Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

September 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Destination Unknown” Is A Well-Done Online Geography Game


Destination Unknown is a very slick online geography game using Instagram photos. It’s particularly good because it offers hints. Unfortunately, since it utilizes Instagram, there’s probably no guarantee that all the photos will be classroom appropriate, though I didn’t see anything bad when I played the game.

Because of that potential issue, and because it may not be around for the long-term (since it’s sponsored as a promotion by a company), I’m not going to add it to The Best Online Geography Games. But it still might be worth a visit.

May 31, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Fun Video With Potential Use In Geography Class: “3 guys Irish dancing around the world”

“3 guys Irish dancing around the world” is the latest video showing travelers doing the same thing in different countries. The genre was begun by “Where The Hell Is Matt,” which continues to be the best.

You can see them all here.

May 2, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Here’s The Writing Prompt I’m Using For My Geography Class

'Cambridge Univeristy Press: Geography for the IB Diploma: Patterns and Change: Paul Guinness' photo (c) 2010, Richard Allaway - license:

As regular readers know, I teach a Geography class for English Language Learners (and will be teaching similar U.S. History and World History courses next year).

Here’s the simple writing prompt I’m using as part of my semester final (you can download it here):

Geography Final Essay

“I was not sorry for loving Charleston or for leaving it. Geography had made me who I was.”
― Sue Monk Kidd, The Invention of Wings

“Do you understand the sadness of geography?”
― Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

“All I ever wanted was a world without maps.”
― Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

Pick one quotation from these three and respond to the writing prompt:

Writing Prompt

What do you think the writer is saying about geography? To what extent do you agree with what he or she is saying? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or any of your readings.

Quotes found at

April 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Spacehopper” Is One Of The Best Geography Games I’ve Seen


There are quite a few online geography games out there, and you can see them at The Best Online Geography Games. Many of them are pretty hard, and can be frustrating to students.

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.

Thanks to Google Maps Mania for the tip.

March 26, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

Billionaire’s Ballot Initiative To Divide California Into Six States Is Insane, But It’s A Gift To Geography Teachers

Venture capitalist and billionaire Tim Draper is getting tired of paying taxes to help the rest of us, so he wants to divide California into six states. And he’s bankrolling an initiative that’s close to getting on the ballot to do just that.

A billionaire meddling into things he knows little about but that would have a major impact on a lot of low-and-moderate income people. There seems to be a lot of that going around.

If it does make it to the ballot, and even if it doesn’t, I do suspect that it might make our upcoming unit on California in my ELL Geography class a trifle more engaging. And I think I speak for all California Geography teachers!

Here’s a video and an infographic on what the San Jose Mercury News — and most other sane people — call a “crazy” idea:


Six Californias
by johnmnelson.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.