Welcome to our United States Geography tour! We are nearing the end of our unit study and today we are learning all about the beautiful state of Washington as we go through our Road Trip USA Curriculum!



Washington was made the 42nd state on November 11, 1889. It was nicknamed “The Evergreen State” because of the large fir and pine trees in the state that make it green year round. It is also home to Mount St. Helens, located in the Cascade Range southeast of Seattle, WA. The volcano last erupted in 1980 after 123 years of inactivity. The eruption blasted over 1,000 feet off the top of the mountain. This eruption changed the mountains elevation from 9,677 feet to 8, 363 feet.


Here are some of the things we learned about this week:

  • Located Washington on our wall map
  • Read our National Geographic Atlas and located Olympia, WA using the map coordinates.
  • Worked on memorizing our US Presidents Song
  • Learned about the state and it’s flag
  • State Bird: The Willow Goldfinch
  • State Ship: The Lady Washington
  • State Flower: The Coast Rhododendron
  • State Marine Mammal: The Orca Whale
  • State Landmarks: Mount St. Helens
  • Food: Red Delicious Apples

The official state flag of Washington was adopted in 1923 , and was designed to honor George Washington. An image of the first President is centered on a green background, with the year the state was admitted to the Union, in a gold circle around the image of George Washington. It is the only state to have a flag with a green background, and the only flag that has a picture of an actual person.



Here is my white board for the week, we use this to review all of the state facts and symbols each day.



In 2007, the “Lady Washington” became the official ship of the state. She was a 90-ton merchant ship, built in Aberdeen by the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority. She was first launched on March 7, 1989. She was named in honor of Martha Washington and was the first American vessel to reach Japan in an unsuccessful attempt to move some unsold pelts. She served as part of the Columbia Expedition, then in 1797 she foundered in the Philippines.



Mount St. Helens is an active strato-volcano located in Skamania County, WA. It is 96 miles south of Seattle. It is most famous for its catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980 at 8:32 am PDT. It was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. Fifty-seven people were killed, 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways, and 185 miles of highway were destroyed. An avalanche triggered by an earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale, caused an eruption which reduced the elevation of the mountain’s summit from 9,677 feet to 8, 363 feet. The summit was replaced by a 1 mile wide horseshoe-shaped crater.



Strawberry Shortcake added Washington to our Wooden United States puzzle.



We read through all of the fun facts on Washington from our Which Way USA Highlights Subscription. If you can, this is a really fun United States subscription. The magazines have fun games, and the fold out you see below has pictures with lots of fun facts along with a full sized map of the state on the other side.



After learning about the animals symbols for Washington , we classified and added the animals to our USA animal wall!




Strawberry Shortcake and Kanani added Washington to our United States Bulletin. After that we reviewed all of the states we’ve learned so far on our travels.



We took turns working on our mapping skills by locating Olympia, Washington in our National Geographic Atlas.



They all completed their state worksheets as we read through all of the Washington state facts in our curriculum:




Then Tinker Bell had the honor of adding the state to our wall map. I’ve had lots of questions on this, and the directions are in the curriculum, but we purchased two of these Trend USA Wall Maps and then simply cut one up into states, then used small velcro dots to attach them as we travel through our state study.



And finally we finished the history portion of the curriculum by reading through “If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon” by Ellen Levine.


Last but not least, we concluded our week by adding the Washington state flag to our Travel Log.


And that wraps up our Washington study! If you’d like to come along with us on our Road Trip USA journey, click the image below to learn more!



  1. How often do you study a state? I was wondering how you fit all 50 states into a school year or is it meant to do over a couple of school years. I am interested in possible doing this unit next year and was wondering how to schedule it. Does your study outline how to schedule everything? Thanks

  2. Hi from Florida was almost part of Mt.St helens. Family was going to camp there on the mt but at the last minute they went on down to OR to beaverton where they watched the mt rumble. My husband was born from the stress of the Mt in Dalles port wa on the 22nd and I came a few month later (my mom wasn’t as stressed..LOL). Something you might not know is the mt blew out the side not the top and most of the victims refused to leave thier homes on the mt. There was some warnings but long time residence didn’t want to leave.

    Another thing to see is the narrows bridge coming down. It whole bridge was waving like ribbon before it gave away to the high winds

  3. Hello from McCleary, WA! (about 17 miles west of Olympia!) but we tell people we are from Olympia because no one knows where McCleary is! 🙂 We have toured the Capitol Building quite a few times. Wednesday next week is Homeschool Day at the Capitol where families from all over the state gather and are able to meet with our Legislatures to thank them for defending our right to homeschool. McCleary sits at the base of the Olympia National Rainforest so as you can imagine…it’s QUITE rainy..all the time. But it’s green and gorgeous! But we are also not too far from the coast so our weather is different, almost hourly! I’m not kidding but there have been times it’s been snowing in our backyard and NOT in our front! Or times when it’s been decent in the backyard but you need an umbrella to go get the mail. 🙂 Thanks for teaching me about our flag!! 🙂 (although I’m slightly embarrassed that I didn’t know)

  4. Is it wrong (creepy even?) that I was scrolling through the post thinking, “Oh, SS has Kanani, too!” and “TB is getting so big!” before even getting to the captions on the pix. :\ I’ve apparently been following you for… more than a while. LOL!

    Bonnie C

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