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"Place the State" Game



  • Educational Technology
  • Social Studies


  • 3-5
  • 6-8

Brief Description

In this game, students will correctly place the U.S. states on a blank outline map.



  • practice and reinforce their knowledge of U.S. state geography.


geography, states, map

Materials Needed

  • Internet access -- this game requires the use of the Place the State Game. Ideally, the game will be played in a computer lab or classroom setting where the game's Web page can be displayed on a large screen, but the game can be played by gathering students around a single computer terminal that has a decent-sized screen.

Lesson Plan

This lesson should be used when students have a fairly good grasp of U.S. state geography. If students are not so familiar with the locations of the states, see the Alternative Ideas presented below.

Divide students into teams of equal size. You might create two, three, or four teams; the more teams, the more opportunities for students to participate.

Introduce students to the online Place the State Game. In this game a state appears in the lower left corner of the screen. Students must drag-and-drop the state to its proper location on a blank U.S. map.

Place the State

The Place the State Game used in this lesson can be found on the All About the USA and Online Games site created by Sheppard Software. It's a great little piece of software, a fun learning activity!

For the purpose of this game, call the first player on the first team to the computer. That player's challenge is to drag and drop the first state that pops up on the screen into its proper location on the blank U.S. outline map. If the player does it correctly, give his or her team a point. If the state is incorrectly placed, its correct location will appear in red, and the team does not earn a point.

Next, call the first player from the second team. Repeat the steps above.

Continue play, alternating teams and awarding points as states are correctly placed on the map. When all 50 states have been properly placed, which team has the highest score?

This is a game that can be played again and again.

Alternative Ideas

If your students are not quite ready to play this game, there is an easier version available. In that version, Place the State -- Advanced Beginner, the game presents states one region at a time instead of randomly presenting the 50 states.

If the game is not challenging enough for your students, you might use the Place the State -- Advanced Intermediate version.


Provide students with a U.S. outline map (see source 1 , 2 , or 3). Have them identify and label states as you randomly call out their names. Do students correctly identify at least 45 of the 50 states?

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

NSS-G.K-12.1 The World in Spatial Terms
NSS-G.K-12.2 Places and Regions

NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
NT.K-12.6 Technology Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Tools

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Originally published 03/21/2006
Last updated 06/03/2010