Long gone are the days of filling in blank maps. With many schools becoming 1:1 with iPads and computers readily available in many schools there are so many more options to learn Geography than ever before.
Instead of staring at a world map and hoping it will magically soak in, students can now become an active part of the process by using interactive maps. Programs like Google Earth and Google Street View are amazing resources for students to interact with maps, but what if students could play games in class and still learn everything they need to know?
Geography class should be an adventure! After all, you are exploring the world. Technology can change the way students learn if we let it.
Here are 5 fun games to play in Geography class!
Smarty Pins combines world knowledge and location together in one game. Using the Google Maps system, students will see facts about the world and then choose the location they believe goes with the question. The questions can be anything from arts and culture to sports knowledge. Smarty Pins will tell you how many miles away you are from the actual location, so you better be exact! You will start with 1,000 miles. Each time the game subtracts miles from your total.
Capital Toss looks like a carnival game. A country appears at the bottom while world capitals go by. When you find the capital that matches with the country you click on it and a baseball is thrown to hit the correct city. The cities go by rather slowly giving time to think. When the baseball hits the capital, it flips over leaving it unavailable. You keep playing until you have three strikes, scoring points with each correct answer. If you are studying US state capitals, you can play that version instead.
Where is This? and Geoguessr
Where is This? and Geoguessr are very similar. Students will see an image of a location and must guess the location. This is a great way to build map skills, but also to see similarities and differences in physical geography. Locations at similar latitudes will often have similar looking vegetation because they are in the same climate zone. Putting the images on the screen and playing together as a class is a great way to discuss the context clues in the images that will help students to see patterns among locations.
GameOn lets you challenge your students to a review of world geography. When starting the game you can choose a theme such as places, cities, or people and things. Once you start the game, students will type in a unique code (similar to Kahoot). You will be able to see all the players in the game.
A picture of a city or landmark and the name will come up on the screen and students will have approximately 30 seconds to answer the question by putting a pin on a world map. At the end of each question, the people with the closest guesses will get more points. As the teacher, you will be able to see how many miles each student was from the correct location.
Honorable mention: True Size
True Size is not technically a game, but it is still a fun way to study geography! On True Size, students can type in the name of any country in the world and position that country over a world map to see how it compares. This a great way to understand how maps are often distorted while learning locations of countries around the world.
Have your students mastered the location of countries? Check out the culture or global issues section for a more in depth look at the world or the virtual reality section for a more immersive experience!