Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Geography-Postcard Album: New York, “The Empire State”

The postcard for this week comes from the Getty family in New York State.
learning ALL the time!!
You really should check out Susan Getty's blog, Learning All the Time!! Their latest nature study and drawing lessons have rendered some absolutely beautiful paintings.
She has a wonderful post about her New York state study.

Sam's map of New York State
Our kids were most interested in seeing that New York had some countryside as they only associated New York City with New York. They were also surprised to see how much it looks like here in Maryland.

Eastern Shore, Maryland
We learned a lot about New York from what Susan shared with us on the back of the postcard.

"A big 'hello'from Upstate NY! We live in an area surrounded by farms (primairly dairy farms) and rolling hills. A truly beautiful spot! Agriculture and tourism are important to our economy. Plenty of artists live and work in our area, and lots of people come here to get away from the city."
Almanzo Wilder grew up on a farm in northern New York State, about 100 miles north of Albany.

We made apple muffins, "the official muffin of the state of New York".

Apple Muffins
6 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups chunky applesauce
1/2 cup peeled, chopped apples

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with bake cups and set aside. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter on high for about 30 to 60 seconds; set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, put flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and brown sugar into the bowl of a mixer and mix thoroughly. While the mixer is running add eggs, applesauce and melted butter until mixed. Fill the bake cups about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until light brown.

There are lots of other possibilities for New York state food. Buffalo chicken wings is one. Brooklyn bialys are similar to bagels, except they do not have a hole in the middle, and they are baked instead of boiled. Bialys orginiated in Bialystok, Poland. In the early 1900s, many east European Jews settled in New York City. Manhattan's Lower East Side is famous for its bialy bakeries. Delmonico potatoes originated at Delmonico's Restaurant in NYC around 1830. Waldorf salad was created at the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC in 1896. 
New York egg cream  is club soda with a little whole milk and chocolate sauce. New York cheesecake is made with pure cream cheese, cream, sugar and eggs. 

I couldn't leave a look at New York State, however, without a mention of New York City. We talked about the Statue of Liberty and we did some experiments to explain why it is it's famous green color.

 You will need white vinegar, salt, some tarnished pennies and some shiny new screws, nuts and/or bolts. Pour 1/4 cup vinegar into the bowl and add 1 tea. salt. Stir. Put about 5 tarnished pennies into the bowl and count to 10 slowly.

You will see the tarnish disappear, revealing the pennies' copper color. Take out the pennies and rinse them out in some water.  The acid in the vinegar reacts with the salt to remove the tarnish or copper oxide.

Now, add more pennies to the bowl for 10 seconds, but this time, don't rinse them off. Place them on a paper towel to dry off. In time the pennies will turn greenish-blue as a chemical called malachite forms on the pennies  as the copper atoms from the pennies, oxygen from the air, and chlorine from the salt combine. This is the same greenish-blue color of our Statue of Liberty. What does this tell you about what Lady Liberty is made of? Why is she greenish-blue in color?

Now, just for fun, place some nuts and bolts in the vinegar and watch as they become copper and tarnished in color. The copper ions from the pennies attached to the nails because the positive copper ions are attracted to the negatively charged nuts and bolts.

From B is for Brooklyn Bridge to K is for Kodak and onward to T is for Fort Ticonderoga!

We have virtually visited 18 states (36%) and Washington DC with our Postcard-Geography Album.

We have been having a wonderful, educational time making pages in our States Postcard Album, but we have only just begun. I am asking for your help. If you live in any of the states listed in the sidebar to the right and would like to exchange a postcard with us, please email me or leave a comment on this post. We will post your card when we do our page for that state! Thanks so much for helping us with this project.


  1. I think we will just all gather 'round the computer together. Not only because I love this post but because we 'went to' New York this week. Our VBS theme was Big Apple Adventure. So all we learned so much about New York. Still singing 'Bi, bi, bi, bi, Big Apple Adventure!' We will definitely be talking about the statue and why it is green. Thank you.

  2. Phyllis, this is so great! I'll be sharing it with my girls :) Thanks for the extra special mention!

  3. I've never seen the second part of the experiment with putting the screws in. That's cool!

    I love your scrapbook state pages they just look cool.


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