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greenapples 01-12-2013 08:19 PM

new to teaching states and capitals
At the risk of sounding ridiculous..... how would I begin to teach the geography and capitals of the 50 U.S. states? I assume I break it down into regional areas, but do you have any other suggestions? Especially ones that are engaging and fun? Thanks!

Rockguykev 01-16-2013 05:38 PM

At the risk of sounding equally ridiculous, WHY would you begin to teach such a thing?

Perhaps if you had a purpose it would be easier to plan.

Shaun1898 01-22-2013 08:50 PM

For the state capitals you could do this (it is a little corny)

catapult 01-22-2013 09:44 PM

when i was in fourth grade- that goes back many many many years..... We had the states and capitals done in the form of show and tell... one student represented each of the 50 states- did a presentation... spoke about culture... dressed up as a native of that state and gave a keepsake.... boy do i still remember it!!!!LOL my teacher sent home a postcard that chosen to do the state that week- it was huge secret....

Lakeside 01-23-2013 03:31 AM

For the kick-off, I would start off with a big blank map, and call up the kids to help you fill in what they already know. (Allow a good chunk of time, as they will want to tell you how they know - "My grandmother lives In Ohio", I went to Disney World in Florida", etc. - It's OK, the personal connections make it stick.)

Then I would say we're going to fill the rest in during our next unit in Social Studies. Most teachers I know do divide it by region, and I think the chunks are less intimidating. Have a quiz each week where they have to label that region's states and match the capitals. (Depending on the age/level of the kids, you can have the states as a word bank, or have them use the abbreviations to label a blank map, or require spelling.)

For practicing at home, I remember finding a website when my son was doing them that would quiz the kids, and I also made sleeves by taping two blank transparencies together on two adjacent sides, and slipping the maps in for him to practice.

For connections to other subjects, you could mention time zones for math, or climate for science.

frazzledtchr 02-06-2013 05:22 PM

I do it by region
I give the kids a blank map to fill in as we fill the states in on the promethean board. I color code each region as well. We review each region daily for a few days, then add the next region. It usually takes a month to learn them all, and then I give them the exact same map to practice with and the same map again for the test.

There are lots of online links for interactive maps and games you can use. Check out

Squirl 02-10-2013 06:36 PM

The Great Mail Race
So, this has almost nothing to do with actually teaching the states and capitals, but I had my fourth graders participate in "The Great Mail Race." (Information here:

I thought about doing this with my first graders this year, but I got too overwhelmed with being in a new school, grade, district, and state all at once. Haha!

I suppose you could modify it and only write letters to a school within the capital city... I don't know. Lol

Good luck.

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