Learning About the States
Studying the states in the classroom? We did this project when the girls were in second grade. Each child selected a state to create a basket with items representing the state that they chose. This is a great way to reinforce facts visually, hands on and orally. You could have a culminating event sharing all the baskets by having small groups move around the classroom or have each child share the items in their basket with the whole class. The baskets could then be put in an area for viewing such as a center for a few days.
The "extra" states could be done as a class or for extra credit.
- Construction paper or cardstock or photo paper
- Baskets (we found baskets at Dollar Tree) or file folders taped on the sides to make a pocket
- Markers or labels
- Small Souvenirs
- Flashcards (optional)
- Fun Facts about the state printed on a card or print out our State Fact Sheet for the children to research and fill out.
- Worksheet/quiz (optional)
Steps for the States Activity
- Print out our free State Fact Sheet for the children to research and fill out.
- Find pictures online for the state map, bird, animal, flag, fruit or flower.
- Print a map of the state
- Collect items like small souvenirs to add to the basket like key chains, post cards, news clippings, book marks, stubs, pamphlets.
- Label items on the back or make separate cards for children to match items with.
- Create a list of interesting facts on a card for fun.
- Create a worksheet for each child to fill out after going through the items.
Tips and Suggestions
- Laminate photos for longer lasting items or print on card stock instead of photo paper.
- Collect magazine photos.
- You can find a lot of pictures on the internet (photos should be researched by an adult)
The Great Mail Race
This was an activity that I loved to do with different grades. We did it in Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 4th grade.
It involves invitations to other schools in different states to participate with a questionnaire to be mailed back to our school so that we could learn first hand about that state. It was extremely exciting for the child who gets a letter back especially when they send things back with the questionnaire. We have received items such as stickers, posters, maps, newspaper clippings, pictures and postcards. Each child selects two states to send their letters to. Teachers need to research the addresses for the children. We found that smaller schools tended to respond more.
Teachers pay Teachers has a number of printables you can buy so that you are all set for this. I have a few that I will add as soon as I locate them in my binders. It basically includes 3 documents...the Introduction, the questionnaire for the school it is being sent to and a questionnaire filled out by the child about their school and state. Sometimes the children will draw something on the back as well.