We’ve had so much fun studying American history and geography this year, but sometimes it was overwhelming putting our own studies together. Being overwhelmed can certainly take the fun out of a project!
Along the way, I compiled this huge list of resources we used (or plan to use), and I’m so happy to share it so you don’t have to worry about the time-consuming process of searching for those resources. Check out these ideas to put together your own state study that can be used with any state!
Pick a State to Study
We’re using this fantastic resource from National Geographic Kids to introduce each state. It’s perfect for learning all the basics about each state, plus you’ll discover extra info such as how each state got its name or which resources and wildlife are common in each state.
If you want to combine the National Geographic Kids resource with a video resource, Homeschool Pop has a video series that features each individual state.
State Boxes: Making Your Studies Memorable
For each state, we are creating a “State Box.” (Don’t worry, they’re temporary! We can’t store 50 boxes, of course!) 🙂 I based the State Box idea on Continent Boxes, so you can check those out to see if they generate additional ideas for you.
Here are some options for items you can include inside your box:
- Notebooking pages: One of my favorite resources for our state studies is a set of notebooking pages from Elemental Blogging. If you don’t look at anything else, look at this one. It is really well done! (Be sure to check out her other resources on her state study page as well.)
- Travel Brochure Template: Once you’ve completed a state study, create a travel brochure. You can grab a template for your young learners as well as your older learners.
- State Report Lapbook: If you prefer to record your information in a report-style folder, print a free state report lapbook that can be used with any state.
- Recipe Cards: We are using the book Eat Your Way Through the USA, but if this isn’t something your library carries, you can grab a recipe from a website instead! Check out this list of state recipes from The Cooking Channel or this optional list from Genius Kitchen.
- United States Map: Don’t forget to keep a United States map handy so you can color in each state you “travel” to throughout the year! Keep your map in a safe place so you can include it in your state box each time you travel to a new state.
- Other items to add to your box: Postcards from your state of study, travel guides and brochures, state quarters, or anything else you can think of that would create interest in that particular state.
State outline maps (with and without capitals) can be found here.
If you need more detailed maps for your older learners, use this site. The maps include county maps, rivers and lakes maps, and much more!
You can create large mega-maps with these printable pages. Maps range from one standard page-length all the way up to almost seven feet across!
Use trace-the-state map worksheets.
State Symbols and Emblems
Check out these state bird coloring pages.
Learn more about state flowers with state flower coloring pages.
Print some state flag coloring sheets.
Grab some state coloring sheets from Crayola (use these if you want a variety of state symbols combined on a single page). If you want a similar printable but a different option, check out this wonderful state coloring page printable book. (Use the text link that reads: Download State Coloring Pages.)
If you’re using state quarters in your studies, be sure to print individual state quarter coloring pages.
Use the Super Coloring website as a great all-in-one resource with coloring pages for a variety of state symbols (including state tree coloring pages).
Print a free, fantastic United States Fact Book (scroll to below the President Mini Book printable to get the complete download). Use the text link that reads: Download Printable United States Fact Book.
Your visual learners may prefer actual photos of state symbols. Check out this website and then select your state of study to see pictures of a host of state symbols for each state! Use the drop-down menu (“Sort by State”) to find the state you are studying.
If you’re looking for worksheets with a more detailed approach, the activity worksheets featured on this page offer informative details about the state birds and flowers.
Online Games and Interactive Sites
Learning Games for Kids offers a huge selection of games for each individual state.
Get a variety of online state-themed games at the Sheppard Software website.
Printable Games and Activities
Play State Bingo!
Use this idea to create a state-themed version of Pick Up Sticks; it’s Pick Up States! (Her printable files were giving me error messages, but you do not need them. Simply follow the instructions to create your own game.)
Print and create your own state flash cards.
Watch the Tour the States video (one of our favorites)! My kids like to watch the artist draw the states! 🙂
Listen to the States and Capitals song (another favorite)!
Older learners might enjoy the original special, How the States Got Their Shapes. (This video is about 1.5 hours long.)
There are a lot of resources here, but don’t be overwhelmed! Pick the materials that work best for your family and enjoy the trip from the comfort of your favorite place to study and learn together!
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