Rhode Island for Teachers, Students, and Travelers
Are you looking for fun worksheets and lapbook pages, children's books, and YouTube video clips for teaching and/or learning about Rhode Island? Whether you're a school teacher, homeschooling parent, involved parent, librarian, lifelong learner, or a student searching for ideas and books on Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island. What about you?
What Makes This State Special: Mansions By the Ocean
Almost a million tourists visit the Newport Mansions in Rhode Island each year. During the Gilded Age, a number of wealthy American families, such as the Vanderbilt family, built summer cottages along the coast of Newport, RI. The most popular home is the Breakers, know for its Green Animals Topiary garden. Rough Point, the home of Doris Duke, features her exquisite art collection.The Elms includes unique furniture, art, and gardens. The Blithewold Mansion & Gardens is considered to have one of the best public gardens in New England.
America's Castles (Newport Mansions)
What Makes This State Special: White Horse Tavern
The White Horse Tavern in Rhode Island, built in 1673, is the oldest tavern in the US that is still in operation. During the whaling days, it was quite popular with pirates!
White Horse Tavern, Newport - History & Tour
What Makes This State Special: Roger Williams
Roger Williams founded the colony of Providence Plantation (later known as Rhode Island) as a refuge for those who disagreed with Puritan beliefs.
What Makes This State Special: Slater's Mill
Samuel Slater's water-powered cotton mill, built in 1790 along the banks Blackstone River in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was the first of its type in the US and initiated the age of the American Industrial Revolution. After apprenticing at a mill in England, Samuel Slater immigrated to America and hired a man to build a similar mill in Rhode Island using only Samuel Slater's recollection of how the mill and machinery had worked. The Slater Mill site is now a living history museum.
The Flying Horse Carousel
What Makes This State Special: The Flying Horse Carousel
The Flying Horse Carousel in Watch Hill, RI claims to be the oldest carousel still in operation in the US that has the horses suspended from chains. It is still in operation during the summer months.
What Makes This State Special: International Tennis Hall of Fame
Rhode Island hosted the first national lawn tennis championships in 1899, and the state continues to celebrate the sport of tennis. The International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI celebrates tennis players and all who have contributed to the sport. Its museum includes a large collection of tennis memorabilia, including a display of how tennis fashions have evolved over the years. It also includes thirteen grass tennis courts, which are still used today, along with regular indoor and outdoor tennis courts.
Rhode Island's State Flag and State Quarter
Rhode Island's state flag features a gold anchor, which is a symbol for hope. It also has thirteen gold stars both to represent the original 13 colonies and because Rhode Island was the 13th state to ratify the Constitution. The blue ribbon contains the state's motto, "HOPE." The design of the flag and the state motto is based on the verses from Hebrews 6:18-19 in the Bible that states, "hope we have as an anchor of the soul."
Rhode Island's state quarter features America's Cup yacht winner Reliance on Narragansett Bay. Reliance was undefeated in all three of her races, and then was retired. Narragansett Bay is New England's largest estuary. The Pell Bridge, also called the Newport Bridge, is also pictured. It is the longest suspension bridge in New England.
Our Favorite Children's Books on Rhode Island
My Favorite Picture Book on Rhode Island
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 Picture Book that Includes The Breakers
Cornelius Vandermouse: The Pride of Newport by Cheryl Shaw Barnes is an adorable account about a wealthy mouse from Newport who participates in a sailboat race. The mouse shares many similarities with Cornelius Vanderbilt.
The best picture book telling the story of Roger Williams
Finding Providence: The Story of Roger Williams (I Can Read Level 4) by Avi is the best picture book telling the story of Roger Williams; however, it is historically revisionist, presenting Roger Williams an an innocent hero persecuted by the "horrible" Puritans. I read this book with my children and then explained some historical accounts about Roger Williams that present a different view of him.
Our Favorite Children's Books on Mills
Mill by David Macaulay is a wonderful picture book on the history of mills in the United States. While it is long for a picture book (128 pages), it has illustrations on every page. If reading it aloud to your children, you'll want to read this over the course of a few days rather than straight through. My boys (ages 6 and 9) enjoyed this. The Bobbin Girl by Emily Arnold McCully tells the story of some of the girls who worked in the Lowell cotton mill in Massachusetts and eventually went on strike due to wage cuts. Even though it does not take place in Rhode Island, it does include some of the reasons why girls were working in textile factories and also covers some of the conditions of the textile mills. Slater's Mill by F. N Monjo is a short (78 page) chapter book describing how Slater immigrated to America and attempted to rebuild a British automated spinning mill simply by using what he remembered from his time in England.
Our Favorite Carousel Picture Books
The Flying Horses of Watch Hill by Lynn Anderson is a cute picture book that describes the horses of the Flying Horse Carousel in RI, and it describes the horses adventures of what they do in the winter. Feivel's Flying Horses (Kar-Ben Favorites) by Heidi Smith Hyde takes place in Coney Island, NY, but it does a nice job of describing the work that goes into carving carousal horses. The story describes how a Jewish immigrant carpenter, who had to leave his family behind, is hired to carve the carousal horses and creates each one to remind him of his family members. Also look for The Carousel by Liz Rosenberg, Carousel by Brian Wildsmith and Up and Down on the Merry-Go-Round by Bill Martin.
More Good Picture Books Include
The Bravest Woman in America (Junior Library Guild Selection) by Marissa Moss is a delightful action-packed true account of the heroic daughter of the keeper of Lime Rock Lighthouse in Newport, Rhode Island who took over keeping the lighthouse after her father's health failed. She even rescued four boys from the sea. It does a good job of explaining the duties of a lighthouse keeper.
Old Salty Dog - A Rhode Island Folk Tale by Seth McCombs is a cute Rhode Island style tall tale about a "quahogger" who searches for clams and discovers a number of other sea creatures as well.
The Scrimshaw Ring by William Jaspersohn is based on a true story. It is about a farm boy living in Newport, RI in 1710 who witnesses a band of mutineers in his home. When one man discovers the boy, instead of harming the boy, he gives him a scrimshaw ring, which becomes a family heirloom.
Nickommoh!: A Thanksgiving Celebration by Jackie French Koller tells of a thanksgiving harvest feast of the Narragansett people of modern day Rhode Island.
Alfred Visits Rhode Island by Elizabeth O'Neill is a cute book that follows Alfred the Elephant as he visits the landmarks of Rhode Island.
How to Draw Rhode Island's Sights and Symbols (A Kid's Guide to Drawing America) by Aileen Weintraub is part of a great 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.
Best Book for Preschoolers, Toddlers, and/or Babies
This is perfect if you have a preschooler or younger. It's a sturdy board book that features what is notable about Rhode Island
Chapter Books Related to Rhode Island
(256 pages) This takes place during World War II in Sachem's Head, RI. It is about 2 teenage cousins who live with their grandparents. During this time they befriend a German-born artist and must deal with the prejudice against him as there are rumors he is a spy. This book won a Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction.
Chapter Books Related to Rhode Island
A Little Maid of Narragansett Bay by Alice Curtis (192 pages) is about an eleven year old girl living on a farm in Rhode Island during the American Revolution. She heroically delivers a message that leads to the capture of a British officer.
The Crying Rocks by Janet Taylor Lisle (208 pages) is about a thirteen year old girl from Rhode Island who searches out her past and the true story of how she came to live when her adoptive parents. When a classmate suggests she looks like a Narragansett Indian, she and the classmate discover more than they had imagined.
Something Upstairs by Avi (208 pages) is about a 12-year-old boy in Providence, RI who meets a ghost and is then taken back in time to figure out who murdered the teenage slave who is now haunting his bedroom.
Our Favorite Free Worksheets and Lapbook Pages on Rhode Island
Great Worksheets and Lapbooks on Rhode Island That We Used When Creating Notebooks on Individual States
All About Rhode Island provides great links to printable worksheets, book suggestions, and activity ideas about Rhode Island.
Rhode Island for Teachers includes wonderful printable worksheets, activity ideas, and book suggestions.
Rhode Island Unit Study offers many helpful links and activity ideas about Rhode Island.
Rhode Island State Facts & Trivia lists numerous points of interest about Rhode Island. The site also includes a number of helpful worksheets, links, and information.
Good Family-Friendly Video Clips Giving an Overview of the State
Our Favorite Video on Rhode Island: History Channel's Documentary on the States: Rhode Island starts at 32:55.
Where is Providence, the capital of Rhode Island?
© 2012 Shannon