Hawaii Lesson for Kids: History & Facts

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Let's travel to the island state of Hawaii! In this lesson, learn about the history of Hawaii, its geography and climate, and unique cultural features.

Travel to the Pacific

Let's take a virtual field trip to the beautiful island state of Hawaii! In order to get there, we will have to travel far away from the mainland of the United States. This state is made up of eight main islands. Because it is so far removed from the United States, it is actually almost as close to Asia as it is to its own country. There is evidence of Asian culture with the people of Hawaii.

The island state of Hawaii is located in the Pacific Ocean.
Map of Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiian History

Ancient Hawaii is thought to have been inhabited by early settlers from lands in Asia, and the English explored Hawaii in the 1700s. Throughout the late 1700s, different islands were ruled by different kings, but all the Hawaiian islands became a united kingdom in 1810. There were kings and queens until the late 1800s. Then Hawaii became a territory of the United States in 1900. This meant that it fell under the control of the American government, but was not officially recognized as a state.

One of the most historical events in recent history occurred in Hawaii. On December 7, 1941, Hawaii's Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. This attack convinced the United States government to enter into World War II. After the war, Hawaii became an official state of America in 1959. Hawaii is famously the 50th state of the United States.

Pearl Harbor is a famous attraction, where people visit and pay tribute to those attacked in 1941.
Pearl Harbor at night

Geography and Climate

Hawaii's geography is quite unique. It is the only state that is an archipelago, or group of islands. These islands were created by volcanic activity in the ocean. There are volcanoes that are active on the island currently. Visitors often travel to see Hawaii's famous lava flows.

Hawaii's climate is tropical, meaning it is warm and wet year-round. There are trade winds that blow, keeping the temperature from getting too uncomfortably hot. Although the climate is tropical, there are some mountains in Hawaii that occasionally see snowfall at the highest elevations!

It is not unusual to see volcanic activity in Hawaii.
Hawaiian volcano eruption

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