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"Postmaster Becky" - State Counties

With a List of Counties of their state and a Blank County Map, students will be able to work as a group to create a 'two letter county code' system for their state like the Postmaster General of the USA has selected for the 50 States.


Set Induction/Anticipatory Set:
Ask the students if they have ever written letters to a friend in other states. Ask them if they write out the full name of the state or if they use an abbreviation (like OK for Oklahoma or TX for Texas).

Instruction/Teaching to the Objective:
Tell them that each state has a two-letter postal code that the Postmaster General of the USA selected to help the post office deliver the mail accurately. Explain that it was easy to select the two-letter postal code for some states (NJ for New Jersey) but what did the Postmaster General do with states that begin with the same letters (Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota)? Explain that they are going to select two-letter postal codes for the counties of their state and that each code must be different.

Guided Practice:
Using an enlarged poster with the Blank map of your state, decide what two-letter postal code you would select for one of the counties of your state. Explain the logic that you used when selecting this two-letter code.

Independent/Group Practice:
Give each student a List of Counties of Your State, and have each student write down their suggestion for the two-letter code for each county. After a few minutes, let students raise their hand to give their suggestion and then ask if anyone else has other suggestions. When there is more than one suggestion, let the class 'vote' on the suggestion that they like. Write the winning two-letter code on the enlarged poster map of your state. Continue until each county has a two-letter code.

Explain that they can use these abbreviations during tests when they write the names of the counties on the blank map of their state.

This should be a fun exercise as students listen to the logic that others used to make their suggestions.

Print and enlarge a Blank Map of your state. Make copies of the List of Counties. One class period.