- Research information about states
- Present information in clearly written text
- Get to Know the United States Student Activity Sheet printable
- Computers with web access
- Nonfiction books about the United States
Copy a class set of the Get to Know the United States Student Activity Sheet printable.
Step 1: Direct students’ attention to a map of the United States or North America. Ask students some basic information about states, such as how many there are (50) and some of their names. Point out that the United States is large in land area and that its states are widely spread. For example, the distance between Fairbanks, Alaska, and Miami, Florida, is almost 4,000 miles. The distance between Honolulu, Hawaii, and Portland, Maine, is over 5,000 miles.
Step 2: Tell students that the country has a large and diverse population. More than 325 million people live in the United States. More than 13% of the population was born in another country. 21% of people live in homes where a language other than English is spoken. This diversity isn’t new — the country has had a high level of immigration throughout most of its history.
Step 3: Point out that states exist at very northern and southern places on the map. The northern states — especially Alaska — have cold climates, while southern ones, like Florida, have warm climates. Wildlife in these states is very different as well, ranging from polar bears and snowy owls in the north to alligators and flamingos in the south.
Step 4: Distribute the Get to Know the United States Student Activity Sheet printable and read the directions to the class. Students will conduct research using basic resources (such as the library or the State, Local, and Tribal Governments website). Tell students to choose a state other than their own and to complete the activity sheet using their research.
For an additional writing activity, have students write a paragraph describing what they think their life would be like if they lived in that state.