Learn about the geography of Alaska and Hawaii and how each region was acquired by the United States.
- Students will be able to describe the geography of Alaska.
- Students will be able to explain how Alaska was acquired by the United States and tell when it became a state.
- Students will be able to describe the geography of Hawaii.
- Students will be able to explain how Hawaii was acquired by the United States and tell when it became a state.
4th Grade – 5th Grade – 6th Grade
- Read lesson or have students read it silently.
- Have students answer the questions on the worksheet.
- Discuss answers to questions.
Alaska and Hawaii became territories of the United States in the 1800s. The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867, and Hawaii became a territory in 1898. Later, these territories would become the 49th and 50th states – the only U.S. states not connected to the mainland.
Alaska consists of a large peninsula, a group of islands and a narrow panhandle that is separated from Canada by a steep mountain range. There are many other mountain ranges throughout the Alaskan Peninsula. One of these mountain ranges is home to Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America. Mount McKinley reaches a height of 20,320 feet. The geography of Alaska also features volcanoes, rivers and glaciers that still remain from the Ice Age. Along the north shore of the region is a frozen plain known as the Alaskan Tundra. In Russian, tundra means “where the trees are not.”