Lesson 1: States and Capitals

Getting Started

Today you are going to begin your study of the fifty states. Can you name all of the states you have visited? What do you remember about each one? The fifty states are all unique, yet each state is in some way related to the others. States distribute their resources and products to other states. You would be surprised at how many items in your home were grown or manufactured in other states across the country. Although each American is a citizen of the state in which he or she lives, we are all Americans. This bond connects each person who lives in our amazing United States.

Stuff You Need

  • "States of America" card game
  • colored pencils

Ideas to Think About

  • What relationships exist among the regions and states in the United States?
  • How are the regions within the United States similar and different?
  • What is the relationship between a state's citizens and its capital city?

Things to Know

  • The states can be divided into five regions: Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, and West.
  • The land of the U.S. can be divided into geographical regions: Coastal Plain, Appalachian Mountains, Canadian Shield, Interior Lowlands, Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, Basin and Range, and Coastal Ranges.
  • Every state has a capital city where the government for the state operates.
  • The spelling of capital is different for capital city and capitol building. When you use an "o," it is referring to the building, not the city.


  • Translate geographic data into a variety of formats such as graphs and maps. (SS)
  • Describe a variety of regions in the United States. (SS)
  • Compare and contrast the physical and cultural characteristics of regions within the United States. (SS)

Introducing the Lesson

Tell your child that today he will begin his study of the fifty states in our country. Ask him to share information he has learned in the past about the states and any states your family has visited.