14 Resources for Studying the United States

Several years ago, the kids and I ended each week by learning about a different state. We called it 50 States Friday. It was a fun, low-key, unhurried way to learn about our country. It was so much fun that I’ve considered doing it again now that the kids are older. I’m sure there is plenty they’ve forgotten and plenty more out there to learn. I’ve gathered up some of my favorite resources for studying the United States.

Websites, printables, and book suggestions for doing a 50 state study

1. 50 States Book List – We don’t always choose a book off this list, but it’s an excellent starting point for tying in literature with a state study. Edited to add: The link for the book list is no longer working, but here’s a fantastic alternative: Booking Across the USA.

2. State Quarters – We often simply use the quarters themselves, finding out what is on the back and why. Then, whenever possible, we’ll read a related book. For example, just by using the state quarters, we discovered John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club. We had no idea who he was before we started the state study, but found a really interesting book about him at the library and the details stuck.

3. The U.S. Mint – If I have no idea about the significance of the picture on the back of the state quarter, the U.S. Mint site is a great place for finding out more. Plus, there is a link where you can download informational pages about each of the 50 state quarters. The pages have lots of good information about each of the states.

4. Jimmie’s Squidoo Page – Jimmie, of Jimmie’s Collage, has put together a wonderful page about her family’s state study. It was her notebooking pages that we used for our state notebooks.

5. Crayola’s State Coloring Pages – These are beautiful coloring pages that always feature the state flag and the outline of the state. Other features vary, but often include the state bird, state flower, state fish, sate butterfly, and more. They’re great for younger students or just a fun additional page for older kids.

6. Five State Rummy – A really fun (for Mom, too!) game for learning which states border one another.

7. 50 States Fast Facts and Trivia - This is probably my favorite website for our Fifty State Fridays because it lists random trivia for each state, which, for us, provides the most memorable learning. I try to come up with a craft or activity for at least one random fact for each state.

8. States by Statehood Date – This site simply provides a chart listing each state in order of when it was admitted to the Union. It makes a handy, quick-reference tool for filling out our notebook pages.

9. Learn the States and Postal Abbreviations – This free eBook by Joy Miller provides a variety of activities for helping families learn the state locations and postal abbreviation.

10. The {State Name} Facts and Symbols series by Emily McAuliffe – This great little series of books, one for each state, provides details and big, colorful photographs about various state facts and symbols, such as the state bird, the capital, the location, and more. They’re one of my favorite reference tool for our studies.

11. America’s Story – Another fun website for discovering fun trivia facts about each state.

12. State Recipes – We look for foods to make (because you don’t have to find a place to store them like you do a craft) for each state based on either an interesting piece of trivia or a state symbol. This list of state recipes is a good place to start.

13. State Flag Stickers – I picked up a set of state flag stickers at a local teacher supply store and the kids really like them. They draw a lot of the things that go on their state notebook pages, such as the state bird or the state flower, so they like being able to just add a sticker for the flag.

14. Eat Your Way Through the USA – This is another great resource for finding recipes for each state. There are usually two recipes per state, along with interesting facts about each.

Has your family ever studied the fifty states? What resources would you add?

Original resource list published June 25, 2009

Did you enjoy these hands-on ideas? You can find lots more ideas for hands-on fun in my e-book Hands-On Learning, which includes 10 full-color, step-by-step tutorials and dozens of ideas for cross-curricular, hands-on activities.

hands-on learning ideas


List_it_Tuesday RLH


Comments

    • Kris Bales says

      Oh, yeah. I don’t think we had that one when I wrote the original post, but we do now. I agree that that’s a great addition!

  1. says

    Five state rummy sounds fun! We enjoyed playing Scrambled States. We changed the rules up a bit so they got a point for having the right card even if they weren’t first. It was a fun and relaxed way to learn the states and capitals.

    • Kris Bales says

      Oh, we love Stack the States! I should have included that when I updated the post. Even my older daughter installed the app on her phone.

  2. Jen K says

    Thanks for the great list! We also found an app called Geography Drive. My kids love it and they have learned so much about the USA. It cover not only states & capitals but also time zones, mountain ranges, major landmarks, rivers and other key items. I’ve learned things too! Lol

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