I taught a 50 states/Regions of the U.S. co-op class for K-2nd this past year. I’ve had several requests to share what I did each week. I’ll be honest— I’m a pretty good organized wing-it teacher 🙂 I started off with a solid lesson plan but that kind of dropped off the scene about half-way through the year. I’ll share my tricks of the trade and what I did so that maybe you can glean a thing or two in order to teach your own class!
I originally planned this to be a 12 week class but it ended up covering both co-op sessions in order to fit a teaching need. 🙂 In every class we:
- reviewed map-work
- listened (and sang) our favorite state songs
- listened to a book
- played a game
- did an activity in these printable booklets: Five Regions of the USA by Teachers Pay Teachers
Original 12 week plan:
Week 1: Review the 7 continents, cover basic math skills, literature connection.
Week 2: Review 7 continents, introduce regions and 50 states song
You can read the details in this post: Learning the 50 States
Week 3: Learning about the Northeast Region of the U.S. – I even made a video of me singing!
Week 4: Learning about the Northeast Region of the U.S.
Week 5: Learning about the Southeast – click for detailed post
Week 6: Learning about the Southeast – Gee’s Bend – click link for printable
Week 7: Learning about the Midwest – color booklet, read facts
Week 8: Learning about the Midwest – finish booklet, read How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A. (afflink)
Week 9: Learning about the Southwest; color map in booklet, cover basic facts
Week 10: Learning about the Southwest; review, finish booklet, read Armadillo Rodeo (afflink)
Week 11: Learning about the West – work through booklet, read The Scrambled States of America Talent Show (afflink)
Week 12: make a cookie map of the U.S.A.; play a trivia game for review
U.S.A. placemats for each student
We used these for map tracing (taping tracing paper over a section and having them outline a region), Play-Doh outlining, and as visual aides.
I had a big world puzzle (afflink), several small world puzzles from the Dollar Spot from Target, and a U.S.A. floor puzzle (afflink). I would have the students work in groups of 2 to complete puzzles and then switch. This was a good activity to keep them occupied when we were reading aloud the book Bud and Me (afflink).
The game pictured above was included in Chick-Fil-A kids meals earlier in the year. I happened to snag up 4. I had students work in groups of 2-3 and play. It was important to make sure you had a good reader in each group!
I also used my computer for a couple online games:
U.S.A. Floor Map (afflink) — I would have the students sit around this map while we watched our YouTube songs. We also used it for a couple of games too.
U.S.A. Vinyl Map (afflink) — this was a great way to practice learning state location. Students would grab a state and place it in the correct spot.
Bud and Me
Since my class was extended, I started reading aloud Bud & Me (afflink). We would do all our circle time stuff and then I would have then work on a quiet, hand-on activity while I read. Sometimes it was tracing a map, or using Play-Doh to outline a map or to make state landmarks. Sometimes it was a coloring page, or other times I let them build with blocks while I read.
Here’s an overview of what the book is about.
Bud & Me activity page