United States of America: An Exploration

U.S. Geography Lesson Plans and Resources

Free United States geography lesson plans and resources for K-12 teachers!
This page was scanned for broken links and updated on 12-3-2023.

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

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

U.S. Geography
A lesson plan for the intermediate grades.

United States Guide
From National Geographic.

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 Thought.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.

United States of America (USA)
Many lesson plans from the Royal Geographical Society

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.

United States of America: An Exploration
A lesson plan from the Royal Geographic Association.

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

The Border: Resources for Teaching
Many lesson  plans for teaching about the U/S. - Mexico border.

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.

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

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.

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.

Capital Ideas for (Teaching State Capitals)
From Education world. See also State Capitals.

Teacher Guide to 50 States of America
Lesson plans, worksheets, and information. For other lesson ideas go to Stately Knowledge.

Eat Your State
An elementary-grade lesson plan in which students make cookies in the shape of their state.

Geographic Regions
Lesson Plan for the
Five Regions of the United States
More of a resource for lesson planning than an actual lesson plan.

Unit of Study: Regions of the United States
For grade 4.

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

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.

Great  Lakes
Great Lakes Facts  for Kids
A good resource. For more information on the Great Lakes, go to The Great Lakes Information Network.

Great Lakes Now
Many lesson plans for grades 3-8 from PBS.

Great Lakes in My World
A FREE k-12 curricul and lesson plans from the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

Teaching Great Lakes Science
Lessons and activities organized into four modules.

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
A lesson plan from the University of Minnesota using the book Paddle to the Sea by Holling Clancy Holling.

Lake Superior Watershed Floor Map Activity
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.

Erie Scavenger Hunt

Mostly about the city, not the lake.

U.S. Rivers
Mississippi River
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 from the DiscoverySchool.com.
For background information about the Mississippi River, go to the Mississippi Headwaters Board.  

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.

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

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

The Greatest Dam in the world: Bulding Hoover Dam
A middle school lesson plan from the National Park Service.

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

Lesson Plans and Resources for Specific States

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

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

Ideas teaching about Alaska for grades 3-8 from Scholastic.

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 American Journeys: Learn about 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.

Geography Resources for Teaching Georgia Students
Many resources including Georgiaa Studies Road Trip.

Five Landform Regions of Georgia
An elaborate lesson plan. See also Georgia Regions.

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

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

Creating Hawii
Four lesson plans for a variety of grade levels from the Smithsonian.

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

I Know Idaho
A 3rd-grade lesson plan integrating literature and social studies. See also All About Idaho.

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

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

Regions of Indiana with Salt Map Acrivity
A 4th-grade geography lesson plan.

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

Kentucky Geographic Alliance
Lesson plans and classroom tools.

Kentucky WebQuest
From Bellarmine University.

Louisiana Geography
Many lesson ideas from Louisiana History.

Osher Map Library (University of Southern Maine)
Downloadable resources including worksheets and lesson plans. You may have to enter your zip code to access the page. See also Maine.

Maryland Historical Society Lesson Plans
Many history lesson plans.

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

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.

All About Minnesota -  State Facts
Designed for homeschoolers, this site includes facts and links. See also Minnesota - North Star, the state of Minnesota's home page. For lesson ideas, see Minnesota{ A State Unit Study.

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

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

Montana Today: A Geographical Studies Lesson Plan
For grades 4-6.

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

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.

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.

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

Geology, Geography, and Climate -
A Web-based unit from  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.

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
Teacher resources and materials.

All About Rhode Island
From the Home School Mom.

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 1-12 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.

Utah's Geological History
A 5th-grade lesson plan. See also Utah's Geography and Physical Attributes of Utah.

Vermont as it was 200 Years Ago
Many lesson plans, a few of which have to do with geography.

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

Washington's Diverse Climate and Geography
Not a lesson plan, but a good resource.

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.

Wisconsin Geographic Alliance
Many lesson plans for grades 5 and up.

Traveling in Wisconsin
An elementary-grade lesson plan from the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey
Five lesson plans.

District of Columbia/U.S. Territories
The Virtual Tour of Washington, DC  
An interactive tour of our nation's capital.

U.S. Capital Visitors Center
Thirteen lesson plans.

A Landmark Lesson: The United States Capital Building

A lesson plan for grades K-5.

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

Guampedia Lesson plans
Many lesson plans about Guam.

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

2010 Census American Samoa
Lesson plans and resources from Scholastic.

U.S. Cities

Cities, Towns, and Villages
An intermediate-grade lesson.

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

City Life or Country Life
An 11th-grade lesson plan.

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 to prepare for a school trip.

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

Chicago: Choice and Changes
A unit for 3rd grade English and Spanish. See the entire Burnham Plan Centennial curriculum and other lessons.

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

Frontiers to Factories
Lesson plans from the Detroit Historical Society.

Erie Scavenger Hunt

Mostly about the city, not the lake.

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.

Perceptions of a Place: Los Angeles California
An activity for grades.

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.

Miami Marlins Teacher Lesson plans
Several lessons for grades 4, 5, and 6.

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

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

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

Historical Society of Philadelphia
Educational resources including lesson plans.

Greater Philadelphia GeoHistory Netwok
|A teacher's guide for grades 3-5 covering standards for both geography and history.

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 including lesson plans.

Chamber of Commerce Directory
Find information about many cities.


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