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Social Studies Unit Outline: United States History and Geography

1. Topics
a. American Revolution
b. Explorers (ex. Christopher Columbus)
c. What country was founded upon
d. Constitution
e. 50 states and their capitals
2. For my topic I chose to focus on students learning the 50 states and their capitals.
Students will not only learn the states and their capitals but what makes the state and its
capital unique such as the food its known for, its music, or even monuments.
3. After learning the 50 states and their capitals students will pick a state to conduct their
own research on. Students will use the questions below to help them in their research and
at the end create a project, along with a short paper, showcasing what they have learned.
A. What makes the students particular state unique and different from others?
B. What stands out about it?
C. What is it known for?
D. What can we see and experience there?
E. How was the state founded?
4. A student with special needs simply means that this particular student just learns
differently. To address these students I would offer a variety of ways for them to learn
about the states and their capitals such as reading about it, watching a video about it, or
even learning a song. For students that are struggling a bit more I would make sure to
pair them up with a student who is excelling so they may help the struggling student. I
would also conduct one-on-one sessions to fully ensure the content is being absorbed.
5. Students will learn and know the 50 states and their capitals and as each individual does
more research on their specific state, they will become proficient in the states
information such as its history, food, culture, and types of experiences. By the end,
students will be able to learn how culturally different and similar states can be.


Will learn the 50 states and

their capitals
Will learn what makes each
state unique
Will compare and contrast
the state they learned about
to the state they live in
Will learn about how each
state was founded
Will learn about what types
of cultural experiences one
can have when visiting this
state ( food, music, venues,
monuments, museums


Will use various

methods of research
such as books and
the internet to
gather information
about the state
Videos to learn
about the 50 states
and their capitals
Songs and readings
to also learn about
the states and


What would
you do if you
visited said


What is

Who are some

current officials in

was the

States and

What are some state

facts and their

Explore the
visitors can

types of
foods is
al known

What significant events

happend in this

The reasoning behind students doing all this research on a specific state and its
capital is so students learn the history of not only the United States as a whole, but how
the states developed as well. Its important for students to know how each state operates
and the officials who help keep the states thriving. The goal of the unit is for students to
realize that each state is different and unique and that though some states may be similarmaybe in their beliefs, food or the way they operate- each state essentially has its own
culture and way of living. To show their knowledge and research on their specific state,
students will conduct a presentation about what they learned and giving real life
examples (such as bringing in food or playing music) from their state to show other
students what they have learned.
Students should be using resources such as the Internet and books to also
help with their research and comprehension skills. Along with the presentation,
students will write a brief paper of 3-4 paragraphs explaining what they learned and
their experience with the project. By using the presentation students are also practicing
their oral/speaking skills, and through the written portion they are practicing their research



State capitals

Want to Know


What to do for
What is the
state known
What sports
teams are

10. Social Studies Standards:

5.9 Students know the location of the current 50 states and the names of their
English Language Arts Standards:
2.0 Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials):
2.3 Discern main ideas and concepts presented in texts, identifying and assessing
evidence that supports those ideas.
2.5 Distinguish facts, supported inferences, and opinions in text.
1.0 Writing Strategies:
Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays. The writing exhibits the
students awareness of the audience and purpose. Essays contain formal introductions,
supporting evidence, and conclusions. Students progress
through the stages of the
writing process as needed.
1.3 Use organizational features of printed text (e.g., citations, end notes, bibliographic
references) to locate relevant information.
2.3 Write research reports about important ideas, issues, or events by using the
following guidelines:
a. Frame questions that direct the investigation.
b. Establish a controlling idea or topic.
c. Develop the topic with simple facts, details, examples, and
1.0 Listening and Speaking Strategies
Students deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly and
to the background and interests of the audience. They evaluate the content of oral
1.6 Engage the audience with appropriate verbal cues, facial expressions, and
1.8 Analyze media as sources for information, entertainment, persuasion, interpretation
of events, and transmission of culture.

Students will be able to learn the 50 states and their capitals

Students will become proficient in the knowledge of a specific state
Students will learn about the specific state and its history and what they are
known for

12. Students will demonstrate their new knowledge of their specific state through a presentation
and a written report. Students will be given the opportunity to give a presentation in front of the
class and other visitors to show/tell us about everything they learned. The presentation can come
in any form such as a PowerPoint, a poster board, a travel booklet, a postcard with information or
a video. The point of the presentation is for students to practice their oral/speaking skills. Along
with this will be a written report where students will demonstrate their written knowledge of the
To also ensure that students know all 50 states and their capitals, a test will be given at
the end of the project consisting of multiple choice, true or false, and fill in the blank.
13. This unit will be one big project leading up to the day where students will present what they
have learned. Along the way however, mini lessons will be given to ensure students are on tract
and learning. Students will learn the states according to their region so each week will be
dedicated to students learning the states capitals to that specific region.
As a class students will learn the 50 Nifty United States song where they will
learn the states in alphabetical order
Games of jeopardy will be played for students to learn the states and their capitals
Students will create their own crossword puzzles and switch it with other students
that will ask questions about the states and their capitals
Each day students may share out what they are learning about their state/capital
Each day students will be given a question regarding a state where they are to
write their answer on a post-it note and place it on the map of the United States
and answers will be shared out at the end
Students will be given a blank map of the United States and they will work in
teams to color the map and write the correct capitals in the correct state
14. I would use online games for students to learn the states and their capitals but also for
them to conduct their research on.

Dow, L. (Adapter). (2010, June 24). Fifty Nifty United States [Video file]. In
Youtube.com. Retrieved from
Selak, B. (Adapter). (2009, November 28). Wakko's 50 State Capitols with
Lyrics/Subtitles [Video file]. In Youtube.com.
Charles, B. R. (n.d.). Fifty States- Ideas for Teaching, Resources for Lesson Plans,
and Activities for Unit Planning. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from
Instant Online Crossword Puzzle Maker. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2016, from
Cleveland, W., Alvarez, M., & Nation, T. (1997). Yo, Sacramento! Brookfield,
CT: Millbrook Press.
Keller, L. (1998). The scrambled states of America. New York: Henry Holt.
Martonyi, E. A., & Olson, E. (2007). The little man in the map: With clues to
remember all 50 states. Woodland Hills, CA: Schoolside Press.
States Teacher Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2016, from
Educational, D. (n.d.). Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational. Retrieved
October 30, 2016, from
Olson, B. E. (n.d.). Fifty States Quiz. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from