Learning the 50 States and Capitals
These are some suggestions that 6th and 7th graders made for remembering the US states and their capitals. Try reading the description then "picture it" before guessing the capital. If you have a better idea for remembering the capital, go with it! These are just some ideas to help get you started.
If you'd rather try learning the capitals and states using a song, click here.
States in Geographical Sections
New England States - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
Middle Atlantic States - Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania
Southeastern States - Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia
South Central States - Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas
North Central States - Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin
Rocky Mountain States - Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
Pacific States - Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington
New England States
Picture a heart connected to the back of a Ford car. Heart + Ford =
Hartford. Connected = Connecticut
Picture a lion with a long mane. A gust of wind is blowing his
mane. Mane = Maine. A gust of = Augusta.
Picture the boss of a fish store chewing a one-ton fish. Chew =
Massachusetts. Boss + ton = Boston
New Hampshire [Concord]
Picture the Concord jet landing in your backyard, driven by two
hamsters! Hamsters = New Hampshire. Concord = Concord.
Rhode Island [Providence]
Picture a teeny, tiny road on a teeny, tiny island. A pro-football
player is running down the road with a dunce cap on his head.
Road + island = Rhode Island. Pro + dunce = Providence.
Picture you're on a mountain of fur, that you are trying to peel
off. Fur + mount = Vermont. Mount + peel = Montpelier.
Picture this: What did Della wear? She wore doe (female deer) fur.
Della + wear = Delaware. Doe + fur = Dover.
Picture a girl wanting to marry; she lands a groom with an apple on
a fishing pole. Marry + land = Maryland. Apple + pole =
New Jersey [Trenton]
Picture a football player buying a new jersey (shirt). Then, he
puts a tent on top of the jersey. New jersey = New Jersey. Tent
+ on = Trenton.
New York [Albany]
Picture the Empire State Building in New York, with animals jumping
all around it. They are all bunnies. Empire State Building
= New York. All + bunnies = Albany
Picture you have a giant pencil and you are drawing hairy burger.
Pencil = Pennsylvania. Hairy + burger = Harrisburg.
Picture a dog with a towel in his mouth mopping the floor. It's
Lassie! Floor = Florida. Towel + Lassie = Tallahassee.
Picture a girl named Georgia (or boy named George), sailing on the
Atlantic ocean. Georgia = Georgia. Atlantic = Atlanta
North Carolina [Raleigh]
Picture Christmas carolers at the North Pole. They are dressed as
cheerleaders, shouting, "Rah, rah, rah!" North + carolers =
North Carolina. Rah = Raleigh
South Carolina [Columbia]
Picture the Christmas carolers at the South Pole. They are standing
on top of the space shuttle Columbia. South + carolers =
South Carolina. Columbia = Columbia.
Picture a girl named Virginia dating a man with money hanging out
of all his pockets. He's a very rich man. Virginia = Virginia.
Rich + man = Richmond.
West Virginia [Charleston]
Remember the girl named Virginia. Now she's wearing a vest and
doing a dance called the Charleston. Vest + Virginia = West
Virginia. Charleston = Charleston.
South Central States
Picture an enormous mountain of gum with an owl sitting on top,
eating a banana. Owl + banana = Alabama. Mount + gum =
Arkansas [Little Rock]
Picture an ark floating on the water. It is suddenly hit with
thousands of little rocks. Ark = Arkansas. Little rocks = Little Rock.
Louisiana [Baton Rouge]
Picture a girl named Louisa using a bat to put rouge on her cheeks.
Louisa = Louisiana. Bat + rouge = Baton rouge.
Picture two boys rafting down the Mississippi River, playing jacks.
Mississippi = Mississippi. Jacks = Jackson.
Oklahoma [Oklahoma City]
Picture two oak trees growing out of your home. In one tree is a
kitty. Oak in your home = Oklahoma. Oak in your home with
the kitty = Oklahoma City.
Picture a tennis player smashing a pill over the net. Tennis =
Tennessee. Smash + pill = Nashville.
Picture you going to a dentist who has his chair in a taxi. You
say, "Ahhh" and he fills your teeth with tin. Taxi = Texas. Ahhh
+ tin = Austin.
North Central States
Picture a field of springs bouncing up and down. The noise makes
you ill. Ill + noise = Illinois. Spring + field = Springfield.
Picture an Indian juggling apples for us. Indian = Indiana. Indian
+ apples + us = Indianapolis.
Iowa [Des Moines]
Picture you borrow some coins. You keep saying to yourself, "I owe
dem coins, I owe dem coins." I + owe = Iowa. Dem +
coins = Des Moines.
Picture a large can. Just before you kick it, your toe pops out of
the front of your shoe to "peek" at the can. Can = Kansas.
Toe + peek = Topeka.
Picture Ken (Barbie's boyfriend or any Ken you know) tucking you
into bed in a fort made out of franks (hot dogs). Ken + tuck
= Kentucky. Frank + fort = Frankfort.
Picture a lance (spear) zinging through the air headed straight
into a water gun. Gun = Michigan. Lance + zing = Lansing.
Minnesota [St. Paul]
Picture you are very thirsty and a boy named Paul bring you
mini-sodas. You are so happy you call his a saint. Mini-sodas =
Minnesota. Saint + Paul = St. Paul.
Missouri [Jefferson City]
Picture a missile with a kitty riding on it. It is Thomas
Jefferson's kitty! Missile = Missouri. Jefferson + kitty = Jefferson
Picture a statue of Abraham Lincoln. The statue has knees of brass.
Knee + brass = Nebraska. Lincoln = Lincoln.
North Dakota [Bismark]
Picture you're at the North Pole wearing a coat. You take off your
coat and throw it on a polar bear, but you miss your mark.
North + coat = North Dakota. Miss your mark = Bismark.
Picture you hear someone yelling, "OH, HI…!!". You turn around and
it's Christopher Columbus. Oh + hi = Ohio. Columbus =
South Dakota [Pierre]
Picture you are at the South Pole wearing a coat. You take off your
coat and hang it on Pier EE. South + coat = South
Dakota. Pier + E = Pierre.
Picture you are making a big wish for rain, but the sun gets mad.
The mad sun doesn't want it to rain. Wish = Wisconsin.
Mad + sun = Madison.
Rocky Mountain States
Picture the mythological bird, the Phoenix, flying near the ozone
layer. He can't breathe and has to fly down to the air zone.
Air + zone = Arizona. Phoenix = Phoenix.
Picture you have just painted your den the color red. But, the
walls are made of fur. Color + red = Colorado. Den + fur =
Picture a girl named Ida hoeing in the garden. Some boys see her
out the window. Ida + hoe = Idaho. Boys + see = Boise.
Picture a tall mountain. On top is a girl named Helen. Give Helen a
hand to get down. Mountain = Montana. Helen + a =
Nevada [Carson City]
Picture a car out in the sun with a kitty on top. The kitty is
dancing and singing because it is in show business. Show
business = Nevada. Car + sun + kitty = Carson City.
New Mexico [Santa Fe]
Picture a new mexican hat, (sombrero) with Santa Clause dancing
around it. New Mexican = New Mexico. Santa = Santa Fe.
Utah [Salt Lake City]
Picture a crazy sailor making a U-turn in his boat with a kitty on
top. The kitty jumps off into the Great Salt Lake. U-turn =
Utah. Salt Lake + kitty = Salt Lake City.
Picture a flock of homing pigeons flying to see Ann, who is very
shy. Homing = Wyoming. Shy + Ann = Cheyenne
Picture an Eskimo by his igloo, holding a calendar turned to June.
He draws a big O on the calendar. Eskimo = Alaska. June
+ O = Juneau.
Picture you're in the garden picking vegetables. You pick
cauliflower, then a sack of tomatoes. Cauliflower = California. Sack
of tomatoes = Sacramento.
Picture a gigantic Hawaiian pineapple named Lulu, doing the hula
dance. Hawaiian = Hawaii. Hula + Lulu = Honolulu.
Picture a music organ floating in the water with a big sail of the
letter M. Oregon = Oregon. Sail + M = Salem. [If your kids
watch the TV show Sabrina, they can picture her cat Salem on the
Picture George Washington doing the high jump in the Olympics.
Washington = Washington. Olympics = Olympia.
Sources and Recommended Reading:
"Kids Learn America," a Williamson Kids Can Book.
Williamson Publishing, Charlotte, VT 05445. ISBN: 0-913589-58-6
List of States and Capitals
Match Capitals to their States
Drag and Drop each state to its correct place on the USA map.
Print a blank US map and have children label it with the post office state
abbreviation, ex: AR, AL, etc.
State Name Word Search
List of state postal abbreviations:
Download Free Capitals Game
The Capitals Game great for teaching or memorizing state locations.
Ringtones: put the song of your state's bird on your phone!
Printable States and Capitals Card Game
The Pledge of Allegiance and Flag Activities
Heroes and Leaders, Washington, D.C., Symbols, Citizenship and Government
ProTeacher 50 States Links and Activities
Google Search for United States of America activities.
The President's Song