Showing posts with label social studies games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social studies games. Show all posts

Saturday, October 19, 2019

A Couple of Fun and Simple Map Games for Students of All Ages

Ian Fisher is a software engineer at Google. In addition to his work at Google he's developed a couple of fun map games. The games are How Many European Cities Can You Name? and How Many US Cities Can You Name?

Both of the games are played the same way. Simply open the game map and start typing the names of cities. When you enter a city it will appear on the map. The object is to name as many cities as you can without stopping. When you're done you'll see a list of the cities that you named and the populations of the five biggest cities and the five smallest cities that you named.

Applications for Education
What I like about these games is that there isn't a points system. It's simply a challenge for students to continue to recall the names of cities that they have learned about or at least heard about. For students who have heard of city but aren't sure where it is, the game shows them the location. And as a bonus, students don't need to register to play the games.

H/T to Maps Mania

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Seterra - Hundreds of Interactive Geography Games in More Than 30 Languages

Seterra is a service that offers interactive geography games in more than thirty languages. I used the service for years with some of my own students. In the last couple of years Seterra has evolved from a desktop application to a web and mobile app service. You can play Seterra games in the web browser on your computer or as an Android app or an iOS app.

The best way to explore Seterra's offerings is to head to the online games page. On that page you can browse for games according to continent and country. On Seterra's online games page you will find games that students can play to learn and quiz themselves about capitals, bodies of water, waterways, flags, country names, states, provinces, regions, and notable cities. And if you need an offline activity, Seterra lists some printables below all of the games on their individual pages.

Seterra has a couple of great features that enhance their online and mobile games. There is an option that will read aloud the names of the countries, cities, states, and provinces that students are asked to identify in the game. That option is listed just below each online game. Students can turn on or turn off the read-aloud option at any time. Seterra's games also have a "review" mode that lets students practice only the items that they missed in their first attempts at a game.

Applications for Education
The reason that I like Seterra is that in addition to the wide array of games, more than 200 available for free, there is a variety within each game. Each game can be played as an identification game, as a labeling game, or as a matching game. In the simple identification mode, called "Pin" mode, students simply click on the locations of the places they're asked to identify. The labeling version of a game is found by selecting "type" mode. In that mode students have to type on the map to identify places. And in the matching mode called "place the labels" students have to match place names to the places indicated by pins on the map.

When you open Seterra in your web browser the games should default to match the language preference you have set in your browser. However, if you want to change the language in which you play the game, you can do that at the home page of

Disclosure: Seterra is an advertiser on

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hone Geography Skills With These Fun Games

Yesterday, I received an email from Kahoot that featured six games they are promoting along with National Geographic. The games are intended to help students brush-up on their knowledge of U.S. and world geography. You can find those games here in the public gallery in Kahoot. I played a couple of the games and found that they will be adequate as a start for a geography review activity. In short, I wasn't "wowed" by the games, but they did get me thinking about other geography games that I've reviewed over the years.

GameOn World is a multiplayer geography game developed by a high school teacher and his student in Portland, Maine. The game is similar in structure to that of Kahoot. In GameOn World the teacher selects a game category (cities, places, and timeline are three of the nine categories) and starts the game. The students join the game by going to GameOn.World and entering a game pin. In the location and timeline games, students answer the questions by moving a placemark on a map or selecting a date on a timeline. In some of the other games students answer by choosing a number on a sliding scale.

Spacehopper is a game based on Google Maps Street View imagery. Spacehopper shows you a Street View image and you have to guess where in the world the image was captured. You can click the clue button to have the country identified before making a guess. After three incorrect guesses the correct answer will be revealed to you. You can play Spacehopper on a global level or you can specify that you only want to see images from a particular continent.

Smarty Pins is a Google Maps game develop by Google. Smarty Pins presents players with a trivia question that they have to answer by placing a pin on a map. Players earn "miles" for correctly placing a pin on the map. Players can lose miles for answering incorrectly and or taking too long to answer. Games are available in five categories; arts & culture, science & geography, sports & games, entertainment, and history & current events.

Capital Toss is a free geography game from ABCya. The game has a state capitals mode and a country capitals mode. In both modes of the game works the same way. The name of a state or country appears at the bottom of the screen and three rows of capital names scroll across the top. When the correct capital name appears players virtually toss a ball at it. After ten correct answers players can choose a new ball. Three consecutive incorrect answers ends the game.

Where is...? is another good game geography game. This game uses a popular format for geography games; the name of a city is presented to the players and they have to click the map to guess where the city is located. Players are given immediate feedback on their accuracy in the form of a measurement, in kilometers, of the distance between their guesses and the correct answers.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We The Jury - A Game About Being a Juror

iCivics has just released its seventeenth educational game for students. The new game is called We The Jury. We The Jury puts students in the role of a juror for two trials.

In We The Jury students choose to be one of six jurors at a trial. Students then hear the facts of the case, hear closing arguments from the plaintiff and the defendant, and then go off to deliberate in the jury room. Students can deliberate for up to five days before handing down the verdict. During deliberations students examine evidence, listen to the opinions of other jurors, and try to reach a unanimous decision. Throughout the process students are reminded of the roles of jurors and to stick to only the evidence and arguments permitted by the judge.

Students who register for a free iCivics account can pause the game and come back to it at a later time. Click here for a list of all of the games offered by iCivics. 

Applications for Education
Playing We The Jury could be a great way for students to learn about what happens behind closed doors when a jury goes out to deliberate. All of the other iCivics games have curriculum units connected to them. We The Jury does not have a curriculum unit connected to it yet, but I bet that it will in the near future. 

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