# Lesson 1: States and Capitals

## Activities

### Activity 1: Capital Clues

Each state in the nation has a capital city. The capital city is where the state government officials conduct their work and hold their meetings. In a later unit, you will learn more about state governments. The capital city is usually one of the largest cities in the state. In the capital city, you will find the state capitol building and the governor's mansion. The governor is the lead official of the state and is elected by the citizens of the state.

Read over the list of states and capitals on the "States and Capitals" page. Your parent will assign you one of the options described below.
Assign one of the following options for your child to complete. Option 2 is more advanced. This activity is intended to be a pre-assessment to evaluate your child's prior knowledge of state capitals. You can encourage him to look through the "States and Capitals" page and do research on the Internet. Help him with any questions he is unable to identify on his own. Don't worry if he does not get them all correct.
Student Activity Page

#### Option 1

For this activity, you will find a list of clues for some of the state capitals on the "Capital Clues" (Option 1) page. Next to each clue, list the capital city and the state where it can be found. Remember to use a comma between the city name and the state name.

You are not expected to know every answer on this sheet. This is just a fun activity to see what you do know about some of the state capitals. If you'd like, you can use the Internet to help you find the answers. When you have answered all the clues you know, fill in the remaining answers from the Answer Key your parent has, and you will learn more interesting facts about state capitals.
Student Activity Page

#### Answer Key:

1. This city is where a historic tea party took place. HINT: This state's name has 4 syllables. (Boston, Massachusetts)
2. The city's name begins with the name of the state where it's located. HINT: The city's name ends with the word "City." (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
3. The city's name means "tiny stone." HINT: The state's name ends in "s." (Little Rock, Arkansas)
4. This state capital has three double letters. HINT: You can visit Mickey Mouse in this state. (Tallahassee, Florida)
5. This capital has a summer month as part of its name. HINT: Two capital cities are possible for this clue. (Augusta, Maine, or Juneau, Alaska)
6. The city's name means "holy faith" in Spanish. HINT: The state was named after a country that borders the United States. (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
7. A capital named after a former president. HINT: Four capital cities are named after former presidents. (choose among Jefferson City, Missouri; Jackson, Mississippi; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Madison, Wisconsin)
8. This city was named after a body of water. HINT: The state's name is only 4 letters long. (Salt Lake City, Utah)
9. The city name is also a popular name for Frenchmen. HINT: The city's name rhymes with "beware." (Pierre, South Dakota)
10. Challenge Question: This city has the same name as a bird from mythology. HINT: The state's name begins and ends with the same letter. (Phoenix, Arizona)

#### Option 2

For this activity, you will solve clues for 8 state capitals on the "Capital Clues" (Option 2) page. Write the name of the capital city and its state next to each clue. Remember to use a comma between the city name and the state name.

You are not expected to know every answer on this sheet. This is just a fun activity to see what you do know about some of the state capitals. If you'd like, you can use the Internet to help you find the answers.
When you have answered all the clues you know, fill in the remaining answers from the Answer Key your parent has, and you will learn more interesting facts about state capitals.

There are 3 additional spaces for clues that you will write. For a challenge, choose the capitals of 3 other states, research them, and make up a clue for each one.
Student Activity Page
Check your child's clues on the three questions he created to be sure they make sense and are accurate for each capital and state.

#### Answer Key:

1. This is where a historic tea party took place. (Boston, Massachusetts)
2. The city's name begins with the name of the state where it's located. (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
3. This city's name means "tiny stone." (Little Rock, Arkansas)
4. This capital has a summer month as part of its name. (Augusta, Maine, or Juneau, Alaska)
5. The city's name means "holy faith" in Spanish. (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
6. A capital named after a former president. (choose among Jefferson City, Missouri; Jackson, Mississippi; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Madison, Wisconsin)
7. This city was named after a body of water. (Salt Lake City, Utah)
8. Challenge Question: This city has the same name as a bird from mythology. (Phoenix, Arizona)

### Activity 2: State Regions of the United States

Materials: colored pencils
The United States can be divided into five distinct regions based on their location:
• Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
• Northeast: Maine, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware
• Southeast: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia
• Southwest: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
• West: Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and California
On the "State Regions of the United States" page, shade the U.S. regions and label the states found in each region. Create a key to designate a color for each region and add a compass rose. Put Alaska and Hawaii in small boxes on the side. You can refer to a U.S. map to help you locate the states in each region.
Student Activity Page
This activity is intended to introduce your child to the regions of the map of the United States and the regions that will be used to study these states throughout this unit. Note that some states can be classified into more than one region, depending on the source, so the state names for each region as used in this unit are provided for your child. If he is not familiar with cardinal directions, you can have introduce this to him and help him decide which regions have each name. He can refer to a U.S. map as he does this activity. Check your child's map to be sure the regions are shaded correctly.

This activity is also intended to reinforce mapping and map key skills.
State Regions of the United States (Answers)

### Activity 3: Geographical Regions of the United States

Materials: colored pencils
The United States can also be divided into geographical regions based on the types of environments found in them. The states do not fit neatly into these regions. These regions are based on the geography of the land. On the "Geographical Regions of the United States" page, shade the U.S. geographical regions. The following descriptions may be helpful:
• Coastal Plain: Area located along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico
• Appalachian Mountains: Eastern mountain range that runs from Maine to Georgia
• Canadian Shield: Area near the Great Lakes that extends into Canada
• Interior Plains: Mostly flat region in the middle of the country — it contains a lot of grassland
• Rocky Mountains: Range of tall mountains in the western part of the country
• Basin and Range: Western area featuring lines of mountain ranges, valleys (basins), and canyons
• Coastal Range: Area bordering the Pacific Ocean
Also label the following landforms and bodies of water:
• Grand Canyon
• Mississippi River
• Rio Grande River
• Great Lakes: Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior
• Pacific Ocean
• Atlantic Ocean
• Gulf of Mexico
Add pictures to the map key that reflect the landforms and bodies of water. If you are not sure where a landform or body of water is found, find information about it online or in an encyclopedia.
Student Activity Page
Check to be sure your child shaded the geographical regions correctly.
Geographical Regions of the United States (Answers)