Lesson 4: The Midwest

Getting Started

The Midwest, or the American Heartland, is made up of the states in the middle of the country. Many factories can be found in the Midwest, and it is also known for its agriculture and the Great Plains. The winters can be harsh in the Midwest. Fewer people live in the Midwest than in the Northeast.

Stuff You Need

  • Smart About the Fifty States: A Class Report by Jon Buller
  • journal

Ideas to Think About

  • What relationships and interactions exist between the state regions of the United States?
  • How are the state regions of the country similar and different?
  • How do the different regions shape American culture?

Things to Know

  • The Midwest is known for its manufacturing and agriculture.
  • The geography of much of the Midwest is prairie land, and the weather can be cold and windy.
  • The Midwest is sometimes referred to as the Heartland of America.


  • Evaluate the effects of supply and demand on business, industry, and agriculture. (SS)
  • Describe the absolute and relative location of major landforms, bodies of water, and natural resources in the United States. (SS)

Introducing the Lesson

Tell your child that today she will head west on her journey across the country to the region called the Midwest.
Reading and Questions
Materials: Smart About the Fifty States: A Class Report by Jon Buller, journal
Read about the states in the Midwest in Smart About the Fifty States. On the "Midwest Resource Map" page, illustrate or list a resource or two that can be found in each of the states listed below. Some of the information for these pages will come from the book Smart About the Fifty States, but you should also use other sources such as the Internet or an encyclopedia.
  1. North Dakota
  2. South Dakota
  3. Illinois
  4. Indiana
  5. Iowa
  6. Kansas
  7. Nebraska
  8. Missouri
  9. Minnesota
  10. Wisconsin
  11. Ohio
  12. Michigan
The Midwestern States
Student Activity Page
Look over your child's resource map and discuss the various resources that come from the different Midwest states.