Scrambled States: Idaho and Hawaii – 5/14

These two states have very, very different climates and environments, but they both produce a crop that is grown on the ground!  Let’s learn about Hawaii’s coffee and Idaho’s potatoes!


Idaho produces is home to over 600 potato farmers who harvest over 309,000 acres of spuds each year! That many acres will get you around 13 billion pounds of potatoes!  That’s a lot of spuds! These spuds contribute to almost 1/3 of all potatoes grown in the entire United States.  Idaho also has the most french fry factories to process potatoes to those delicious golden sticks, twists, and wedges-including the fries from the famous home to the golden arches, McDonalds. 

Check out all these different types of potatoes gown in Idaho!

Read Aloud:  The Enormous Potato by Aubrey Davis

Even though potatoes are vegetables, they are made up of large amounts of starch (carbohydrates) that make them similar in nutrition to rice, pasta, and bread.   If you have a few older potatoes in your cabinets, try out this activity with an adult to observe the starch in a fun way!

Potato Stamps: Make fun spring patterns!

Learn more about Idaho here!


Aloha!  Hawaii is one of only two states in the United States that commercially grows coffee, the other being California! The islands of Hawaii are home to approximately 900 coffee farms.  Kauai Coffee Company, located on the Island of Hawaii (or the Big Island) has the largest coffee plantation in the United States, with 3,000 acres producing around 3 million pounds of coffee beans each year. Many coffee plantations were once plantations for sugarcane and pineapples due to their decreased in economical values.

Coffee has a very distinct flavor, but believe it or not the taste varies based on the type of coffee plant and where it is grown! 

When you’re done brewing a pot of coffee, the grounds are damp, in the filter, and unusable.  Or are they?  Try this activity using used coffee grounds and learn more about fossils!

Learn more about Hawaii here!


There are many machines in the world that need to be able to hold a certain amount of weight!  Design and build a structure using coffee filters and see how many pennies it can hold?  Try it out!

Something for Everyone

Most adults can’t get their day started without the morning “Cup of Joe.” 

Assessment and Extended Response


  1. Potatoes are made up of what that make them similar to rice, pasta, and bread? (starch or carbohydrates)
  2. Are potatoes a fruit or vegetable?  (vegetable)

*How does your potato stamp differ from painting with a paint brush?  (Should observe the texture pattern in the paint)

*Can you name other ways we prepare potatoes when cooking?


  1. What other state produces coffee? (California)
  2. What other two commodities were home to some of the plantations that are now used for producing coffee? (sugarcane and pineapple)

*Puerto Rico is not a state, but is a Commonwealth of the United States.  They also produce coffee.  When did the United States officially take ownership of Puerto Rico and why?  Can you explain the events that led to this?  Why isn’t Puerto Rico considered a state of the United States?

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