Online Field Trip
Illinois Geography studies almost always begin with "What is the
Do you know the capital of
Let me ask my daugther and see if she remembers....she says
it is, "Springfield." And she is RIGHT! Now, she is asking me
what the capital of Turkey is.... Rats! I don't know. Something else
for me to look up later. For now, let's discover what we can about
Illinois. Forget yucky, boring facts. Let's have some fun.
If you are interested in what other visitors
have shared about Illinois or want to share about your
favorite Illinois places or events follow the link or scroll down to
the bottom of this page.
the normal things like county and state fairs, Illinois has some fun
festivals. There is the Apple Festival in Murphysboro, a Peach Festival
in Cobden, a Superman Festival in Metropolis, a Popeye Festival in
Chester, a Ketchup Festival in Collinsville, Balloon Fests in
Centralia and Carbondale and a Corn Fest in Dekalb, to name a
Here is a link to a blog that talks about the Popoye
Festival and a Balloon Fest as possible field trips and has some really
is hailed as the last free musical festival in Illinois. Held over
three days, it includes a carnival with rides and food and music.
Sounds like fun. Maybe next year we'll go. After all I need to have
pictures to put up here for you.
The Ketchup Festival
is a mix of hot dogs, ketchup, classic cars and music. The link is to a
page with several pictures. If you have a slow connection and
still want information about this festival, try this link.
This festival is in Collinsville. The picture on the right is their
water tower. Isn't it awesome.
and Duquoin both hold Illinois State Fairs. Both are in
and it usually is hot and sticky but a lot of fun anyway. Who
resist cotton candy, taffy, free pencils and bags and carnival games
and rides? I did, but my sense of adventure and taste was piqued by the
fried, chocolate covered twinkie. If you get a chance, try
They are pretty good. See recipe below.
In Southern Illinois there are many places to go to explore and to
learn about nature. Here is a list of a few of those places. If you
have a story or another place from anywhere in Illinois about nature,
send me your story and permission to use and you may find it here soon
Shawnee National Forest
Crab Orchard Wild Life Refuge
Garden of the Gods
Charles Mound is the highest summit of Illinois.
- Big Blue
- Campbell's Island
- Apple Canyon Lake
- Lake Calumet
- Carlyle Lake
- Cedar Lake
- Clinton Lake
- Devils Kitchen Lake
- Kinkaid Lake
- Lake Egypt
- Lake Michigan (Also extends into Indiana,
Michigan and Wisconsin.)
- Rend Lake
Geography: Cities and Towns
take a peek at some Illinois communities. From small towns to large
cities, here are a few examples of what they look like.
WikiMedia Daniel Schwen
Here is a
challenge for you. How many counties can you find and
label in 15 minutes?
Below is a list
of the 102 counties in Illinois along with their County Seats.
What is a
County Seat is a city in the county that serves as a hub for the
county's government. A few states may have counties with more than one
County Seat. Does Illinois have any counties with more than one County
Counties and their County Seat
County Seat Quincy, Illinois
Alexander County- County Seat Cairo
Bond County- County Seat Greenville
Boone County-County Seat Belvidere
Brown County-County Seat Mount Sterling
Bureau County-County Seat Princeton
Calhoun County-County Seat Hardin
Carroll County-County Seat Mount Carroll
Cass County-County Seat Virginia
Champaign County-County Seat Urbana
Christian County-County Seat Taylorville
Clark County-County Seat Marshall
Clay County-County Seat Louisville
Clinton County-County Seat Carlyle
Coles County-County Seat Charleston
Cook County-County Seat Chicago
Crawford County-County Seat Robinson
Cumberland County-County Seat Toledo
De Witt County-County Seat Clinton
DeKalb County-County Seat Sycamore
Douglas County-County Seat Tuscola
DuPage County -County Seat Wheaton
Edgar County-County Seat Paris
Edwards County-County Seat Albion
Effingham County -County Seat Effingham
Fayette County-County Seat Vandalia
Ford County-County Seat Paxton
Franklin County-County Seat Lewiston
Gallatin County -County Seat Shawneetown
Greene County-County Seat Carrollton
Grundy County-County Seat Morris
Hamilton County -County Seat McLeansboro
Hancock-County Seat Carthage
Hardin County-County Seat Elizabethtown
Henderson County-County Seat Oquawka
Henry County-County Seat Cambridge
Iroquois County-County Seat Watseka
Jackson County-County Seat Murphysboro
Jasper County-County Seat Newton
Jefferson County-County Seat Mount Vernon
Jersey County-County Seat Jerseyville
Jo Daviess County- County SeatGalena
Johnson County-County Seat Vienna
Kane County -County Seat Geneva
Kankakee County-County Seat Kankakee
Kendall County-County Seat Yorkville
Knox County- County Seat Galesburg
Lake County-County Seat Waukegan
LaSalle County-County Seat Ottawa
Lawrence County-County Seat Lawrenceville
Lee County-County Seat Dixon
Livingston County-County Seat Pontiac
Logan County-County Seat Lincoln
Macon County-County Seat Decatur
Macoupin County-County Seat Carlinville
Madison County-County Seat Edwardsville
Marion County-County Seat Salem
Marshall County-County Seat Lacon
Mason County-County Seat Havana
Massac County-County Seat Metropolis
Mcdonough County-County Seat Macomb
McHenry County-County Seat Woodstock
McLean County-County Seat Bloomington
Menard County-County Seat Petersburg
Mercer County-County Seat Aledo
Monroe County-County Seat Waterloo
Montgomery County-County Seat Hillsboro
Morgan County-County Seat Jacksonville
Moultrie County-County Seat Sullivan
Ogle County-County Seat Oregon
Peoria County-County Seat Peoria
Perry County-County Seat Pickneyville
Piatt County-County Seat Monticello
Pike County-County Seat Pittsfield
Pope County-County Seat Golconda
Pulaski County-County Seat Mound
Putnam County-County Seat Hennepin
Randolph County-County Seat Chester
Richland County-County Seat Olney
Rock Island County-County Seat Rock Island
Saline County-County Seat Harrisburg
Sangamon County-County Seat Springfield
Schuyler County-County Seat Rushville
Scott County-County Seat Winchester
Shelby County-County Seat Shelbyville
St. Clair County-County Seat Belleville
Stark County-County Seat Toulon
Stephenson County-County Seat Freeport
Tazewell County-County Seat Pekin
Union County-County Seat Jonesboro
Vermilion County-County Seat Danville
Wabash County-County Seat Mount Carmel
Warren County-County Seat Monmouth
Washington County-County Seat Nashville
Wayne County-County Seat Fairfield
White County-County Seat Carmi
Whiteside County-County Seat Morrison
Will County-County Seat Joliet
Williamson County-County Seat Marion
Winnebago County-County Seat Rockford
Woodford County-County Seat Eureka
Whew, that is a
lot of counties. I know Illinois is a long, big, state but 102 counties.
for an enlarged image of the Illinois county map above. Print it out.
Get a map or globe with the Illinois counties listed on it. Set a timer
and see if you can beat my daughter's record of 47. Ready. Set. Go!
Lincoln's New Salem
State Historic Site is a re-creation of an 1830's log village where
Abraham Lincoln lived for six years. Truly fascinating. If you check
out the website make sure you go down the page for links to 360 degree
visuals and clips.
Mounds State Historic Site
will be hosting this September an American Indian Educational Day. On
their site they have a calendar of events that if you are going to be
in the area you might want to check it out.
of Tears: When they were forced to move from their homelands,
many Native Indians traveling along this trail died from starvation,
exposure and diseases on their way to Oklahoma.
Wikimedia image Gov't.
Spend some time learning about this Historic trail. Travel part of it
or all of it if you can.
The Trail of Tears is approximately 2200 miles long. This is not a day
Read some stories about this time in our
My daughter loves animals, so wherever we travel or go, I like to know
what kind of animals she might encounter and if they are poisonous.
Here are some of the poisonous creatures you need to watch out for when
visiting Illinois. Note: Most of these will be found only in Southern
Black Widow Spider
Image from CDC
Image from Wikimedia user Pollinator
Wikimedia user TimVickers
Clinton & Charles Robertson
WikiMedia user Accipiter
Another thing I like to know is whether or not there are any plants
that are poisonous to touch....like Poison Ivy. Yes, in Illinois there
is a lot of Poison Ivy. If you see a plant with three shiny leaves in
the spring, don't touch it. Here is a picture of what Poison
Ivy looks like in the summer and early fall. Later it will turn a
pretty red. Red, in this case, does not mean "Love", if means, "Keep
Just in case you wanted to try those twinkies, I found a recipe for
you. Give them a try but please be careful with the hot oil. We don't
want a trip to the Emergency Room. While I am all for exploring your
state, the Emergency Room is one place I don't like to see anyone visit.
Deep Fried Twinkies
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup corn flour
A pinch of baking soda
Oil for deep frying
If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it. The
version I had at the fair had chocolate in it, making it taste like
warm, chocolate cake. I may try to search for that version. If you have
that recipe and are willing to share it on this site, send it to me
through the form on my Homeschool Mom page.
- Freeze the Twinkie until firm or overnight.
- Mix the flours and baking soda together.
- Add milk (traditional) until you get a
batter with the consistency of thin cream.
- Heat the oil until hot, but don't allow it to
- Insert Popsicle stick into the Twinkie. Will
look like a corndog on a stick.
- Coat Twinkie completely in batter. Carefully
lower into hot oil and fry until golden brown.
- Let the fried Twinkie cool on paper towels
before you eat it. Trust me it will be hot.
It is important to keep up with news in your area, especially news that
relates to education or to homeschooling. On this site, you will find a
page dedicated to Homeschool News. Please check to
see if there is any news concerning your state.
How about a few fun
facts about Illinois Geograpy. Let me see what I can find.
DID YOU KNOW
first Aquarium opened in Chicago in 1893
2. Illinois has
had two capital cities, Kaskaskia, and Vandalia, before Springfield
3. Ronald Reagan
lived as a boy in Dixon, Illinois.
claims it has the highest number of personalized license plates.
5. The Chicago
River is dyed green for St. Patrick's Day. Did you see the picture in
the slide show?
6. Nabisco, the
company that makes yummy crackers and cookies, is based in Chicago. I
wonder if they give tours and samples....
7. In Mount
Pulaski, it is illegal for boys but not for girls to throw snowballs at
8. The largest
man-made lake in Illinois is in Carlyle.
Symbols and Other Stuff
Might Want to Know About Illinois Geography
Do you like that long title. I don't really but I don't really want to
bore you with a lot of facts but....there are some things about
Illinois Geography that you probably should know. I'll try to keep the
Date of Statehood: December 3, 1818
State Flower: Violet
State Bird: Cardinal
State Tree: White Oak
State Motto: State Sovereignty, National Union
State Dance: Square Dancing
Have you been to a great place in Illinois?
Do you have a story about a visit to a historical or other site/event or a favorite place in Illinois? We'd love to hear about it. Please share it! Do you have a picture, too? Great! We'd love to see that, too!
What Other Visitors Have Said about Illinois
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
There is a lot more to know about Illinois Geography but I
hope this page gave you a glimpse of Illinois.
To explore Illinois a little more, perhaps you would like to create an Illinois Geography Lapbook.
Return to the Resources4Homeschoolers home page
from Illinois Geography
you to all Wikimedia contributors for the
images used on this page for Illinois Geography. Daniel
Schwen, User:Kranar_drogin, Robert Guico, Dori, IvoShandor,
U.S. Air Force photo, zooey, TonyTheTiger, J.
Crocker, Ildar Sagdejev, Nikopoley,
John H. White, IvoShandor, G LeTourneau, Kbh3rd,
Fritz Geller-Grimm, US
Census, Ruhrfisch, Martin
User:Luigi Chiesa, Towpilot,
Scott Goodhart, Rogerd
Wikimedia Robert Lawton
Wikimedia public domain copyright expired