Our 50 States
Designed for children in grades 1-4, Our 50 States is a one-year U.S. geography course. It features simple lessons with easy-to-follow instructions, full-color photographs and illustrations, and engaging supplemental activities.
How It Works
Our 50 States has a total of 104 lessons for use over one school year (26 units of 4 lessons each). All of the instructions for how to use the material are included in the main book so you do not need a separate Teacher's Manual. The daily instructions are very easy to follow.
You will spend two days studying each state, plus two days on Washington, D.C, and two days on the five major U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.)
The first lesson for each state introduces kids to a variety of places and topics important to that particular state. The second lesson features a song from that state's history and a story that focuses on a real person, a real family, or a real place that is part of the fabric of that state. We have produced audio recordings of all the songs in Our 50 States, which you can stream or download as part of your purchase.
For example, in Ohio you learn how a young farmhand discovered the spectacular Ohio Caverns. In South Carolina, you meet a Gullah family and learn about their faith in Jesus. You also get to hear a Gullah song.
As they study Our 50 States, students will complete their own Atlas Workbook. For each state, they will illustrate one geographic term that relates to that state. They will also complete simple map activities to reinforce what they have learned about that state. A simple Lesson Review book offers questions about the lessons and tests about each region.
Each week we also provide instructions for a family activity related the region you are studying. These projects includes crafts, recipes, and other hands-on activities.
The Books Used
The Our 50 States Curriculum Package includes the four books listed below, enough for one child to complete the curriculum. If you are using the curriculum with more than one child, you can purchase additional Atlas Workbooks or Lesson Review books separately.
- Our 50 States
This book has the lessons to read plus all of the instructions and assignments. It also includes the songs and instructions for the family activities.
- Our 50 States Atlas Workbook
This consumable book has geography activities related to the lessons. We recommend that each student have their own Atlas Workbook.
- Our 50 States Lesson Review
This consumable book has review questions about each lesson and a test about each region. Parents may choose to have younger students answer the questions orally. Older children can write their answers in the book.
- Our 50 States Answer Key and Literature Guide
This book contains answers for the Lesson Review questions and tests. It also includes a guide for the literature titles incorporated in Our 50 States.
In addition to the books, you will get access to stream or download the audio recordings of all the songs.
We recommend seven works of literature to read along with the lessons in Our 50 States. Each book is set in a different region of the country.
- Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson (New England)
- The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz (Mid-Atlantic)
- Soft Rain by Cornelia Cornelissen (South)
- The Story of George Washington Carver by Eva Moore (Midwest)
- The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White (Rocky Mountains)
- Philip of Texas by James Otis (Southwest)
- The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver by Thornton Burgess (Pacific)
An assignment checklist and other supplemental downloads are available.
What Parents Are Saying
Absolute Favorite Subject
Asking Me to Do More Geography
About the Author
Mary Evelyn Notgrass McCurdy was homeschooled by her parents, Ray and Charlene Notgrass. She is now a wife and homeschool mom. Mary Evelyn (aka "Mev") is the co-author of the Our Star-Spangled Story curriculum, author of Katy and Katy's Box, creator of the Walking In series, and founder of the Homeschool Dramatic Society.
Photo by Olivia Merritt Photography