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What’s a State Blitz and Should You Be Having One?

This little adventure began with me asking students if they could name the capitol of their state when I by happenstance was watching a classroom for a few minutes while the teacher stepped out. Do you know I called on seven….SEVEN…children before one could identify the capitol of their own state. The children I asked were of the age that they should have known this. Further, I work in a good school! They all lived in the capitol to make matters worse. Before you develop an inflated view of the school you teach in, I challenge you to pose the same question to your students to see what they say.

After asking children this question, I was prompted to do a Geography Bee. Too, this supported the teachers who are teaching an exhaustive reading curriculum with very little time to teach science or social studies. Round one was to name all of the states. Only one student out of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade was able to accomplish this. Less than 10 students named 40 or more states. Now for the whopper–more than 30% of students weren’t able to identify their own state on a U.S. map!! Could this be happening where you live, too?!

As a result, I borrowed some older children the last few days of school to do a blitz of our state all over the building. I had 40 state cut out-outs, and about 20 maps. Then I had children color them on a U.S. map. My helpers were so cunning that they even plastered a few outside the school building! See some examples below so that you can maybe make your very own state blitz.

Side note: I also love this video which shows the 50 states while they are highlighted during the song.

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