Geography Quest: Midwest States, West North Central

All aboard the HSM Express! Join us as we take a quick tour of the United States. Expect to learn a little geography, history, social studies, and more. Definitely plan on having tons of fun. 


Summer_GeographyOnce more, we find ourselves on a journey around the United States. This week, we will be taking a trip through half of the MidWest states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri.

As before, we are going to start off our adventure with some handy-dandy coloring pages for each state. This will give the littles something to work on while we learn about each state’s topography. You can find coloring pages HERE:


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Now that we have learned a little about what each state looks like, let’s take a few minutes to discover a tad more. (Please note: This is meant to be short, sweet, and as fun as possible; not long and arduous. Choose which areas to cover with care, noting which events can be accompanied by activities.)

North Dakota
Plains Indians
Grizzly Bears

South Dakota
Sitting Bull
Black Hills
Mt. Rushmore

The Great American Desert
Arbor Day
Mammoth Fossils

American Bison
Amelia Earhart

The Minnesota Territory
Twine Ball
Stapler (invented)
Minneapolis Skyway

Early Explorers
The Mississippi River
Herbert Hoover
John Wayne

Dred Scott Decision
The Missouri Compromise
World’s Fair (Invention of Ice Tea/Ice Cream Cones)

I thought it would be appropriate to start off our lessons learning a little more about the Plains Indians. There are so many different tribes to discover and learn about! HERE is a helpful map indicating each tribe’s region. If you have time, consider doing an activity or craft based on a particular tribe!

Our kiddos have already been familiarized with Mt. Rushmore, so we thought we’d tackle Deadwood this go ’round. Dress up like cowboys and write-up some ‘laws of the land’; just so outlaws would know where they stand.

To honor Arbor Day, do a little yard work; prune a few trees, fertilize roses, and spruce up the garden. To help you cool off, consider drinking a little punch!

‘T’ would not let me live it down if we didn’t at least mention Amelia Earhart, her all time favorite gal. I think she likes her adventurous spirit and ‘can do’ attitude.

The idea of being able to walk five entire blocks without actually stepping one foot out-of-doors is remarkable, in my mind. We definitely need to spend a few moments talking about the Minneapolis Skyway. How is this structure a benefit? Are people really enjoying its use?

One of my grandmother’s favorite actors was John Wayne. If you can find one, watch one of his famous movies; especially those that also star his sons!

The Dred Scott Decision is not one to be missed. Take a closer look at the case and discuss the implications of the court’s verdict.

I always try to end on a happy note as often as possible. This week, our geography quest ends with a scoop of ice cream! A box full of cones stands at the ready and three flavors are ready to be devoured. Delicious!

Time to Chime In: Do you have a favorite John Wayne movie? Which would you recommend? (Mine has always been Hatari; not his typical cowboy film. There is a very funny story that goes with this. Remind me to tell it sometime.)

Help us Out: For added fun, we are trying to collect a postcard from each of the fifty states! If you, or someone you know, lives in one of these five states; would you consider mailing us a quick postcard? Email us for the address and, as an added bonus, we’ll mail one back to you!


4 thoughts on “Geography Quest: Midwest States, West North Central

  1. Also, thank-you for all these great summer ideas. : ) I am behind on my reading, but I am enjoying getting caught up on here and look forward to doing a lot of these with the boys. 🙂


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