# 4th Grade: U.S. State Capitals

AI can be a helpful tool when it comes to creating and thinking of lessons, units, and activities for these lessons. However, it is not always the most reliable and can usually need adjustments. I asked ChatGPT to create a creative lesson for 4th graders learning state capitals. I personally didn’t find it to be the most creative or engaging. I would personally find it easier to: have students learn East Coast to West or vice versa and write inside that state on a paper U.S. map. It’s much easier to learn it in physiological order or alphabetically, do it in chunks of 5, and build their knowledge of the state name, capital, and abbreviation over time. I do like the beginning part of students learning capital vs capitol.

Objective: Students will be able to identify and recall the capital of at least 10 states in the United States.

Materials: Whiteboard or blackboard, markers or chalk, a handout with the list of states and their capitals

Introduction (5 minutes):

1. Ask the students if they know what a capital is.
2. Explain that a capital is the city where a state’s government is located.
3. Write the word “capitol” on the board and tell the students that it is a building where a state’s government works.

Direct Instruction (15 minutes):

1. Pass out the handout with the list of states and their capitals.
2. Go through the first five states and their capitals on the list and ask the students to repeat after you.
3. Write each state and capital on the board for the students to see.
4. Have the students practice saying the state and capital out loud.
5. Repeat the process for the next five states and their capitals.

Guided Practice (10 minutes):

1. Divide the students into pairs.
2. Have each pair take turns saying a state and its capital from the list.
3. Encourage the students to help each other if they forget.

Independent Practice (10 minutes):

1. Give each student a blank sheet of paper.
2. Ask the students to write the name of 10 states on their paper.
3. Tell them to fill in the capitals next to each state.
4. Collect the papers and check for accuracy.

Conclusion (5 minutes):

1. Ask the students if they feel more confident about remembering state capitals.
2. Review any mistakes that were made on the independent practice sheets.
3. Ask the students to share one state and its capital that they found interesting or surprising.
4. End the lesson by telling the students that learning state capitals is an important part of understanding geography and history.

Assessment: Observing the students during independent practice and checking their papers for accuracy will give you an idea of their understanding of state capitals. You can also assess their understanding by asking them to randomly call out a state and its capital.

Photo credit: Lexica Aperture with the prompt “Students in a classroom learning united states state capitals.”

## 2 Replies to “4th Grade: U.S. State Capitals”

1. Peter Pappas says:

Sophia, agreed AI came up with a pretty dreary lesson. Lists and recitations seems like it’s out of the 19th century. Our next lesson is on mapping – so I think you’ll find that to be a better tool.

The image is rather bizarre – as if students are studying the “Capitol” building rather than state capitals.

Your post lacks a featured image – so you need to delete this from the post and then use the same image in the “Featured” image location.

2. Israel Osorio says:

I think it is quite important, as you mentioned, to double check the work of AI to see whether it is engaging students or not. Although it can be helpful, there are times when one has to do it themselves.

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