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Fifty States Under God For Young Learners (age 4 – 2nd grade) Review by Karen Waide

Joy Dean
State History From a Christian Perspective
P.O. Box 39298
Indianapolis, IN 46239

During our summer school session this summer, we were given the opportunity to review our states with the help of a book titled, Fifty States Under God For Young Learners by Joy Dean. We were at the tail end of our core curriculum where the older girls were learning about the states. However, our younger children weren't getting much out of it. In fact, they tended to get quite bored when I was reading the state information. When I realized that Fifty States Under God For Young Learners was suitable for children age 4 through 2nd grade, I jumped at the chance to review it.

Fifty States Under God For Young Learners is a spiral-bound workbook where the child colors, cuts, and pastes to complete their introductory learning of the states. After the introduction, there are two sections in the book, the workpages and the appendix. The workpages are the main part of the book, and it is 200 pages long. The appendix contains a bibliography, a U.S. Map, the cutouts for the capitals, mottos, and nicknames of the states, and the State Symbol Pictures (which also will need to be cut out and glued to the main workpages).

The states are arranged in order by date of statehood. Each states' section of pages is organized in the same way. The heading on the first page is the name of the state, plus what number it was in becoming a state. There is a birthday cake that contains the date of statehood, which needs to be written in the line above it. The cake can also be colored/decorated. The child is to glue on the capital city and then write it in the line where the state capitol building picture is glued on. On the second page, the student will find spaces to add in the state symbols. The book includes the state bird, tree, and flower for each state. Below this is a map of the state which also shows the bordering states. The student is to color the map by number and color in the state on the United States map at the back of the book. The third page for every state section gives information about the state, little bits of trivia and then a couple of paragraphs about “special people who did special things.” Sometimes the information gives some great insight into our country's Christian heritage, but not always. There are also places for the state flag and seal to be glued on. The last page of each state's section has spots for the child to glue on the state motto and state nickname.

The child will find the cutouts in the appendix of the book. The capital, motto, and nickname are all on rectangular strips of colored paper. The information for 3 states fits on each page. I have found it easiest to cut out the section and then allow my daughter to cut out the strips. The State Symbol Pictures are the last section of the appendix. Nine states worth of pictures fit on each page. The pictures themselves are quite small, measuring less than an inch, except for the flag pictures that are a little over an inch long. Again, I find it is easier to cut out the section and hand it to my daughter to have her cut the pictures out. Children at the lower end of the age range may find it a bit tricky to cut out these little pictures, but they may be able to cut out the rectangular strips. That will depend on each child's fine-motor skill development.

I love that it is self-contained and everything you will need to complete this workbook is included, except for pencils, crayons, glue, and scissors of course. I just wish the pictures were a bit bigger. It would make cutting them out a bit easier for younger children, and it would also allow for a clearer image. I have to admit, it is hard to make out details for some of the pictures.  And looking at the empty space around each box where the symbols are to go, I would say that there would definitely be room for bigger pictures. Other that that concern, I really do think this is a great book for teaching younger children about the states. It was a wonderful way for us to review the states, and a great way for my youngest daughter to have her own state book. Most importantly, I loved being able to read about Christians who had made an impact in our country's history, especially in this day and age where our Christian heritage is continually being stripped away. You can purchase Fifty States Under God For Young Learners for $32.95

- Product review by Karen Waide, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2016