Puzzle Map

This is Our World

Object Type: Interactive

Puzzle Map

Media: This is Our World

Students can get lots of practice in state recognition with this 50 state drag and drop activity. Even in the largest classes, every student will get a chance to put their hands on the board! Features: zoom and pan tools make it easy to position even the smallest states.

The object of this activity is to correctly place each state on the map. When you click on this activity, a physical map of the United States will appear on screen. Puzzle pieces of each state will appear in a box at the lower left of the screen. Click or grab the state shape and then drag and drop it onto the map where it belongs. There are tools on the lower right side of the screen to make the activity easier. You may use the magnifying glass to zoom in or zoom out on a certain part of the map. This may be necessary with the smaller East Coast states to ensure proper placement. You may use the "hand" button to move the map around on the screen. Click on the "hand” and then click on the map to move it in a different direction (note: you must zoom in before moving the map because it does not move on the screen at its normal size). When you click on the puzzle piece of a state, the state name will appear in the information box. When you correctly place the state, it will stay on the map and you will hear a "ding." If you do not correctly place the state on the map, the puzzle piece will move back to the box, you will hear a "swoosh" sound.

This activity can be used for a whole class, in pairs/small groups or individually.

  • All: Begin the activity by watching the video "This Is Our World." Whole Class: Call students up one at a time to drag state to its correct place on the map. (Decide if students will get more than one attempt to correctly place their state.) Or have students each draw their state name out of a bucket and then place that state in the correct spot. Another option is to have students assign each other states "popcorn" style by calling on the next student and assigning the state (e.g. Billy would go and then say "Andrew, Kansas"). Pairs/Small groups: Have students take turns randomly picking a state to move or challenging the others with a state. The group that gets the most correct wins. Or divide the class into two or more teams and have a race where several students work together to see how quickly they can correctly place all of the states. Teams try to beat each others' times.
  • After practicing this activity as a class or in small groups, give each student a blackline master of the U.S. map and have them correctly write the name of each state in the proper state.

    Social Studies: Have students make a "State Information Sheet." They will draw their state (or choose another state of interest) at the top of a page and then list important information about that state like date of statehood, state flower, etc. Music: Learn the song "Fifty Nifty United States" to help remember the names of the states in alphabetical order. This song is in the last chapter of the video "This is Our Government."