Azia's Report on Florida

Azia finally had to get all her research together for the project she's been working on the last few weeks. She really liked finding all sorts of information and facts, she liked exploring everything on our trip to Florida, and she liked cutting and arranging things to put the poster together. She liked cooking the strawberry bread to bring to her class, too. (I couldn't convince her the key lime pie would be a more interesting Florida choice.)

What Azia isn't a big fan of is actually sitting down and organizing her ideas and information. I guess that is always the hardest part of writing. She did eventually group things together to list all the basic information, some interesting history, and fun facts. With this project I even remembered to have her collect reference titles and websites she used while finding her information so she could put together a bibliography (and so she'd get in the habit of keeping track of where she found information) but then we forgot to actually do it. Also, I keep finding handwritten notes & information pages that didn't actually get into her folder or typed with the rest of the information that she turned in a few days ago. We have a ways to go with organization, but I did actually learn some things while I was helping her. Also it was pretty humorous to hear her try to say Tallahassee.

Here's some of her notes & poster information:

All About Florida
  • Capital: Tallahassee
  • nickname: The sunshine state
  • motto: “In God we trust”
  • flower: orange blossom
  • bird: mocking bird
  • reptile: alligator
  • marine mammal: manatee
  • tree: cabbage palmetto
  • shell: horse conch
  • song: "The Swanee River (Old Folks at Home)"
  • anthem: "Where The Sawgrass Meets The Sky"  
Stephen C. Foster wrote "The Swanee River (Old Folks at Home)" in 1851. He hadn’t really ever been to the Suwannee River or even Florida. The  name just fit into his song. The Suwannee River separates the Florida panhandle from the rest of the state.  Some people thought his song was racist because in it he tries to talk like he thinks a black person would talk, so Florida decided to look for a new song. On January 11, 2008, the song Florida (Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky) was selected as the winner but the state legislature decided not to replace the old one & instead just change the words a little and make this new one the state anthem.
  • governor: Rick Scott
  • famous people: Johnny Depp, Ernest Hemingway, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, Jason Varitek
  • professional sports teams:
  • Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (football) 
  • Miami Heat, Orlando Magic (basketball) 
  • Florida Marlins, Tampa Bay Devil Rays (baseball)  
  • Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lighting (hockey)
  • tourist attractions: Beaches! Amusement & theme parks, swamps, Kennedy Space Center
  • climate: Subtropical to tropical with a rainy season June through September. One of the most common states for tornadoes!

    Historical Facts:
    • Saint Augustine is the oldest European town in North America.
    • The original Indian people of Florida (Timucua, Calusa, Apalachee, and other Indian groups) were either killed by disease or war, captured as slaves, or they left Florida with the Spaniards. The Seminoles Indians that live in Florida now are descendants of just 300 Creek Indians who survived. Today the Seminoles are a federally recognized tribe with over 2,000 members.
    • May 1539, de Soto landed nine ships with over 620 men and 220  horses at present day Shaw's Point, in Bradenton.
    • Florida became the 27th  state in the United States on March 3, 1845.
    • Because of its year-round mild climate, Florida was a big training center for soldiers, sailors, and airplanes of the United States in WWII.
    • Hurricane Andrew was Florida's most devastating hurricane and the most expensive natural disaster in American history at that time. (1992)

    Fun Facts:
    • During the age of dinosaurs, the Florida peninsula was underwater. So, there are no dinosaur fossils in Florida!
    • The first record of oranges being grown in Florida is by the Spaniards in St. Augustine in 1579.
    • Orlando attracts more visitors than any other amusement park destination in the United States.
    • Cape Canaveral is America's launch pad for space flight.
    • Key West has the highest average temperature in the United States.
    • Venice is known as the Shark Tooth Capital of the World
    • Plant City, the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, holds the Guinness record for the world's largest strawberry shortcake. ( a 827 square-foot, 6,000 pound cake)
    • There are  six Indian reservations in the state in Hollywood, Big Cypress, Brighton, Immokalee, Ft. Pierce, and Tampa.
    • Miami is the only big city in the United States that includes two national parks: Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park.
    After we figured out the situation with the state songs Azia wanted to hear them, so we found copies of both online. She also wanted to bring the songs so her class could listen, so I dumped in some of our trip  photos  & the two songs to make her this movie to share with them as one of her visual aides.


    Florida Strawberry Bread


    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 cup white sugar
    4 eggs
    1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
    1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries, thawed and drained
    1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
    In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and white sugar. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs and oil. Stir egg mixture into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in strawberries and walnuts. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans.
    Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes in pans and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

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