Lesson 9: US Geography & History
Students locate the 50 states on a US map and explain basic facts about the first colonists in the US and the Declaration of Independence.
Topic: US geography
Time: 90 minutes
- Locate the 50 states on a US map.
- Explain basic facts about the first colonists in the US and the Declaration of Independence.
- Describe an American today.
- Collect US State Names handout.
- Observe Quiz Show answers.
- Listen to discussion and opinions about the American man today.
- Optional: See the video on YouTube showing a demonstration of this lesson.
- Make one copy of a US Map for each student.
- Make one copy of US Map 50 Numbers for each group.
- Make one copy of The 50 States in the United States for each group.
- Make one copy of The 50 States in the United States KEY for the teacher.
- Make one copy of US History Quiz for the teacher.
Location of the 50 States (10 minutes)
- Ask the students to look at a US map and try to remember the location of the 50 states.
50 States Matching Game (25 minutes)
- Ask the students to get into groups of 4 or 5 people. Assign a number for each group.
- Give each group a US Blank Map and a US State Names handout. Ask students to write their group number at the top of their US State Names handout.
- The students’ task is to find each state on the blank map and write the corresponding number on the US State Names handout. Give about 10 minutes.
- Collect the US State Names handouts from the groups and redistribute to other groups to check.
- Call out the state name and the corresponding number while groups check the answers on the handout.
- Ask the groups to write the number correct at the top of the handout and collect.
- The winner is the group that answered the most correct.
US Geography Q & A (10 minutes)
- Ask the students to look at their homework questions and/or responses to ask additional questions about the US Geography.
- Provide additional information about states (i.e., places visited, places lived, road trips, etc.).
Quiz Show (20 minutes)
- Ask students to get back in their groups.
- There are facts about US History that every American knows the answer. These questions are asked on the Naturalization Test to become an American citizen.
- Explain that the class is going to have a Quiz Show using 25 questions about US History. Encourage students to discuss answers in their groups.
- Students who know the answer should raise their hand. The first person to raise their hand can answer the question.
- Correct answers receive one point (keep track of points on the board).
- The winner is the group with the most points at the end of the Quiz Show.
What is an American? (10 minutes)
- The Frenchmen, Hector St. John de Crevecoeur defined the new “American man” in 1782.
|What then is the American, this new man?...He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds. He has become an American by being received in the broad lap of our great Alma Mater. Here individuals of all races are melted into a new race of man, whose labors and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world. Americans are the western pilgrims.
- The definition of American today is a person born in the US, has an American parent, or goes through the naturalization process (i.e., Green Card from job, marriage, refugee).
- Ask students to discuss their opinion of the 1782 description and how it compares to the definition of an American today.
US History Q & A (10 minutes)
- Ask the students to look at their homework questions and/or responses to ask additional questions about the US History.
- Provide additional information about Americans today (i.e., ancestors traveling to America, personal anecdotes of people getting green cards).
US Presentation Topic Selection (5 minutes)
- Ask the students to write the letters of their top 3 choices in order from #1 to #3. Collect the papers.
F. Scenic Spots
- Read Unit 4 US Government and write 3 questions and/or responses.
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