Lesson Plan:

Switching U.S. States

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September 20, 2015
by Amanda Clarkson

Learning Objectives

Students will demonstrate their knowledge of US geography through a creative story.


Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Show students the book The Scrambled States of America.
  • Have students discuss with a partner what they think this book will be about and what type of genre they think it is. Have students use specifics to back up their thoughts.
  • Have several students share out their responses with the class.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)

  • Read The Scrambled States of America to students.
  • Ask guiding comprehension questions as you read, such as, Why was Kansas so lonely?
  • Your questions should get students thinking about the unique characteristics of the different states.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (5 minutes)

  • Explain that students will be writing their own story about a time that the state they live in switched places with another state.
  • In order to do this, they will have to think about the climate, or average temperature and weather conditions, of their state compared to other states. They will also need to think of the varying landforms, or way the land is shaped, across different states.
  • Show students the example story attached or come up with one of your own!

Independent Working Time (20 minutes)

  • Hand out the The Day My State Switched Places! story worksheet.
  • Give students ample time to write their stories.



  • Enrichment: Have students write a story about two states in the same region, which will present more of a challenge. These students could also write about a time when three states switched places.
  • Support: Have students draw a Venn diagram graphic organizer to first determine similarities and differences between the two states. This will allow students to organize their thoughts before starting the story.

Related Books and/or Media

  • BOOK: Scrambled States of America Talent Show by Laurie Keller


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Read the students' stories to determine their understanding of the climate and landforms of each state.

Review and Closing (10 minutes)

  • Have students get into small groups and share their stories.
  • Have students share some of the humorous details they heard in their classmates' stories with the whole group!

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