Preparing for Our U.S. Geography Unit

With our previous Social Studies unit winding down, it's time to start looking ahead to our next unit on the Northeast Region.  They're already had a taste of U.S. Geography back in November, when Neil Nichols of the Geography Game Show came in to wow them with his talk/mural drawing:

Yes, he drew the whole United States from memory while giving us tricks to remember dates and landmarks!

And to keep their interest piqued I showed them this amazing video from Marbles the Brain Store:

When I was a kid, I thought the Animaniacs singing the states and capitals was the BEST.  This one is like that, just a little bit more "current." And the kids beg me to play it every week during our computer lab time.  Just today when they were getting ratty with each other (they need to get back to outdoor recess FAST) I interrupted another one of their hissy fits arguments with, "Hey, want to hear a song from our blog?  We can use those new speakers."  They dropped everything and asked, "Can we do the states and capitals?" 

Before I knew it they were happy, dancing, and singing along.  Woo!

In order to prepare myself for the kickoff to our unit, I'll be updating my old concept maps.  I love them for organizing information for a big content area concept.  I also hope to show you our first project by then.  It's a fairly quick pre-reading activity, but it makes a big impact because we leave it up and build on in for the rest of the year.

If you'd like a preview of the activities I'll be writing about, check out my bundle of all 5 regions units.  It's full of activities and research tools.  Enjoy! 
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