Scrambled States: New Jersey and New Mexico – 5/13

These two states may be on complete opposite sides of the country, but they are right next to each other in the alphabet!  Because they are in extremely different locations, they have different climates which allows them to grow different types of crop and livestock!  Learn more about the chile peppers of New Mexico and the Garden State nickname of New Jersey with our activities below!


Farming and ranching have deep roots in New Mexico dating back around 2500 years ago! On top of that, 93% of ranches are family owned and have been handed down through many generations! Chile peppers are famous in New Mexico and are served with almost every dish! So if you ever feeling spicy and visit New Mexico, be ready to answer the famous question, “red or green?”

Here’s a chile farm that has been around for 100 years and has passed through 5 generations!

You will see how colors are all around us, and learn a little Spanish, in today’s read aloud book called “Green is a Chile Pepper” by Roseanne Greenfield Thong.

Make your own mini chile pinata out of an empty toilet paper roll!

Learn more about New Mexico here!


One of the original 13 colonies and the 3rd state to ratify the constitution, New Jersey is known as the Garden State.  The state grows more than 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables and is in the top 5 producers in the nation for many of them! Even though this nickname can be found on signs, interstates, and even license plates, 2 out of 5 people from New Jersey don’t know where the nickname came from! So why is it called the Garden State?  Watch this video and find out!

Interestingly enough, each state has its own nickname!  Check out those nicknames here.

Many of those states have their nicknames recognized on their state coin.  If YOU were in charge of giving Illinois a nickname, what would it be? Once you come up with a nickname, design a coin that recognizes the name.

Learn more about New Jersey here!


Get musical and use recyclable materials to make your very own chile maracas!

Something for Everyone

From Thomas Edison to Shaquille O’Neal, there are many famous people from New Jersey!  This New Jersey Musician made it to the top of the charts starting in the 1940’s!

Assessment and Extended Response


  1. What percent of ranches in New Mexico are family owned and have been handed down for generations? (93%)
  2. What is the famous question that is asked if you order food in New Mexico? (Green or red?)

*What new words did you learn from the read aloud book and what do they mean?  Did you learn anything else from the book?


  1. New Jersey was what number state to ratify the constitution? (It was the 3rd state and was one of the original 13 colonies)
  2. How many varieties of fruits and vegetables does New Jersey grow? (Over 100 varieties)

*In your own words, explain why New Jersey was given the nickname “The Garden State.”

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