Okay, I am having way too much fun! The Old
Schoolhouse Magazine asked me to locate the best free geography sites
on the web and I think that I have done just that. I have come up
with 17 great sites for helping you teach your children geography
while having fun at the same time. And the best part is that they are
all free. Let me tell you about these great tools for learning. By
the way, the links are in no particular order of preference, so just
click on what sounds interesting to you.
Would you prefer this information packaged in an
easy step-by-step curriculum that will guide your child in learning
world geography in as few as 7 months? Download our
complimentary Globalmania ebook here -
ONLINE GAMES AND QUIZZES
Seterra is free software that you can download onto your computer and
play many geography based games. Locate countries, capitals, cities
and more. Take quizzes and test your knowledge. The software will
record the highest scores, so you can keep playing to get your score
higher and higher. Great tool for your kids and yourself -
Sheppard Software has provided many free and fun to play geography
games at their website -
http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Geography.htm. There are various
levels of play so that your beginners and advanced students alike can
find something to hold their interest. You do need to have Flash
Player 6 or higher on your computer to be able to play these games,
but no other downloading is necessary. The instructions are minimal,
so it takes a few minutes to get the hang of the games in some
instances (or at least it did for me!). Also, they do have other
games across the curriculum, so feel free to check out their science
and vocabulary games as well – plus many others!
3. If you or your children like puzzles, then you will love
this website! At this website -
http://www.yourchildlearns.com/geography.htm - you can either play
with the on-line puzzle maps, or you can download them to your own
computer. If you would rather not download them, here is the direct
link to the online map puzzles -
http://www.yourchildlearns.com/map-puzzles.htm. These are a lot
of fun and a great learning tool for kids of all ages (yes, even
Take National Geographic’s Geography Bee quiz! These
questions can be fairly tough, but you get a second and even third
chance to get them right (there are only 3 choices per question)
thereby allowing you to KNOW the answer, which you are unlikely to
forget. Also, the questions are new every day, so you can play every
day and get new questions to answer. Very fun! Here’s the website -
Test your knowledge of world or regional geography with
this fun quiz at
http://www.lizardpoint.com/fun/geoquiz/. A great aspect of this
game is that children can see improvement quickly, even by their
second round at the same quiz. Builds confidence and knowledge!
6. This quiz site -
http://www.ilike2learn.com/ilike2learn/geography.asp - allows you
to not only learn about the countries and capitals of the world, but
also the mountains and bodies of water. If you need a hint, or the
answer, it comes in the form of a pop-up, so you may need to disable
your pop-up blocker. This site seems to add new games frequently.
Great learning tool!
7. Another great quiz site -
http://www.actionquiz.com/quiz.php?trivia=geography. Here you can
play against other kids and teachers and see if you can win. You do
not have to use your real name (no reason to, so don’t!) and the game
uses a pop-up window. So, if your computer blocks pop-ups, you either
have to disable that feature to play, or if you get a message that
allows you to open the pop-up, you can go about it that way. Warning:
this is a fun game to play and rather addicting. After playing five
times against some strong opponents, I finally won!
8. This website -
http://www.geosense.net - also allows you to play alone of against
another player. You are asked to not only identify countries of the
world but cities as well. It is quite challenging and also very
addicting. I played six rounds against my opponent and only won twice
(and I thought I knew my geography like the back of my hand – reality
check!). If you do not mind that your scores are not recorded in
their log, you can play as a guest. Or create a login ID to keep
track of your scores and establish an identity at this site.
(Parental caution: there is a chat
element on the home page which would be best to avoid for your younger
children certainly, and probably for your older children as well.
I recommend that you navigate past the home page before turning the
computer over to your child.)
9. This quiz site -
http://www.garyradley.com/games - has both “find” games and “quiz”
games giving your students a well-rounded familiarity with the
countries of the world. My only trouble with these particular games
was that it was sometimes difficult to click on the correct country
because the hand spread over more than one country area. But overall,
this is a great site to round out your online geography games.
GREAT REPORT SITES
CountryReports are two great sites for general information. If your
child or student needs to find some facts on a given country or
view/print some maps for a particular region of the world, Atlapedia
is a great all purpose website for gathering information for research
papers, etc. – The website is
http://www.atlapedia.com/index.html. Full color physical and
political maps are available. Also, CountryReports lets you drill
down on a world map to the country you are interested in and gives you
some great facts and information and maps of that area. The website
JUST MAPS – BUT
REALLY COOL MAPS!
Do your kids like
all kinds of maps – satellite, physical, political, even weather?
Then they will enjoy creating their own maps at this site -
Would you like to
see what the earth looks like a night as seen from space. This view
of the world was taken from photos of the earth at night from a
satellite. The earth is lit only from the city lights of
civilization. Spectacular! -
knows about Google Earth, right? This is an incredible piece of
software that is taken from actual photographs of the earth. In fact
you can zoom right down into your own backyard. Mind-boggling! The
software needs to be downloaded onto your computer. It is located
FUN VIDEO SITES
Yes, this is one of
my favorites! At this website -
http://www.animatedatlas.com – you can watch a five or ten minute
video about the growth of our nation. Superb and educational!
Are you in need of
some worksheets to print out that will reinforce the geography you are
teaching to your students. Here is a great site with lots of
printables (my computer tells me that is not a word, but I think you
know what I mean) -
This site gives you
contact information of places where you can receive free geography
And don’t forget
the free downloads available from Knowledge Quest – just send an email
firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send the information right
over to you.
This has been so
exciting researching these free sites for you. If these games are
played often and these resources tapped into and used, your students
will gain tremendous knowledge and retention in the realm of geography
(SO WILL YOU!). And it will be painless! That is the part I love!
Knowledge Quest, Inc.
www.kqpublishing.org - try our maps free!
www.kqpublishing.org - we are looking for authors for our new book
www.homeschoolblogger.com/knowledgequest - see what we're up to.
www.kqbusiness.com - our business helping your business to
Terri Johnson is the creator of Knowledge Quest maps and timelines.
Her mission for the company is to help make the teaching and learning
of history and geography enjoyable for both teacher and students. She
has created and published over 15 map and timeline products. Her
Blackline Maps of World History have been widely recommended in
the education community and published in The Story of the World
history series by Susan Wise Bauer. Terri and Knowledge Quest
recently won the “Excellence in Education” award granted by The Old
Schoolhouse magazine for best geography company of 2003 and 2004.
Terri resides in San Antonio, TX with her husband Todd and their
children whom she teaches at home.