May 27, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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.
Let me know if you think I’ve missed any particularly good geography game sites.
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