Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2013
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Stack the Countries

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A whole world of facts, maps, and fun waiting to be stacked

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Teachers say (7 Reviews)
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Grades
2-6 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: An amazing amount of factual information about 193 countries is packed into this fun app.

Cons: No audio, so kids can't hear the correct pronunciation of countries and capital cities, which are sometimes difficult to pronounce.

Bottom Line: Kids learn about the world through easy-to-use flashcards and exciting stacking games.

There are multiple features on Stack the Countries that make this an excellent classroom geography resource. The flashcards (which include capitals, continents, languages, border countries, cities, landmarks, flags, and country shapes) can be used individually for lessons or self-tests about specific continents. This app is also good for cultural understanding; for example, if the class discusses the landmarks pictured in the backgrounds of Stack the Countries, students can grow in understanding of the history and culture of countries in a visually memorable way.

While one-on-one use of this app would be best, it could also be used in small groups with kids taking turns to answer the questions. For individual use, teachers can set up six accounts in each app.

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Stack the Countries is a world geography app that helps kids learn the major distinguishing facts about 193 countries. Through flashcards and games, kids discover and memorize the shapes, capitals, landmarks, major cities, borders, and more. The more than 1,000 questions and multiple difficulty levels make this app suitable for a wide age range. Kids can choose continents, which can help set difficulty level. To play the game, kids simply read questions and choose an answer from four different country choices provided. If players answer the question correctly, they get to "drop" the country onto the waiting pedestal. If players answer incorrectly, the correct country is highlighted and it tells the player (via a cartoon bubble) that it is the correct answer.

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If you're looking for an engaging way for students to study and practice global geography, look no further. This app can also help students' global awareness about countries' border neighbors, their sizes in relation to each other (easily understood as they see the countries stacked upon each other), and more. Yet this challenging educational game app is not for geography newbies, and it requires students to be able to read well enough to use the flashcards and read the multiple-choice questions. Younger kids may have trouble reading some of the included words and pronouncing the names of unfamiliar countries. For kids with some geography knowledge, this is an excellent way to reinforce geography learning through fun practice.

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Overall Rating
4

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
5

The cute country images and fast-paced games -- as well as the ability to select the continents and types of questions -- make this app highly engaging. Kids can choose which country they want to represent their user account.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
4

Kids learn by studying the flashcards and by playing the three games, answering more than 1,000 unique multiple-choice questions, solving puzzles, and memorizing facts.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
4

Individual accounts can be created for six players (and a guest user). Up to eight different types of questions can be chosen. Data is provided on number of questions answered correctly, and the cute map acts as a results tracker.


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

3
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Featured review by
Jeff D. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Millard Elementary School
Fremont, CA
3
Ah ha moments: Oh, that is where that country is located!

I like this app as a tool for developing surface knowledge. It is not great for digging deeper, but it allows the students to gain some general knowledge upfront allowing the teacher for focus on more important content. I have found that all of my students enjoy the graphics, the music, and speed of the game play. I give it high marks on engagement, but just middle of the road for pedagogy and true learning extensions.

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