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Learning with Weblinks: America's 50 States

OSS Publishing Company

PO Box 610
White Plains, NY 10603

The Learning with Weblinks study America's 50 States is a state history and geography resource made for the middle school and high school levels. It is a ring-bound compilation of historical and geographical information about the United States, and it includes lists of web links in a state-by-state order. You will find it to be an invaluable teaching resource.

On an elementary-grade level, this book is useful for the basic historical and geographical information. But a middle school or high school student could incorporate the information from the Internet links to complete an in-depth state history study.

Each two-page spread also has one blank Notes page, which is helpful when planning. You could use to list other Internet resources and books or just to make notes.

Section 1: "Introduction to The United States of America" discusses the following topics:
  • Where is the United States of America?--This page shows where the United States is on a detailed world map and then goes on to explore the US and its neighbors to the north and south, giving basic history of the acquiring of the land of the United States as we know it today.

  • How the United States Grew--Using a color map, this page shows when each section of land was acquired and under what terms and conditions from the years 1783 to 1898.

  • The 50 States Today--This shows each state's placement on the map, its region, a description of its governmental powers, and how it is further divided into counties and towns, etc.

  • US Resources and Terrain--These two pages show the major geographical features of the mainland, such as mountain ranges, the Great Lakes, deserts, and the two major United States rivers: the Mississippi and the Missouri. This section does a great job of explaining how these different parts of our terrain all work together.
Section 2: "The 50 States" is the bulk of the book. It gives pertinent information about each state, such as its capital, important cities, admittance to the Union, state motto, state nickname, state bird, and state flower. Also included are important places in the state (National Monuments and Memorials, lakes, parks, bases of the armed forces, museums, etc.), state history (from pre-colonial times to the present), and web links for exploring significant state information. Cultural history and agricultural information are given, as well as the importance of any significant landmarks and their effects on the state's economy or agriculture.

After skimming through the book, my 18-year-old daughter stated that it is a really neat resource. She liked all the information about the different states and was impressed by all of the links. Our 11 year-old son also used it and agreed with his sister that it is quite interesting. He asked to go to the "Everglades" link, and he sat there for the next twenty minutes turning pages, asking me if I knew about this or that, telling me what he was learning.

That tells me that this product is definitely appropriate for middle and high schoolers, and we found that it is user-friendly and interesting enough to be used as a study book for any age of reader. It will greatly help us as we pursue a Delight-Directed Approach to our children's education.

The links are all working and appropriate links at the publication of this resource, but keep in mind that the Internet is constantly changing and links may become "dead" at some point. The OSS website does provide updated links for their products; so even if a link expires, you will have the resource for its update.

I loved reading information about states other than my own. This will become an important part of our homeschool studies in history and geography. And we will incorporate it in any of our travels across the United States in the future.

Product review: by Jacque Dixon, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, July 2008

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