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Social Studies Lesson. By: Nickie Ketcham and Patty Towns. Ed 417-01 October 23, 2001 Third Grade. The United States Map At A Glance. Grade Three. Objectives: Students will be able to…. Locate the United States on a globe. Piece together a map of the United States.

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Social Studies Lesson


Nickie Ketcham and

Patty Towns

Ed 417-01

October 23, 2001

Third Grade


The United States

Map At A Glance

Grade Three

objectives students will be able to
Objectives:Students will be able to…
  • Locate the United States on a globe.
  • Piece together a map of the United States.
  • Estimate the distance from Ohio to other states.
  • Identify major geological formations and state parks.
  • Decide, as a group, the most efficient route to travel between states.
materials needed
Inflatable globe




Large Construction Paper

State templates

U.S. floor map

8x10 U.S. maps

Teacher addition of geological formations and state parks

Notebook paper


Materials Needed

Maps On Us: A Map, Route and Yellow Pages Service

SocialStudies Planet - The SocialStudies Web Guide

 Fun SocialStudies - States and Capitals Blank Outline Maps of the Countries and Continents of the World

student activities
Student Activities
  • Globe Trotters
  • United States Collage
  • Map Hop
  • Major Stuff
  • Rat Race
activity 1 globe trotters
Activity #1Globe Trotters
  • Have students stand in a circle.
  • Toss in an inflatable globe, making sure it flips.
  • When students catch the globe, they must locate the United States.
  • Continue until all students have had a turn.
  • Note: If you have more then one globe, make more than one circle to shorten time.
activity 2 united states collage
Activity #2United States Collage
  • Provide each student with a magazine, scissors, a pencil, glue and a piece of construction paper
  • Each group should have set of state templates.
  • Have the students find random pictures to cut out state shapes.
  • Once all the states shapes are cut out, the students need to piece together a map of the United States.
  • Glue the map to the construction paper and display!
activity 3 map hop
Activity #3Map Hop
  • Gather students around floor map of the United States.
  • Ask, “Where is Ohio?” and have one student stand there.
  • Have students take turns leaping from Ohio to specific states. Make sure students count leaps.
  • Ask follow up questions about the relationships of distances between states. (farther, closer, longer, etc.)
activity 4 major stuff
Activity #4Major Stuff
  • Give each student an 8x10 map of the United States.
  • Have them label the state parks and geological formations we talk about in class on these maps.
  • Make sure they keep these on hand for the next activity.
activity 5 rat race
Activity #5Rat Race
  • Have students get in groups of four or five.
  • Each group receives a secret state.
  • Challenge each group to find their way back to Ohio, citing how they will travel, what states they will go through, and any geological formations or state parks they will pass on the way.
  • Have them estimate the distance and length of time their travels will take.
  • Groups will report their decisions to the class.

Globe Trotters

Please get into a circle at the front of the room.

united states collage
United States Collage
  • Find pictures from the magazines at your table.
  • Using the state stencils, trace the state onto the picture and cut it out. Do this for all 50 states.
  • After you have cut out the 50 states, glue them in the correct position to form the U.S. map on your construction paper.

Map Hop

Let's go


major stuff on the maps in front of you label these places
Smokey Mountains

Rocky Mountains

Yellow Stone National Park

Grand Canyon

Great Salt Lake

The five Great Lakes

Washington D.C.

Disney World


Mount Rushmore

Death Valley

New York City

Dayton, Ohio

Major StuffOn the maps in front of you label these places:


rat race
  • Your group will be given a secret location in the United States.
  • Your job is to find your way to Dayton, Ohio.
  • You must identify all important places that you will pass along your way.
  • You must also estimate the length of time and distance that your group will travel and what transportation you used.
  • You can use all the resources needed. Hint: You might want to take a look at Major Stuff.


The end