Part of the 4th grade curriculum is learning about the state of New Hampshire. In our school, the 4th grade not only learns about our state, but also other states in the country. They participate in a 5 month long State Expo project, and in March they gather in the gym and present what they learn to the school. It is not a written project, and relies on visual and material items to succeed. In the course of the 5 months, the kids have to present to their class (for a grade) 2 maps, 2 charts and 2 projects about their state(3 are needed for the final presentation of each). We've done the maps and charts and the projects were due today.
Ms. Thang chose to do Vermont. They are our neighbor to the west, and we can easily visit living only 10 miles from the border. (unlike her brother who chose Utah when he was in 4th grade.) We have had a lot of fun learning about VT (this is a project you do with your parents), but the most fun so far was making the 2 projects. The first project she did was about snowflakes, as the guy who determined no two snowflakes were alike was from VT. I printed clip art from the net.. and she used glittery fabric paint (you put the pattern under a Ziploc bag) and traced over the patterns. When they are dry they make fabulous window clings, so we bought a frame that we will use later in her room, and she used it as a display item with dark blue paper where the photo would go.
The second project was making Maple Candy. This was fun. We did it last night and it didn't take too long and the results were excellent. You boil 2 cups of pure maple syrup (we got the made in VT kind) and 1 TBSP of butter until it hits 240 deg. Let it cool for 2-3 minutes, and then stir with a wooden spoon for 3-5 minutes or until opaque, thickened and lighter colored. I would go for 3 mins and stop as the candy sets in the pot easily. We poured our concoction into candy molds, let them cool for 5-7 minutes, and she handed them out today at school. We took photos of each step, printed them out on the color printer and then made a poster. Easy, fun and she got rave reviews from her classmates and teachers who she gave the extra too. We will make another batch for the actual State Expo Fair and enjoy the remaining syrup on our pancakes.