Thursday, May 26, 2011

Life Long Learner Project #3,234,897.09543 (Just Kidding!)

Yes, I was inspired by my mother, some homeschool blogs, and a friend across the world to take advantage of this free time in the summer and help my soon-to-be third grader learn the fifty states. We just finished studying the five regions of the U.S. and I think it's important to know the states and where they lie and, am I dreaming?, their capitals?????  I think not. ;-) Anyways I was bribing my children at the Dollar Tree (Yes, I am a cheap skate!) and ran across a beautiful U.S. map for .....Can you believe it?.... $1. I was ecstatic.  Here was the answer to my dilemma.  Now I didn't have to visit a teacher store. (I live about 40 miles from the nearest one.  Did I mention we live in the boonies?) I didn't have to spend a bunch on educational supplies. You won't either. You probably have every thing you need at home.  I could begin the quest for geographical (domestic anyways) knowledge.  Let me just say, I took the easy route and learned the song......Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California.......Big Man, however, thinks it's hoakie, IMAGINE.  I digress... Anyways, here's what I did:

Step #1  I bought two maps.  One to hang on his bedroom wall.  Another to use in our progress.

Step#2   I grabbed our social studies book we are using, and used it to divide the states into the 5 geographic regions.  This will save you time.  Here they are :

Southeast: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina.
Northeast:Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine.
Middle West: Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota.
West:Montana, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Wyoming
Southwest: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma

Step #3:  I used five different colors of scrap paper to separate the states into regions.  I chose pink for the southeast, green for the northeast, blue for the middle west, yellow for the west, and orange for the southwest. 

Step #4 I cut the paper into 1/4 inch strips.          

Step #5: I cut the strips to cover the names of states: Some double decker names may need a 1/2 inch strip. Tape the colored paper
over the names so your child can lift the paper to self check as he/she studies.


Then, viola, you are ready to study the Fifty Nifty United States..... sorry, I burst into show tunes often.


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