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As our whole school topic we are looking at USA using a geography/KUW focus for the first half term & then history/KUW focus next half term. I have a reception/year 1 class and I am really struggling for ideas. I can only so far link it with stepping stone "show an awareness of the wide world" for YR. If anyone has any ideas for activities/useful websites for this I would be really grateful.

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Food: bagels (not strictly American in origin but popular there), hot dogs, popcorn.


Cheerleading dances.


Crikey - hard isn't it? If you included Native Americans (sorry it that's not the PC term) that would open it out a fair bit. You could then do natural dyes, face painting, make head-dresses, necklaces, drums, dancing, make shelters, parchment painting, make up names for people based on their characteristics, traditional Native American stories, try and make a canoe (very simply) that floats, journey sticks (you go out for a walk and collect things that you find on the way and bind them to a stick. This then acts as a kind of 3D memory map of your journey).

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We once had an american independence day themed day - we wore red white and blue, made hamburgers and american flags - need to make sure you do risk assessment though for making burgers

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There is some stuff on www.enchantedlearning.com which might be useful as it is an american site. (flags to colour etc)

What about setting a link up with a school? I did that after my study visit to Mississippi last year and it worked well.

We sent a soft toy out with a lot of freebies to school in Aus. last year and a box of goodies etc and they recipicated with Sheila a kookaburra whom we kept a diary for then posted him back with postcards and stuff. I got the link by registering the school on epals.


Good luck

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what about looking at spacecraft and the NASA website?

I also have several powerpoints that relate to different countries, they all start off with a map of the world and an arrow indicating England and the country we are focusing on. I then add lots of photos (from google images) that show elements of the culture, environment and people of that particualr place. It's a good way of introducing the topic/country and gets children talking about familiar experiences.

Things to include for and American one might be


food (typical): bagels/hot dogs(Macdonalds :o )/popcorn/corndogs/pancakes/turkey

places: Grand canyon/New York/NASA/Disneyland/ (showing diversity across the country)

people: range of people from different ethnic backgrounds

sports: basketball/ice hockey/little league baseball/american football

American firefighters/engines police officers and cars

language: pavement/sidewalk diper/nappy

cultural: thanksgiving/baby showers/halloween/4th July/American flag

It's always good to ahve something ( a photo image) to compare aspects of American life with that of the children's own culture to help them to see the links

Hope this helps

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