U.S. Geography Lesson Plans and Resources

Last updated 4-20-2017.



Index: U.S. Geography Resources, Collections of Lessons, General Misc. Lessons, 50 States, U.S. Regions, Rivers, Great Lakes, Lessons for Specific States, District of Columbia/U.S. Territories, Cities

 


Didn't find it here? Try a Google search!

US Geography Resources:
U.S. Census Bureau
State facts, information, and teaching materials for all grade levels.

United States Guide
From National Geographic. See also
National Geographic Bee.

Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States
Online version of the John K. Wright's 1932 atlas.

Rand McNally
Maps, directions, etc.

U.S.A. Geography
Map games.

Geography of the United States
From About.com
.

U.S. Geography
From Fact Monster.

Collections of U.S. Geography Lessons
US Geography Lesson Plans
Many lesson plans and resources from Mr. Donn.

50 State Quarters Program
Many U.S. geography lesson plans for all grade levels from the U.S. Mint.

Geography of States of the United States
Many lesson plans and resources from AAA.

Smart Exchange
Several lesson plans and resources for U.S. geography.


General/Misc. U.S. Geography Lesson Plans
U.S. Geography
A lesson plan from the USCIS for low/beginning literacy level.

Geography Twister
A lesson plan for grades 3-5 in which students learn U.S. geography through physical activity.

Building America
An elementary lesson plan in which students learn about iconic U.S. buildings.

Geography of the United States
A 7th-grade lesson plan from Core Knowledge.

The United States/Mexico Border
A high school lesson plan from National Geographic.

Understanding U.S. Geography and Weather
Teaching guide and poster for grades 4-6.

50 States
Fifty States
From ProTeacher, this site offers resources and lesson plans for teaching about the 50 states. Click on Lessons by State to access information for teaching about a specific state. See also United States Geography for a long list of resources and links from Geography World.  

50 States, Five Lessons
Five lesson plans for a variety of grade levels.

Geography lesson on 50 States
A lesson plan for grades 2-3.

I Wanna See the 50 States
A lesson plan for grades 2-6 involving song and graphics.

State Names
A lesson plan for grades 3-8.

50 States Research Project
A lesson plan for grades 4-8.

The Fifty States Geography Unit
For 5th grade.

State Nicknames: The 50 States
A lesson plan involving the use of audio files and an mp3 player.

Teacher Guide to 50 States of America
Lesson plans, worksheets, and information. See also 50 States and Their Capitals for all 50 states and their capitals, flags, maps, etc.  For information about and large pictures of each state's flag, see allstates-flag.com. Click on State Flags in the menu.

50 States and Capitals
Activities and materials.
For more information on each state, go to Stately Knowledge from The Internet Public Library, Explore the States from America's Library, and 50 States Research Project from the Lesson Plans Page.

Eat Your State
An elementary-grade lesson plan in which students make land resource maps out of food.

Explore Your State with Maps
A K-2 Lesson plan from National geographic.

Geographic Regions
Regions of the United States
Lesson plans for teaching all 50 states! From Mr. Donn.

Regions of the U.S.
A 4th-grade lesson plan.

Regions of Our Country
An elaborate sample lesson plan from Social Studies Alive.

Regions of the United States: A Geographic Perspective
A middle grade lesson plan from National Geographic.

The Northeast
A unit with 12 lesson plans.

U.S Geography: Midwest
A lesson plan for grades 3-5 from Discovery. See their other lesson plans for the Northeast, South, and West.

Defining Regions of the United States
A high school lesson plan.

Great  Lakes
Great Lakes for Kids
Lesson plans for grades 4-8. For more information on the Great Lakes, go to The Great Lakes Information Network or The Great Lakes: An Environmental Atlas and Resource Book.  

Great Lakes Watershed
Free Great Lakes Curriculum. You will have to download a pdf copy.

Teach Great Lakes
Materials and Lessons.

Teaching Great Lakes Science
Many lesson plans from Michigan Sea Grant.


Lake Effects Curriculum
The Lake Superior Curriculum Guide for Grades K-8

Paddle to the Sea
An activity from the Gulf of Maine Aquarium using the book Paddle to the Sea by Holling Clancy Holling. Among other things, it examines the effect of the Great Lakes on local weather patterns and compares water surface areas of the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Maine. 

Lake Superior Watershed Floor Map Activity
A lesson plan on the Lake Superior Watershed. See also Mapping Topography and Watersheds. If you are doing an integrated unit on Lake Superior, take a look at Fish and Fisheries, Minnesota's Historic Shipwrecks, Lights of Lake Superior, and the Great Lakes Information Network.  

These Lakes are Great
A lesson plan from Learning to Give. See also Great Lakes At Stake.

Great Lakes Lesson Plan
A web-based lesson.

Lake Erie Scavenger Hunt

U.S. Rivers
Mississippi River
Lesson plans on the importance of the Mississippi. For background information about the Mississippi River, go to the Mississippi Headwaters Board.  

Mississippi River
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 from the DiscoverySchool.com.

The Mighty Mississippi
Several lesson plans from Education World.

Big River Journey Teacher's Guide
Classroom Activities from the National Parks Service.

A River of Lessons
Several lesson plans from Education World.

Blue Beads of the Missouri River
A lesson plan for grades 5-8.

Hudson River Lesson Plans
From the N.Y. Department of Environmental Conservation.

Rivers of Georgia
A lesson plan complete with maps.

Dams that Tamed Arizona's Rivers
A 4th-grade lesson plan.


The Columbia River: A River of Power
Background information and a lesson plan.

Hoover Dam
A lesson plan from the National First Ladies' Library.

GIS: Mapping the St. Lawrence Seaway
A lesson plan from the Utah Education Network.





Lesson Plans for Specific States

A Study of the Physical Regions of Alabama
A 4th-grade lesson plan.

Alaska and the Yukon Lesson Plans
Links to many lesson plans and resources. See also Explore Alaska for three scavenger hunts of Education World.

Alaska Map Quiz
From ProTeacher. See also Arctic Animals of Alaska.

Teaching from Objects and Stories: Learning about the Bering Sea Eskimo People
Three lesson plans from the Smithsonian Institute.  

Let's Travel: Travel Brochures of Arizona
A 4th-grade lesson plan. See also Map Your State: Regions of Arizona or go to the Arizona Geographic Alliance for many other lesson plans.

Arkansas Natural heritage Commission - Education
Scroll down the page and click on a topic to find resources and lesson plans.

California for Educators: Geography Resources
Lesson plans and resources for grades 3 and 4.


California Regions
See also California Gold Leaf Postcards and American Journeys: California.

Colorado Geographic Alliance - Lesson Plans
Lesson plans for all grade levels in pdf format.

Connecticut and Its Place in the World
A 4th-grade lesson plan from the Wallingford Public Schools.

Connecticut Indian Mariners Project Lesson Plans
Five lesson plans for grades 3-5. Not completely geography-related, but it sure looks interesting.

Delaware Geography
A worksheet from Education.com. See also The NorthEast.

Where Do I Live in Georgia?
A lesson plan for grades 2-3.

Five Landform Regions of Georgia
An elaborate lesson plan. See also Georgia Regions. and Georgia Studies Lesson Plan - Mod 3.

Florida Annotated/Illustrated Map
A lesson plan for elementary or middle grades. See also Florida Annotated/Illustrated Map Lesson Plan.

Everglades National Park Curriculum Materials
Resources and activities. See also Everglades Foundation Teacher Toolkit.

Hawaii: Teaching about the 50th State
All sorts of lesson ideas from Education World.   

Early Hawaiian Migration
An elaborate unit.

My Own Private Idaho; Using Social Studies to Explore Idaho
A lesson plan for grades 4-8.

Cities and Towns of Idaho|
A lesson plan from the Idaho Historical Society.

Illinois Geographic Alliance
Many lesson plans for all grade levels though not all about Illinois.


American Journeys: Learn About Illinois
A 4th-grade unit.

Nibble Indiana
A 4th-grade geography lesson plan.

Geographic Alliance of Iowa
Lesson plans for a variety of grade levels.

What Is the Location of Kentucky Agriculture?
A lesson plan for grades 3-5. See Kentucky Proud Lessons for additional lesson plans. The geography lessons are at the bottom of the page.

Louisiana Geography
Many lesson ideas from Louisiana History.

Louisiana Geography Units
Two 3rd-grade units. See also Louisiana Regions.

Osher Map Library (University of Southern Maine)
Online lesson plans including Intro to Maps, Transportation and Maps. and Travel and Tourism. See also Maine.

Maryland Historical Society Lesson Plans
Many history lesson plans. See also Maryland: Portrait of the States for a 4th-grade lesson plan.

Color Massachusetts
An elaborate lesson plan for the early elementary grades. See also Massachusetts Study Project for more lesson plans.

Michigan Road Trip
A middle-grade lesson plan in which students use map skills to gain basic knowledge of the borders and cities of Michigan.

Michigan's Upper Peninsula Road Map
A 4th-grade unit.

Living in Minnesota!
A hypertext essay written for students who are doing state reports on Minnesota.

Lake Agassiz
Would this lake have been the ultimate fishing spot? Read this hypertext essay and decide for yourself. See the Lesson Plan and Worksheet developed for use with this essay.


Where in the World Is the Northwest Angle?
A brief lesson plan in  which students
learn about  the Northwest Angle's location, history, and people.

Tracking the T-Wolves
An ongoing intermediate-grade activity designed to take advantage of students' interest in professional sports to help them learn about the first of the five themes of geography: location, particularly the location of U.S. and Canadian cities having NBA teams. Though this activity is designed for Minnesota students and follows the travels of the Minnesota Timberwolves (the state's NBA franchise), it could easily be modified for other states or cities with professional sports teams.

Minnesota Map/Quiz
A printable version of a basic Minnesota geography quiz using a completion format. See also Minnesota Word Search for a word search puzzle on Minnesota cities and towns.

Minnesota Road Trip
An intermediate to middle-grade lesson plan exploring four of the five themes of geography (location, place, movement, and regions) as they relate to Minnesota through the detailed planning of a seven-day trip around the state. Though this lesson plan is specific to Minnesota, the lesson concept could be used for teaching the geography of any state.

State Unit Study - Minnesota
Designed for homeschoolers, this site from About.com provides an interactive unit complete with printable maps and worksheets. See also Minnesota - North Star, the state of Minnesota's home page. For lesson plans on other states, go to Lessons by State.  

Geography of Mississippi
A lesson plan for grades 7-12.

Missouri Geography and Ecology
A lesson plan for grades 5-7.

Mapping Montana, A to Z
A lesson plan for grades 4-6. See also Montana Tribes Lesson Plans.

New Hampshire Activities
From Apples 4 the Teacher. See also New Hampshire

New Hersey History and Government
Many lesson plans in word format including New Jersey Geography.

Geography of New York State
This resource provides a great deal of information that could be used to develop a lesson plan.

Our Community's Geography: New York City
A 2nd-grade unit for gifted and talented students.

The Erie Canal
A lesson plan examining how the geography of New York and the Great lakes region affected trade in the 19th Century.

Nevada Map Quiz
From Enchanted Learning. See also Hoover Dam Teacher/Student Learning Packet.

Tortoise Terrain
A 6th-grade lesson plan in which students learn about the biodiversity of the Mohave Desert.


The Old Mormon Fort: Birthplace of Las Vegas, Nevada
A lesson plan from Teaching with Historic Places.

North Dakota
Lesson plans, worksheets, and quizzes from ProTeacher. See also North Dakota Studies.

Mapping Physical and Social Features of Oregon Counties
A lesson plan for grades 5-10. See Oregon AITC for more lesson plans.

Maps of Pennsylvania
Several lesson plans, mostly for elementary grades.

State Unit Study - Pennsylvania
From About Education.

Comparing Rhode Island's Size
Not a lesson plan, but interesting information and picture from the Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance.

Regions and Places in South Carolina
A 3rd-grade lesson plan complete with historical background.

Daily Geography
From the South Carolina Geographic Alliance, these daily questions were developed to help students learn about South Carolina geography.

Dakota Pathways
This South Dakota history series offers videos, lesson plans, and quizzes, including some that are geography-related. See also Road Trip USA: South Dakota Geography Lesson.

Tennessee: It's Land and People
A lesson plan for grades 3-9 from the Tennessee State Museum.

Mountains, Mussels, and Moonpies
A lesson plan exploring Tennessee's resources and physical features.

Regions of Texas
A 4th-grade lesson plan.

Texas Archive
Two geography lesson plans and one activity.

Keep Texas Wild: One State Many Places

Print a copy and have your students complete the activity. Scroll down the page for other activity guides.

Updated Vermont Geography Book
Physical and cultural geography.

Exploring Virginia's Geographic Regions and Features
A 4th-grade lesson unit. See also Virginia Studies.

Utah's Geological History
A 5th-grade lesson plan. See also Landform Discovery Lesson Plan.

Washington State diversity: Three Geographical and Cultural Regions
A secondary lesson plan.

Washington State Historical Society Teacher Resources
Units and lesson plans for all grade levels, some of which are geography-related.

A State of Convenience: The Creation of West Virginia
Learning activities from West Virginia Archives and History.

Traveling in Wisconsin
An elementary-grade lesson plan from the Wisconsin Historical Society. See also Passport Ready? Then Let the Adventure Begin.

Wisconsin
Lesson plans, worksheets, maps, and a wordsearch from ProTeacher.

District of Columbia/U.S. Territories
District of Columbia and U.S. Territories
Lesson plans for grades K-6 from the U.S. Quarters Program.

The Virtual Tour of Washington, DC  
An interactive tour of our nation's capital.


2010 Census U.S. Virgin Islands
Lesson plans and resources from Scholastic.

St. Croix Virgin Islands Online Curriculum
"An Interdisiplinary Thematic Unit for the United States Virgin Islands"

2010 Census Guam
Many lesson plans including Guam     Lesson 2: Where We Live and Mapping Districts. See also Guampedia Lesson plans.

Puerto Rican Studies for Kids
Information, activities, printables, and quizzes for an elementary unit. See also Geography of Puerto Rico.

Statehood for Puerto Rico? You Decide!
A high school lesson plan. 


2010 Census American Samoa
Lesson plans and resources from Scholastic.

A Polynesian Story
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 from National geographic focusing on American Samoa.

U.S. Cities

U.S. Cities Lesson Plans
From Lesson Corner.

Urban Growth in America
A lesson plan for grades 9-12 from Discovery Education.

City Life and Country Life
A 3rd or 4th-grade lesson plan using the KWL method to help students learn about differences between city and country life.

Top Ten Cities
A lesson plan for grades 3-5 in which students "
become familiar with the location and some of the other characteristics of the ten most populous cities in their state, province, or country."

Create a City: An Urban Planning Exercise
A lesson plan for grades 4-8 from the Arizona Geographic Alliance.

Atlanta Travel Lesson Plans
From Scholastica Travel.

Baltimore as a Port of Entry
A lesson plan from the Maryland Historical Society.

Birmingham: The Magical City
A 4th-grade lesson plan about the founding and growth of Birmingham, Alabama.


Boston Harbor Islands
Lesson plans from the National Park Service.

Great American Cities: Exploring Chicago
A lesson plan from the National First Ladies' Library.

Carl Sandburg's "Chicago": Bringing a Great City Alive
A lesson plan from EDSITEment.

Detroit Unit Plan
A unit for upper elementary grades.

Frontiers to Factories
Lesson plans from the Detroit Historical Society.

The Old Mormon Fort: Birthplace of Las Vegas, Nevada
A lesson plan from Teaching with Historic Places.

Mapping Los Angeles Over Time
A high school lesson plan.

The Making of Milwaukee
Curricula, stories, interactive lessons, etc.

Rollin' On a River: Using the Mississippi River to Study the Geography of Memphis
A middle-grade or high school unit.

Learning from Miami
Many lesson plans. See also Marlins Think Tank: Lesson Plans.

New York City Lesson Plan
From Teachnology. See also
New York City Photo Tour and Lesson

New York City: Center of the World
A Teacher's Guide from PBS.

New York, New York
A 6th-grade lesson plan.

The New York City Subway System
A lesson plan from Education World.

Rivers of Steel: Seeing Pittsburg
Three lesson plans from Rivers of Steel Heritage Area.


People and Places in Philadelphia
Many resources. 

Mapping Portland 1600-1900
Interesting elementary-grade lesson plan from the Maine Historical Society.

Saint Louis Geography and History
Resources for a lesson plan from Campbell House Museum.

Using Primary Documents: The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
A lesson plan from PBS. See also The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.

The Great Seattle Fire
Online curriculum materials.

Chamber of Commerce Directory
Find information about many cities.

 

Return to Main Index

  Please let me know if you find a link on this site that no longer functions. My name is
Edmund J. Sass, Ed.D.
You can reach me at

esass@csbsju.edu