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It is always a challenge to find useful resources on the internet for the classroom. This past year, I discovered four great activities that are engaging, interactive, and challenge a student’s knowledge of geography. The activities can be done individually or in small groups based on the number of students in your class, student ability levels, and the availability of technology.
At the start of the class, I hand out a worksheet with the website links and a spot to record each score. (If teachers are interested, please email me for a copy of the worksheet – mark@mytowntutors.com). Each student hands in the worksheet at the end of the activity. This is an effort activity, so the scores are not nearly as important as the effort. You certainly can develop your own grading rubric for the activity.
To add a little excitement and competition to the activity, I have created a “Hall of Fame” for the top scorers. If you continue using this activity over several years, the Hall of Fame should increase student interest, effort, and motivation.
Seeing the names of neighbors, teammates, and even family members can ignite the competitive juices of certain students. Sibling rivalries can now exist in an academic setting. To create competition within and between classes, I also post the top 10 scores for each year. If you have a class website, this is a great opportunity to post your top scorers (first name and last initial).
It is important to remind the students that the reporting of scores is based on the HONOR SYSTEM. I have not had any issues with honesty, however, you also could go around and visually check each top score to verify the authenticity.
1. World Geography Quiz – This is a great activity to test knowledge of World Geography. Scores are based on accuracy (how close to the location) and speed (how quickly the location is selected).
There are 12 different levels. Each level has a higher difficulty of questions. The majority of students finished below level 6. There are 3 categories (World Cities, Famous Places, World Capitals) with 4 different levels (Easy, Medium, Hard, Expert).
The majority of students the grade 9 students finished below level 6. To advance to the next level, a minimum score must be achieved. This minimum score is located in the top right corner of the page.
For each question their an an interesting fact listed at the bottom of the map.
At the completion of the game, 3 scores will be recorded:
Final Level: (maximum level 12)
Final score:
Traveller IQ:
Class results (Grade 9)
Final Level Range: (maximum level 12)  Levels 1 – 10
Final score range:  9,995 – 257,345
Traveller IQ 13 – 89
2. Place the state on the map – This is a great activity for visual learners. The students are shown the shape of one state at the top of the page and are asked to place the state in the correct location on a map of the United States. The difficulty level decreases with each state that is placed. The activity works like a 50-piece puzzle. With each additional piece, the puzzle become a little easier until there is only one spot left.
A person only gets one opportunity to correctly place the state. The program will keep track of the average miles of error for placing the states. After the activity is completed the students will be given 3 scores:
Score (%)
Average Error (in miles)
Time (seconds)
# perfect out of 50 turns
Class score
range (April 2012) 35% – 92%
3. The USA Quiz – This is another great activity that tests a student’s ability to identify a state. There is a map on the left side of the page and on the right side is the question “Where is……..(name of a state)?” A student has 3 chances to select the correct location. A correct choice on the first answer is worth 3 points, the second answer is worth 2 points, and the third answer is worth 1 point. After 3 choices, the student must move on to the next questions.
Maximum score 150 points.
4. The World Quiz This might be a great activity to finish to build self-esteem. It is a 12 question quiz that asks you to identify the continents and the oceans. Like the previous quiz, students are given three opportunities for a correct answer. With the same point totals for correct answers.
Maximum Score 36. Several students were able to achieve the maximum point total.
* A teacher may also want to introduce this activity for the students at the start of a unit. For homework, the students can practice on their own. At the end of the week you can assess the students in the form of a quiz. You can record the score right on the spot. No papers to take home!
I would love feedback and suggestions for other great websites for US History. Email mark@mytowntutors.com,