One of the classes I am teaching this semester is a history class where we learn weird and unknown facts, and learn off the wall things that are not found in all the textbooks.
So far, we have learned about ships found buried in odd places, (deserts, corn fields)due to rivers changing course or flooding, odd facts about presidents (do you know which one was so large he once got stuck in his bath tub and aides had to pull him out? or, what George Washington's teeth really were made out of?? (it was NOT wood).
Today, we learned about Alaska mushers and what the Iditarod race represents (it was actually run the first time in 1925 to save lives. Mushers were racing medicine to Nome to try and stop an outbreak of diphtheria). The kids were wanting to know more about Alaska, and wanted to see what the sleds and dogs looked like (some were comparing it to Santa and his sleigh). So, I brought up http://oldschoolak.blogspot.com/. On this blog, is video from the sleds point of view. The kids enjoyed watching it and liked the scenery. That then led into discussions on how transportation has changed, and how it varies according to climates and cultures, and another discussion on how Alaska is different than Missouri. The kids also had some questions for the author, which he has already answered. They will be excited next Monday to read his response.
If you study different states (we do, trying to hit all 50), reading blogs is a good way (especially when you can question the author for more info), and applying online for a visitors guide to arrive snail mail. The guide packages usually contain maps, magazines and info about that states history and geography. Several of the states that we have learned about we have later gone to on vacations, because of our studies.