Six FREE cumulative quizzes make it easy to teach and learn US geography. Start with easy-to-identify states, then build up until students can label all of them.
I developed this system because I noticed that most students (in any grade) do not know basic U.S. geography. Rather than teaching geography by region, I decided to teach by ease of memorization. Level 1 features states that are easy to pick out on the map, usually because of location or shape. Easily mixed-up states are on higher levels, but students have no trouble learning them because they already know most of the states by then. The tests also ask students to learn bodies of water, neighboring countries, and the Great Lakes.
The tests are cumulative. For each level, new states are indicated by a large question mark and previously learned states by a smaller question mark.
For level 3, teach students two tricks: MIMAL is the name of the chef shown in profile on the map. The states are Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Minnesota is the hat, Louisiana is the boot, and Missouri is the belly.
For the Great Lakes, teach students that Super Man Helps Every One. From left to right, the lakes are Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario.
U.S. Geography Challenge master goes on the back of each quiz.
Copy the U.S. Geography Challenge page on the back of each map. One page covers the whole unit. For extra credit or a treat, students can fill in the states for upcoming lessons. The US Geography Challenge page gives postal codes for each state. I recommend students use those codes on the map. It’s easier than squishing in state names and a good way to learn the postal codes.