Lesson Plan

Travel USA (Developed by the Red Line EdTech Gurus PLN)

Students will become “experts” about one of the 50 states and will be able to present their information to classmates in the form of a book made with Book Creator (iPad app). At the conclusion of this project, a “library” of sorts will be created for fut
Cathy P.
Media specialist/librarian
Pope John XXIII School, Evanston
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts

Students will be able to...

From this activity students will be able to:

conduct research on one of the 50 U.S. states

become more familiar with writing and creating informational text

provide a resource for other students that provides factual information on geography


CCSS: Common Core Tags: RI.4.9, RI.4.10, W.4.4, W.4.6

NETS: 1B, 2B

Illinois State Standards--Social Studies : 16A1B


Social Studies
Grades 2 – 4
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Conversing

Teacher Instructions:  Teacher begins by posting a map of the US.  Question posed to students: “How many states have you visited?”  As students respond, have them walk up to the map and put a stamp or a sticker on those states.  As the responses come to a conclusion, have the students make some conclusions as to how many states have been visited, how many states have not been visited and what seems to be the most popular states to visit.  Ask students to consider why they think certain states have been more frequently visited.  (Possible answers include:  modes of transportation, location to home state, popular vacation destinations,etc.).


map--printable in large size


Google maps--do the activity digitally


Student Instructions

Student Instructions:  Students will respond to teacher’s question, place their stamps on the maps and engage in conversation regarding travel and the 50 states.

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Exploring

Students and teacher collaboratively create a template with questions to help guide their research.  These questions will be put in the form of a template that can be given to each student.  

One example of a template to guide research:  http://www.education.com/files/532001_533000/532564/learn-youu



States will be assigned to students in a random fashion using Random Name Generator (using state names in lieu of student names).   http://www.classtools.net/random-name-picker/


Teacher demonstrates the app Book Creator - showing students some of the features available making sure that each student is able to add text, pictures and pages.  


For resources students can use the internet, library books, atlases, etc...


Suggested Web Resources:





Student Instructions

Students and teacher collaboratively create a template with questions to help guide their research.  These questions will be put in the form of a template that can be given to each student.  

3 Guided Practice

Book Creator
Free, Paid

Teacher will supervise the students creating their title page, that includes a title, image (with citation), author and new page.

Student Instructions

Students will create their Title page using Book Creator App

4 Independent Practice

Book Creator
Free, Paid

Teachers will assist students as needed to complete the pages of their book.

This activity can be adapted to meet the needs of individual students.

Student Instructions

Students will complete their book following the questions on the template provided using their individual interests and research to make a unique product.

5 Wrap-Up

Have students save their final book, created in Book Creator, to iBooks so that it can be shared among classmates.

Wrap Up Exercise: Create a star graphic organizer(examples can be found at : http://www.eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/ )

--like a wheel with spokes-- with the state name in the middle so each child can add an interesting fact they learned about the various states. This can be used as a informal summative assessment.


Student Instructions

Students will share their knowledge through a Book Gallery, share a QR code (using Inigma or Google Shortener), or participate in a center to learn about all the states.

Students will share their findings by filling out the star graphic organizers for each state.