Saturday, July 20, 2013

Teaching Regions of the United States

Today, I watched Tim Burton's Frankenweenie for the first time. It was dark, creepy, and a little sad but an overall good story. It got me thinking about resurrecting lessons I love. Teaching is always about choices and sometimes I feel like I drop "good" lessons because I'm under the dreaded crunch.... so....I'm trying to wrap my head around one our biggest units of the year, United States Regions. We've always taught regions in 5th grade. But now - we have to teach regions more "in depth." This means expanding a 4-5 week unit into the first half of the year! I need to teach not only the states and general geography like in the past but also weave history and economics into my study. It's a lot to teach and since we have FIVE regions... I'm worried it'll get repetitive to the students. 

I thought I'd share what I've dug up from past lessons so far... sorry for the terrible Frankenweenie pun! I couldn't resist.

First, here is a great You Tube Video to introduce the 50 states or serve as a review! My students absolutely LOVED, begged for, adored this video last year. I'm definitely using it again next year.


Second, I used to have students create Regional Amusement Parks after our regions study. I've been so pressed for time the last few years, I've skipped over the project. But I thought about bringing it back to life. It would definitely hit all the standards plus be a fun way to review regions. I would want to redo my grading sheet and also create a peer grading sheet - but my students used to love this project! With the extra time for regions this year, I think it would be a fun hands-on project to bring back! I wish I could find a picture of the finished parks to share...

You can snag the entire handout here...

 Another activity was from a co-worker. I work with fantastic teachers. The teacher came up with an Amazing Race style competition to get post-cards from all 50 states. It's a great way to reinforce regions and states while also working on networking skills! Last year, we simply ran out of time... although, it really only takes ONE day to introduce and answer questions. The rest is at home. It's a great way to learn more about the states and have some team competition. You can get the rules handout I give my students from here.

Here are the rules:
1) Postcards must be mailed/postmarked FROM the state.
2) ONE FACT about the state needs to be on the postcard.

* Anything else is fair game! Quite a few governors/sports teams/travel sites have given my students neat "state" packs for writing!

Lastly, I'm hoping to add some picture books to my Regions Unit. Here are two I will definitely be using next year! Check out the titles by clicking the pictures below!


Do you teach regions? What are your must haves? Any hidden gem lesson plans you're willing to share???
Share:

19 comments

  1. Good stuff here! Wish I got to teach some social studies! maybe in a few years! Thanks for sharing!
    Jameson
    Lessons With Coffee

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Amanda! I just came across your blog. I am also a 5th grade ELA and Social Studies teacher. (This will be my first year in 5th.) I LOVE your ideas here. Thanks for sharing your resources.

    I'm a new follower!
    Megan
    Fun In 5th

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am in love!!! Thanks for sharing! I just downloaded it all :)

    Lauren
    The Sweetest Thing
    Follow me on Bloglovin'!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am actually a student teacher at the moment in a 5th grade classroom and my big Unit plan is on the Regions and States of the U.S. This was so helpful for me to get ideas and hopefully use some of these when I teach my unit. Thank you so much for your help!!!
    -Jessica

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is some really great stuff. How did you have students create the final product. Is it possible to see pictures of some of the amusement parks?

    Thanks, Matt

    ReplyDelete
  6. La ragione popolarità di ristorante milano è che essi presentano i pasti nel modo più fantasioso e creativo possibile. Ogni piatto è come un'opera d'arte per chef italiani. Sono gli unici ristoranti che producono le pizze da 20 pollici, che hanno respirato varie verdure diverse, frutti di mare, le spezie e carni che non si sarebbe nemmeno pensare di combinare.http://www.ristorante.milano.it

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello! I love the "Regional Attraction" I was just wondering if I could see some examples of the projects your students created to get a better idea of what to expect! I have been looking forever for a great regional project! this is amazing!

    you could email me at jessicaann_smith@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello! I love the "Regional Attraction" I was just wondering if I could see some examples of the projects your students created to get a better idea of what to expect! I have been looking forever for a great regional project! this is amazing!

    you could email me at jessicaann_smith@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love your ideas. Is the Regional Attraction made on poster paper? 2D or 3D?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love your ideas because there aren't many out there for regions. I would love to see some pictures of some of the projects your kids do to have a better idea of what to do.
    Thanks!
    email: lsheldon@srvs.k12.mt.us

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love your ideas because there aren't many out there for regions. I would love to see some pictures of some of the projects your kids do to have a better idea of what to do.
    Thanks!
    email: lsheldon@srvs.k12.mt.us

    ReplyDelete

Please leave me some blogger love. Your comments give me great ideas for making this blog even better! -- Amanda

Design by Laugh Eat Learn // Theme by Pipdig