Scrambled States: Missouri and Mississippi – 5/15

We’re heading to two southern states today to look at two very different commodities!  Mississippi is one of the United States largest cotton producers while Missouri is home to Russell Stover Candy Inc.


Clara and Russell Stover who began making candy in their own home kitchen in Denver, Colorado in 1923 and called their company “Mrs. Stover’s Bungalow Candies.”  In 1924, they opened up their first stores in Denver, Kansas City, Lincoln, Omaha, and St. Louis!  Business was so good that they needed more than their own kitchen and opened their first factory in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1928. It wasn’t until 1943 that they changed their company name to “Russell Stover Candies.”

Follow Curious George on his adventure in today’s read aloud called, “Curious George goes to a Chocolate Factory,” by Margret & H.A. Rey.

Does chocolate sink or float? Try out this experiment to see!

Learn more about Missouri here!


Cotton is a major crop in Mississippi!  There are around 825 cotton farms totaling around 1.1 million acres of cotton fields! After being harvested, cotton is sent to a gin where the seeds are separated from the fiber and then pressed into a bale.  These bales are around 500 pounds!  Mississippi produces around 1.4 million bales each year! 

First, meet life-long cotton farmer Mr. Coley Bailey as he talks about cotton farming.

Read more about the history and uses of cotton here.

Now that you have learned about the cotton gin, use recyclable materials to design and build your own cotton gin!

Learn more about Mississippi here!


Cotton Ball Launcher

Something for Everyone

Russell Stover Candies made a Hollywood appearance in this famous scene!

Assessment and Extended Response


  1. Who are the founders of Russell Stover Candies? (Clara and Russell Stover)
  2. Where did the Stover’s start making candy? (In their own kitchen in their home in Denver, Colorado)

*Why do you think some candy and chocolates float while others sink?


  1. How many pounds does a bale weight? (Around 500 pounds)
  2. How many bales of cotton does Mississippi produce each year? (Around 1.4 million bales)

*How many years passed between the invention of the cotton gin and the start of the Civil War?

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