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TN History for Kids

Teacher's Guide to Critters, maps and heroes

This page contains background information and quiz answers for the first grade booklet Critters, Maps and Heroes: A Tennessee History for Kids.

Rather than buying a single classroom set, please consider buying one for every student. We sell these booklets inexpensively ($2) to encourage teachers to purchase one for each student to keep. We print them on non-glossy paper so kids can write on them and make them their own.

If you have any comments about the booklet or suggestions for this teacher's guide, please email Bill Carey at

In addition to these comments below, there is some material in the standards that is covered online, and not in the booklets. Click here for three Tennessee heroes not covered in the booklets, but in the standards.

Chapter One: The State of Tennessee

Standards: 1.1 and 1.2

Quiz Answers:

1. Tennessee is located in the southeast United States.

2. About six and a half million people live in Tennessee.

3. Tenneseeans have a reputation for making music, being friendly, being honest and being tough.

AMPLIFICATION: It is important that students know what we mean by "tough." When we talk about tough, we are talking about the image of famous Tennesseans such as John Sevier, David Crockett and Andrew Jackson. The volunteer soldiers who left their families, walked and rode across the mountains and defeated a Tory army at Kings Mountain were tough. So were the soldiers who defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans. By "tough," we are talking about the ability to face adversity, deal with difficult times and fight in battle if necessary. This is very much a part of Tennessee's image.

Chapter Two: Maps

Standards: 1.15, 1.17, 1.18 and 1.24.

Quiz answers:

1. A map is a picture that shows how things are arranged.

2. Answers will vary, obviously.

3. Examples of symbols used in maps are lines for boundaries, blue areas for lakes, blue lines for rivers, stars for state capitals, and there are many others.

By the way, if you would like a classroom set of Tennessee highway maps for your class, click here, fill out the form, and the nice folks from the Tennessee Department of Transportation will send you one!

Chapter Three: A funny box, four lines and four dots

Standards: 1.17, 1.19 and 1.22

Note: There are no questions at the end of this chapter, because the entire chapter is a class participation project in which every student creates a Tennessee map.

Chapter Four: Grand Divisions

Standards: 1.17, 1.21 and 1.23

Quiz Answers

1. The three stars on the Tennessee flag represent the three Grand Divisions of Tennessee.

2. Clingmans Dome, which is in East Tennessee, is the highest point in the state.

3. West Tennessee is the flattest of the Grand Divisions.

AMPLIFICATION: Here is a list of which counties are located in each Grand Division:

Eastern Division:

Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Cumberland, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Polk, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union and Washington

Middle Division:

Bedford, Cannon, Cheatham, Clay, Coffee, Davidson, DeKalb, Dickson, Fentress, Franklin, Giles, Grundy, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Marshall, Maury, Montgomery, Moore, Overton, Perry, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Rutherford, Sequatchie, Smith, Stewart, Sumner, Trousdale, Van Buren, Warren, Wayne, White, Williamson and Wilso

Western Division:

Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Lauderdale, Madison, McNairy, Obion, Shelby, Tipton and Weakley

Chapter Five: Rivers

Standards: 1.6, 1.22 and 1.42

Quiz answers:

1. The Mississippi River runs along or near Tennessee's western boundary.

2. Tennessee was named for the Cherokee village of Tanasi.

3. The Cumberland River runs through downtown Nashville.

Chapter Six: Cities

Standards: 1.8, 1.9 and 1.22.

Quiz answers:

Click to enlarge photo

1. Memphis has the largest population in Tennessee.

AMPLIFICATION: Nashville is catching up fast. It is expected that Nashville will have more residents than Memphis by the year 2020.

2. Nashville is sometimes known as "Music City, U.S.A."

AMPLIFICATION: Since people refer to Nashville by this name, we can say that this is one of Nashville's nicknames.

3. Governor Bill Haslam is from Knoxville.

4. Moon Pies, Krystal hamburgers and Coca-Cola are all associated with Chattanooga.

Finally, LOOK CLOSELY at this photo of the Sunsphere (the same one used in the booklet). Did you notice that there are two men on top of it? Wow!

Chapter Seven: Flags and Critters

Standard: 1.34

Quiz answers:

1. The iris is the Tennessee state flower.

MORE INFO: In fact, there are two Tennessee state flowers. The iris is the Tennessee cultivated flower, while the passion flower is the Tennessee wildflower.

2. Answers will vary, obviously. Also, we need to point out that there are a lot more official state symbols than we list here. In truth; Tennessee also has an official game bird, an official fruit, an official state gem and the list goes on. For a more complete list, click here.

Chapter Eight: What people do around here

Standards: 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, 1.11 and 1.13

Quiz answers:

1. a) S; b) P; c) S; d: P

2. Tourism is the industry created when people visit a place and spend money while there.

3. Mining is the industry of digging up rocks.

Chapter Nine: Heroes

Standards: 1.41, 1.42 and 1.43

PHOTO: TN State Library and Archives

Quiz answers:

1. Nancy Ward achieved the status of "Beloved Woman" within the Cherokee nation.

2. He said "if I had a thousand lives to live, I would give them all rather than betray a friend."

3. Cordell Hull helped start the United Nations.

4. Diane Nash was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement.

MORE INFO: Click here to read about Sam Houston, Casey Jones and Austin Peay--all of whom are listed in the first grade standards but who weren't included in the booklet.