Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Five Interactive Geography Activities

Interactive maps are good tools for students to use independently to learn and study geography. The following five websites are good places to find a wide variety of interactive geography activities.

National Geographic Kids has a wide variety of games, puzzles, and activities for students of elementary school age. National Geographic Kids has nine games specifically for developing geography skills.

Learning Together offers four activities for learning about the geography of the United States. Learning Together also offers a game about world geography and a game about European geography.

Owl and Mouse Educational Software
offers nine, free, interactive maps for students. The maps cover every continent except Antarctica.

Lizard Point gives students 36 interactive maps to study. The maps cover basic world geography as well as specific geography questions for various regions and countries around the world.

Traveler IQ Challenge
has 14 interactive geography activities. The activities can be embedded in a blog or website. If it is an option for you, I recommend embedding the activities into your class blog or website to cut down on the number of advertisements that your students see.

September's Most Popular Content

Tomorrow is the first of October (or perhaps it already is in your part of the world) so I thought I would share the five most popular items from the month of September.

1. Can't Use YouTube? Try This
2. A Podcast About Podcasting
3. Slide Rocket is Now Available for Everyone
4. Pete's Power Point Station - A Great Stop for Elementary Teachers
5. New Podcast - What is Creativity?

Thank you to everyone who has subscribed to Free Technology For Teachers, visited the blog, and shared the blog's content with others. In the month of September Free Technology For Teachers had just over 17,000 visits. Writing this blog continues to be a fun learning experience for me and I hope that it is helpful for you and your colleagues. If you're interested in following the comments, ideas, and resources I share elsewhere, please feel free to follow me on Twitter.

Learning About CO2 Emissions

Thanks to Skip Z for sharing the following great resource on Twitter. Planet Green Game is a project of Global Green USA and Starbucks. Planet Green Game has users select from six avatars and six modes of transportation. As players travel through the game in their chosen mode of transportation they will learn about the environmental effects of their mode of transportation. Throughout the game players have opportunities to learn about methods of reducing pollution.

Applications for Education
Playing Planet Green Game is a great way for students and adults to learn about the environmental effects of various modes of transportation. Students will also be exposed to ideas for reducing pollution. Planet Green Game could be a great jumping-off point for larger discussions and student research on CO2 emissions.

Math Games, Word Games, Strategy Games and More

The Problem Site is loaded with great games for students. Some of the games are traditional "hang-man" style games, some of the games are traditional games with a twist, and some of the games are completely new. Each game is designed to help students develop problem solving skills. The games are categorized as word games, math games, or strategy games. In addition to those categories there are two sections that offer non-game challenge problems.

Applications for Education
The Problem Site is a good place for teachers to direct students toward to practice problem solving skills individually. The games are probably best suited for use in middle school or upper elementary school grades. Some of the games have different levels of difficulty that students can choose from making those games good resources for differentiation within the classroom.

Win $10,000 Toward College Tuition

Mental Floss, Borders, and Merriam-Webster are sponsoring an essay contest for students planning to pursue a two year or four year undergraduate program in 2009. The contest will award $10,000 to the authors of five winning essays. In 750 words or less, students should convince the judges that they are the most deserving candidate for the $10,000 prize. You can read all of the contest details on Mental Floss.