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What Is in My State?

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Summary

Students will describe and compare the environments, different places, and understand how an environment affects human communities.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will describe and compare the environments, different places, and understand how an environment affects human communities.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art

Grades

  • Second grade
  • Third grade

Class Time

Sessions: One
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 0-45 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Pairs

Terms and Concepts

  • Development
  • Physical features
  • Basic knowledge of their state's history
  • Settlement

Materials

  • Copies of "What is in My State" worksheet (page 21), one per student
  • Large-lined paper for each student
  • Crayons or markers

Preparations

  • Review lesson.
  • Review your state's development process since its first settlement.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/300-305.pdf.

  1. Have students list on the lined paper the physical features of the area in which they live (trees, sand, buildings, water, etc.).
  2. Ask the students to figure out why people would move to areas with these physical features (water for fishing, trees for wood to make houses, etc.).
  3. Through teacher-directed questions, students determine with a partner how an area's development is affected by its environment.
    • If an area is cold and snowy, what will people do to live there?
    • If an area is very wet, what will people do?
    • If an area has many trees, what will people do?
    • If an area is covered by sand and is very hot, what will people do?
    • If an area is near a river or a large body of water, what will people do?
  4. Give each student the "What is in My State" worksheet (page 21). They will draw what their state was like both before and after settlement. (If time permits, students may write about what caused the change and why they think people settled in their area.)
  5. Students will be assessed by drawing and explaining what their area was like before it was settled by people, and then after. They need to include at least three physical features in the pictures.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Students may cut out pictures from magazines that show different regions and then compare their features.
  • Students can explore outside with a teacher, collecting items that are appropriate to remove (leaves, seeds, rocks, bits of grass), and discuss as a group if it could have been there before or after they began attending school.

Use the worksheets and class participation to assess whether the students have met the lesson objectives.

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • Enable learners to use, interpret, and distinguish various representations of Earth such as maps, globes, and photographs, and to use appropriate geographic tools
  • Encourage learners to construct, use, and refine maps and mental maps, calculate distance, scale, area, and density, and organize information about people, places, regions, and environments in a spatial context
  • Help learners to locate, distinguish, and describe the relationships among varying regional and global patterns of physical systems such as landforms, climate, and natural resources, and explain changes in the physical systems
  • Guide learners in exploring characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • Have learners describe how people create places that reflect culture, human needs, current values and ideals, and government policies
  • Provide opportunities for learners to examine, interpret, and analyze interactions of human beings and their physical environments, and to observe and analyze social and economic effects of environmental changes, both positive and negative
  • Challenge learners to consider, compare, and evaluate existing uses of resources and land in communities, regions, countries, and the world
  • Direct learners to explore ways in which Earth’s physical features have changed over time, and describe and assess ways historical events have influenced and been influenced by physical and human geographic features

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students understand and use similarities and differences between characteristics of the visual arts and other arts disciplines
  • Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Effective Communication
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.