Monday, May 21, 2012

State Projects

Our fourth grade students learn about the regions of the U.S. I have several different projects to do with them on this topic.

First, we take a tour of the country using Postcards From. This site was created by a couple of teachers who took a tour of all 50 states and created postcards and stamps for each state.

We use three sites to complete research on a particular state then create a PowerPoint. They can find all of the required information from 50 States, Enchanted Learning, and Stately Knowledge.

The final project is to make a table of states and capitals (here is a complete list for reference) in Microsoft Office Word (or Pages) and then to copy and paste the list into Tagxedo. Using the ~ symbol between words allows two-word states as well as states and their capitals to stick together. Tagxedo is similar to Wordle, but you can make interesting shapes from your word cloud. The one I would choose for this project is the map of the United States.

Mrs. Jones offers a song, sung to the tune of Turkey in the Straw, to help memorize the states and capitals, a task which many can find daunting. There is a video of the Animaniacs' states and capitals song on YouTube.

There are also some good states and capitals games. At Vector Kids, students select a state from a map then the capital from multiple choice answers. Puzzled States from Scholastic is basically a jigsaw puzzle of the 50 states that names the state and gives its nickname as the puzzle piece is placed. Here are some more map puzzles from Your Child Learns.