Lesson 5: The Southwest

Getting Started

Some sources indicate that there are only four states in the southwest region of the United States: Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. What this region lacks in number of states, it makes up for in history and land size. The Southwest is known for its warm and dry climate as well as its amazing desert terrain.

Stuff You Need

  • Smart About the Fifty States: A Class Report by Jon Buller
  • journal
  • permanent marker or paint pens* (Activity 2 - Option 1)
  • terra cotta-colored clay

* - denotes an optional material that may or may not be needed

Ideas to Think About

  • What relationships and interactions exist among 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

  • States in the Southwest include Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.
  • The Southwest has influenced the country with its art and architecture, which is inspired by Native American and Mexican culture.
  • The weather in the Southwest is typically warm and dry.


  • Describe a variety of regions in the United States. (SS)
  • Describe ways people have adapted to and modified their environment in the United States, past and present. (SS)
  • Identify ways people use natural resources to meet their basic needs. (SS)

Introducing the Lesson

Explain to your child that today his adventure will take him to the Southwest. This region of the United States has an especially unique culture influenced by the earliest Americans (Native Americans).
Reading and Questions
Materials: Smart About the Fifty States: A Class Report by Jon Buller, journal
Read about the Southwest in Smart About the Fifty States. As you read about each state, think of three trivia questions you could ask someone about the state. Record your questions and read them aloud to family members. See who can guess the correct state with the fewest clues provided.
  1. Oklahoma
  2. Texas
  3. New Mexico
  4. Arizona
The Southwestern States
Help your child find time to play the trivia game with his family. He will read clues, one at a time, about a state in the Southwest, and family members must guess which state he is describing by listening to as few clues as possible.