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The Best “Cause-Related” Online Learning Games

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Since the famous online “Free Rice” game came onto the scene and began giving food donations to the Third World for every correct answer given on its site, several other groups have created similar games.

I thought I’d list a few of them that both seem like they would be accessible to English Language Learners.  One thing to keep in mind, though, is that there is really no guarantee that funds are actually contributed, though three of them –Free Rice, JoJo Green and Answer 4 Earth — appear to do a good job of backing-up their claims. All of them appear to use a system that adapts the level of question difficulty to each player.

Here are my picks for The Best “Cause-Related” Online Learning Games:

Free Rice is the “granddaddy” of these games.  If you choose the correct definition of the word, the next word you’re given is “harder.”  If you answer incorrectly, the next word is supposed to be “easier.”  In addition, for every word you get correct, ten grains of rice are donated to an international aid agency.  A year-and-a-half ago,  the BBC published a story quoting United Nations’ officials as saying the game has generated enough funds to feed 50,000 for a day at that time. Free Rice recently expanding its game and now has questions related to grammar, geography, art, foreign language and math, too.

Free Poverty is an online geography game. It’s similar to the popular Free Rice vocabulary game that donates money to purchase rice for distribution by the United Nations. In Free Poverty, though, money to distribute water is supposedly distributed to Third World countries for every correct answer.  The game itself is accessible to English Language Learners and is similar to the very well-done and popular Travelpod geography games.

JoGo Green contributes funds to an organization that plants trees. The amount is based on the number of correct answers you give to environmental-related questions — many which would be accessible to high Intermediate and Advanced English Language Learners.  JoGo Green clearly tries to demonstrate proof on their website that they are actually donating the money.

Free Flour asks geography questions and says they donate a spoon of flour for every correct answer.

Answer 4 Earth is another game that donates funds to plant trees based on the number of correct answers. The questions cover a very wide-range of subjects.  Answer 4 Earth appears to do a good job of substantiating their donation claims.

A group called Charitii lets users play word puzzles. You can then choose if you want them to donate to provide food, water, be put towards saving a rain forest, or contributed towards education.

Help Thirst is another game that supports water donations. It’s accessible to English Language Learners, but also seems a little weird to me. You’re shown a word question that requires a number for an answer, and you’re also shown the correct number answer. You’re supposed to memorize the answer, and then if you input it correctly, a donation is made.

You might also be interested in my previous lists on learning games:

The Best online Learning Games– 2007
The Best Online Video Games For Learning Language & Content Knowledge
The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too
The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games
The Best Online Learning Games — 2008
The Best Sites For Making Crossword Puzzles & Hangman Games
The Best Fun Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2008
The Best Online Games Students Can Play In Private Virtual “Rooms”

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at all the previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Mantz’s Mission » My del.icio.us bookmarks for April 12th through April 13th

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