Monday, March 24, 2014

Guest Post: Katie Lately, States and Regions Freebie

 Hey Everyone! It's Katie from Katie Lately. I am so excited to be guest blogging at ATUE today! I am currently teaching 5th grade in the North Texas area.  Our main focus in 5th grade is American History...but we start the year with States & Regions. I wasn't too impressed with the one week worth of material I had to pick from so I decided to get creative and develop my own. The States and Regions unit is a 6 week unit about the 5 different regions and the states that form them. We end the unit with a big research project about a state. I can honestly say, from start to finish...this was SO MUCH FUN! 
My full unit is in my TpT store for you to check out, but I wanted to explain how I used all this in my classroom and give you a freebie! I started off by contacting each states tourism department and requested a free travel brochure for each state. I have a crate in my room that I store all of these in. (Except Connecticut who is the only state to go paperless) Then I checked out all of our State Books from the Library and stored them on a cart in the back of the room. Finally, I found maps (that for the most part came with each travel brochure) and a few websites that I made available to my kids. I kept all these on hand throughout the duration of the unit. 

Week by week we went through a region of the US. Each region had their own journal pages my kids added to their SS Journals. I decided to set up my room in stations and my kids used the resources I listed above and moved around my classroom to find information. It took about 2 class periods for them to get through the stations and find the information each week. As they finished, I gave them the Region Word Search for that week...and they loved those! 

At the beginning of the week, we talked about the states in a particular region, and we labeled them on our Study Guides. These are not mine, but I wanted to link them as a resource if you'd like to use them too.  They come from Teacher Vision and are free! Just do a search for each of the 5 regions and you'll find them all! I also used this same page as weekly quiz. 
Finally, to culminate this unit, we did a big State Float Project. I knew I didn't want to do a research paper. Let's face it...I always hated writing them myself, so I wanted to make this fun. I created an A-Z State Floats Notes packet for my kids to turn in as their research. For each letter of the alphabet, I came up with something I wanted them to research. {Examples: C=Capital, H=Historical Event, L=Landforms} My kids really seemed to enjoy this type of research and I enjoyed grading it! The other part of the unit was to construct a State Float (like a parade float) I had seen these projects floating around on Pinterest and knew I wanted to try it out. They turned out so cute!!! We set them up on display in our Science Lab for a few days and let other grades parade through and check out our floats.
 I am linking my State Float Project with examples for all the ATUE readers! I hope you enjoy this unit as much as we did and will be able to use this in your classroom too! 

If you have enjoyed the State Float Freebie and would be interested in implementing the full States and Regions Unit in your classroom, head on over to my store and get your very own! :)


1 comment:

  1. I'm super stoked to try this. I'm a Third Grade teacher and it is in my curriculum to teach regions and states. It was a big struggle for me last year as a first year teacher and I am looking forward to having more time to plan this out.


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