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Midwest Region of the United States

The five regions of the United States all have many things about them that make them unique. The Midwest has 12 states and is the only region that is not bordered by a major body of water. It is known for its farming, severe weather, and its low, flat land. The Midwest has some amazing landmarks for tourists to visit, such as The Mall of America and Mount Rushmore. Let’s learn all about the Midwest region and why it is such a great place to live and visit!

Student Activities for US Regions Midwest

Essential Questions for The Midwest Region of the United States

  1. Which states are located in the Midwest?
  2. How does geography and climate affect life in the Midwest?
  3. What is the culture of the Midwest?
  4. Where are some interesting places to visit in the Midwest?
  5. What are the natural resources and products of the Midwest?

Midwest Region of the United States


The land in the Midwest is unique. Most of the Midwest is flat with small rolling hills, and there are very few trees; this is called the Central Plains. The Central Plains have extremely fertile soil. The Great Plains, which lie west of the Central Plains, are higher, drier, and rockier, and the soil is not as fertile for farming. The Black Hills of South Dakota are the hilliest part of the Great Plains and have very high peaks. The part of the Great Plains that is very dry is called the Badlands; this land has little use for farming or people, and is made up of clay and rock. The Missouri and Mississippi Rivers are not the only key waterways that are important in the Midwest. North of the Midwest are the Great Lakes, which are connected to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico by rivers and canals.


The climate in the Midwest varies dramatically from state to state and throughout the year. Since the Midwest is not located near any oceans, the weather and temperature is not regulated. The summers, for instance, can be tremendously hot and humid, and the winters can be brutally cold. The precipitation in the Midwest is also extreme. Winters bring an abundance of snow and frequent blizzards and the spring and summer get a lot of rain and frequent tornadoes. Part of the Midwest region is called “Tornado Alley” because of the high number of tornadoes that occur there. People who live in this area must take extra precautions with their homes such as having strong roofs, storm cellars, and underground shelters.

Natural Resources

The Midwest’s most important natural resource is by far its soil, and because of this, there are many farms. The Midwest consists of three main belts, or areas: the Corn Belt, the Wheat Belt, and the Dairy Belt. Crops from these belts are plentiful. Livestock is another natural resource from the Midwest, and meatpacking plants are important for the industry. Additionally, iron ore is abundant in this region. Steel mills use the ore to make steel, which is then used to mass produce automobiles and other products.


Perhaps the most popular food that the Midwest is known for is Chicago deep dish pizza. This pizza has a thick crust, tons of cheese, and chunky tomato sauce. Another food that originated in the Midwest is the coney dog; a hot dog that is topped with chili, onions, and mustard. For fun, people love to be outdoors. During the long winter months, ice fishing is extremely popular. The fishermen and women drill holes in the ice and set up a shanty, which is a small shelter, to keep them out of the wind and cold. Music is also a huge part of the Midwest culture. Rock and roll became popular in the 1950s, and the Motown style originated in Detroit, Michigan in the 1960s.

Places to Visit

The Midwest is the home of many tourist attractions. Mount Rushmore, in South Dakota, depicts the faces of four American presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and George Washington. Another monument carved into the Black Hills honors Crazy Horse, a Native American chief of the Lakota tribe. This monument has not yet been finished, but the face alone is 87 feet tall! Another exciting place to visit in the Midwest is the Mall of America in Minnesota. It is the largest indoor mall in the United States and has over 520 stores, 50 restaurants, 14 movie theaters, and even an amusement park!

States and Capitals of the Midwest



North DakotaBismarck
South DakotaPierre
MinnesotaSt. Paul
IowaDes Moines
MissouriJefferson City

Our country is filled with diverse culture, land, attractions, and so much more. The regions of our country are all different in so many ways, and it is important for students to understand how and why. While studying the Midwest region, students will show what they have learned through posters, spider maps, and other creative graphic organizers. The combined use of illustrations and words allows students with different learning styles to showcase their work in unique ways. Teachers may use the provided templates, or encourage students to start from scratch, allowing for more of a challenge and differentiated approach. Teachers may also assign an extension activity where the students write a report or create a powerpoint of all their storyboards to share.

How to Teach Midwest Culture in an Elementary School Classroom


Set the Stage

Begin the lesson by introducing the concept of culture and its importance in understanding different regions. Explain that today's lesson will focus on the culture of the Midwest, a specific region in the United States.


Interactive Discussion

Engage students in an interactive discussion. Ask questions to assess their prior knowledge about the Midwest. What do they know about the Midwest? Have they ever been there? What do they think of when they hear about this region? Show pictures or visual aids of Midwest landmarks, people, and symbols to spark curiosity and interest.


Introduction to Midwest Culture

Introduce key elements of Midwest culture, such as food, music, traditions, and famous landmarks. Share interesting facts about the Midwest that can captivate young minds. Play or share Midwest music or show images of iconic Midwest foods like corn on the cob and deep-dish pizza.


Interactive Activities

Plan hands-on, interactive activities that allow students to experience Midwest culture. Some ideas include: Arts and Crafts: Have students create Midwest-themed artwork or crafts. For example, they could design a quilt pattern, paint a scenic landscape, or make paper corn cobs. Cooking: Prepare a simple Midwest dish like cornbread or apple pie with the students. Discuss the importance of certain foods in Midwest culture. Music and Dance: Teach students a simple Midwest folk dance or have them listen to and discuss Midwest folk music. Storytelling: Share Midwest folktales or legends and encourage students to create their own stories based on the region.


Connection to Other Subjects

Explain how Midwest culture can be integrated into other subjects. For example, in math, calculate the distance from your school to a major Midwest city. In language arts, write short stories set in a Midwest setting or read literature by Midwest authors.


Recap and Reflection

Have a recap discussion where students share what they learned and their favorite parts of the lesson. Assign a small project or homework related to Midwest culture, such as drawing a picture of their favorite Midwest landmark or writing a short paragraph about what they found most interesting about the region.

Frequently Asked Questions about US Regions Midwest

How do I create a storyboard that visually represents the states of the Midwest region?

To create a storyboard that visually represents the states of the Midwest region, follow these steps: First, select the Midwest states you want to include, typically Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Gather visual material, like state maps and images, for each state. Organize your layout with a grid, placing each state in a logical order. Add the visual elements for each state, such as state outlines, flags, or iconic landmarks. Provide concise information about each state's geography, major cities, and unique features. Connect related elements with arrows or lines and include a title and a key for symbols or icons. Review and edit your storyboard for accuracy and consider enhancing its visual appeal. Share the storyboard in the classroom to facilitate discussions about the Midwest states' characteristics.

How can a worksheet help me organize information about the Midwest?

A worksheet for organizing information about the Midwest can be designed effectively with the following steps. Begin by creating clear sections or categories, such as Geography, History, Culture, and Economy. Within each section, use concise headings to denote specific topics, like states, landmarks, historical events, traditions, or industries. Provide spaces for students to input relevant information or details under each heading. Incorporate visual aids, such as maps or images, to complement the text. Additionally, include guiding questions or prompts to direct students' research and data collection. Ensuring a clean, organized layout and offering clear instructions on what information to gather and record can help students systematically organize and comprehend facts about the Midwest.

What are some useful tips for making Midwest storyboards and worksheets more visually engaging and informative?

Topic-specific tips for creating engaging Midwest materials: Incorporate striking images of Midwest landscapes, such as the Great Lakes or the Corn Belt, to capture attention and illustrate geographical features. Use region-specific visuals, like the Mississippi River or the Prairie-style architecture, to make the content more regionally relevant. Include concise, topic-focused information that helps students grasp key aspects of the Midwest, like its economic significance in agriculture and manufacturing. Develop engaging storytelling elements that relate Midwest history or culture to the students' lives. Embed interactive elements like questions related to Midwest cuisine or industry, promoting active learning. Provide real-world examples showcasing the Midwest's influence, such as jazz music in St. Louis or the automotive industry in Detroit. Maintain an organized structure with headings that guide students through the Midwest's various aspects. Offer supplementary resources or references specific to Midwest studies, encouraging further exploration of the topic. These topic-specific tips will assist you in creating visually engaging and informative Midwest storyboards and worksheets tailored to your teaching needs.

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