Abraham Lincoln

Illinois is a midwestern state, and it’s the sixth most populous state in America, which means that a lot of people live there. But it’s also a state that has plenty of spaces for farmlands and wetlands and prairies. In fact, Illinois is nicknamed of Illinois is “The Prairie State.” So what, precisely, is a prairie? It’s land that’s either level or has gently rolling hills. the prairie in Illinois was originally covered with coarse grasses, not trees. A prairie has rich soil, and it makes fertile farmland that we we see throughout the midwestern section of the United States.

The prairie was where millions of buffalo roamed when Europeans first arrived in the Midwest in the 1600s. Technically, these huge animals are called bison, not buffalo, and they nearly vanished from the North America continent due to over-hunting in the late 1800s. Thankfully, the bison did survive, but in much fewer numbers. And the land where the buffalo roamed is now cities, suburbs, and farmland.

In addition to its nickname, Illinois also has an official slogan: “The Land of Lincoln,” in honor of President Abraham Lincoln (pictured here), who made his home in Springfield, Illinois.

Springfield, by the way, is the state capital, and if you happen to go there, you can still visit the home where Abraham Lincoln lived before becoming the 16th President of the United States. 

Interesting Places to See in Illinois

  • Chicago, which is called “The Windy City,” is the largest city in the Midwest, and one of the largest cities in America.
  • One of the world’s tallest buildings, Willis Tower, is located in Chicago. It used to be called the Sears Tower; it’s 110 stories tall, and it has an amazing observation deck.
  • Lake Michigan, which is one of the Great Lakes, borders Illinois. Chicago is famous for its skyscrappers that overlook the Lake Micigan beach.
  • Chicago also has many museums, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium. 
  • In Springfield, you can visit Abraham Lincoln’s home.
More Fun Facts

Fact #1The Chicago River is one of the only rivers in the world that flows backwards. Each year for St. Patrick’s Day, the river is dyed green!

Fact #2: The world’s first skyscraper was built in Chicago  in 1885. The building had 10 stories.

Fact #3Chicago has an amazing shopping area called The Miracle Mile. The Miracle Mile is located on a famous street called Michigan Avenue.

Fact #4On February 1st, 1865, Illinois became the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery. One day later, on February 2nd, Rhode Island became the second state to ratify the 13th amendment. 

Fact #5: Illinois is a great place for sweet treats. The first Dairy Queen opened in 1940 in the city of Joliet, and the world’s largest cookie factory is located in Chicago. And Chicago is also a world leader in the fast-food industry because the world headquarters of McDonald’s is also located in the in the Windy City. 

Q and A
Just for fun, see if you can answer these questions.
What is the capital of Illinois? Is it Chicago or Springfield?

Springfield is the capital of Illinois.

Which huge animal roamed the Midwestern prairie until it was overheated in the 1800s?

The bison was the largest land animal on the prairie. These amazing animals are also referred to as buffalo.

What famous ice cream parlor opened in Joliet, Illinois in 1940?

Dairy Queen.

What is the Illinois slogan?

“The Land of Lincoln”

Write Your Own Story

If you have time, you can write a story of your own.

Here are a couple of story ideas you can choose from.

Idea #1: You can write a brief story about some of the cool things you learned about Chicago and the great state of Illinois.


Idea #2: If you could talk to Abraham Lincoln, what questions would you ask? And, how do you think he would answer?

To help you write a great story, we have some helpful hints and timely tips.

Today's Ryder Riddle

Here's a riddle for you:

What's the tallest building in Springfield?

The library, because it has the most stories.

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For fun-to-read books about a girl detective who homeschools on a train... check out The Mystery Ryders, a series from the creators of the Homeschool Express.

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