Sunday, January 16, 2011

US Geography: The 2nd and 3rd grade Version

We study the 50 states around here in 2nd and 3rd grade. We usually get through 25 the first year, and 25 the second. Works out well :)

So Jelly Bean did the first 25 last year and is working on the second half this year. We are in the "New" states right now.

I have been using most of the following resources since Flower started homeschooling in 3rd grade in 2008, but I have picked up a couple things new this year. We generally study Geography every day, but it is only for 10-15 minutes a day.

We usually start out the week reading about the state from this book, Children's Illustrated Atlas of the United States. It is pretty good. It was advanced reading for her when she was in 2nd grade but doesn't have any problems reading it this year.

Then we will go to studying the State Quarter. I will usually get a coloring page from this site and information about the quarter from this site.

On another day, she will usually color the state and other state information from this book. (I actually picked up my book from a garage sale for FREE. Woo-hoo! Love little deals like that!)

On the same day that she colors in the Dover book, she also colors the state flag and other state information from this site.

On Thursday, she will usually spend a few minutes looking at the state on the Discovery Map (shown below.) The kids found this map at the thrift store for $1.00. The map has viewholes over each state and you can dial through and see one of six themes: Capital, Scenery, Landmark, Person, Fun Fact 1, and Fun Fact 2. You use the attached magnifier viewer to look at the viewholes. My kids really like it.

She will also usually do an activity or two from the US States Kit from Montessori For Everyone. We are BIG fans of Montessori For Everyone and have many items from them. (The image below is from the Montessori For Everyone website.)

On Fridays, she will take out all the states out of the Montessori US Map Puzzle except for the one that she is working on and then put the puzzle back together. Last year, she would put the pieces in the control map when she took them out. This year, she mixes the pieces up on the table and then puts the pieces back in. After that, she takes out the state that she is working on and traces the state that she is working on on a 5" x 5" (inset) paper. She is compiling a state book.

So that's it. That's how we study US States here at Montgomery Academy!