Scouting Out the States
Students will be able to research and report on a state within the United States. Students will be able to create a state collage that represents information about the state that they researched. Students will be able to describe characteristics of the state that they researched orally and in writing.
Introduction (10 minutes)
- Display a blank map of the states and boundary lines with the state names covered by sticky notes.
- Assess your students’ prior knowledge of state names by asking them to stand up when they see a state that they know.
- Ask your class to identify these states. Uncover each state name as a student calls it out.
- Review the names of the remainder of the unnamed state names.
- Tell the students that today they will be learning more information about the individual states.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)
- Model the process of locating information about a state using a research search engine, such as Kids.gov, that provides specific information about individual states. Use a projector or document camera to display the search engine as you take your class through the steps of using the research search engine.
- Display the Learn About Your State worksheet, using a document camera, projector or enlarged version of the worksheet.
- Choose a state. Use the search engine to find the answers to the Learn About Your State worksheet, and record the information as your students watch.
- Using a piece of poster board, draw an outline of the individual state, and write the name of the state on the top.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (15 minutes)
- Utilizing the information recorded on the Learn About Your State worksheet, invite students to brainstorm what they could create to represent the unique characteristics of the state.
- Provide collage materials to students and invite individual students to contribute various illustrations and cut-outs to add to the large sample state.
- Invite students to discuss and describe characteristics of the sample state.
Independent Working Time (40 minutes)
- Assign each student (or pair of students) an individual state. If desired, write the individual state names on index cards and distribute one card to each student or pair of students.
- Distribute Learn About Your State worksheets and poster board to students.
- Direct students to write the name of their assigned states on the top of the worksheet.
- Show students where to get collage materials, and distribute scissors and glue to students.
- As students are working, ask students about the information they are learning about their states.
- Group two students together, and have them compare and contrast two separate states. Have students complete Cross Country Fun or Make it Short.
- For students who have difficulty identifying individual states, have them complete Map it Out, Name the States 1, or the US State Matching Game worksheet.
- Consider having students create an electronic collage of their states.
- Create a class presentation of the United States of America and have students work collaboratively, adding one slide to the presentation to represent the state that they researched.
Related Books and/or Media
Assessment (5 minutes)
- Have each student complete an exit slip on the state that they researched.
- Ask students to explain details about their collage that represent information that they learned from the project. For English language learners, consider asking them to give an oral response or a total physical response, such as pointing and matching.
Review and Closing (10 minutes)
- Display all of the state collages on a central bulletin board.
- Invite your students to take a "gallery walk" and look at the different characteristics of each individual states.
- Have your class come back together and share what they learned from their gallery walk.