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Fifty StatesThe Topic: Fifty States of the US

Note: This project focuses on the richness and diversity of the people, lands, and activities of the United States of America. Recognize that all nations have their own unique people, culture, resources, government, accomplishments, and history. Many of the ideas featured here could be adapted to learning about another country.

Overview

The Basics - The United States has fifty states. They stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, and reach out to include Alaska and Hawaii. Every state has a capital city where its governor, legislators, and other state officers work. Elected senators and congressmen represent their home state in the nation's capital, Washington DC. Every state has selected its own motto, flag, bird, flower, and sometimes other favorite choices.

More Detail - The United States is often called a "nation of immigrants." It is varied and vast with a land mass ranked fourth of the world's nations and the third largest population. The US encompasses seven regions: (1) New England, (2) Middle Atlantic States, (3) Southern States, (4) Midwestern States, (5) Rocky Mountain States, (6) Southwestern States, and (7) Pacific Coast States. This variety of lands and resources coupled with the strength of its people, culture, and history have blended to give a rich and diverse country.

The United States has a federal system that divides power between the national and state governments. That division is sometimes disputed and often becomes a subject of controversy; however, state government provides many services and regulates several activities. States maintain law and order, protect property rights, regulate businesses, administer public education, provide welfare programs, build and maintain highways, and operate state parks, forest, and other state-owned lands. State government has direct authority over local governments such as towns and cities, townships, counties, and school districts.

Learn more at United States from Wikipedia.

42eXplore 4 Kids

Explore the States from America's Library
http://www.americaslibrary.gov/cgi-bin/page.cgi/es
Related Websites:
2) Fifty States from InfoPlease
3) Stately Knowledge from Kidspace at Internet Public Library
4) State Websites for Kids from Kids.gov
5) States from Family Education Network Factmonster
6) Quick Facts: Learn About Your State from Ben's Guide to U.S. Government
7) United States from Encyclopedia Britannica
8) United States Fast Facts from Kids Konnect

United States from National Geographic
http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/places/countries/country_unitedstates.html
Explore facts, videos, maps, and music related to the United States.
Maps from National Geographic:
2) US Map from National Geographic
3) United States of America from National Geographic

Postcards from America
http://www.postcardsfrom.com/
A teacher and a photographer tour America's 50 states and email live e-postcards to classrooms. Having completed a 50-state Capital tour, the couple is now exploring America's wild side capturing landscape scenes and wildlife from each state.
Related Websites:
2) 50 States Postcard Exhibit (Click on map) from A to Z TeacherStuff

USA State Map/Quiz Printouts from Enchanted Learning
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/usa/statesbw/
Click on a state below to go to a printable quiz on the geography of that state. Site also connects to answer keys for each of the quizzes.
Related Websites from Enchanted Learning:
2) US Regional Map/Quiz Printouts

42eXplore 4 Teens

Landform Atlas of the United States
http://fermi.jhuapl.edu/states/states.html
Here you can find maps of the states and links to other state site information.
Related Map Sites:
2) 50 Views of 50 States from M.D. Adamiker's TruFlite
3) Download Maps from Rand McNally
4) Google Earth
5) Map (U.S.)
6) Maps of the United States from U.S. Geological Survey
7) MapQuest
8) National Atlas
9) TerraServer
10) United States Climate Page from NOAA-CIRES Climate Diagnostics Center
11) The United States Map

State Governments
http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/State_and_Territories.shtml
Explore the state government resources. Links are provided to each state website.
Related Websites:
2) State Government Information from Library of Congress

United States from The World Factbook
https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html
Basic statistical information about the United States.

U.S. Census Bureau
http://www.census.gov/
Here you can find state and country facts.
Related Websites
2) State Facts Sheets from the USDA

Activities 2 eXplore


After visiting several of the websites, complete one or more of the following activities.

Identify The Fifty States. Go to Puzzled States from Scholastic and USA Quiz learning games featuring state identification. Other related online learning games include State Flags Game and State Capitals Game, both from Kidspace at Internet Public Library.

Learn The State Capitals. Drill and practice with the games found at U.S. State Capitals from Quia. You can also try the States and Capitals Flashcards.

Complete A Fifty States WebQuest. Follow or adapt the procedures found at one or more of these webQuest sites:
1) 50 States WebQuest by (Grade 3) J.E. DeFeis
2) Travel the United States (Grade 5) by C. Yancone
http://cte.jhu.edu/techacademy/fellows/Yancone/webquest/cyindex.html
8) Wealthy Businessman Offers All-Expense Paid Trip! (Grade 5) by M. Venable & J. Garber

Compare And Contrast Two States. Pick two states, maybe the two that you think are most different from each other. Now use the websites and other information resources to learn about your paired states. Identify ways in which they are similar and different. Present your findings in a presentation, display, or reports.

Create A State Tourism Brochure. Pretend that you have been hired by a state to create a new tourism brochure. See if you can create a new communication that captures people's attention, informs them of the major attractions, and connects them to other related information sources. An alternative activity would be to design and create a poster that highlights a state.

Plan A Trip To Your Favorite State
. Other than your home state, where would you most like to visit. Plan a ten-day vacation to that state. This project should include a schedule of itinerary, mode(s) of transportation, food and lodging, points of interests, map of your route, and estimated expenses. You might want to complete a virtual trip online and even "take" photographs for your travel album.

Websites by Kids for Kids

50 Nifty States of The U.S.A (1999 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
http://tqjunior.thinkquest.org/5201/
Learn about all the 50 states of America. You can also learn about Washington D.C too.

Our Great Fifty States (2001 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
http://library.thinkquest.org/C0115323/
This project provides basic information about each of the 50 states including state flower, motto, bird, and trees.

United States Regions
(1998 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
http://tqjunior.thinkquest.org/4552/
This website helps identify the varied regions of the United States and focuses on the important facts of each.

More 2 eXplore

50 States
http://www.50states.com/
This online database is a great starting point for finding basic information about each state.
Related Websites:
2) 50 States of the United States from Apple Learning Interchange
3) Connect USA from North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
4) NetState
5) State Reports from Class Brain
6) US50

Boundaries of the United States and the Several States
http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stephan/48states.html
This animation lets you watch the United States grow, state by state.

City/State/ZIP Code Associations from United States Postal Service
http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/citytown_zip.jsp
To locate associated ZIP Codes, enter a city and state name (e.g., Memphis TN). A list of Official USPS abbreviations, including state and US territory abbreviations, is provided for assistance. To locate associated cities, enter a ZIP Code (e.g., 94116).
Related Website:
2) State Abbreviations and State Postal Codes from InfoPlease

Guide to American Flags

http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/flags/
Here you can see pictures of flags from each of the 50 states. Click on a state flag to enlarge its image.

How Far Is It

http://www.indo.com/cgi-bin/dist
Keyboard in a departure location and a destination to find the distance between them.

Official U.S. Time

http://www.time.gov/
Click on the map to identify the general areas and current time within U.S. zones.

USA Newspapers
http://www.usanewspapers.com/
This site connects to newspapers in all 50 states.

4 Teachers 2 eXplore

50 States by L. Ryan from Lessons Plan Page
http://www.lessonplanspage.com/SS50StateGeography23.htm
Learners identify the location of a state, compare population sizes from various states, learn the state bird, flag, and location on the map.
Other Lessons
2) 50 States: Where in the USA...? by D. Alaniz, J. Catanach, & L.A. Leigh from New Mexico Regional Educational Technology Assistance Program

Lesson Plans from Arts Edge
Lesson plans with a art focus related to the US
1) Sing Me a Song about the USA

Expeditions from National Geographic
Lesson plans from National Geographic.
1) Regions of the United States: A Geographic Perspective
2) Defining Regions of the United States
3) Mission Geography: USA

Fifty States, Five Lessons from Education World
http://www.education-world.com/a_lesson/lesson278.shtml
Stuck for fun or new ways to teach about the 50 states (or Canadian provinces and Australian states)? This lesson planning guide provides five lessons to liven up your 50 States unit.

Flat Stanley (Grade 2) by R. Sharpe from A to Z TeacherStuff
http://atozteacherstuff.com/lessons/FlatStanley.shtml
Students study the geography of the United States as well as learn to write friendly letters.

Hooray For Our State
from Scholastic
http://teacher.scholastic.com/lessonrepro/reproducibles/profbooks/ss970903b.htm
Make up some symbols for your state. First, draw a picture to go with each label. Then, on the lines, tell why this is a good symbol for your state.
Related Lesson Plan:
2) State Geography (Grades 6-9) from AskERIC

Lessons by State from ProTeacher
http://www.proteacher.com/090082.shtml
This links-site connects to collections of lesson plans and activities for each state.

Let Me Tell You About My State!
(Grade 5) by M. Swain
http://www.col-ed.org/cur/sst/sst14.txt
Students start by selecting a state and then drafting and sending a letter requesting information.

Thomas Tigers States Activities
2) Middle Western States Activity (Grade 4)
3) Northeastern States Activity (Grade 4)
4) Southeastern States Activity (Grade 4)
5) Southwestern States Activity (Grade 4)
6) Western States Activity (Grade 4)

States and Capitals of the United States by J. Moreland
http://www.col-ed.org/cur/sst/sst194.txt
This lesson plan includes a bingo game activity for learning the states and their capitals.
Related Lesson Plan:
2) States and their Capitals (Grades 4-6) by J. Stiteler

Words 2 eXplore

United States Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas Mexico
California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia
Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan
Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada
New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota
Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia
Pacific Northwest Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming Midwest
Rocky Mountain New England Middle Atlantic South Southwest territories
Great Plains geographical region country District of Columbia possessions Canada

Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 9/02, Updated 7/07.


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