My favorite, by far was GeoGuesser, where you are given a “street view” of somewhere in the world. You can 360 the view and use the clues within the view to guess geographically where you are in the world. Once you place your “pin” then you “make guess” and you earn points based on how close you were. For students who are unfocused, I can see this being a great calming activity as you must use visual clues to figure it out, specifically vegetation as well as structures, roads, or atmosphere. It also gave a deeper understanding of the places we don’t normally visit and how we perceive a location to be one way and instead it may be completely different. Likewise, my lesser favorite, but what uses the same premise is a trivia-based game, SmartyPins, where you use a pop culture reference or history reference to try to place it around the world and again, win points for your proximity. This one could be more frustrating to use with students as some of the references are quite obscure, though, as with the visual cues for GeoGuesser, for SmartyPins, you could use question clues to try to help. I’m going to add these to a list of activities on our library site to fight boredom and test your knowledge! While also emailing our ENL department and Social Studies department because it could be a bit of a time killer to play with a remaining five minutes, or like today, the last day before a break, when there are only a few students in attendance at school!
Infinity of Nations was just a neat matching game that taught you as much as challenged you. It took me about 10 minutes to figure out what to do and how to drag/drop. Likewise, it took me a minute to figure out how to pull the image and it’s very sensitive and a bit finicky which could be frustrating.
And last, the 40 maps taught me so much and I can see students studying these before creating an infographic. Many infographics showcase information using maps to represent location or density of something or help explain a concept. Map 12: Visualizing Global Density was the most shocking. And knowing that many, especially boys, are visual learners, having these maps is yet another way to represent something. We’ve learned quite a bit there year about strategies for our ENL students, one being that the more visuals you can provide, the better, so I would add maps like these to provide more context. And the map tattoo on that man’s back with shaded areas for where he’s visited, but awesome. If only I were more of a world traveler and had the skin space and wherewithall to do that!