Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Online Geography Games

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'Globe' photo (c) 2006, Steve Cadman - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

As regular readers know, in addition to teaching mainstream English classes and to Beginning and Intermediate English Language Learners, I also teach a Geography class to ELLs (as well as an IB Theory of Knowledge class).

I thought it might be useful to create a “The Best” list just focused on Geography games as a supplement to these other lists:

The Best Websites For Learning & Teaching Geography

The Best Geography Sites For Beginning & Intermediate English Language Learners

Here are my choices for The Best Online Geography Games:

I was prompted to make this list today after I learned about a particularly good new game called Map Race. It shows you views from the air of different cities, and you have to pick which city it is. You can put it in multiple choice mode or harder ones. It’s a good game that can be played with the whole class. Thanks to Google Maps Mania for the tip.

Scribble States is fun. Players have to “connect the dots” with a virtual pencil, and then have to answer a multiple-choice question about which state (in the United States) they just drew. And the whole thing is timed, to boot!

The Traveler IQ Challenge is probably going to be just about the most difficult map game you’ll ever play. But it’s a lot of fun, and there are “Challenges” from all parts of the world.

Placespotting is number four. Students are shown a spot on the map, and given a series of riddles to help them determine what it is. All these geographic riddles are user-generated, and students can create their own, too.

Map Battle  is a very easy-to-use tool to create geography games online.

GeoGuessr shows you an image from Google Street View, along with a map of the world. You click on the map indicating where you think the photo might be from, and then you’re shown the actual location. You’re given points based on how close your guess was to the original location.

The concept is similar to a number of other games, but GeoGuessr seems particularly well-designed. If played by a whole class with a computer projector, it could be particularly useful pressing students to identify clues in the image. And when you’re shown the actual location on the map, the names of many countries are shown, so it can be a good reinforcement activity.

You can now create your own GeoGuessr game at GeoSettr

You can play and/or create geography games at Purpose Games.

I Know That
and Sheppard Software are my favorite places to send students when we’re beginning to learn about a new part of the world. They have multiple games that students seem to enjoy.

You can create a Mission Map Quest game here, and a Google Maps scavenger hunt at Terra Clues.

In Pursued, you have escaped from being kidnapped and have to figure out which cities you’ve been taken. You explore the area through Google Street Views, and are given hints of what to look for. There are different levels of difficulty, and you can create your own level, too.

GR8CTZ — Great Cities of the World challenges you to guess which cities you’re seeing in Google Street View. It has different difficulty levels.

LocateStreet is a similar game using Street View. One nice feature is that it offers clues.

Earth-Picker is a new online geography games that’s somewhat similar to other ones using Google Street View that can be found on this list. You’re shown a location and have to identify on a map where you think it is in the world. You’re told how close you are, and how your guess compares to the ones made by other players.

At Quiz Geo, you can easily create your own geography game as well as play ones created by others. It didn’t seem to work for me on Firefox, though, and I could only play it on the Google Chrome Browser.

Class Tools lets you easily create a Map “treasure hunt” with no registration necessary.

Spacehopper is a new online game that isn’t easy but, after showing you a Google Street View image of a location, provides clues that make it less difficult. You’re shown a map with various dots on it, as well as the map outline of the country. After three guesses, you’re given the answer along with information on the location.

Smarty Pins is a new online geography game from Google. It’s similar to some of the better ones on this list — you’re asked a question, provided a hint, and then have to put a “pin” on your guess for the answer. One of the nice things I found — at least, in the questions that I answered — is that you’re only shown the region of the world where the answer can be found.

Let me know if you think I’ve missed any particularly good geography game sites.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

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

3 Comments

  1. Do you happen to know of any teacher monitored geography websites? I would like to monitor the progress of my students knowing U.S Geography without having to grade anything!

  2. Hi! Great list, but I think my Seterra Online should be included as well! You can find it here: http://online.seterra.net/

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