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The Scrambled States of America

Last updated Monday, July 7, 2014

Author: Laurie Keller
Date of Publication: 1998
ISBN: 0805058028
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2014

Synopsis: A wacky cross-country adventure starring the fifty states! "Well, it was just your basic, ordinary day in the good old U. S. of A. States all over the country were waking up, having their first cups of coffee, reading the morning paper, and enjoying the beautiful sunrise. All the states, that is, except for Kansas." At the first annual "states party," Virginia and Idaho hatch a plan to swap spots so each can see another part of the country. Before the party is over, all the states decide to switch places. In the beginning, every state is happy in its new location. But soon things start to go wrong. Will the states ever unscramble themselves and return to their proper places? Packed with madcap humor and whimsical illustrations, this quirky story-starring all fifty states-is chock-full of introductory facts and silly antics that will make learning geography as much fun as taking a vacation.

Note to readers:
•  There are fun facts about the states at the end of the book.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What other states have you been to?
•  Who is the guy on the front cover?
•  Which one is California?

•  ordinary - the regular or usual condition or course of things
•  bicker - to argue over unimportant things
•  arrangement - to plan or prepare for a future event
•  rumbling - to make or move in a low heavy rolling sound
•  lonesome - sad from lack of companionship or separation from others

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why is Kansas unhappy?
•  What is your favorite state? Which state would you like California to switch places with? Would other states would you like to visit?
•  Do you think it was a good idea for the states to switch locations? Why or why not?
•  What food should California take to the potluck?
•  Why were the states unhappy after they switched?
•  What do the states learn about themselves?
•  What coast is California on? Where is the Northeast? Where is the Midwest?

Craft ideas:
•  Color the US map. Outline & colors states many different colors. If you wish, you can cut out some states (or areas where the states are small), switch around by taping to other areas on another piece of paper.

Special activities:
•  Sing the "Fifty Nifty States" song. (search Google or Youtube if you are not familiar with the song)

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!