Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2013
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State Bingo and Road Trip US

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Fun games excite kids about U.S. states and geography facts practice

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3-5 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Both games are easy to catch onto, lively, fun, and fast.

Cons: Just the facts here, not a lot of depth or background.

Bottom Line: Two games and one beautiful map enliven geography trivia.

If your students are currently learning U.S. geography, the 600+ questions in the two games on State Bingo and Road Trip US are great ways for them to practice recalling and testing themselves on what they've learned. Also, since this app uses three of the famous U.S. historic trails as guides in the road trip game, consider using them as a jumping-off point to discuss other major exploration, migration, and goods transportation routes throughout America, both historically and currently. There's a lot of good quiz data, but the app doesn't support multiple user accounts, so students can't save their own progress, and the rewards are not player-specific.

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State Bingo and Road Trip US is a geography trivia and states identification practice app based on two games and a beautiful pictorial map. In bingo, kids answer questions that are written across the top of the screen (such as, "My capital city is Trenton. Who am I?") by tapping on the correct state shape card on a bingo board to get four in a row. For the road trip game, kids drive a smiley car along a pre-chosen path -- eastbound, westbound, or some famous historic U.S. trails -- as they answer trivia questions. The questions with multiple-choice answers range from topics like national parks and city names to state flowers and neighboring states. Incorrect answers make the cute car's tires flatten, while correct answers move the car along the trail. When a student finishes a game, the app "sends a state to statehood" as a progress reward.

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State Bingo and Road Trip US uses two very basic but fun games to engage kids in U.S. states and geography facts practice. Kids can practice recalling the shapes of states, their capital cities, facts and trivia -- such as landmarks, landforms, state parks, topography, natural resources, and more -- in the two games. The road trip game makes use of important historic trails -- the Lewis and Clark Trail (Illinois to Oregon), Oregon Trail (Missouri to Oregon), Pony Express (Missouri to California) -- and helps kids put into context how people move from state to state and how states are interconnected, yet unique. The only potential downside of State Bingo and Road Trip US is that it assumes kids playing it already have quite a bit of knowledge of states and can read names of places (some that are quite difficult) without getting stuck. It would be nice to have audio as an option for questions, as well as a pre-game tour of the map that would guide kids through some of the trivia and basic state facts before moving kids into the games. For now, the beautiful map can provide some hints for kids who don't have a lot of states knowledge already in place.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Colorful maps, quick bingo games, and a cute little car on road trips throughout America combine to make State Bingo and Road Trip US an engaging states identification practice and U.S. trivia app.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Kids apply prior knowledge when playing the bingo and road trip games. It's more about recalling and mastering facts than learning them.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

Three levels help kids choose the right game difficulty for their knowledge base. The app reminds kids that they can get hints from the map. Good data (score, hits, misses, hit percent, and total number of states sent to statehood).


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

3
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Featured review by
Elisabeth A. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Cosumnes River Elementary School
Sloughhouse, CA
3
Test Your Knowledge of the US. Track Your Hits & Misses. Earn Statehood.

This app is very simple to use. There are 3 levels for use: Easy, Medium and Hard.
Students can select State Bingo or Road Trip US.
State Bingo: The easy level requires users to test their knowledge of state abbreviations, capital cities, state slogans, national parks, directions, and scrambled letters. There is some strategy required to earn a bingo: a correct answer may be shown more than once, so students can select the answer that will produce a bingo more quickly. A timer is shown at the bottom left of the screen so students can try to beat their previous times or play against other students. As students play games, they send states to My Statehoods. These states appear on a historical time line. At the Hard level, the states are shown without their names to identify them. Students can select the magnifying glass to see a map of the US to use as a guide/hints.
Road Trip: There are 5 road trips kids can take: Eastbound, Westbound, Lewis and Clark Trail, Oregon Trail, and Pony Express. If a question is answered incorrectly during the trip, the students's car can get a flat tire.
Overall opinion: I like the product. The graphics are cute and there are some nice sound effects and background music. Students can work independently with the product, working at a level that is appropriately interesting/challenging, playing against their classmates if desired. It's best for elementary students in grades 3-6. I'd recommend its use for 15-20 min to test skills and build knowledge. Repeated use can build state knowledge.

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