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Featured GraphicFifty States, Five Lessons

Stuck for fun or new ways to teach about the 50 states (or Canadian provinces and Australian states)? This week, Education World offers five lessons to liven up your 50 States unit. Included: Lessons in language, math, phys ed, more!

Have you run out of ideas for teaching about the U.S. states -- or Canadian provinces or Australian provinces, states, and territories? Are you looking for ideas to engage students in learning about neighboring states or regions? Many teachers have found that ABC books are a great way to actively involve students in learning about the world they live in. Those teachers share state ABC books from the library, then challenge students to research and create their own ABC books about their home state or another state. ABC books can be created in paper format or on a Web page. Ask the school librarian to set aside part of a bookshelf so students can share their ABC books with their schoolmates. Take a look at examples of online ABC books:

You might also check out this cool lesson, ABC Book of Washington.

If you don't think ABC books are the way to go, you also might consider

Mystery States

Education World has put together a Mystery States quiz for teachers and students. The quiz, which aims to improve students' geography and research skills while teaching a little state history, includes five clues for each of the 50 U.S. states. Write a new clue on the board each day. The daily clues start out obscure and get easier as the week goes on. See how long it takes students to figure out each Mystery State! Click Mystery States for this new teaching resource!

 

FIVE LESSONS FOR TEACHING ABOUT THE 50 STATES

This week, Education World provides five lessons for teaching about the 50 U.S. states or about any other country's territorial units. Click on each of the five lesson headlines below for a complete teaching resource.

Searching the States (or Provinces) Scavenger Hunt
Send students on a scavenger hunt for specific facts and figures about the 50 U.S. states or other territorial units. (Grades 3-12)

Geography Twister
Encourage students to exercise by playing this fun geography game based on Twister. (Grades K-8)

ZIP Code Math
Students add or subtract to solve ZIP Code Math word problems. A ZIP Code Math work sheet is included. (Grades 3-12)

The School Travel Agency
Students have been contracted to write and design travel brochures for a variety of states or provinces. After analyzing what makes an attractive and interesting travel brochure, students tackle the job! (Grades 3-12)

Fifty States Field Day
Hold a field day with 50 stations. Each station offers a physical activity related to a different U.S. state. (Grades K-8)

STATE FACTS AND FIGURES: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

The following Web sites are excellent resources for students as they search for general facts and figures about U.S. states. Appropriate grades levels are indicated in parentheses.

MORE LESSON RESOURCES

City, State, ZIP Code Directory
Search this online ZIP Code directory by city or state locations.

Postcards From America
A husband and wife team tour the United States. They send a daily postcard to signed-up classes or individuals.

Printable State Maps

Online Map Games
Fun interactive games from maps.com.

All About the United States
Reinforce state facts with these free interactive online games from Sheppard Software.

Michigan, My Michigan
This Web page presents material about the state and its history. All articles were written by students. This Web page format could be adapted for any other state. [archived copy]

Discover South Dakota
This telecollaborative project about South Dakota could be a model for learning about the history of other states. [archived copy]

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor in Chief
Copyright © 2010 Education World

 

Originally published 09/06/2002
Last updated 10/07/2010
 

 

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