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A lesson plan to help in learning the States


Social Studies  


3, 4  


Erin Fridley

Title: Puzzle Pizzazz!

Grade Level: 3-4

Length: 45- 60 minutes

Performance Expectations: Students will associate shapes of states in the US with their names by creating their own design using cut-outs of the states.


Puzzle Maps USA by Nancy Clouse

Worksheet with all fifty states


Markers or crayons

Map of the Unites States

Black construction paper



1. Introduction: The Unites States map needs to be displayed. Point to various states and tell the students what each of the names are. Encourage students to think of the names, but if they have difficulty, then help them..

2. Development: Read the book, Puzzle Maps USA by Nancy Clouse. Review in the book the characteristics unique to certain states which will help them be recognized. Ask the students which states are hard for them to recognize. Discuss with the class that there are some states which touch the water, and there are some which are surrounded by land. Have the students give examples of which states touch water and which touch land. (You may need to help them out in recalling the names). Have students find the state with the most states surrounding it. Discuss which state appears the biggest as well as the smallest. Follow up with the trivia questions in the back of the book.

3. Closure: Review the names of the states and their shapes. Once again, have students say which states’ shapes are more difficult to recognize and which are easiest.

Assessment: Refer back to the book the designs and pictures that were created using the states. Have the students cut out all the states separately (from their worksheet). The students will then create a picture or design of their own using the shapes of the states. Once they have figured out their picture or design, have the students color the states which compliment their picture or design. Have them glue down their ÒcreationÓ on a piece of black construction paper. Once they are done have them make a key that shows each of the states’ names which they used. Have them place the key on the back of the construction paper. Display their creations in the classroom or the hallway.

Adaptations: The assessment may be too difficult for some of the students. Some students could cut out the shape of one state using construction paper. As the book shows, a piece of string or yarn could be attached to make it look like a ÒstateÓ kite.


Clouse, N.L. (1990). Puzzle Maps USA New York: Henry Holt and Co.


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