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Find the State


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Here’s an interesting social studies integration activity sent in by Janet Bremer from North Canton, Ohio.  4-5 

Background: Do you have a large map of the United States painted on your school’s blacktop? If so, here’s an interesting social studies integration activity that we use with our 4th and 5th grade students.


- A large map of the United States painted on the blacktop area. If you do not have a map, a 16′ x 27′ stencil can be purchased from Peaceful Playgrounds ( for $149. This is a neat project that will take about 4 hours to complete.
- 50 polyspots (numbered #1-#50)
- 50 tongue depressor sticks (with a different state name written on each stick)

Set-Up: the polyspots on the large map on the 50 states. The stick are placed under the polyspots.

How We Do It: Each of the students selects a polyspot and takes the stick out from under the polyspot. They read the name of the state and are given 30 seconds to sit on the polyspot covering the state.

Are You Sure? Final Answer? When all of the students are seated, the teacher asks “Are you sure?” This allows any students who are uncertain to seek help from a “neighboring state.” Students are allowed to move to another state at this time. Then the teacher says “Final answer?” This gives the students one last chance to move.

State Roll Call: One-by-one the students say the name of their state. If a student is on an incorrect state, the class helps him to find the correct location on the map. At the end of this round, all of the sticks are returned to the original polyspots. To begin another round, the students walk around the map and select a new polyspot on the teacher’s command.

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