Louisiana - A State Unit Study
This mini unit on LOUISIANA uses the cross curricular approach
to education. There are several activities from different academic subjects
for you to choose from. One of the most important things is to have fun!
Below are some activities to help you study LOUISIANA.
You may choose to do all, some, or none of the activities. You can also
alter the activities to better suit your individual child's needs. Some of
these activities overlap each other, choose the
one you think that you and the children will enjoy most. The main point of
this unit is to make learning about LOUISIANA
and enjoyable for all who are participating.
Louisiana's State Flag
The design consists of the pelican group from the state seal, in white
and gold, and a white ribbon bearing the state motto, "Union, Justice,
and Confidence", on a field of a solid blue. Flag adopted 1912.
Create a State "Infodesk":
Before you begin this unit you may want to set up a research area.
Place a desk or table in front of a bulletin board area. This will be where
you can place relevant books, magazines, photographs, posters, newspaper
articles, maps, scrapbooks, games, puzzles, computer software, task cards,
travel brochures, etc. that you collect.
Print a blank map of the state, or draw one on tag board, that you
can place on the bulletin board. As you study the political and physical
features of the state, have the children fill in the name of the state
capital, large cities, and major geographical features. Color the map using
different shades for varying elevations.
Place a chart next to the map called "State Facts." List
any information on here that you would like to be able to find at a quick
glance. Have the children fill this chart up as the unit progresses.
Build a Mini Museum
Build a mini museum to exhibit any artifacts or memorabilia about the
state you are working on. Label the items with a date and a brief
explanation of their history. Also display any state maps and projects made
by the children.
Create a Unit Portfolio
During this unit, you can have the child(ren) prepare a portfolio to keep their notes and
completed projects in. Include an outline map of the state or a copy of the
state flag to go on the cover of the portfolio. Have them include the date
they begin and complete the unit.
Use any or all of the following sub-topics to gather information on
the state. This can even be used as your "State Facts" sheet
mentioned in "Infodesk" section above.
1. State Name:
2. State Nickname:
4. Rank in population:
5. Total Area:
6. Rank in size:
10. Capital City:
12. Manufactured Goods:
13. Agricultural Crops:
17. State Motto:
18. State Flower:
19. State Bird:
20. State Tree:
21. State Song:
22. Date State
23. Tourist Attractions:
24. Historical Facts:
25. Largest Cities
§ By area
§ By population
26. State Preserve:
27. State Seashore:
28. State Monuments:
29. State Parkway:
30. State Wonders
31. Average January Temperature:
32. Average July Temperature:
33. Endangered Species:
34. National Parks:
35. National Historical Parks:
36. National Memorials:
37. National Historical Sites:
38. Famous People:
39. Amazing Facts:
42. Electoral Votes:
44. Annual Events:
45. Name and address of state's tourist information center:
When you have completed gathering the above information, you could do
use the facts to:
§ Create a "State A to Z Fact Book" with a person, place, or fact
for each letter of the alphabet.
§ Create a "State Book of Facts" by cutting paper into the shape
of the state and writing one interesting fact along with an illustration on
each page. Bind the pages together in a cover of the same shape as the
§ Use the facts to help with other activities in this unit.
List what you know before you begin the unit and what you
would like to learn during the unit and then when the unit is over what
you learned throughout the unit.
Information Scavenger Hunt:
As an ongoing part of this unit, have a "state scavenger
hunt" to answer questions about the state. State archives, history books,
museums, artifacts, photographs, old newspapers and magazines, and experts
on various topics of interest will help gather an overall picture of the
Set up categories (i.e., in the beginning, early immigrants,
statehood, geography, famous people, etc.) and provide containers (i.e.,
folders, boxes, etc.) to keep the material and information you gather in to
keep them organized.
Information you gather on your "scavenger hunt" can be used
to prepare reports on the state. The complexity and method of presentation
of the reports will depend on the level of your child(ren).
As you work on this unit, gather information, you may wish to create
a state timeline so that you can see important events in the states' history
presented in a chronological format.
The First Inhabitants:
The first inhabitants of the United
States were Native Americans,
also called Indians. Native Americans were the descendants of nomadic
tribes who crossed the Bering Strait's
land bridge between Russia
and what is now the state of Alaska
thousands of years ago. When Columbus
sailed, there were approximately 350 Native American tribes in North
Determine what tribes lived this the state
originally. Gather as much information on this/these tribe(s) as possible.
Explore both the history of the tribe and life for the tribe members. Some
questions you may wish to consider in this area are:
§ Was the state named after an Native
American tribe or some aspect of Indian history or culture?
§ As European settlers arrived in the state, what happened to the Native
American population and why?
§ How did the Native American culture influence the state's culture?
§ Describe life of the Native Americans in the state today.
§ What problems do Native Americans face in the state today?
To enhance this part of your study, you may wish to construct a
shoebox diorama of an Indian village as it would have been long ago. Find
out what their particular dwellings looked like (i.e., wigwam, adobe
bricks, log cabin, etc.). What would the vegetation have looked like?
Possible origin of the state's name: Named after Cherokee Indian
villages called "Tanasi"
The First Pioneers:
Arriving in America
was just the beginning for many immigrants. Many settlers began their treks
in different ways, using different means of transportation, and coming and
going in many different directions.
Who were the first pioneers to arrive in the state? When did they
come? Why did they come? How did they get there?
Use encyclopedias, history books, internet search engines, etc. to
answer the above questions and to find out about particular groups that
immigrated to the state and when.
One question you might find interesting to answer is to find out
whether you have any family or family roots (also known as genealogy) in
this state. [For an interesting mini unit on Genealogy check out http://www.easyfunschool.com/article1099.html.
Find a description of how the state applied for and achieved
to the union
What were the main reasons that this state applied for statehood?
Identify the possible political, social, and economic reasons why a
territory applied for statehood. What state or territory was this state
originally part of before becoming its own individual state?
Historical Monuments and Natural
Research how historical signposts and markers are used. Find several
examples in your own area. Historical monuments are sometimes marked with
signposts or even become the centerpiece of a state or national park.
Now that you know what a historical place is, research some of the
historical places and monuments in this state. You may wish to check the
National Park System website at http://www.nationalparks.org/index.html for
help in this area. The URL http:// www.nps.gov may also prove useful as
soon at the National Park Service reopens their sites.
States are not only filled with historical monuments and sites, but
with natural wonders. For example, Arizona
has the Petrified Forest, Kentucky
has Mammoth Cave,
and Florida has
the Everglades. Look at a map, an
encyclopedia or atlas, or various travel books and brochures to find the
natural wonders of the state you are researching. Choose one or more of the
following activities to complete:
* Choose one natural place and write a descriptive essay explaining
what they like about that particular place. Create a picture to accompany
* Create a mobile with pictures showing the highlights from their chosen natural
* Collect postcards of natural wonders from the state or make your own
Some of the people who have made great contributions to our country
may have lived and/or worked in the state you are researching. You may wish
to make a set of flash cards using tag board or index cards to complete
Make photocopies of pictures of famous people from the state.
Glue the picture to one side of a 3" x 5" piece of tag board or
an index card.
Be sure to include the individual's name, the dates that they lived, and a
list of the individual's accomplishments on the side opposite of the
Make up your own games using your homemade flashcards.
Folks of Louisiana
Land Form Maps
Making state maps of various kinds is an excellent way to learn about
land forms, locations, and state resources. A "land form" map
shows the shape and height of the land. It shows mountains, plateaus,
hills, plains, rivers, etc.
State Map of Louisiana
Create your own landform map of the state's geographical features.
1. Determine the state's features by looking up a state map in an atlas,
an encyclopedia, or a geography book.
2. Make a landform key at the bottom of your blank map form. Include
symbols for each of the different landform types in your state.
3. Color in the areas in your state to match the key. Your key should be
color-coded. Make the highest land form the darkest color and the lowest
land form the lightest color. You can use colored pencils, crayons,
4. Label the large rivers and mountain ranges with their names.
You could also make a relief map of the state. A relief map is a 3D
version of a landform map. You could use paper mache
or salt dough to make your own relief map.
of the US
State Resource Map:
Resources are things that people use every day. Resources are found
and developed from the land itself, or made into other things we use.
1. What resource or manufactured good is your state best known for?
2. How does this resource or product affect the state's economy?
3. How does the state's resources/products affect
how people live?
4. What products from neighboring states are used by the state?
State Resources of Louisiana:
Agriculture: Seafood, cotton, soybeans, cattle, sugarcane, poultry and
eggs, dairy products, rice
Industry: Chemical products, petroleum and coal products, food processing,
transportation equipment, paper products, tourism.
Make a product map:
1. Look in an atlas, encyclopedia, or geography book to find a map
showing the location of products raised or produced in the state.
2. Create a product map showing where these products are grown or
manufactured in the state. Use a symbol key to represent the products on
3. Show important cities situated near these resources on your map.
Make a mineral map:
1. Look in an atlas, encyclopedia, or geography book to find a map
showing the location of minerals in the state.
2. Create a minerals map showing what minerals are mined in the state, if
any. Minerals are natural substances obtained by mining such as coal, ore,
salt, or stone. Use a symbol key to represent the minerals.
3. Show important cities situated near these resources on your map.
Names, Nicknames, Mottos, and Songs:
Each state's name has its origin in some part of American history.
Some states were named after explorers, and some after monarchs, kings, or
presidents. Many states' names have Indian or Spanish origins. Every state
also has a nickname, a motto, and a state song.
Find out this state's name, nickname, motto, and song and then find
the origins of each. A great internet search engine that can help with this
is www.google.com . An online encyclopedia and/or
a printed encyclopedia or atlas can help with this research as well.
Information from Geobop
Each state has adopted one bird that represents their state. Find out
what this state's bird is and then find out the following information:
1. name of state bird
2. bird's habitat
3. colors and markings of this bird
4. food of choice for this bird
5. enemies this bird may have
6. protective behaviors
8. type of nest
9. egg size and shape, as well as incubation time
10. migration habits
11. beak shape and function
12. feet type
13. adaptations to environment
14. songs and calls
15. other interesting behaviors
16. endangered or not
17. how it became the state bird
Draw a picture of the state bird and write a paragraph about what you
have learned. Add this to your unit portfolio.
Louisiana's State Bird
State Tree and State Flower
Every state has adopted a tree and a flower to represent it. Find out
the tree and flower this state chose.
1. Sketch and color a picture of both the state tree and state
2. Label the parts of each.
3. Find out if the tree or flower is on an endangered list, and if yes,
what is being done to protect it.
4. If possible, visit a botanical garden to see a real, live example of the
tree or flower. Or, look at seed and gardening catalogs to find examples of
Is this state home to any endangered species? If yes, what are they?
What is being done in this state to protect the endangered species? Where
are these endangered species located?
You could make your own flashcards on the endangered species of this
state by drawing or pasting a picture of the plant or animal on the front
of an index card and on the reverse, writing some descriptive information.
Every state is affected by conditions of climate and geography.
States experience floods, earthquakes, sinkholes, erosion, hurricanes,
tornadoes, hailstorms, firestorms, blizzards, drought, mudslides, volcanic
activity, and electrical storms.
Make a list different weather types that affect the state you are
researching. Look in newspapers, travel brochures and books, tourism sites,
etc. to find this information out.
1. Make a table of the state's average monthly rainfall, then record
the information on a bar graph.
2. Make a table of the state's average monthly temperature, then record the
information on a line graph.
3. List various severe weather found in this state and any state-wide plans
for dealing with it. For instance, Florida
has hurricane evacuation routes in flood prone areas.
Note: also check the printables sections
of this unit for further ideas.
Lessons by State
Historical Text Archive
from the US Mint
Historical Text Archive
License Plate Maker
lot of printables from enchantedlearning.com
Here is a reading list called Read
Across America. It requires Adobe Acrobat to read. Adobe Acrobat is a
free download, you may even have it already on your computer.
Check out various travel guides from your library.
If you, or someone you know, is a AAA
member, the travel guides for each state hold a wealth of information!
Additional Research Ideas for Louisiana
Louis Armstrong musician, New Orleans
Geoffrey Beene fashion designer, Haynesville
Truman Capote writer, New Orleans
Kitty Carlisle singer, actress, New Orleans
Van Cliburn concert pianist, Shreveport
Michael De Bakey heart surgeon, Lake Charles
Fats Domino musician, New Orleans
Louis Moreau Gottschalk pianist, composer, New
Bryant Gumbel TV newscaster, New Orleans
Lillian Hellman playwright, New Orleans
Al Hirt trumpeter, New Orleans
Mahalia Jackson gospel singer, New Orleans
Dorothy Lamour actress, New Orleans
Jerry Lee Lewis singer, Ferriday
Huey P. Long politician, Winnfield
musician, New Orleans
Jelly Roll Morton jazz musician, composer, New Orleans
Huey Newton black activist, New Orleans
Paul Prudhomme chef, Opelousas
Cokie Roberts journalist, New Orleans
Kordell Stewart football player, Marrero
Ray Walston actor, New Orleans
Edward Douglas White jurist, Lafourche Parish
If you have any information or links that you think would enhance
this unit, please feel free to contact me through the feedback button in
the left hand column.