E Is For Enchantment

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Our Poppins Book Nook selection for this month’s theme of “Where In The World” is none of the ones that I was thinking when I wrote the intro post earlier this month. We went to my mom and dad’s in New Mexico for a much needed break and mom had gotten E Is For Enchantment: A New Mexico Alphabet for the girls. I immediately knew we were changing the planned book for this month. This one was THE ONE and it has been so much fun.

E Is For Enchantment: A New Mexico Alphabet is written by Helen Foster James and is illustrated by Neecy Twinem. Each letter of the alphabet features an important or unique aspect of the state of New Mexico. One of the neat things about this ABC book is that the letter is prominent in the chosen word for the letter but it is not necessarily the first letter of the first word. An example: B is for Smokey Bear. You might ask “why did she not put Smokey Bear under S?” Well, I don’t know her answer but I do know that under S you will find Santa Fe, an interesting place in the state and you can’t very well file that under a different letter.

Another thing that I love about E Is For Enchantment is that there are a couple of different ways to read it. You can read just the short, 4 line rhyme about the letter and the word for that letter. Or you can read the rhyme and the informational paragraphs with the details about the word chosen for the letter. This allows you to use this with preschool students on up through junior high or older. It can be just an ABC book or it can be a history book or a cultural book. So many possibilities. We used it as a bit of all of the above.

I grew up in NM and we go back several times a year to visit. I want the girls to learn about that lovely state and all that it has to offer. There is so much richness in NM. They learned a little bit about NM during the 50 states study but this was an easy way to offer them even more. So what did we do, you ask?

Of course we read through the book and most of the informational parts during a couple of readings. The older two giggly girls picked it up a few times and read it on their own, as well.

A is for the Ancient Ones…

We looked through some pictures and books from when their dad and I visited Chaco Canyon (Chaco  Culture National Historical Park) a couple of years ago and looked up the placement of Chaco, Bandalier, and Aztec on a map. We also talked about the Spanish word mesa.

B is for famous Smokey Bear…

Smokey Bear framed

We read The True Story of Smokey Bear and talked a bit about fire safety. The girls understand first hand the dangers and damage of a forest fire because their grandparents property was burned by the Little Bear Fire in 2012. The Little Bear fire was in the Lincoln National Forest and surrounding lands close to Capitan, NM, just like the fire that burned Smokey. We also learned the song and watched this video on YouTube.

C is for Carlsbad Caverns…

We revisited some of the things we remembered about visiting Carlsbad Caverns last summer. The girls really remembered the bats and a couple of the formations. We looked up some of the pictures we took and talked the patches they earned from the National Park Service for completing activities in a booklet about the caverns.

D for the storyteller Doll…

storyteller doll

The girls had never noticed our storyteller doll. I pulled it out and we talked about it, using the information from the book for the historical part. We talked about some of the storyteller dolls that have as many as 40 or more children climbing on them. It is interesting to see the combination of the oral tradition and the pottery tradition come together. Because this page also talks about the pottery tradition, we took a look at a piece of Native American pottery that we have sitting on the mantle and observed some of the details of the piece.

F is for…Favorite Food…

making biscochitos

We love New Mexican foods but the girls don’t like spicy hot yet. We do make enchiladas with chili powder and no tomatoes, like a true New Mexican would. For this project, though, we went right for the biscochito – the state cookie. (I didn’t know there was a state cookie until we read this book but we have loved biscochitos for a long time.)

E is for “Land of Enchantment”…


H is for Hot Air Balloons…

E sunset framed J hot air balloon framed L desert enchantment framed E hot air balloon framed

Hot air balloons are always fascinating. We love to watch them and hope to visit the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque in the next couple of years. Until then, we’ll just have to draw them. The girls chose their media (combinations of crayons, markers, and colored pencils) and were asked to draw a hot air balloon or a NM sunset. We got a good mix of the two.

J will be for Jewelry…

jewelry and Kokopelli

The giggly girls had no idea how much jewely we had that was either New Mexican in origin or style. We pulled a bunch of it out and talked about what made it New Mexican. A lot of it was the silver and/or turquoise. This reminded them of the baby spoons that their New Mexican grandparents gave each of them. The youngest giggly girl was the one who remembered and she ran to pull them out. These have different combinations of silver, turquoise, and…

Let’s make K for Kokopelli…

Two of the baby spoons had Kokopelli on it. (Things just roll one right into another and I love how it happens. I hadn’t planned on that or even thought of it.)

…O’Keeffe begins with an O.

My name is Georgia framed

Georgia O’Keeffe is such an interesting artist. We love to read about her and look at her artwork. So, it is only natural that one of our activities had to do with her. We read My Name is Georgia by Jeanette Winter. We talked about the different paintings that O’Keefe did and what inspired her. We then related that to what inspires us. This was done prior to the artwork that the girls did so that they could use the same sort of inspiration that she had for their artwork.


We actually did even more (ristras, pueblo, and zia to name a few) but this will have to do for this long post. ABC books about places offer so much learning and activity. What is your favorite ABC book? Will you share it with us in the comments? We would love to read more ABC books. At Home.



Find more books from the Poppins Book Nook book club by visiting my co-hosts:
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Faith and Good Works ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ The Kennedy Adventures ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

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16 thoughts on “E Is For Enchantment

  1. Emma @ P is for Preschooler March 31, 2014 at 2:32 pm Reply

    I love the storyteller doll! I’ve never seen them before! 🙂

    • 3gigglygirlsathome April 1, 2014 at 7:59 am Reply

      Thank you. I love my little doll and keep her out of the way so she doesn’t get broken but still visible. She’ll be noticed from now on, I think. They can be small like ours (about 2 inches) or huge. I have seen some that are 2 feet tall with over 40 children climbing on the storyteller. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

  2. Lauren Moore April 5, 2014 at 4:40 pm Reply

    I would love to visit New Mexico one day. This book sounds fabulous, great that you can modify it depending on the age of the child.

    • 3gigglygirlsathome April 5, 2014 at 9:52 pm Reply

      You’ll love NM once you get to visit there. There is so much to do and so many things to see!

  3. Ashley April 8, 2014 at 10:05 am Reply

    What a fun way to learn about an individual state! I bet there is a book like that out there for all 50 too!

  4. lcourtneymom4 April 8, 2014 at 12:08 pm Reply

    I love ABC books. And I really don’t know much about New Mexico myself, so this would be a good one to pick up and read.

    • 3gigglygirlsathome April 8, 2014 at 1:05 pm Reply

      I think ABC books are fantastic and try to keep them on my radar when we visit somewhere because they tend to do such a great job of hitting the highlights of a place.

  5. Jill April 13, 2014 at 8:52 am Reply

    I really loved learning more about New Mexico. I hope to visit the state someday soon and experience the beauty for myself.

    We love the True Story of Smokey the Bear, it is so important to teach our children about fires and how they start and the effect they have on the environment.

    Thank you for helping to bring a spoonful of reading fun to the Poppins Book Nook this month!

    • 3gigglygirlsathome April 13, 2014 at 8:02 pm Reply

      Thank you for visiting At Home. We had fun participating in the Poppins Book Nook in March and are already having fun with April’s selection. I hope you are able to visit NM someday – there is nothing like it.

  6. RavenThreads April 19, 2014 at 7:59 am Reply

    I love the fun way that you guys highlighted the individual letters!

  7. Samantha @ Stir the Wonder April 27, 2014 at 8:15 pm Reply

    We read a book in this series for Poppins Book Nook too! R is for Rhode Island Red. I also liked how to books are set up with historical/cultural information on the sides of the pages and cute little rhymes for younger children. Love how you did a bunch of different things for many of the letters, what a fun way to learn about the state.

    • 3gigglygirlsathome April 27, 2014 at 8:48 pm Reply

      That is neat! I have been thinking I need to see how many the library has for the girls to read since we just finished a series on the 50 states. I really appreciate all the work that goes into the books. Thanks for visiting and letting me know we worked on the same series!

  8. F is for … Finding New Mexico | At Home December 3, 2014 at 7:14 am Reply

    […] There are tons of amazing foods from New Mexico. Christmas enchiladas make my mouth water just thinking about them. They aren’t really anything fancy but we call them Christmas enchiladas when we would like to have enchiladas served with both red AND green chili sauce. YUM! Anything made with chilis is good, if you ask me. I shared a recipe with you for Green Chili Goat Cheese Burritos. It isn’t a traditional recipe but it is one that is very New Mexican. Bizcochitos are a cookie that is traditionally made a Christmas time but, really, is good any day of the year.  (You can find a picture of us making these cookies in the post E is for Enchantment.) […]

  9. […] work is beautiful and striking. If you want a neat book on Georgia O’Keeffe, check out the biography for children that I shared on a post a while back (it is towards the end of the […]

  10. […] E is for Enchantment […]

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