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Colorado State Image

Colorado is a state in the western United States, known for its diverse geography, ranging from the Rocky Mountains to arid plains, and its vibrant cultural and economic scenes. A state research project is the perfect summative activity for any U.S. Region, Geography class, or general research unit of study. Students will love learning about state landmarks, mottos, fun facts, history, and so much more! Research is an important skill for children to learn at a young age; it exposes students to expository text, gives them practice determining important information, and enhances note taking and presentation skills. Students will enjoy learning all about Colorado, and why it is such a wonderful place to live and visit.

Student Activities for Colorado State Guide

Essential Questions for Colorado

  1. What are some significant events in the history of Colorado?
  2. What are some facts and features that make Colorado unique?
  3. What are some interesting places in Colorado that people would want to visit?

All About Colorado

Date of Statehood: 38th State: August 1, 1876

State Motto: Enter a Higher State

State Nickname: Centennial State

State Bird: Lark Bunting

State Tree: Colorado Blue Spruce

State Flower: Rocky Mountain Columbine

Tourist Attractions: Rocky Mountain National Park, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, Garden of the Gods, Mesa Verde National Park, Coors Field, Vail Ski Resort

Famous Citizens of Colorado: Amy Adams, Tim Allen, John Denver, Jon Heder, Madeleine Albright, Jessica Biel

Capital City:Denver

Major Cities:Colorado Springs, Boulder, Aspen, Aurora, Fort Collins

Brief History of Colorado

First People: A very long time ago, the first people to live in Colorado were Native Americans, including tribes like the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. They hunted, fished, and gathered plants for food.

Explorers and Pioneers

  • Spanish Explorers: In the 1500s, Spanish explorers came to Colorado searching for treasure. They didn’t find gold, but they learned about the land and its people.
  • American Explorers: Later, American explorers like Zebulon Pike came to explore. Pikes Peak, one of Colorado’s famous mountains, is named after him.

Gold Rush and New Settlers

  • Gold Rush: In 1858, gold was discovered near Denver. People rushed to Colorado hoping to get rich, starting the Pike's Peak Gold Rush.
  • Boom Towns: Many towns sprang up almost overnight as miners came to search for gold. Some of these towns are still here today!

Becoming a State

  • Colorado Territory: In 1861, Colorado became a territory, which is like a step before becoming a state.
  • Statehood: On August 1, 1876, Colorado became the 38th state of the United States. It's called the "Centennial State" because it became a state 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Growing and Changing

  • Mining and Railroads: In the old days, mining for gold and silver was very important, and railroads were built to transport these treasures and bring new people to Colorado.
  • Farming and Ranching: People also started farms and ranches, growing crops and raising animals to feed the growing population.

Modern Colorado

  • Outdoor Fun: Today, Colorado is famous for its beautiful mountains and outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, and biking.
  • Cities and People: Colorado’s cities, like Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs, are full of interesting places to visit, great schools, and fun events.

Students will create a historical timeline, a postcard, a spider map, and a fun facts storyboard showing what they have learned about Colorado. Creating these visuals gives the students the opportunity to show their creativity and their unique view of the state that they have researched. In addition, the combined use of words and illustrations allows students with different learning styles to show what they know in an exciting and eye-catching way.

Image Attributions
  • 10550030 • Gabe • License Free To Use / No Attribution Required / See for what is not allowed
  • 13527425 • Kevin Burnell • License Free To Use / No Attribution Required / See for what is not allowed
Find more lesson plans and activities like these in our Social Studies Category!
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