Save a State Research and Ad Campaign

Greg English

This lesson will provide students with an interdisciplinary approach to studying the fifty states. Students will use a variety of technology resources to research a state. Using this information, students will create a power-point multimedia presentation to communicate information with classmates. Work will be done in small groups with a focus on technology.
Approximate Duration:  7-9 Forty-five minute classes
Content Standards:
  • Geography: Physical and Cultural Systems
         Students develop a spatial understanding of Earth's surface and the processes that shape it, the connections between people and places, and the relationship between man and his environment.
  • Economics: Interdependence and Decision Making
         Students develop an understanding of fundamental economic concepts as they apply to the interdependence and decision making of individuals, households, businesses, and governments in the United States and the World.
  • G-1A-M1
         identifying and describing the characteristics, functions, and applications of various types of maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies;
  • G-1A-M2
         interpreting and developing maps, globes, graphs, charts, models, and databases to analyze spatial distributions and patterns;
  • G-1B-M4
         describing and explaining how personal interests, culture, and technology affect people’s perceptions and uses of places and regions;
  • G-1C-M2
         identifying key demographic concepts and using these concepts to analyze the population characteristics of a country or region;
  • G-1D-M4
         identifying problems that relate to contemporary geographic issues and researching possible solutions.
  • E-1A-M2
         analyzing consequences of economic decisions in terms of additional benefits and additional costs;
Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs):
  • The World in Spatial Terms
    Grade 5

    2. Compare the uses of different types of maps, including two different types of maps of the same area


    3. Interpret a map, using a map key/legend and symbols, distance scale, compass rose, cardinal or intermediate directions, and latitude and longitude


    4. Locate major landforms and geographic features, places, and bodies of water/waterways on a map of the United States

    Grade 7

    1. Analyze various types of maps, charts, graphs, and diagrams related to U.S. history

  • Places and Regions
    Grade 5

    9. Explain ways in which goals, cultures, interests, inventions, and technological advances affected perceptions and uses of places or regions in Colonial America

    Grade 7

    4. Explain ways in which goals, cultures, interests, inventions, and technological advances have affected perceptions and uses of places or regions in the United States

Educational Technology Standards:  
  • Identify and define computer and networking terms (e.g. modem, file server, client station, LAN, Internet/Intranet, data storage device).
  • Demonstrate the operations of a computer (e.g., touch-keyboarding skills, save, organize and back-up files) and other peripheral devices (scanner, digital and video cameras, VCR, laser disc player) at an intermediate level.
  • Compose and edit a multi-page document with appropriate formatting using word-processing skills. (e.g., menu, tool bars, dialog boxes, spell check, thesaurus, page layout, headers and footers, word count, margins, tabs, spacing, columns, page orientation)
  • Use information, media, and technology in a responsible manner which includes following the school's acceptable use policy, adhering to copyright laws, respecting the rights of others, and employing proper etiquette in all forms of communication.
  • Use technology tools (e.g., multimedia authoring, writing tools, digital cameras, drawing tools, web tools) to gather information for problem solving, communication, collaborative writing and publishing to create products for various audiences.
  • Understand Internet concepts (e.g., website, hypertext link, bookmarks, URL addresses) and apply intermediate on-line searching techniques (e.g., employ keyword, phrases, and Boolean Operators).
  • Determine when technology is useful and select the appropriate tool(s) and technology resources to address a variety of tasks and problems.
  • Research and evaluate the accuracy, relevance, appropriateness, comprehensiveness, and bias of electronic information.
Upon completing this unit, students will be able to successfully complete, but will not be limited to the following objectives:
1. Students will use technology tools to process data and report results.
2. Students will evaluate an area in the United States and present its merits.
3. Students will write an informative media presentation with correct spelling, grammar and punctuation.
4. Students will present a persuasive presentation using a variety of technology resources.
Lesson Materials and Resources:
Pencil or Pen
Student Packets
Technology Tools and Materials:

Computer with Internet access

Microsoft Publisher
Microsoft Power Point
Microsoft Word



Background Information:
Students should have a working knowledge of computers, internet searches, and applications.

Publisher (for creating brochures and other advertisements in promoting his/her state): Students should have a strong working knowledge of this application, or be paired with other students who do.

Word (for writing written report): Skill required on this application is no more than word processing level. Nothing fancy.

Power Point (for creating presentaion): Students should have a general knowledge of how Power Point works. If needed, present a quick mini lesson with a step-by-step handout.

Internet: Students should know how to search the Internet and sort information found online.

Extra - E-mail: There should be at least one student per group with a strong grasp of e-mailing. If students do not have school e-mail accounts, you find it helpful to set up a group account on a site like and give students a mini lesson on emailing as well as a step-by-step handout.
Lesson Procedures:
Pre Planning:
1. Group students (by prearranged table grouping)
2. Assign states randomly. Assigning accelerated students more difficult states (ex. Wyoming, Arizona, Rhode Island, North Dakota, Idaho, etc.) may prove helpful. Assigning states that are less difficult (New York, Hawaii, California, Florida, etc.) may help accommodate students with learning difficulties.
Part 1: Written Report
1. Opening discussion suggestions: Ask students how many different states they have visited in their lives. Which is their favorite state? If they could live anywhere, which state would they choose? Discuss what they know about each of the mentioned states. Why would they like to live there? Point out that some states were not mentioned at all. Explain to the students that this project is designed to help "save a state" by promoting the popularity of that state. In this unit, they will do research, write a research paper, design a Power Point presentation, and create an oral "advertisement" presentation designed to persuade others to move to their state. (See student packet for detailed description of each activity.)

2. Pass out packets (see reproducible).

3. Discuss each activity and due dates. Remind students that each assignment is due at different times throughout the unit. These different due dates should be focused on in order to know which part of the project to focus on each day.

4. Question/Answer session. This is a good time to answer any questions that the students may have in respect each project.

5. Begin research using sites listed in technology tools and materials (make a hot list or printout) or additional websites. Students can also type the name of the state they are researching in the address bar to initiate a search. Students should use these sites to research for material need to complete the research paper. Each team will turn in one written report on their state. See the student packet in the reproducibles for report expectations. The written report will provide the following information about each state.

- Introduction about the state being presented in the written report.

- Geographical information. This section should provide information about the physical make up of the state the students are researching. Some examples of items they should research and write about are land formations such as mountains, lakes, etc. as well as any forest or unusual vegetation.

- Economical Information. This section will provide detailed information about the economic make up their state. Information included in this paragraph should relate to jobs, industry, cost of living and average income.

- Historical information. Information included in this paragraph should relate to exploration, colonial history, and modern history. They could also include facts such as when the state was founded and any major or interesting historical events related to the group's state.

- Tourism and Attractions. Information included in this paragraph should describe tourist attractions such as water parks, theme parks, zoos, etc. They could also include facts about any tourist hotspots.

- Closing paragraph should recap the written report· Fact and Figures Sheet (graphs and/or charts) The fact and figures sheet is in addition to the 2 typed pages. This assignment will be graded using the rubrics labeled "Research Report" and "Research Report Content".

Part 2: PowerPoint Presentation Take this time to explain to the students what is expected of each team for their Power Point presentation. (Refer to student handout.) Each group will create a slideshow for their state containing the following information:

(Slide One)

· Introduction

· State name and flag

(Slide Two)

· Population

· Famous people from assigned state

· Capitol and map

· Largest city

(Slide Three)

· State bird

· State flower

· State tree

· State song

· Governor

· State motto

· State nickname

(Slide Four)

· Additional facts (This page should contain any addition information about the state such as: state drink; most populated city; state dog; etc.

(Slide Five)

· Closing Slide with each students name and class period and table number

The power point assignment will be graded using the "Power Point Presentation" rubric.

Closing Activity:Review with the students the nature of the Ad campaign. (See student packets.) Collecting the information that the students have gathered about their state, they will create an Ad campaign designed to convince The federal government not to do away with their state. In this campaign, the students will create a brochure of the state studied. The students will then conduct a campaign to orally convince their classmates why their state is worth saving.

As a final technology component, students will go online to a preset site and vote for the state(s) that should be saved. See the packet for grading details and information.
Assessment Procedures:
Group Planning: Rubric #1Research
Report: Rubric #2Collaborative
Work Skills: Rubric #3
Power Point Presentation: Rubric #4
Oral Presentation: Rubric #5
Brochure: Rubric #6
For Rubrics, see reproducibles.
Teachers must follow special needs student's Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Modification Plan.

Explorations and Extensions:
Advanced/Other activities that can be used are as follows:1. Create a jeopardy game using state information.2. Students define advantages and disadvantages of living in assigned state. Students determine a variety of means by which these disadvantages could be corrected or eliminated and submit proposals for corrections.3. Students journal thier experience.
Lesson Development Resources:
Education Week. Retrieved Jun. 25, 2003,
Encarta Encyclopedia. Retrieved Jun. 25, 2003,
Fact Monster. Retrieved Jun. 25, 2003,
Map Quest. Retrieved Jun. 25, 2003,
Rubistar. Retrieved Jun. 25, 2003,
Yahooligans. Retrieved Jun. 25, 2003, website copyright © 2009 Greg English