Saturday, July 4, 2009

Special Independence Day REVIEW: The Scrambled States of America

Keller, L.  (2008).  The Scrambled States of America.  New York:  Henry Holt and Company.


Bored one night, the states decide to have a talent show.  The states take on different tasks to prepare for the show.  Through the preparations, the structure of a state's counties and cities are shown (with emphasis on Georgia), as well as the macro geography of the globe.  Once the talent show begins, the states perform acts (that have very little to do with the actual states themselves).

With a lot of text, dialogue bubbles and character illustrations all over the pages, the book could seem a little overwhelming for some readers.

Activities to Do with the Book:


 The Scrambled States of America would be good to help children learn the states in the same way that Alpha Oops helps younger students with the alphabet.  Since the states are shown multiple times with their names written within their borders, this would be a good book to help with learning the shape of each state as well as to discuss how counties and cities are contained within the state.  Students could research their home state (or other favorite states) and make reports of the produce, cities, population etc.

This book is an interesting addition to a geography unit.  Especially since there's a game that a teacher could purchase to go along with the book.  Since there are so many small snippets of dialogue around the page and since it's hard to read the states' names unless the reader looks closely, this would probably be best as an independent read or a read aloud with only a couple of children.


This book can also be used with students who are putting on a talent show or other school performance since the book explore issues like stage fright and how to deal with it.


Favorite Quotes:


“It all started quite simply, really.  In the middle of the night, New York woke up from a dream and shouted "Hey everyone--Let's have a talent show!"

"Just before intermission, The New States on the Block brought the audience to their feet!"

"Pennsylvania played a peppy tune on the Liberty Bell."




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