State Signs

State Signs Lesson Plan

Create a welcome sign for your state! Explore the symbols and unique qualities of your state and design a shiny sign to welcome visitors as they cross over the border.

  • 1.

    One of the great things about living in the United States is the vast array of landscapes, wildlife, environments and cultures that make up the country. Each state has its own unique qualities that make it different from any other state. Students identify some features in their home states that make them unique. Create a list of students contributions on a classroom white board using Crayola Dry Erase Markers.

  • 2.

    Organize students into small groups. Challenge students to research more information about the state in which they live. What’s the state bird? Is there an official color of your state? Does your state have a nickname or slogan? How did the name originate?

  • 3.

    Students show how proud they are to live in their home states by designing a Welcome Sign for visitors. Using Crayola® Metallic Colored Pencils, children write the name of your state on a piece of white paper in large letters. Encourage students to be creative!

  • 4.

    Suggest to groups that they feature some of the researched fun facts that makes the state unique. Surround the state’s name with symbolic illustrations so visitors can easily see what makes the state special. Fill drawings with bright, shiny Crayola® Metallic FX Crayons!

  • 5.

    Provide students with the opportunity to share their signs with the class and discuss how the symbols incorporated into the drawing represent the state.

Standards

  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SS: Identify examples of institutions and describe the interactions of people with institutions.
  • SS: Give examples of the role of institution in furthering both continuity and change.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: National Geographic Kids United States Atlas by National Geographic; The Everything Kids' States Book: Wind Your Way Across Our Great Nation by Brian Thornton; The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller
  • Encourage students to investigate states other than their own home state so that when the project is complete, the class will have a complete set of states to display in the classroom.
  • Have students take digital photographs of each state welcome sign. Upload the files to a classroom computer. Each student will audio-record a description of their state posters and explain the symbols chosen to advertise the state, as well as explain the state motto. Attach the audio-file to the appropriate digital photo. Have the computer set up for parents' night and parents can listen to their children share their work.
  • Invite students to consider composing new mottos for each state. The new saying must be connected to some history of the state and students will need to provide an explanation of why they chose to give the state the new motto.