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 had The Scrambled States of America, State Bingo and State Flash Cards (afflinks)
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
Kristy Rasor says
How can you make this a 24 week class (yr long)?
Maureen Spell says
You could take two extra weeks in each region and focus on two states in that region, or focus on landmarks, famous people etc. from that region.