Joshua Katz at North Carolina State University has produced 128 heat maps (the maps take a while to load) highlighting the differences in regional dialects in the continental United States. The maps are based on the responses to 128 questions. The questions ask things like, “do you pronounce cot and caught the same way?” The regional difference that I experience a lot is the different names for soda pop. Katz has a produced a map for that too.
Applications for Education
Browsing through the dialect survey maps could be a good way for students to learn a little about regional differences in the United States. You might ask your students to think about how and why these differences in dialects developed. Then ask your students if television and radio media has any influence on how people speak.
H/T to Open Culture.