Beacon Lesson Plan Library

U.S. State Reports

Sheila Sexton


This project engages students in actively researching a given U.S. state. It allows students to use different forms of technology to assist them in their quest for information.


The student understands the impact of geographical factors on the historical development of civilizations.

The student uses mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments.


-U.S.State Report Checklist with description of items needed for research report
-Copies of examples of different types of state poems
-Posted list of 2 to 3 URL addresses for each state
-Formatted disks for each student
-Computer rotation schedule
-Copies of U.S. State books
-At least 5 copies of refrence software such as Encarta '98 CD's
-Several copies of clip art CD's for the computers
-Five computers, color printer, and a scanner
-Presentation software such as PowerPoint


1. Prepare U.S. report checklist.
2. Gather appropriate software materials.
3. Prepare a list to be posted in the classroom of URL addresses for all 50 states.
4. Prepare/post computer rotation schedule.
5. Prepare sign-up sheet for extra computer time before school.
6. Gather and check out state books from the library.


1. Begin the study of the U.S. by assigning state reports, going over the criteria and information needed to complete the research project. See Associated File below for more information.

2. Design a computer rotation schedule where five people rotate on and off the computer each class period. Each student should be able to be on the computer at least three times. (A total of 3 hours each.)

3. Complete a brief review/demonstration of how to use the presentation software and Encarta '98.

4. Have an instructional pamphlet for the presentation software placed next to each computer for students to use as a reference when they are working on their presentations.

5. Check to see that every student has his/her Internet permission slip forms signed and goes over the rules for Internet use.

6. Point out the URL addresses that are posted throughout the classroom for their use as a good starting point for finding information.

7. Begin teaching state location, regional climates, weather patterns, historical time periods, etc. to the whole class. Students who are on the computer doing research are responsible for making up missed assignments.


Asess this activity through observation, which focuses on the students' use of class time for research. Formatively assess students throughout the 5-week unit on map locations, state capitals, abbreviations and historical information covered. The final assessment is the state report. Use a check list format for the assessment instrument.

Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.


Modifications: Students who need a little one-on-one help can sign up for extra computer time before or after school.

Web Links

Web supplement for U.S. State Reports
The Fifty States

Attached Files

File Attachment.     File Extension: pdf

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