We started our year by learning about our Illinois State history. We used this book, Writing A State Report, to help us with that. This was actually scheduled at the end of last school year, but we didn't get around to doing it and started this year off with it instead. This, along with some "About Me" pages, were a good way to start out the year in a light, fun way.
For memorizing the states and their capitals, this CD from Audio Memory Publishing has been very helpful. The songs can be a little annoying, but they really do help the kids to memorize.
We are also using this workbook to help us learn more about the states, U.S. Geography, develop map skills, and for some critical thinking and reading comprehension.
This is one of the pages inside the Twin Sisters States and Capitals Wipe Clean Workbook. Here, the kids are using dry-erase markers to match up the states and capitals we have already learned. In the background, you will also see a matching game that was included with our curriculum from My Father's World.
We also have game called The Scrambled States of America that we haven't started using yet, but will be doing that soon.