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Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2013

U.S. Geography by MindSnacks

Absorb facts with these challenging U.S. geography and states games

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Character & SEL
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Social Studies
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
5-8
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)
4

Take a look inside

4 images

Pros: Fast-paced app draws kids into fact memorization and recall through eight games and distinctive visuals.

Cons: Some quiz questions are obscure and not generally useful to students.

Bottom Line: Fun, demanding game-style quizzes include more than 1,000 facts.

Use this app to help students memorize and recall U.S. geography and state facts in fun ways. U.S. Geography by MindSnacks can be used for solo practice or for group exercises. Individual students can create user profiles, and each student's solo progress can be tracked over time to measure areas of strengths and weaknesses. Teachers can view all user profiles in the aggregate to assess which states or geography skills require more attention as a class, and they can customize settings to focus on those topic areas. For group work, some of the Q&A style games may be fun to play as a class, with the teacher facilitating how questions are answered based on the technology available in the classroom. If the class includes students new to America or to your state, consider using this app as a resource to help them become familiar with the culture of their new state or nation.

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U.S. Geography by MindSnacks includes eight wide-ranging quiz games that test students on more than 1,000 questions related to U.S. geography and state trivia. Students can review state facts aligned with National Geographic's Geography Standards on each state's chart, which includes a detailed custom map. To keep kids interested in the subject matter, games use fun hooks, such as a state-shape-eating frog or a dart for kids to mark spots on the map where U.S. landforms and landmarks exist. Material within some games, especially at higher levels of difficulty, tests users on very specific and/or not commonly known state trivia. Teachers and students can choose the difficulty level of each game and customize some aspects of the information included in the quizzes, but they can't choose the states to be tested on. Post-quiz reports show how close kids are to mastering each state's information and what skills (such as visual recognition, geo-literacy, and cultural literacy) students developed during game play.

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Kids can reinforce and expand their knowledge of U.S. geography and state cultural trivia with U.S. Geography by MindSnacks. The brief factsheet style lessons about each state can help kids review what they already know and fill in informational gaps before playing the eight games. Beautiful photos of the American landscape and hand-drawn images act as helpful engagement and memorization aids for visual learners. With more than 40 hours of content, this comprehensive app is just as suitable for older students who need to brush up on U.S. geography and state trivia as it is for upper-elementary or middle-school students who want to test and expand newly acquired knowledge.

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Overall Rating
4

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

U.S. Geography by MindSnacks is an absorbing way to help kids memorize geography and state facts while viewing gorgeous images of America and its landmarks. Fun hooks, including a state-eating frog, keep kids interested.

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

Eight game-like quizzes test players on more than 1,000 questions related to U.S. geography and state trivia. There's a tutorial for each state, so kids can review basic information aligned with National Geographic's Geography Standards.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
5

Brief written instructions guide kids into games. Feedback during game play indicates whether kids are answering quickly or slowly, and reports show how close kids are to mastering the information and what skills they've developed.


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

4
(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews)
Featured review by
Susan M. , Other
Other
4
Great interactive platform for learning states, capitals, landforms, and general geography of the United States.

This product is great for an interesting and engaging way to learn states and capitals and geography facts. I like the game aspect of it the most, as that increases student engagement and interest. The beginning and advanced levels work well with all learners. This is also a fantastic tool for visual-spatial learners and for learners that struggle with rote memorization. For years, we memorized the states and capitals---this brings it into an interactive, interesting learning experience, as well as incorporate all sorts of other geography knowledge.

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