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Need some US Geography ideas for co-op!

Sue G in PA

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I'm teaching US Geography this month at our co-op (6th-8th graders). We are studying the Mid-Atlantic States (NY, NJ, PA, WV, MD, DE and Wash. DC). Besides filling in maps for each state, studying places of interest, history, etc...I'm at a loss! Class is 1.5 hours long or thereabouts. I need something FUN, engaging, hands-on, etc. Any ideas?

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1. Have them design a travel brochure or make a commercial about why people should visit that state.


2. Research and report on a famous person from that state.


3. Have the students come up with items to represent the agricultural and industrial commodities in that state. Then play a game where they try and trade with each other to get what they would need for the people in their state to function. Which state needed to "import" the least items? Which state needed to "import" the most? Which state had something that nearly all the other states needed? Which state didn't really have anything that another state needed? Are there any products that all of the states have in common? Is there anything needed to survive that none of the mid-Atlantic states could provide to each other?


4. Plan a 5 day vacation to one of the states. What places would you visit? What route would you take to get around in the state? Where would you spend the night? You could even have the kids draw a random dollar amount out of a hat, then plan a vacation using only that amount of money. Research entrance fees to attractions, hotel/motel fees, gas cost, tolls, etc.

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