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ABCs of Statehood

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Students will create a timeline to display the order in which the 50 states were admitted to the Union. Students will then graph how many states were admitted to the Union during certain time periods and relate any patterns they discover to events in history.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters


  • Students will create a timeline to display the order in which the 50 states were admitted to the Union.
  • Students will then graph how many states were admitted to the Union during certain time periods and relate any patterns they discover to events in history.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art
  • Language Arts


  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Three
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes


  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • Ratification
  • Statehood
  • Symbol


  • The ABCs of Statehood work page (page 20)
  • Statehood Graph work page (page 21)
  • United States of America Map Template (page 28)
  • Craft paper (roll)
  • Rulers
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Reference materials


  • Cut roll paper into 4 foot strips, one per student.
  • Gather reference materials.
  • Copy work pages.
  • Prepare sample timeline with first few states.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at

  1. Display the sample timeline and explain that students will use a chart and other references to create timelines to show the order in which the states were admitted to the Union. Students will list the names of the states in order of their admission, include the date each state ratified the Constitution, and decorate the timeline with symbols from each state (e.g., state birds, state flowers, state trees, symbols from state quarters, etc.).
  2. Distribute “The ABCs of Statehood” work page (page 20) and strips of craft paper. Make blank sheets of white paper available for notes and planning. Allow students 2-3 class periods and/or time at home to complete the timelines. You may wish to encourage students to loosely sketch their timelines in pencil, then trade with a classmate to check each other’s work before using markers and adding illustrations.
  3. After students have completed their timelines, distribute the “Statehood Graph” work page (page 21) and a copy of the labeled United States of America Map Template (page 28). Students should create a bar graph demonstrating how many states were admitted to the Union during eachdecade and then color the states on the map using the colors/patterns indicated.
  4. Work with students to answer the accompanying questions on the “ABCs of Statehood” work page (page 20) based on their graphs and maps, relating the patterns they discover to events in history. The teacher can relate key events, or students can conduct individual research to make these connections.


Students can give oral presentations, using their timelines as illustrations, before displaying them in the classroom or hallway.

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: Mathematics
Domain: 3-5 Data Analysis and Probability
Cluster: Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data.
Grade(s): Grades 3–5

In grades 3–5 all students should

  • describe the shape and important features of a set of data and compare related data sets, with an emphasis on how the data are distributed;
  • use measures of center, focusing on the median, and understand what each does and does not indicate about the data set; and
  • compare different representations of the same data and evaluate how well each representation shows important aspects of the data.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades 3–5

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