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This is the third book in a series of adventures involving Herkimer and a group of ten students who call themselves the Stat Pack. The first two books related to two very practical and useful mathematical subjects, statistics and finance. They were not written to be textbooks; each consisted of a series of easy-to-read vignettes ...
This is the third book in a series of adventures involving Herkimer and a group of ten students who call themselves the Stat Pack. The first two books related to two very practical and useful mathematical subjects, statistics and finance. They were not written to be textbooks; each consisted of a series of easy-to-read vignettes involving conversations and interactions between the fantasy character Herkimer and the Stat Pack students who had a genuine desire to learn mathematical concepts that would be important and valuable as they progressed into adulthood. The statistical adventures of this group can be found in THE STATISTICAL ODYSSEY OF HERKIMER AND THE STAT PACK and the financial explorations in HERKIMER AND THE STAT PACK VENTURE INTO MONEY MATHEMATICS Both books represent AuthorHouse publications. A reader of these books would learn much about statistics and finance as they shared the experiences and activities Herkimer created for the Stat Pack.
In this book the students actually join Herkimer in creating a series of fun activities designed to help readers gain a better understanding of the wonderful country known as the United States of America. It is designed to be of interest to all age groups. Adults can enjoy the book as well as children. In this period where geography is infrequently taught in schools the activities herein represent a potential source of educational family fun and enjoyment. The book should serve as a reminder that useful and meaningful educational adventures can take place outside of the school classroom.
BEGINNING LETTERS OF STATE NAMES
From previous learning experiences with Herkimer, Brenda and Wayne developed proficiency with spreadsheet construction. On the following page they created a bar chart displaying the number of times each letter represented the first letter of a state name. If you turn the page you will see this chart and your challenge is to identify the state names beginning with each of the 26 alphabetic letters.
When you turn to the next page you will know HOW MANY states have names beginning with each of the 26 letters. Prior to turning the page you might wish to accept the challenge of finding out HOW MANY states have names beginning with each of the 26 letters. If you accept this challenge indicate the number of states beginning with each letter in the table below.
Brenda and Wayne now invite you to turn the page for more fun relating to the first letter
U.S. ACTIVITY #2 Created by Valarie and Darren
NUMBER OF LETTERS IN STATE NAMES
Valarie and Darren took on this project. The basic challenge is to organize states by the number of letters making up the name of each state. On the next page they developed a spreadsheet histogram displaying the number of states having 3-letter names, 4-letter names, etc. and your job will be to identify those states.
Prior to turning the page a first challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to determine HOW MANY states have 3-letter names, 4-letter names, etc. If you choose to accept this challenge, fill in the table below BEFORE turning to the next page.
From previous experience with Herkimer the Stat Pack learned many mathematical realities. In this situation, if you took the time to fill in the table above Valarie suggests that you total the numbers you produced. Darren correctly notes that if the numbers don't total to 50 then you have definitely made a mistake in the computation process. Of course if they do total to 50 it doesn't mean that your numbers are correct but if you were careful during the computation process you have a good chance of being correct.
Now turn the page for more fun with this activity.
U.S. ACTIVITY #3 Created by Carolyn and Stephen
NUMBER OF STATE NAMES CONTAINING SPECIFIC LETTER
In a list of the names of the 50 United States, which letters appear in more than half of the names? Are there any letters that don't appear at all? The answers to these questions might surprise you.
This activity and the related spreadsheets were created by Carolyn and Stephen. If you want another challenge relating to the U.S. then prior to turning to the next page complete the table below by listing the NUMBER OF STATE NAMES that contain each letter at least once. On a separate piece of paper list the state names that contain the letter A, the letter B, etc.
Turn the page to see if your numbers agree with those displayed in the charts produced by Carolyn and Stephen.
U.S. ACTIVITY #4 Created by Glen and Frances
NUMBER OF STATE NAMES CONTAINING SPECIFIC LETTER MORE THAN ONCE
How many state names contain the letter E more than once? How about the letter M? The letter S? Which letter appears more than any other as a multiple letter in a state name? Glen and Frances constructed this activity to address questions like these.
If you accept the challenge offered by Glen and Frances then prior to turning the page complete the table below. When you turn the page you will find a display created by the two students that will allow you to determine if your numbers are correct. You will also find a convenient chart in which you can list the states with specific multiple letters.
U.S. ACTIVITY #5 Created by Janice and Roger
BEGINNING LETTERS OF STATE CAPITAL CITY NAMES
Janice and Roger took on the project of creating this activity relating to the capital cities of states. If you choose to participate use the table below to indicate the number of capital cities that begin with each of the 26 letters. When you have completed the table you can turn the page to see if you agree with the totals displayed by Janice and Roger in spreadsheet charts they constructed.
The following page also provides an opportunity to list the capital cities that begin with each letter of the alphabet.
U.S. ACTIVITY #6 Created by Frances and Wayne
ATTAINMENT-OF-STATEHOOD YEAR FOR EACH OF THE 50 STATES
If a reader is less then 50 years old then the United States has always consisted of 50 states during his or her lifetime. However, the "birth" of the oldest state occurred in 1787 and the "birth" of the newest state took place in 1959, a difference of 172 years. Frances and Wayne teamed up to create this activity.
Before turning to the page complete the table below indicating the number of states that achieved statehood during the indicated ten-year time intervals.
Now turn the page to check your numbers and complete the spreadsheet histogram put together by Frances and Wayne.
U.S. ACTIVITY #7 Created by Glen and Janice
UNSCRAMBLE LETTERS TO YIELD STATE AND CAPITAL CITY
Glen and Janice came up with the idea taking the name of a state and its capital city, scrambling the letters by a random process, and then presenting the scrambled letters to a reader to see if he or she could unscramble them to identify the state and city. Using our good neighbor Canada to illustrate the challenge, can you unscramble these letters to produce a capital city and the corresponding province in Canada? (Don't look beyond the pictures of Herkimer, Glen, and Janice if you want to accept the challenge before seeing the solution which will be written in very small letters so it won't stand out before you really want to read it.)
Were you able to come up with Toronto, Ontario? In any case, you get the idea. On the following page produced by Glen and Janet you will be presented with 50 sets of scrambled letters that you can attempt to unscramble to yield a state of the good ole USA and its capital city.
U.S. ACTIVITY #8 Created by Brenda and Carolyn
CREATE WORDS FROM LETTERS IN A STATE NAME
Brenda and Carolyn combined their talents to produce a clever word game that consisted of creating words from the letters that make up the name of a state. They used the Canadian provinces of ALBERTA and SASKATCHEWAN to demonstrate the activity. They gave themselves 5 minutes to fill in the following table with as many words as they could create from the province names.
The calculation of scores for the two provinces is as follows:
ALBERTA: 3(9) + 4(8) + 5(2) = 69 SASKATCHEWAN: 3(10) + 4(16) + 5(14) + 8(6) = 212
If you choose to accept the challenge with the 50 state names offered by Brenda and Carolyn, turn the page and have some fun.
Lines from that wonderful patriotic song GOD BLESS AMERICA
God Bless America, Land that I love, Stand beside her and guide her Thru the night with a light from above.
U.S. ACTIVITY #9 Created by Darren and Roger
ANOTHER ACTIVITY CREATING WORDS FROM LETTERS IN A STATE NAME
Word creation can be fun and educational. While Brenda and Carolyn were working on their word creation activity using state names, Darren and Roger were producing one also. Their activity involved creating words using just the first 3 letters of a state name, then using the first 4 letters, then the first 5 letters, etc. Darren and Roger illustrated their game using two Canadian provinces, MANITOBA and NOVA SCOTIA. An individual accepting the challenge should create as many words as possible in the appropriate box in the table below. Two basic rules: A word must contain at least two letters and a word cannot be repeated.
The two friends gave themselves two minutes per province name and came up with the indicated words.
The calculation of scores for the produced words is shown below:
MANITOBA: 4(4) + 3(3) + 2(3) + 1(6) = 37 NOVA SCOTIA: 4(2) + 3(3) + 2(5) + 1(4) = 31
The challenge using the 50 state names follows. For each state of the U.S., challenge yourself to produce as many words as you can, or create teams to compete against each other. In any case, enjoy yourself!
Lines from BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. He had loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword. His truth is marching on.
U.S. ACTIVITY #10 Created by Stephen and Valarie
ORDER THE STATES BY POPULATION RANK
Stephen and Valarie took the lead roles in creating a series of activities where states can be ranked 1 through 50 according to specific categories. They took 2008 state population figures and created the activity on the following page. They rounded state populations to thousands for this educational endeavor.
They arranged the state names in blocks of 5 states. For instance, the first block is
CALIFORNIA FLORIDA ILLINOIS NEW YORK TEXAS
These are the five most populous states. They are listed alphabetically, but NOT in order of population rank. If you accept the challenge offered by this activity you would arrange the names in order of population rank and place them in the provided table displaying state populations in order of decreasing magnitude. You would do the same with the second set of listed state names representing rankings 6 - 10, the third set representing rankings 11 - 15, etc.
As years go by the population rankings may shift somewhat as state populations increase or decrease. One can adjust the state population and still have lots of fun with this activity.
U.S. ACTIVITY #11 Created by Brenda, Carolyn and Wayne
ORDER CAPITAL CITIES BY POPULATION RANK
A team of three Pack members took on the challenge of finding the populations of the 50 state capital cities. Brenda, Carolyn and Wayne then created a challenge somewhat similar to the one relating to the state populations.
They arranged the state capital names and the corresponding states in blocks of 5 city names. For instance, the first block looks like this:
ARIZONA Austin INDIANA Columbus OHIO Indianapolis TENNESSEE Nashville TEXAS Phoenix
The cities listed are the five state capitals with the greatest population. They are listed alphabetically, but NOT in order of population rank. The states are also listed alphabetically and do not necessarily correspond with the indicated capital city. If you accept the challenge offered by this activity you would arrange the capital city names in order of population rank and place them in the provided table displaying city populations in order of decreasing magnitude. You would also match each of the five states with the appropriate capital city. Then you would move to the second block of five cities (representing population rankings 6-10) and do a similar reordering. You would do the same with the each of the ten blocks of alphabetized names for state capital cities.
Perhaps you have thought that capital cities would always be large cities. If so, the population size of some U. S. capital cities might surprise you.
U.S. ACTIVITY #12 Created by Darren and Frances
ORDER OF STATEHOOD FOR THE 50 STATES
As indicated in an earlier activity the last state admitted to the union gained statehood 172 years after the first state was created. Darren and Frances produced this activity that should be of interest to history buffs.
Following the pattern established by classmates in other activities, they arranged the state names in 10 blocks of 5 names each. The first block looks like this:
CONNECTICUT DELAWARE GEORGIA NEW JERSEY PENNSYLVANIA
These are the first 5 states to enter the union. The names are listed alphabetically, but NOT in the order of admission. Your challenge on the following page is to arrange the states in order of admission in the provided table. This block is followed by another alphabetized list of 5 state names representing the 6th through 10th states to enter the union. You should arrange them in the proper order of admission. Continue this process for all ten blocks of state names.
Darren and Frances hope you enjoy this activity and that it will help you realize how young the United States of America really is compared to other countries of the world. And, think how much has been accomplished during its young life.
U.S. ACTIVITY #13 Created by Valarie and Glen
ORDER OF STATES BY SIZE (SQ. MILES)
Valarie and Glen took charge of creating this activity. It was an easy task since, unlike population, the area of a state remains constant. It really wasn't difficult for them to find a listing of the size of each state in terms of square mile. However, some discoveries surprised them. They were aware that the states differed considerably in size but being good math students they discovered some amazing facts, including:
(1) The land area of our largest state is 545 times the land area of our smallest state.
(2) The total land area of our 21 smallest states is less than the land area of our largest state.
Valarie and Glen followed the pattern established by some of their Stat Pack classmates who produced other activities. They created 10 blocks of 5 states each. The first block included our five largest states (by size) listed in alphabetical order:
ALASKA CALIFORNIA MONTANA NEW MEXICO TEXAS If you accept this challenge then your project involves putting each block of 5 states in order of size in the table provided on the following page. Basically, can you produce the correct listing of our states in order by size? Valarie and Glen invite you to accept this challenge.
Excerpted from FUN USA EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES WITH HERKIMER AND THE STAT PACK by Sanderson M. Smith Steven M. Solano Copyright © 2011 by Sanderson M. Smith and Steven M. Solano. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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