Review the map with the child. Locate the oceans and the Gulf of Mexico, and point to Canada and Mexico. Ask the child to trace the border of the United States with a finger.
Locate the state in which the child lives. Have the child remove and hold the puzzle piece as you discuss the size, shape, and capital of the state, as well as the illustration on the puzzle piece.
On the compass rose, identify North, East, South, and West, then Northeast, Southeast, and so on. Say the name of one of the directions and ask the child to point to the correct part of the compass rose, as well as the corresponding part of the map. Extra challenge: Say a state name and ask the child to tell you which part of the country it is in.
Remove your state and the surrounding states from the puzzle board. Place the pieces face up in front of the child. Read each state's name aloud. Then help the child piece together the states in his or her home region. Review each state's location, identifying it as being North, South, East, or West of the child's state.
Ask the child to assemble the entire map on a flat surface, not in the puzzle board; if necessary, use the puzzle board as a guide. Review each state, and discuss the information printed on the back of the puzzle board.
Ask the child to look at the state information on the back of the puzzle board and use the information to answer fact-finding questions, such as, "Which state has the most people?" "Which state has the smallest land area?" "Which state bird is most common?" and so on. Challenge the child to memorize the information for his or her own state.
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