Lesson 7: Alaska and Hawaii

Getting Started

Materials: "Timeline of American History"*
Two states joined the United States at a much later date than the first forty-eight: Alaska and Hawaii. These two states are unique because they are not geographically connected to any of the other states.

If you are using the "Timeline of American History," add the date when Hawaii became a U.S. territory (1900) and when Alaska was purchased from Russia (1867).

Stuff You Need

  • "Timeline of American History"* (optional)
  • Smart About the Fifty States: A Class Report by Jon Buller
  • construction paper* (Activity 3 - Option 2)
  • crayons, markers, or colored pencils* (Activity 3 - Option 1)

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

Ideas to Think About

  • How do the different regions shape American culture?
  • How does the history of a state shape its culture?
  • How does the environment affect the people who live in a region?

Things to Know

  • Hawaii and Alaska are located in different geographical locations than the other forty-eight states.
  • Temperatures in Alaska are very cold.
  • Hawaii has a tropical climate.


  • Identify how energy is passed from one organism to another. (S)
  • Describe a variety of environments found 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 extend his journey beyond the continental United States to the states of Alaska and Hawaii. Ask your child what he already knows about Alaska and Hawaii.
Reading and Questions
Materials: Smart About the Fifty States: A Class Report by Jon Buller
Read about the states of Alaska and Hawaii in Smart About the Fifty States.
There are no tasks with the readings today because you are making an "About" page for both states.