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Social Studies
Grade: Elementary

#2014. States and Shapes

Social Studies, level: Elementary
Posted Wed Nov 15 20:46:17 PST 2000 by Alicia Jill Martin (
Indiana University of Pennsylvania,
Materials Required: scissors, markers or crayons, map of the United States, construction paper, glue
Activity Time: 45 minutes
Concepts Taught: There are 50 states in the United States of America. They all have different sizes and shapes.

I. Rational and Background
The purpose of this lesson is to allow students to work together and learn about the shapes of 50 states. As a part of the unit on the 50 states of America, this lesson focuses on associating shapes of states in the United States with their names. It is important for students to recognize the shape of each state, which aids them in distinguishing the name of the state.
This lesson incorporates discovery learning into the classroom. This type of learning allows the student to learn by doing. Instead of telling students a rule, principle, or concept, the teacher sets up conditions in the classroom so that students may discover it on their own. The previous lessons in this unit have covered geographic locations of the United States in which each state is found. This provides the students with confidence to study the United States and their shapes.

II. Objectives
1. TLW identify which states are hard for them to recognize.
PI: Working in small groups of four, students will identify out of the fifty states, the states that they find hard to recognize. The group will then list the states in order from most difficult to just difficult to recognize.
2. TLW demonstrate that they can work as a team to accomplish this task.
PI: By working cooperatively in groups of four, they achieve the saying:
T- together

The students will pick a state that they find difficult to recognize. They will draw the state on construction paper. After each student in the group has completed a drawing of the state, they will combine their drawings to form a picture.
3. TLW recognize that there are some states which touch the water, and there are some which are surrounded by land.
PI: The students will give examples of which states touch water and which touch land. The students will work with their group to discuss which state appears the biggest and which state appears the smallest. They will record the results.

III. Resources:
* scissors
* markers or crayons
* map of the United States
* construction paper
* glue

IV. Concepts and Skills:
1. There are 50 states in the United States of America. They all have different sizes and shapes.
2. There are some states which touch water, and there are some states which are surrounded by land.
3.Group work can be made efficient by equally distributing tasks among students.
4.Each student in the group has a duty to make sure the assignment is completed.

V. Procedures
A. Introduction and motivation

1. The purpose of this lesson is to further our knowledge on the different sizes and shapes of our states. We shall focus on the states that are most difficult to recognize.
We are going to find out which states are touching water, which are surrounded by land, and which state is the biggest and which is the smallest.
2. We shall use a map of the United States as our information resource. This is a group project and the students must work together to accomplish the task assigned to them.
3. The group work will be evaluated by the picture they create from the states that they have decided to draw. After the group has finished their project, they may use the time left to walk around the classroom and glance at the creations by the other groups.
B.Lesson Body
1. We have been learning about where in the United States is each state found. We have learned about geographic locations of the states. I will ask the students questions to recall information previously learned.
What state is the farthest north?south?
What state is the largest?smallest?
2. Today we are going to learn to associate the names of the state to the shape. In other words, we are going to find ways to remember the name of the state by looking at its shape. Your job today is to list the most difficult states that are hard to remember by their shape. I will divide the classroom in 5 groups of 4 so that we can accomplish the task by sharing the responsibilities.
I am putting you into groups. The entire classroom will stand in the front of the room. The first group will sit in the right back, the third group right front, the fourth group left front, and the fifth group in the middle. I will make sure everyone is in their groups before I continue.

3. I will go over what is expected of each group.
First, you must decide in each group who will be recorder that writes down the information.
Second, each person in the group will identify a state that they find difficult to recognize by their shape.
Third, each person in the group will draw the shape of the state they want to recognize. On the front of their state they will write the name. The students in each group will combine their shapes to create a picture. Once they have figured out their picture or design, the students will color the states to compliment their picture. The students will glue their creation on a piece of black construction paper.
Finally, the group shall display their creations in the classroom or the hallway. The students will save time at the end of the lesson to view the other groups creations.
4. Does anyone have any questions on what is expected?
5. The students may begin making their lists.
6. The students will begin to draw their shapes of the states they have selected.
7. While students are working, the teacher will walk around the classroom to observe and give aid to the students having trouble.
8. The teacher will tell the students to bring the finished picture to her desks. If the work is satisfactory, the students will display their creation out in the hall. The students who finish their project will walk around and view the creations of the other groups.
C. Closure
Now let's look at the names of the states and their shapes. Once again, have students say which states' shapes are more difficult to recognize and which are the easiest.
The students will tell which states they decided to draw and put into their picture. Do the states vary or are they similar?

The teacher will mention about the cooperative effort observed.
Now we will have a classroom clean-up. The students are responsible for making the area in which they created as neat and organized as possible. They should leave it the way in which it was found.

VI. Evaluation
A. Student Assessment Plan
1. The teacher will assess group learning informally. He/she will walk around the classroom observing the work. The students should be working in collaboration with their classmates.
2. The projects will be assessed by the following titles, which are worth 10 points each: creativity, thought and planning, and presentation of the project.
3. The teacher will look at the result list from each group to see if they answered the questions correctly.
B. Evaluation of student assessment
C. Self-Evaluation