Saturday, September 28, 2013

Summer/Fall Series: 50 States - Louisiana

The summer series has morphed into a fall series as we have reached the end of September.  I haven't quite made it halfway.  Hopefully, I will finish this series by Christmas.  I do hope you are still enjoying it.


Louisiana, postal abbreviation LA, is our nation's 18th state.  The land that became Louisiana and parts and wholes of 14 other states was purchased by President Thomas Jefferson from Napoleon Bonaparte, who ruled France, on April 30, 1803.  Statehood was achieved exactly nine years later on April 30, 1812.

Louisiana is located in the southern United States.  Its southern coastline sits on the Gulf of Mexico.  The lowest point in the state is New Orleans; it is eight feet below sea level.  Due to this geographic position and the failure of numerous levees, New Orleans suffered a disastrous flood as a result of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Many folks were displaced and have not returned.  Reconstruction continues to this day.

The capital of Louisiana is Baton Rouge.  Its name is said to have derived from the writings of French explorer D'Iberville in which he describes large poles erected by the local Indians that were coated with the blood of fish and bear heads.  Louisiana was named in honor of King Louis XIV of France in 1682.

People who live here are called either Louisianans or Louisianians.  Some famous folks who were born in this state are Louis Armstrong, singer/trumpet player; PGT Beauregard, Civil War Confederate General; Terry Bradshaw, football player; Truman Capote, author; Van Cliburn, pianist; Harry Connick, Jr., actor, singer, pianist; Fats Domino, rhythm and blues artist; Randy Jackson, best known as a judge on American Idol; Eli and Peyton Manning, football stars; Branford and Wynton Marsalis, saxophonist and trumpet player, respectively; Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of President John F. Kennedy; and Hank Williams, Jr., singer, musician.

Perhaps some of the most famous Louisianans, at least currently, are the members of the Robertson clan who star in the show, Duck Dynasty.  Every Wednesday night on A&E, they share their family and their faith with millions of viewers worldwide.  Listed below are some books and DVDs about the Robertsons.

There is a great deal of history in this state, and a lot of culture.  This was the birthplace of jazz.  Mardi Gras is celebrated on a grand scale every year.  The Cajuns have made Southern Louisiana home, and their culture has impacted the entire U.S. from their music to their food.  This group of people is descended from French settlers who lived in the Acadia region of Canada.  They were forced out by the British during the French-Indian War in the 1750s and 1760s.  One place they settled was Louisiana.

It is obvious that Louisianans are resilient.  It is also obvious that they like to have fun.  One way this is seen is by the number of state symbols they have.

Bird - Eastern brown pelican Dog - Catahoula Leopard dog
Mammal - Louisiana black bear
Reptile - Alligator 
Insect - Honeybee 
Crustacean - Crawfish 
Amphibian - Green tree frog 
Flower - Magnolia blossom 
Wildflower - Louisiana Iris 
Tree - Bald Cypress
Beverage - Milk 
Colors - Blue, white, and gold

A few others not listed include a state soil, gem, and fossil.

Louisiana has several nicknames: Sportsman's Paradise, Bayou State, and the Pelican State.

A pelican and three of its chicks are displayed on the state flag of Louisiana, which was adopted in 1912.  The blue stands for truth, and the pelican is a symbol of protection.

The state motto is Union, Justice, and Confidence.  The economy of the state is based mainly on oil and gas production but also on sulphur and salt, lime and lignite.  Petroleum refining, manufacturing of chemicals, pulp and papermaking, agriculture, fishing, tourism, and shipbuilding are also very important.

If you are planning a trip to Louisiana, there are many different things to see.  There are zoos and amusement parks.  Antebellum plantations that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places can be toured.  The Aquarium of the Americas is one of the top aquariums in the United States.  There is a World War II Museum and the decommissioned Fort Jackson from the Civil War.  There are a number of cemeteries in the New Orleans' area that have above-ground vaults for all of the grave sites.  These have been shown in various films.  New Orleans is famous for Mardi Gras which takes place just before the season of Lent.  Mardi Gras means "Fat Tuesday" in French.  This celebration is more of an adult celebration, but Mardi Gras World is a place where people can go and watch the floats be made that will be in the Mardi Gras parade.  The Delta Queen is another US National Historic Landmark that can be visited.  It is an old sternwheel steamboat.

Play some games here to learn more about Louisiana and test your knowledge.

The following items are some books from that looked like they might be interesting and help you learn more about different aspects of Louisiana.  DISCLAIMER: I am an affiliate with, so if you purchase through my blog I will receive a commission.

495461: Louisiana Pocket Guide, Grades 3-8 Louisiana Pocket Guide, Grades 3-8
By Carole Marsh / Gallopade International

The perfect reference guide. This handy 4" x 6", easy-to-use guide is divided into seven color-coded sections which include basics, history, geography, people, places, nature, and more! Riddles, recipes, and surprising facts make this guide a delight! Available for all 50 states! Grades 3-8; ages 8-14.

495526: Louisiana Poster/Map Louisiana Poster/Map
By Carole Marsh / Gallopade International

This over-sized map features key cities, landmarks, historic sites, rivers, regions, borders, and major geographic features + an array of state "must-haves" including state symbols, as well as fascinating state trivia, a timeline of important state events, and more. 

495534: Let"s Discover Louisiana CD-ROM, Grades 2-8 Let's Discover Louisiana CD-ROM, Grades 2-8
By Carole Marsh / Gallopade International

Interactive CD-ROM with lots of fun facts for kids to learn about their state. It includes government, state symbols, a timeline, geography, civics, nickname, landmarks, parks, schools, historical places, and more. Each of four sections is completed with a quizzing game and rewards. Also includes a FREE printed reproducible quiz. Grades 2-8

*I have used the following resource in my own homeschool, and I really liked it.
273233: Spotlight on America: The Lewis & Clark Expedition and the  Louisiana Purchase Spotlight on America: The Lewis & Clark Expedition and the Louisiana Purchase
By Teacher Created Resources

The spotlight is on the Lewis & Clark Expedition and the Louisiana Purchase in this workbook. Designed for students in grades 4-8, this workbook contains both informational reading passages and workbook pages to complete. Quizzes and answer key included. 48 reproducible pages, softcover.  

64434: Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
By Peter Roop & Connie Roop / Simon & Schuster

In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from the French for 15,000,000 dollars. The purchase made President Jefferson's dream of extending the U.S. west of the Mississippi River come true. Now the much larger United States had difficult questions to answer: How would Louisiana be governed? How would it be divided into states? Would those states be free states or slave states? What would happen to the Native Americans? It would take over one hundred years, a war over slavery, and the creation of thirteen new states before these questions could be answered. For ages 7-10.

78350: The Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase
By Michael Burgan / Heinemann Raintree

502123: What a Deal! The Louisiana Purchase What a Deal! The Louisiana Purchase
By Gallopade International
tInquire within to learn about the biggest bargain in American history. A deal too good to be true - only it was! The story of the amazing Louisiana Purchase is filled with history, mystery, legend, lore, and so much more! Softcover, 32 pages. Gallopade International.

*Since the following book is sold on, I would think it would be safe, but the last line of the description makes me question it.  It might be more appropriate for young adult or adult.

36810: Bayou Folk & Night
Bayou Folk & Night
By Kate Chopin / Penguin Putnam Inc.

In the decade before the appearance of her landmark novel, The Awakening, Kate Chopin published Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897), collections of stories set in New Orleans and rural Louisiana. Celebrations of people in their communities, the forty-four stories here depict a diversity of characters: Creoles, Acadians, and "Americans," people of color and of mixed blood, Native Americans and immigrants, adults and children, the educated and the illiterate, the rich and the poor. Some stories focus on the restrictions women face as they seek self-fulfillment - a theme Chopin would develop fully in The Awakening - but many show people striving to establish better lives amid the devastation following the Civil War. With a compassionate, knowing gaze, Chopin not only evokes the distant world of plantations and 'Cadian balls, but also anticipates the thoroughly modern, multi-ethnic, gender-sensitive, and sexually charged world that we know today.

28165EB: Jambalaya For The Soul: Humorous Stories and Cajun Recipes from the Bayou - eBook Jambalaya For The Soul: Humorous Stories and Cajun Recipes from the Bayou - eBook
By Jesse Duplantis / Harrison House

829299: Survival Series: Swamp, Louisiana 1850, Volume 11 Survival Series: Swamp, Louisiana 1850, Volume 11
By Kathleen Duey / Simon & Schuster

Bayou Teche, 1851.  No one in Lily LeGrand's Cajun community is willing to help search for Paul Courville, missing in the bayou along with his mean-spirited older brothers, William and Mark. Why should they? Paul's wealthy plantation-owner father has made no secret of his disdain for Cajuns like Lily's family. But Paul has always been kind to Lily, defending her against his brothers' merciless taunts and humiliating pranks, and Lily refuses to turn her back on him when his life is in danger. On her own in the maze of the snake-and alligator-infested bayou, Lily knows she has more to fear than her father's wrath. Her treacherous journey will test both her knowledge of the swamp and her courage. Can she find Paul in time?

93678: Suzanne Tate"s Nature Series #18: Perky Pelican,  A Tale of a Lively Bird Suzanne Tate's Nature Series #18: Perky Pelican, A Tale of a Lively Bird
By Suzanne Tate / Nags Head Art Inc

Perky Pelican is a story based on facts from research at a pelican rookery. It tells how juvenile pelicans must be lively to survive. Recommended for ages 4 to 9, grades preschool through 4th grade.
75978: Alligator Alligator
By Puzzled Wooden Toys

Fun craft 3-dimensional all wood alligator puzzle.
  • size when assembled: 14"L x 3.5"W x 4"H
  • homeschool, classroom, family fun
  • affordable and creative gift
  • great stocking stuffer
  • recommended for children over 5 years of age

  • 506421: Alligator Alligator
    By Patricia Whitehouse / Heinemann Raintree

    This book introduces you to alligators, including their size, diet, and everyday behavior, which highlights differences between those in the wild and those living in a zoo habitat.

    191345: The Commander"s Kitchen, DVD The Commander's Kitchen, DVD
    By Daywind Music Group

    Welcome to the Commander's Kitchen! Come on in and have a seat with Phil and Kay Robertson along with their family, share with you their favorite dishes. Watch as they give you step-by-step instructions on how to cook some of the best recipes Louisiana has to offer including crawfish pie, bacon-wrapped duck, Miss Kay's banana pudding, and more! Includes recipe book! Approx. 69 minutes.

    726092: Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy As the Duck Commander
    Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy As the Duck Commander
    By Phil Robertson with Mark Schlabach / Howard Books

    Want to meet the man behind the beard? Besides having a popular reality TV show on A & E, and a multi-million dollar business, Phil Robertson has shared his story with thousands of people at churches and public speaking events. Now in his memoir, Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander, Robertson shares his life's journey behind the camera.

    It hasn't always been the "good life" for Phil. As a young man, he turned to drinking, drugs, and wild living to try to fill the emptiness in his heart, in the process causing hurt to his young wife and family. It wasn't until he turned to Christ and dedicated his life that things began to turn around, and he became the entrepreneur who created a product that changed the duck hunting industry. Happy, Happy, Happy isn't just the story of an American dream come true; it's the story of a changed life. As you read, you'll be inspired to believe that God can reach the hardest hearts with His love and truth and fill their lives with life-giving purpose.

    703541: The Duck Commander Family The Duck Commander Family
    By Willie & Korie Robertson with Mark Schlabach / Howard Books

    An up-close look at America's favorite backwoods family! Stars of A&E's hit television show Duck Dynasty, the Robertsons take you on a behind-the-scenes tour of their life and faith, sharing how they went from eating fried bologna sandwiches to consuming filet mignon by building a hunting empire. Includes recipes and family pictures. 261 pages, hardcover from Howard.

    433680: Who Was?: Who Was Louis Armstrong? Who Was?: Who Was Louis Armstrong?
    By Yona McDonough / Grosset & Dunlap

    Full of adventure that will keep young children reading, Who Was Louis Armstrong tells the story of the man who revolutionized music through his popularization and mastery of jazz. With quotes woven seamlessly into the narrative and lots of pen-and-ink illustrations, this is a remarkably detailed look at a fascinating American man. 105 pages, softcover. Grade 3.

    603404: John F. Kennedy John F. Kennedy
    By Howard S. Kaplan / DK Publishing Inc.

    547735: Gaston Goes to Mardi Gras Gaston Goes to Mardi Gras
    By James Rice & James Rice(ILLUS) / Pelican Publishing Company

    693607: Blown Together: The Trials and Miracles of Katrina
    Blown Together: The Trials and Miracles of Katrina
    By Sebastian Myladiyil / Evergreen Press

    Hurricane Katrina was one of the most devastating storms to hit the U.S. Most of the attention is given to the destruction in New Orleans, but the Mississippi Gulf Coast experienced untold damage as well. Bay St. Louis and Waveland, MS, were ground zero for Katrina's landfall. But for all its fury, Katrina brought miracles along with trials. Blown Together is a collection of over 25 true accounts of the impact of this storm on families and communities and the beautiful unity and cooperation it brought from volunteers near and far.

    340239: Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Katrina
    By Hilry Thomas / Xulon Press

    349027: Storm Surge: A Novel of Hurricane Katrina Storm Surge: A Novel of Hurricane Katrina
    By Ramsey Coutta / Xulon Press

    *All of the pictures above (not including the list from comes from


    1. i now know more about Louisiana that I did before. :) Thanks for teaching me.

      1. Annette, Thank you for your comment. I appreciate any feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I always enjoy these posts from you!