I went to Owl and Mouse, a site that maps you can print for free that can be as small as 1 page or as large 64 pages, or anywhere in between, and printed out the map of the United States for my kids 8 and up. My 8  and 11 year-olds both label just the states while looking at the map puzzles or another map. My 13 year old already memorized the locations for 45 states before we started, so he labels states and their capitals. The longest un-dammed river in the contiguous USA is the Yellowstone River; it is 692 miles long.
Rivers provide drinking water, irrigation water, transportation, electrical power, drainage, food, and recreation. Besides the USA rivers, the USA river map also shows the various lakes, streams and other water bodies in the USA. For certain cities like New Orleans, river basins usher in growth and prosperity for the city and its people.


I got tired of making 3 copies of the map for my kids to label, so I made a 4 sheet by 4 sheet map of the United States, had Staples make 2 additional copies, and laminate them. I can choose to have the maps labeled, the physical features printed so the kids can place them on the map, they can color them in on a printed map, etc.
This is working so well, I plan to use a similar method as we learn the rest of the countries in North America and the World.
While some of the USA rivers and lakes serve as vital waterways for inland navigation others are useful sources of irrigation and power generation. The longest river in the USA is the Missouri River; it is a tributary of the Mississippi River and is 2,540 miles long. Yes, I know that boundaries and country names change, but it is still a reasonable goal for kids (and adults). My younger kids, 8 and under, put together the regional puzzle (see image below on the left).


Each card is two sided, includes a one question multiple choice quiz, interesting state information and a map. Then, my kids drew  and labeled their own mountain ranges, rivers, and lakes using a wet erase marker. For my older kids, I cut out most states and had them put it together (see image below on the right).



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