Booking Across the USA – Florida

Booking Across the USA button and link

Booking Across the USA is the culmination of a collaborative blogging effort of over 50 educational bloggers who’ve come together to showcase a picture book, and share an activity, based on their state.  Booking Across the USA is the brainchild of Jodie over at Growing Book by Book; and I was thrilled to be asked to participate.  It’ll be a great way for folks to “tour” our wide-ranging country and “visit” varied states with nothing more than their library cards and their imaginations!

And my part?  I’m representing the great state of FLORIDA! (Now, where o’where did I put my sash and bikini?)

Seriously- representing your state comes with a bit of pressure.  What should you focus on?  A famous native, a monument, a state symbol, or event?  How about a geographical or agricultural feature?  The possibilities are endless really.

The first things to come to mind when you hear Florida are usually things like sun, sand, oranges, DisneyWorld, and NASA.  Then there all the neat places to consider, like St. Augustine, the Everglades, Key West– and did you know Florida has it’s own caverns?

But I chose to go a different route for our state adventure.  Something more serious that comes to mind in connection with Florida.  Something ominous but inevitable for us Floridians-


Living in Florida one grows accustomed to the annual threat of these powerful storms.  We don’t have 4 seasons here; we have two—  hurricane season and the rest of the year.

We don’t get snow days off from school; we have hurricane days.  (And when you’re older you’ll throw “Hurricane Parties” where everyone can weather the storm together.)  From the moment our children can steadily grasp a pencil, we have them tracking storms with free charts from our local Publix supermarkets.

Hurricane tracking is a great educational activity you can teach to your kids and is something that can easily be done from any state- whether or not you’re in the projected cone of impact or not.  It’s obviously much more thrilling to be tracking a live storm as the coordinates are being broadcast daily on the news.  But even if it’s not hurricane season you can still pull up old coordinates from past storms to hone in your tracker skills before the next storm season.

But before we get tracking, here are my recommended hurricane books:

Hurricane Wolf tells the story of Noah and his family as they prepare for an impending storm.  The book is wonderfully detailed as it describes the family’s disaster preparedness routine from boarding up the windows to stocking up on water and supplies.   You can also see Noah’s family plotting the path of the hurricane together.  If you are looking for one go-to picture book on hurricanes, Hurricane Wolf, is my recommendation.


Yesterday We Had A Hurricane is a gentle introduction to these powerful storms.  It’s sparse text and simple illustrations will keep the attention of the youngest kiddo in your bunch.


Hurricanes by Gail Gibbons and The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane are still geared for elementary children but both books are loaded with tons of facts and images which could get a bit overwhelming for children under 5.  If your kids like the busier-looking pages then these books make a great and informative addition to your collection.


After your little meteorologist has read up on these massive storms, give them the tools to track them.  There are numerous versions of hurricane charts out there but I prefer the Hurricane Tracking Chart from the National Hurricane Center.

If you happen to plan this activity during the months between June-November, chances are you won’t have to wait long for a real storm to brew up.  If however, it’s on the off-season or there just aren’t any storms to track you can pull up some coordinates from seasons past.  If you don’t have a particular hurricane in mind you can print off this booklet from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  It has the track-able coordinates for 4 more recent and famous storms: Hugo, Andrew, Floyd, and Katrina.

Mira tracking Hurricane Katrina using the NOAA booklet

After Mira finished her chart we pulled up Katrina’s path on the computer to compare her tracking to the real thing.  Not too shabby, huh?

Hurricanes offer families the opportunity to begin discussions on the importance of disaster preparation.  Use this time to review or formulate your family’s plan and courses of action in the case of an emergency.

Plan, prep, and pray for the best.

Don’t forget to check out these other blogging mamas from Booking Across the USA to see what else lies from sea to shining sea:

  1. Alabama: Everyday Snapshots
  2. Alaska: Little Wonders’ Days
  3. Arizona: Simply Kinder
  4. Arkansas: Homeschooling in Arkansas
  5. California: Juggling with Kids and The Outlaw Mom
  6. Colorado: Learners in Bloom and Living Montessori Now
  7. Connecticut: The Teacher Park
  8. Delaware: Mama Miss
  9. Florida: Teaching Stars
  10. Georgia: Fabulously First
  11. Hawaii: Teaching With Style
  12. Idaho: True Aim Education
  13. Illinois: Growing Book by Book
  14. Indiana: Teach Preschool
  15. Iowa: Surviving a Teacher’s Salary
  16. Kansas: KCEdventures
  17. Kentucky: Chicken Babies
  18. Louisiana: New Orleans Moms Blog
  19. Maine: Country Fun Child Care
  20. Maryland: Picture Books and Piourettes
  21. Massachusetts: Mama Smiles
  22. Michigan: Play DrMom
  23. Minnesota: The Wise Owl Factory
  24. Mississippi: Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk
  25. Missouri- Ready. Set. Read!
  26. Montana: The Honey Bunch
  27. Nebraska: The Good Long Road (coming soon!)
  28. Nevada: Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts
  29. New Hampshire: Elementary Matters
  30. New Jersey: The Pleasantest Thing
  31. New Mexico: Enchanted Homeschooling Mom
  32. New York: What Do We Do All Day
  33. North Carolina: Realistic Teacher Blog
  34. North Dakota: ND HealthWorks
  35. Ohio: Smart Chick Teacher’s Blog
  36. Oklahoma: Herding Kats in Kindergarten
  37. Oregon: Journey of a Substitute Teacher
  38. Pennsylvania: Land of Once Upon a Time
  39. Rhode Island: Smiling in Second Grade
  40. South Carolina: Cookies and Kiddos and JDaniel4’s Mom
  41. South Dakota: The Wise Owl Factory
  42. Tennessee: No Monkey Business
  43. Texas: Curls and a Smile and Kid World Citizen
  44. Utah: Teach Beside Me
  45. Vermont: Burlington Vt Moms Blog
  46. Virgina: Once Upon a Story and The Freckled Homeschooler
  47. Washington: Home Learning Journey
  48. West Virginia: This Week @ Great Peace Academy and Mamas Like Me
  49. Wisconsin: Reading Confetti
  50. Wyoming: No Twiddle Twaddle
  51. USA: The Corner on Character
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About Kristen

Home schooling classically with a dash of whatever strikes our fancy.
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19 Responses to Booking Across the USA – Florida

  1. Pingback: Montessori-Inspired State Box - Colorado |

  2. Country Fun says:

    Looking forward to traveling the country this way. Especially love the new books being exposed to. We’ll be adding hurricanes to our weather unit in the future with these resources you’ve shared.

  3. Pam says:

    Awesome post. I used to love hurricane tracking as a kid (sick, I know) and we are still close enough that they affect us too. I am sure the kids will get a kick out of this. I remember one hurricane from high school (can’t remember the name now because it was AGES ago — Elana, maybe) that made a big loop in the Gulf. It was coming for us. It wasn’t. Nope, it is again!

  4. My kids would like these books, we had a crash course in hurricanes this year when Sandy hit us!

  5. Deb says:

    Loved living in Florida when I was in college and visiting my parents. We lived in the Lakeland area and then they moved on to the west coast. Loved being around the ocean but not the hurricanes!

  6. What an appropriate topic to cover for Florida. Thanks for participating in the Booking Across the USA project. I’ll be featuring your post on my blog tomorrow!

  7. Jody says:

    I’m really enjoying traveling the States through books and I love this post! We are going to have to try hurricane tracking!

  8. Pingback: Booking Across the USA Highlights and GIVEAWAY #2

  9. Trisha says:

    This is a super cool idea! I can’t wait to check all of these out… I found this from Trivium Tuesday link-up. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  10. Diane Hurst says:

    This is really cool! I like the idea of a list of picture books that help in learning more about the states. I like your choice of books for hurricanes– the Magic Schoolbus has been a favorite for us. Up in the Pacific NW we don’t need to worry much about this kind of storm, but did have a freak “hurricane” once a few years ago– it damaged some buildings and trees.

  11. Pingback: Booking across the USA : Indiana | Teach Preschool

  12. Pingback: Learning about the US through Children's Books

  13. Karyn says:

    Great post! I love the hurricane ideas. I grew up in Southern Florida, so it’s fun to see these ideas. 🙂

  14. Powerful post and captivating activities! Wow! Thank you so much.

  15. Thanks for sharing! I’m excited to check out some of the blog posts representing the other states, too!

  16. PlayDrMom says:

    What a wonderful resource to teach kids about hurricanes!

  17. This is fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing at RAT. I think this is a fabulous way to tour the U.S.

  18. Amy says:

    What a neat idea for a blog hop! I’ll tell ya, up here in Michigan I’ve never even thought of tracking a hurricane with my kids =)

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