RUTHTON - Third-graders at Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Elementary stand in front of a SMARTBoard, read the name at the top of the screen, then drag a small icon across a large map of the United States, trying to match the capital with the right state.
Sometimes they move the icon confidently because they know where they're going, sometimes they don't. Their classmates jump up and down, point or yell out the name of the state they think is right.
"We've been talking about government and before that, the states," said teacher Jeanne Norgaard on Monday. "Tie it together with capitals."
Photo by Jodelle Greiner
Third-graders at Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Elementary in Ruthton practice pairing up states with their capitals on Monday.
Last week, the kids were tested on the location of the states themselves.
"Got a map where they had to put in the state names," Norgaard said.
The students said they had covered states and capitals a bit in second grade, but this is the first time they've really studied them.
"Some states are pretty easy; some are challenging," said Emma Gunnare. "Once you learn and get to see pictures and some pictures are beautiful."
"They're really challenging but pretty easy once you get to studying them," said Lauren Alsaker. "They're fun because you get to play games with them on the board."
"They're fun to study," said Collin Wells. "The little ones are harder, the big ones are easier."
Norgaard isn't expecting the kids to have all the capitals and states matched up perfectly, but she does want them to know the ones in the Midwest "because those are our neighbors."
She wants the kids to know different places on the map so they understand other lessons better and get a clearer view of the world as a whole.
"I think (knowing) the location is important because we talk about where things happen, like in Weekly Reader and geography," she said.