Since my fourth suggestion for a 2014 resolution was to take a step outside the textbook, here’s an easy idea that gives you a way to do that.
I recently heard about the web app Geoguessr and I’ll warn you, it’s addictive. Basically, the app gives you Google Earth photos of seemingly random places in earth. (I’m not sure how random they are – the app is fondest of Brazil and Australia, in my experience.) You make a guess of where you think the photo is from, click on the map, and the game tells you how far away you were. You get a certain number of points based on how close you got. After five or so photos, your scores are added up for your overall score.
That’s it, pretty simple, but an engaging cross-curricular little app. Here are some ideas that crossed my mind while I explored it.
- Use it as a brain break, just giving students a no-agenda segue between activities.
- Practice description – what does the place look like?
- Practice comparisons – what’s the same or different among pictures?
- Practice giving and defending reasons – why do you think it’s Australia but your neighbor thinks it’s Africa?
Got any other suggestions for how to use Geoguessr?