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Lesson Plan by Lauren Martin M.Ed.

The State of Illinois

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings U.S. geography to life with comics and storyboards.

Make U.S. geography come to life with comics!

Including these awesome activities:
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Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map
  • Poster
  • Character Map
  • Timeline

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings U.S. geography to life with comics and storyboards.
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings U.S. geography to life with comics and storyboards.
Pixton Lesson Plan on The State of Illinois

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The State of Illinois

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Apple
    Apple
  • Basketball
    Basketball
  • Building
    Building
  • Corn
    Corn
  • Deer
    Deer
  • Ground
    Ground
  • Pickaxe
    Pickaxe
  • Pig
    Pig
  • Skyline
    Skyline
  • Tractor
    Tractor
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

The State of Illinois

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

Review the following information or have students complete a research project.

  • History: Illinois was discovered by the French in 1673 who settled in 1720. The U.S. militia of George Rogers Clark in 1778, claimed Illinois as within Virginia territory. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 charted Illinois, and the Territory of Illinois was created in 1809. Statehood was granted in 1818 with controversy since the population (of mostly fur trappers and traders) was less than the required 60,000. The border was extended 51 miles north of the original Northwest Ordinance border to include Chicago.
  • Statehood: 21st State - December 3, 1818
  • Name Origin: Based on the Algonquin Indian word "ilenweewa" meaning "warriors."
  • Size: 57,918 sq. miles (#25 of 50 states)
  • Population: 12,882,135 (#5 of 50 states)
  • Capital: Springfield
  • Border States: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Kentucky, Missouri, Wisconsin
  • Presidents Born in the State: Ronald Reagan
  • Agriculture Exports: Corn; Soybean; Pork; Wheat; Cattle; Dairy; Hay; Apples; Peaches; Snap Beans; Pumpkins; Oats; Sheep
  • Industry: Manufacturing (Farm and Construction Equipment); Exports; Agriculture; Mining (Petroleum, Crushed Stone, Sand, and Gravel).
  • Attractions: Magnificent Mile in Chicago; Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; Ulysses S Grant Home State Historic Site in Galena; Navy Pier; Starved Rock State Park; Art Institute of Chicago; Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site; Anderson Japanese Gardens.
  • Colleges and Universities: University of Illinois at Urbana; Illinois State University; Northern Illinois University; University of Chicago; UIC; Loyola University of Chicago; SIU; NIU; UIS; DePaul University; Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Professional Sports: Chicago Bears (NFL); Chicago Blackhawks (NHL); Chicago Bulls (NBA); Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox (MLB); Chicago Fire (MLS)
  • Flag: White with Great Seal of Illinois and the word "ILLINOIS" underneath; Adopted 1915.
  • Flower: Purple Violet
  • Tree: White Oak
  • Animal: White-tailed Deer
  • Bird: Cardinal
  • Nickname: The Prairie State
  • Motto: “State Sovereignty, National Union.”
  • Song: "Illinois" (by Charles H. Chamberlin and Archibald Johnston)

Opening Discussion

Discuss the following:

  • What do you already know about Illinois (history, attractions, exports and fun facts)?
  • In your opinion, what is Illinois most well known for?
  • What states does Illinois border?
  • What is the climate and geography like in Illinois?
  • What would you like to know about Illinois?
  • How could you learn more about Illinois?
Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    State Fun Facts

    Complete after opening discussion

    View Activity
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    Economy: Agriculture and Industry

    Complete after class discussion.

    View Activity
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    Attractions & Destinations

    Complete after class brainstorm or discussion.

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Poster (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Poster of the Illinois state flag and/or a map of Illinois that includes major sights and attractions.

  • Extension / Modification
    Mind Map (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Mind Map to advertise one college or university in Illinois.

  • Extension / Modification
    Character Map (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Character Map for the most famous historical figure from Illinois.

  • Extension / Modification
    Timeline (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Timeline of Illinois' state history.

  • Extension / Modification
    Storyboard (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Storyboard to analyze the lyrics of an Illinois song.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Discuss the following:

  • Why did Illinois become a state?
  • What are the main components of Illinois' economy?
  • Why is Illinois important to the United States?
  • What makes Illinois unique or different than other states?
  • In your opinion, what state is Illinois most similar to and why?
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: The State of Illinois 1 State Fun Facts

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

Review the following information or have students complete a research project.

  • History: Illinois was discovered by the French in 1673 who settled in 1720. The U.S. militia of George Rogers Clark in 1778, claimed Illinois as within Virginia territory. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 charted Illinois, and the Territory of Illinois was created in 1809. Statehood was granted in 1818 with controversy since the population (of mostly fur trappers and traders) was less than the required 60,000. The border was extended 51 miles north of the original Northwest Ordinance border to include Chicago.
  • Statehood: 21st State - December 3, 1818
  • Name Origin: Based on the Algonquin Indian word "ilenweewa" meaning "warriors."
  • Size: 57,918 sq. miles (#25 of 50 states)
  • Population: 12,882,135 (#5 of 50 states)
  • Capital: Springfield
  • Border States: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Kentucky, Missouri, Wisconsin
  • Presidents Born in the State: Ronald Reagan
  • Flag: White with Great Seal of Illinois and the word "ILLINOIS" underneath; Adopted 1915.
  • Flower: Purple Violet
  • Tree: White Oak
  • Animal: White-tailed Deer
  • Bird: Cardinal
  • Nickname: The Prairie State
  • Motto: “State Sovereignty, National Union.”
  • Song: "Illinois" (by Charles H. Chamberlin and Archibald Johnston)

Instructions

Create a Storyboard or Mind Map to illustrate at least four fun facts or symbols of the state:

  • Include an appropriate title for each panel.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.
  • Write an appropriate description for each panel.
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: The State of Illinois 2 Economy: Agriculture and Industry

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

Review the main components of the state's economy or have students complete a research project.

  • Agriculture Products: Corn; Soybean; Pork; Wheat; Cattle; Dairy; Hay; Apples; Peaches; Snap Beans; Pumpkins; Oats; Sheep
  • Industry: Manufacturing (Farm and Construction Equipment); Exports; Agriculture; Mining (Petroleum, Crushed Stone, Sand and Gravel).

Instructions

Create a Storyboard or Mind Map to illustrate at least four major industries and/or agricultural products of the state's economy:

  • Include an appropriate title for each panel.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.
  • Write an appropriate description for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: The State of Illinois 3 Attractions & Destinations

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

Review the state's top attractions or have students complete a research project.

  • Attractions: Magnificent Mile in Chicago; Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; Ulysses S Grant Home State Historic Site in Galena; Navy Pier; Starved Rock State Park; Art Institute of Chicago; Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site; Anderson Japanese Gardens.
  • Colleges and Universities: University of Illinois at Urbana; Illinois State University; Northern Illinois University; University of Chicago; UIC; Loyola University of Chicago; SIU; NIU; UIS; DePaul University; Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Professional Sports: Chicago Bears (NFL); Chicago Blackhawks (NHL); Chicago Bulls (NBA); Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox (MLB); Chicago Fire (MLS)

Instructions

Create a Storyboard or Mind Map to illustrate at least four main attractions or destinations in the state:

  • Include an appropriate title for each panel.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.
  • Write an appropriate description for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

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