US States and Capitals the Easy, Fun Way to Learn


Drag the puzzle piece to the correct place on the map.

New United States Map with Major Cities, States and Capitals
     

Fifty US states, of various shapes and sizes, can be a bit overwhelming to learn,

so we have divided the US States and Capitals Map Puzzles into five regions of the US.  Learning the states in each region separately can make the states much easier to learn and to understand.  Start your child with the region that includes the state you live in.  If there is a connection in your child’s life with a particular region, “Here is where Grandma lives” or “We lived here when you were born” tell them about it.
     Each of the US regions map puzzles is the same as it is in the map puzzle of the US, except for the Northeast, which is enlarged, making this area bigger than it is on the full US map.  We have done this because some of the northeast states are so small that they can be difficult to distinguish on a map of the entire US.  Once these states are familiar, it is easier to see them on a complete map.  The map puzzle of the entire US states and capitals is here.
     The division of the US into regions tends to be somewhat arbitrary.  While we follow the National Geographic, other organizations divide the states up in different ways.  Regions are defined by their climate, culture, geography, economy, etc.  Also, some states don’t really belong very exactly in their category (Florida), or belong equally well in two different categories (is Oklahoma part of the Midwest, or the Southwest?)  For these reasons, it does not seem wise to ask kids to memorize which states are in each region.  What students need to know are the states, their capitals, and where they are on the map of the United States, which gives clues as to their climate, land forms, etc.

Some hints about the states in the US map puzzle:
     *states are generally larger as you go west (earlier states were smaller)
     *the really small states are in the Northeast
     *states with 2 or more straight lines as their borders tend to be in the west
     *states with wiggly lines, especially running north-south, tend to be on the Mississippi river.
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