Teaching Geography with Children’s Literature: The Scrambled States of America

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 The Scrambled States of America is a hilarious and adorable book about the fifty states, and their desire for exploring other areas of the United States.  The states have gotten tired of their neighbors and monotonous daily routine, and want to meet other states.  Kansas and Nebraska decide to have a party and invite all of the states.

“So, with a little help from their neighbors, Missouri and Iowa, those wacky little midwestern states planned the biggest party ever… At last the big day came, and little by little the states arrived at the party… Within minutes after their arrival the states began making friends with each other.”

At the party, Virginia and Idaho decide they would like to change places to see other parts of the US.

” ‘ Yes,’ Virginia chimed in. ‘Then we thought maybe all of you might want to try it, too.’  A wave of excitement swept through the room.  They could hardly wait.  Immediately the states made their plans to switch places.  They said their good-byes, and went directly home to pack.”

While the switch and new places were exciting at first, it didn’t take long for the states to miss home.

“Alaska, who had been wanting a little more interaction with the other states, was irritated by Oklahoma’s handle jabbing into his left side and Michigan’s thumb tickling his right.”

Soon enough the states decided they wanted to switch back, and packed their bags and made their way home.

“That night, all the states in the country went to bed feeling happy about the new friends they had made but, most of all, feeling very thankful to be home.”

Curriculum Connections:

 This story is a cute way to introduce the VA Geography SOL 1.4, 1.5, and 1.6 to students, as it will familiarize them with the proper placement of the fifty states on the US Map, as well as some of the characteristics of and products of those states.

Additional Resources:

This lesson plan for sixth graders is a way to incorporate this book into a secondary classroom looking for an interactive way to study the 50 states in depth.

This teacher blog is full of many ideas for teaching the states to your students.

Use this video and song to teach the 50 states to your students!

General Information:
Book:  The Scrambled States of America
Author/Illustrator:  Laurie Keller
Publisher:  Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date:  October 15, 1998
Pages:  32 pages
Grade Range:  K-2 Grade
ISBN-13:  978-0805058024