Community & Culture: Regions of the USA

Prior to studying different countries around the world, students will "travel" around the USA to learn anout each unique region: the Southeast, the North, and the Midwest (due to time, we couldn't go to all the regions) and prepare dishes that would be common in each.

Course Outcome
Each region of our country is unique and different based on its landscape. I can prepare a dish that is representative of each unique region of the USA.
This is a 3-part lesson (all listed here):

DAY 1:

I can prepare a dish that is representative of the South, USA.

Interactive Read Aloud: G is for Grits

Clear Learning Targets:

I can make sweet honey cornbread muffins and explain why it represents the southern region of the nation. 

I can try grits and make connections about why they are popular in the south.

Recipes used:



  • 1 cup Quick Grits
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups milk , sub with water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1-2 cups white sharp cheddar cheese , preferably smoked
  • salt to taste


  • Start by adding water, milk, bay leaf and salt to a heavy sauce- pan. Bring to a boil.
  • Gradually whisk in the grits, until you have added the whole thing in the pot, a little at a time. Keep stirring with a whisk to prevent any lumps.
  • You may have to remove sauce- pan from heat while trying to get rid of lumps – if needed.
  • Reduce heat and cook grits at a bare simmer, covered, stirring frequently, until water is fully absorbed and grits thickened. This will take you about 15 minutes.
  • Remove grits from heat; add butter and cheese, stirring with a whisk until cheese melts.
  • Assemble the dish by placing the grits at the bottom of a shallow bowl, Cajun shrimp and it’s sauce. Enjoy piping hot!

Sweet Cornbread: (not affiliated with Krusteaz)


1/2 CUP




HEAT oven to 375°F. Lightly grease pan or line muffin pan with paper baking cups.


STIR together milk, oil, egg and full box cornbread mix until blended. Fill muffin pan 2/3 full.


BAKE as directed below or until light golden brown. For muffins, cool 5 minutes; gently loosen and remove from pan. Cool completely and store in tightly covered container.

High Altitude (over 5,000 feet): Prepare as directed, adding 1 tbsp all-purpose flour and an additional 2 tbsps milk.

Useful Resource to show kids & paraphrase (not endorsed):

What are the 3 climate zones of West Coast U.S? | Socratic

Day 2:

I can prepare a dish that is representative of the Northeast, USA.

Note: Hermit cookies are a very old New England classic recipe that traveled up the coast to become a beloved recipe on Canada’s East coast as well. It's said the cookies are called "hermits" because you can hide them out of sight, just like hermits, for days. They'll be just as good—maybe even better as the flavors blend and develop!

Recipe used:


  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a standing mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and beat until mixture is pale and thick - about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Incorporate raisins, dates and nuts (depending on your mixer, you may have to do this part by hand with a wooden spoon).
  • Drop cookies by tablespoonfuls onto a well-greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart (you will have to do batches). Bake 10-12 minutes, until edges are set but centers' still appear moist. Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Day 3:

I can prepare a dish that is representative of the Midwest, USA.

Recipe used in this lesson:

Nilla Apple Crisp


  • 8 cups granny smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar,divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats or 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup cold margarine
  • 25reduced-fat vanilla wafers, crushed(about 1 cup)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Toss apples with 1/4 cup of the brown sugar and 1 tsp of the cinnamon. Spoon into 8- or 9- inch baking dish.
  • Combine oats, the remaining brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon in medium bowl. Cut in margarine with pastry blender or two knives, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add wafer crumbs, mix well. Spread crumb mixture evenly over apples.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm or cooled. Top with whipped topping.

Course Overview

No items found.

Love this course?

Take a look around at all our available courses. There's a world of knowledge waiting for our children.

Browse Courses