Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Story of the States

One of my recent flea market finds was a U.S. Coin Collector's Map.  It was a bargain and the perfect addition to our U.S. Geography unit.  Not only does the collection make a great classroom visual, but the coins are a mini geography lesson themselves by listing the basic information about each state.  They are also a small part of American history because there will never be anymore like them minted. 

Piecing together the U.S. state by state through studying each state individually is helping us watch the story of America unfold.  You can do the same, and do it for free with the resources and ideas listed below. 

1.  Order travel info from state sites.  We started our unit by studying the New England states, so I went to each of the state sites and ordered their free travel guides.  You can view them online, as a PDF, or have a print one mailed.  I chose the print so that we can use them for collages and other activities. You get maps, state history and information, as well as interesting places within the state. You will also find teacher resources such as coloring pages, and most sites have pages for the kids with games and quizzes.  Type in (statename).gov (example: indiana is in.gov).

2.  Free printables.  Print maps of the U.S. with or without capitals, individual state maps and outlines, coloring pages with state flowers, animals, flag images, etc. Some can be found on state websites, but here are some more that I have used:
  •  50states.com: Printable maps, state information, worksheets
  • free-printable-flags.com : Printable full-color state flag images
  • abcteach.com : This link takes you directly to the list of states within the site.  There are free printables for each state.
3.  Start your own U.S. State coin collection.  Even if you do not collect the coins, you can still find valuable state lesson information at usmint.gov.  There is a lot of information there, but I have listed below the pages within the site I found most helpful.  You can also sign up for a free teacher newsletter that will notify you of new lessons and other useful information. 
Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Redd
Mrs. Redd's Constitutional Classroom
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