces, and more!
What Makes This State Special: Land Rush of 1889
Indian Territory, later known as the state of Oklahoma, was opened to settlers in a "Land Rush" in 1889 during which prospective settlers claimed plots of land. Some settlers sneaked into Oklahoma before the official start of the land run. They were called "Sooners."
What Makes This State Special: The Dust Bowl
During the Dust Bowl of the 1930's, severe dust storms causing major damage to the agricultural prairie lands of Oklahoma and other areas. Thousands of families, known as "Okies" because so many came from Oklahoma, migrated to California and other states.
What Makes This State Special: Man-Made Lakes
Oklahoma has the more man-made lakes than any other state. Broken Bow Lake is pictured here.
What Makes This State Special: Oklahoma City Bombing
Oklahoma City Bombing on April 19, 1995 was the most destructive act of terrorism in America until the September 11, 2001 bombings. Today you can visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial, which honors those who lost their lives during this devastating event.
What Makes This State Special: Trail of Tears and Native Americans
After the Indian Removal Act of 1830, thousands of Cherokee, Choctaw, Muscogee/Creek, Seminole, & Chickasaw, and Choctaw Native Americans were forced to leave their homes in the Southeast and were relocated to Indian Territory, now part of Oklahoma. This became known as The Trail of Tears. Oklahoma now has the largest Native American population in the US.
Famous Person from Oklahoma: Will Rogers
William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers was born in 1879 to a Cherokee Nation family in Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma. He was a well-known vaudeville performer, humorist, and motion picture actor.
Oklahoma's State Flag and State Quarter
Oklahoma's State Flag is light blue to represent the Choctaw flag. It has an Osage Nation buffalo-skin shield with seven eagle feathers. The shield has a ceremonial peace pipe (used by Plains tribes) and an olive branch. Both are symbols of peace. Also included are 6 crosses and Native American symbols for stars.
Oklahoma's State Quarter features the state bird (scissor-tailed flycatcher) and state wildflower (Indian blankets).
Our Favorite Children's Books on Oklahoma
Our Favorite Picture Book on Oklahoma
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!
Our Favorite Books on the Land Rush
Our favorite children's books on the Oklahoma Land Rush include The Oklahoma Land Run by Una Belle Townsend and Pappy's Handkerchief (Tales of Young Americans) by Devin Scillian. Other good books include the picture book I Have Heard of a Land (Trophy Picture Books) by Joyce Carol Thomas (winner of the Sequoyah Children's Book Award and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book), the short (64 page) chapter book Beautiful Land: A Story of the Oklahoma Land Rush (Once Upon America) by Nancy Antle, and the silly picture book The Oklahoma Land Rush, Lucky Luke #20 by Goscinny.
Our Favorite Children's Books on the Dust Bowl
Dust for Dinner (I Can Read Book - Level 3) by Ann Turner was our favorite picture book on the Dust Bowl. Other good picture book options include Voices of the Dust Bowl (Voices of History) by Sherry Garland, Don't Forget Winona by Jeanne Whitehouse Peterson, Angels in the Dust (International Reading Association Teacher's Choice Award) by Margot Theis Raven, and The Dust Bowl by David Booth.
More Good Options
Trail of Tears (Step-Into-Reading, Step 5) by Joseph Bruchac was our favorite book on the Trail of Tears. It has nice illustrations and an excellent explanation that even my 6 year old could understand.
Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith is about a modern girl from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation as she collects bells from various friends and family members in order to create her dress that she will wear while performing the traditional jingle dance.
Grady's in the Silo by Una Belle Townsend is based on an event that took place in Oklahoma. A cow got stuck in a silo, and the community worked together to figure out how to get her out. This has cute illustrations and was fun to read. From this book my younger children learned about what a silo is.
Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal (Exceptional Social Studies Titles for Intermediate Grades) by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson tells the true story of a deputy during the Old West days when Oklahoma was part of the Indian Territories.
The Value of Humor: The Story of Will Rogers (Value Tale) by Spencer Johnson provides lots of information on Will Rogers and how he used humor throughout his life. The illustrations are fun enough that even my 2 year old was able to sit through us reading this book and my 9 year old still learned quite a bit from it. My children loved reading about this legend from Oklahoma!
The Twelve Days of Christmas in Oklahoma (The Twelve Days of Christmas in America) by Tammi Sauer follows children as they visit the state. Through their travels and activities you learn all about Oklahoma's main attractions, history, geography, and more.
How to Draw Oklahoma's Sights and Symbols (A Kid's Guide to Drawing America) by Eric Fein does a wonderful job of combining geography and 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.
The Best Board Book for Preschoolers, Toddlers, and Babies
This board book uses rhyme and sweet illustrations to go through the symbols of Oklahoma including the state bird, flower, etc.
The Best Chapter Book Related to Oklahoma
(240 pages) This Newbery Award Winner is about a 14 year old girl and her experiences and difficulties as she lives through the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma.
More Good Chapter Books on Oklahoma
More good chapter books that take place in Oklahoma and include some information about the state's history and geography include Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (208 pages), Soft Rain: A Story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears by Cornelia Cornelissen (128 pages), and Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls. The Story of Oklahoma (Landmark Books, No. 100) by Lon Tinkle (186 pages) is the chapter book my oldest son read while we studied Oklahoma. It is a nonfiction account of how Oklahoma became a state. It was written for children and is quite fascinating! It includes some black and white illustrations.
Free Worksheets and Lapbook Pages We Used When Making a Notebook About Oklahoma
All About Oklahoma provides great links to printable worksheets, book suggestions, and activity ideas about Oklahoma.
Oklahoma for Teachers includes wonderful printable worksheets, activity ideas, and book suggestions.
Lapbook for "Angels in the Dust" offers free lapbook pages and activity ideas for "Angels in the Dust" by Margot Theis Raven.
Lapbook for "Treasures in the Dust" includes free lapbook pages and activity ideas for "Treasures in the Dust" by Tracey Porter.
Oklahoma State Facts & Trivia lists numerous points of interest about Oklahoma. The site also includes a number of helpful worksheets, links, and information.