Ohio State Study

OhioJoin us for an Ohio State study, including activities and information, plus printable Ohio map.  We have State Studies, including printable maps for all 50 states.  Find your state or plan to study all 50 in in your homeschool this year.

Geography of Ohio

Ohio is located in what Americans have nicknamed “the Heartland”, a region of fertile farmland, waterways and highways for transport, and industry.  The northern border of Ohio is Michigan and Lake Erie, to the west is Indiana, Pennsylvania lies to the east and south of Ohio is Kentucky and West Virginia.  Most of Ohio is low plains and hills but in the east the state borders on the Appalachian Range and is more rugged and forested.  Ohio has a cold winter climate with heavy snowfall and a hot continental summer climate.

Super Short History of Ohio

The French were the first Europeans in Ohio when they set up forts in the 1700’s.  In 1754 war broke out between the French and English.  In 1763 the French had lost and Ohio and the rest of France’s north American territories east of the Mississippi fell into British hands.  Still none, but a few French trappers had created settlements in the region.  In 1783 the Americans beat the British in the American War for Independence and Ohio became part of the new country.

This is Rose Lake in Ohio. Photo by Dionisio(CMH) at English Wikipedia, public domain.

The Americans officially organized the Northwest Territory in 1787.   The settlement of Marietta was founded in 1788 as the first American settlement in Ohio by the Ohio Company, a group of former Revolutionary War soldiers.  Other settlers soon followed and frontier towns were springing up all over Ohio.  By 1803 it was determined that Ohio had a large enough population and it became the 17th state.

In 1835 Ohio and Michigan went to war over a strip of land on the border between the two states.  Both states raised militias and made laws that subjected their citizens to criminal action for submitting to the sovereignty of the other.  A few shots were fired into the air over the disputed land.  The conflict ended when the US congress proposed a compromise that gave Ohio the disputed Toledo strip in exchange for Michigan’s statehood and the Upper Peninsula to go to Michigan.

This photo is by b k, a Wikimedia user, CC license.


In the 1860’s Ohio sided with the rest of the north in opposing slavery and secession in the Civil War.  35,000 Ohio men lost their lives in the conflict and the three top generals of the Union were from Ohio, Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Phillip Sheridan.

Today Ohio has more than 11.5 million people and is the 10th most densely populated of the 50 states.  The largest cities are Toledo, Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton.  Its economy is based on manufacturing, finance, bioscience, science, medicine, food processing, and food production in cheese, eggs, tomatoes, soybeans, and corn.

This is the Scripps Center, a building in downtown Cincinnati. Photo by Derek Jensen, CC license, Wikimedia.


Fabulous Facts

  • Ohio has one item on its ballot every 20 years that asks the people whether they want a constitutional convention to reform their government.  Ohioans always have said “no” in the past.  The next vote comes up in 2032.
  • 76% of Ohioans say they are Christian.  Most of the rest are non-religious, but there are small populations of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists.
  • Eight US Presidents were from Ohio: William Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Taft, and Warren G. Harding.  All of these presidents were Republicans.
  • The economy of Ohio, if it were considered independent, would be the 24th largest in the world, just ahead of Belgium.
  • Ohio is nicknamed the “Buckeye State” because of the Ohio Buckeye tree, a type of horse chestnut, which drops large nut-like seeds.  The name Buckeye was the mascot of Ohio State University for decades before Ohio officially adopted the nickname for the whole state.
These are Ohio Buckeyes. Photo by H. Zell, CC license, Wikimedia.
  • The Ohio flag is unique because of its swallowtail design.  It was officially adopted in 1902.  The slanted lines represent the hills and valleys and the stripes represent the roads and waterways.  The thirteen stars represent the original thirteen colonies and the circle in the center of the stars represents the Northwest Territory.  Four more stars were added to the right to represent that Ohio is the 17th state.


Label and color an Ohio Map.  Include the major cities, waterways, Lake Erie and the bordering states.

Ohio Map

Try one of these recipes from Ohio.

Choose a famous person from Ohio and write a one page biography of their life.  You could choose one of the presidents we mentioned above or: Ambrose Bierce, Zane Grey, Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison, Steven Spielberg, Chief Pontiac, Scott Hamilton, Roy Rogers, Dean Martin, Neil Armstrong, Thomas Edison, John Glenn, Orville and Wilbur Wright.

Learn more about the native tribes that lived in Ohio.  Map their tribal areas and towns, if any.

Look up more of the state symbols of Ohio and create a poster featuring them.

Additional Layers

    • Ohio has a long history of being strongly Republican, but in about 2008 the state began to flip to Democrat.  Examine Ohio’s flip and see if you can find out why the change happened.  When have other major political flips occurred in American politics?  Why did they happen?
    • Ohio has produced a huge proportion of famous and powerful people.  What is so different about Ohio that has made it so successful?  Look at education and economics especially.
    • Look at the symbolism of Ohio’s flag.  Using the same concepts redesign the flag with different ways of expressing them.
    • Ohio is featured in Unit 4-10 of the Layers of Learning Program.  Learn more about Layers of Learning and how you can use it in your homeschool, with your family, or in your classroom.

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