What our 50 States of America lesson plan includes
Lesson Objectives and Overview: 50 States of America teaches elementary school students about the different states that make up the United States of America. Students will learn what states are and where the 50 states are located on the map and in relation to each other. By the end of the lesson, they will be able to label a map of the U.S. with the name of each state. This lesson does not include additional information about states, such as their capitals or anything else about them. This lesson is for students in 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade.
Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the orange box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. The supplies you will need for this lesson are the handouts, colored pencils, and glue or paste. To prepare for this lesson ahead of time, you can gather the materials, group students for the activity, and copy the handouts.
Options for Lesson
Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. If you’re teaching older students, one of the recommended additions to this lesson is to assign each student one or two states to research and present to the class. You can also have students create a puzzle using the outlines of the 50 states, helping them memorize their locations. Finally, you can use extra copies of the activity sheet state list as a reference and say the name of each states aloud in random order; students will check off each state as you say them, which will help them recognize the states by their pronunciation and spelling.
The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. This section for this lesson notes that while older students may be encouraged to memorize the name and location of every state, that is not the focus of this lesson. Rather, this lesson is meant to give students a general awareness of the states, state names, and broad regions of the United States. It also provides some basic information about the 13 original colonies. If you’d like students to learn information such as the capitals of each state, you can add that to this lesson. That information is not included in this lesson as is. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.
50 STATES OF AMERICA LESSON PLAN CONTENT PAGES
Fifty States of America
The 50 States of America lesson plan includes two pages of content. The lesson begins with a discussion about what a state actually is. Students are likely aware of what state they live in, but may not have thought about what that is or means prior to this lesson. Students will learn that a state is a piece of land, or territory, that has one government. The United States, the country that they live in, has 50 different states.
Next, students will learn that the United States did not used to have 50 states. At one time, over 300 years ago, the United States did not even exist! There were no states until 1787 — and, at that time, they weren’t even states, but colonies! They called these first pieces of land that the British colonized colonies. They also sometimes called them territories. There were 13 of them and they were all located on the the East Coast of the continent. This was because that was where British ships would land. These 13 original colonies would later become the first 13 states of the United States.
Students will then learn that the United States government added more and more states over time. The first state ever was Delaware, and the most recently added state is Hawaii! Learning the names of the states is important, because it helps you understand what is happening in the country and where. The more someone reads, hears, or uses the name of a state, the better they will remember it!
Finally, students will learn that the flag of the United States actually represents the 50 states. Each of the 50 stars stands for one of the 50 states. There are also 13 stripes on the flag, which represents the 13 original colonies. The end of this lesson also includes a map of the United States with each of the states labelled with their name and capital. However, capitals are not discussed as a part of this lesson.
Here is a list of the vocabulary words students will learn in this lesson plan:
- State: a nation or territory that is organized under a one government
- Colonies: the first pieces of land that are called states today
- 13 original colonies: the colonies that became the first states of the United States
50 STATES OF AMERICA LESSON PLAN WORKSHEETS
The 50 States of America lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet. These worksheets are all designed to test students’ grasp of the lesson material and give them the opportunity to use what they’ve learn. The worksheets will help reinforce the lesson content.
50 STATES OF AMERICA ACTIVITY WORKSHEET
Students will work in pairs for the activity worksheet. Each student will take turns reading a list of 50 states aloud in their pairs. They will then write the name of each state in the correct spot on the blank map provided with the activity. They will check off each state on their list as they add them to the map. Then, they will answer some questions about the states and map. These questions ask thing like which states are the largest and smallest, which are furthest North, and more. Finally, they will color in their map using colored pencils.
Students can also work alone for this activity worksheet, instead of in pairs, if you’d prefer.
STATE QUESTIONS PRACTICE WORKSHEET
For the practice worksheet, students will answer 13 questions about the states using the information that they learned from the lesson material. For example, they will need to list all of the states that begin or end with various letters or have a certain number of letters in their names.
MAP MATCHING HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
For the homework assignment, students will look at a map of the United States. On this map, they’ve labelled each state with a number. They must then write the name of the state that corresponds to each number. They have spread the numbers randomly across the map of the states, so the students must go through the states one by one to identify them and match them to their correct number. This assignment helps reinforce the locations of the states as well as their names!
Worksheet Answer Keys
This lesson plan includes answer keys for the activity worksheet, the practice worksheet, and the homework assignment. Correct answers for each worksheet are written in red on the answer keys. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.