Lesson 1: US State Unit Study

Lesson 1: Focusing on the regions, we are beginning a geography study of the United States.

My goal for this unit study with my 9 year old daughter is for her to learn the 50 states and capitals, major geographic features and differences in climates that affect the way people live in each of the following regions.

New England
Mid Atlantic
Appalachian Highlands
Pacific Coast
Alaska and Hawaii

To begin we read two Babar books  - Babar Comes to America and Babar's USA. In both books Babar the elephant travels around America visiting famous cities and monuments. Reading the books while looking at a US map she became familiar with a few major cities.

Next we read the short and sweet book Tulip Sees America by Cynthia Rylant. Farming regions, mountainous regions and other climatic differences are introduced while traveling across America in this book.

Honestly, I had some trouble finding a spine book for this unit. The best I found was Kids Learn America!: Bringing Geography to Life With People, Places & History (Williamson Kids Can!) I really enjoyed this book back in 2007 when I first began homeschooling my now 14 year old daughter. I have fond memories of doing crafts and activities with the book. There are several activities that are associated with Earth Science concepts such as latitude and longitude which are very worthwhile, but my youngest has already participated in an in-depth Earth Science study.

In addition, my 9 year old is quite artistic and driven by craft activities. Although the book does contain crafts, most of them did not motivate her. Finally, like other books designed to teach kids about the 50 states it feels disconnected. Often, states are described with a bunch of facts based on history. I would prefer a book that connects people to land and climate with associated activities, but have not found such a resource. Therefore, we are mostly reading story books set in each of the geographic regions which I will describe in upcoming posts.


  1. If you are not already familiar with them you might want to check out the state books and other titles published by Sleeping Bear Press. We love these books and there are study guides available on their website to go with many of the titles. The study guides are free to access. We have used parts of several of them as we have read through some of the titles. http://sleepingbearpress.com/ is their main page.

    1. Thank you. We have most of the Michigan Legend books and I love them. In fact tonight, the illustrator will be at our local library and we are super excited. I will check out their other books.

  2. I should have also mentioned that my little granddaughter age 3 and I will be following this theme and doing a very modified version of it. Looking forward to seeing what you all are doing. I enjoy your blog.


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