Wondering How to Build Your Own 50 State Unit Study? Keep on reading to see how I pulled ours together!
We are doing a 2-year + state study that will help us cover geography, history, and social studies, (not to mention handwriting and other skills) all rolled into one. Oh and science, no need for an extra curriculum when you can dive into learning about Florida Manatees, Why the leaves change color in Vermont, what makes it snow in Colorado, and how volcanoes are formed in Hawaii. The only thing I will add in for supplementation is math and language arts.
We began with a month-long study of our own state- Florida and will spend two weeks learning about each of the other states including famous landmarks, capital, people, exports, and so much more. If you think this sounds like a fun way to teach follow along with us! I will be sharing ideas, resources, recipes, lapbooks, and plenty of hands-on activities to go with each state along the way. You can cover a state for a week or do an entire region in a month, whatever works for your family!
How to Build Your Own 50 State Unit Study
Start with fact sheets for each state
You can look on Pinterest and find many free printables, but we are using this Fun Schoolin’ Do it Yourself United States Handbook because it has all the legwork done for you and it is really fun for the kids and lets them put their creativity into it. I will be taking it to Staples to have the spine cut and holes punched in it to make it easier for the kids to write on.
Grab Some Must have books
If you are doing a United States Study I highly recommend these books to help you dive deeper. We will, of course, grab books for each state as we study it but these are the ones we will come back to time and again, totally worth the investment for 2 years for 1 to 12 kids!
- The 50 States– The illustrations in this book are gorgeous and they keep the kid’s interest. Each state is covered with fun facts, famous people, landmarks, and so much more, it is definitely a must-have for a U.S. study!
- Beginners United States Atlas– This books has actual photographs of different parts of each state, facts, and of course a map.
- Smithsonian Animal Encyclopedia– While we do a lot of research on the computer and I know that’s the way of the world I still want my kids to have the skills to research information in books. So this is our main animal science spine we use when learning about animals that are common in a certain state/area.
- Children’s Encyclopedia of American History – As we learn about each state we will use this to learn about a few historical events.
- The United States Cookbook– I am calling this a must have because I do feel like cooking is an important real-life skill for kids to learn. This cookbook gives fun and silly facts and a recipe for each state, either something they are known for or something made from an ingredient special to that state.
Get a Couple Types of US Maps
- Scrunch Map – We keep this in our morning basket to reference and it is great for on the go too.
- Wall Map– Of course, you need a good wall map to locate states, point out capitals, and view the shape.
- United States Shower Curtain– Yes I did it, I took my favorite pretty farmhouse shower curtain and swapped it out with this bright u.s map shower curtain and the kids love it, it is just a simple way to immerse them into the learning.
- Laminated U.S. Placemats– These can be used for review at breakfast, take to restaurants, or in the classroom. As we learn each state I will go back and have the kids find the states I call out, mark off capitals on the black and white side, and identify bodies of water, etc.
Add Some Fun Games to Learn With
We play games anywhere from 2-5 times a week, I think they are a great learning tool that helps your kids absorb information that they might otherwise not retain.
Choose a Few Extras
While not necessary we have found these to be a super fun addition to our studies
- United States Coloring Book
- 13 American Artists Children Should Know –Take note of each artist home state and include that in your studies as you cover that state.
- 50 States Activity Book– There is not an activity correlating to each state in here but it is fun for brain breaks, car rides, or just to change it up while still offering an educational benefit.