What Are Some Facts for Kids About the 50 States?

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A couple of fun facts for kids about individual states include Alaska's status as the largest state in the nation, and Rhode Island's status as the smallest state. If placed on the continental United States, Alaska would encompass parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico and Colorado.

The continental United States is made up of 48 out of the 50 states. The other two states, Alaska and Hawaii, are both separate from the rest of the bunch. Canada divides Alaska from the rest of the nation, whereas Hawaii sits out in the Pacific Ocean. These two states were also the last to join the union, having both joined in 1959.

The origin of state names offer fun excursions into a particular state's history. For example, the name "Missouri" comes from an Algonquin Indian word meaning "river of the big canoes," highlighting the lives of Native Americans in the state's history. The name "North Carolina" betrays the state's former status as a colony by emerging from the Latin name "Carolus," which refers to England's King Charles I.

Kids can also learn about the values upon which individuals built a state by consulting state mottoes, such as Arkansas' "the people rule" or North Carolina's "to be rather than to seem."