Review by Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2013
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Social Studies Quiz Game Show

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Jeopardy-style game tests students on social studies trivia

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Grades
4-6 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Encouraging feedback and good coverage of subjects/topics.

Cons: Team play will likely require teacher moderation.

Bottom Line: Provides a more engaging -- but ultimately still drill-and-kill -- context for learning social studies facts either solo or in teams.

Teachers have a lot of flexibility, since Social Studies Quiz Game Show works in whole-class, small-group, or individual scenarios. It's even a great homework tool. Similar to low-tech games teachers might already play in class, this game can be used to reward students, reinforce knowledge, or even prep for tests. During team play, a moderator would be helpful to make sure teams "buzz in" fairly and that students remain respectful; like other social games, this provides a learning opportunity. Be mindful that in larger groups, students may feel as if they don't have enough opportunity to participate, since there are only 20 questions per game. The included help file offer tips for extending the learning of the game and for including ELL learners and others.

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Social Studies Quiz Game Show is a social studies trivia game inspired by the game show Jeopardy. There are 15 subjects to choose from, with a total of 210 possible questions. Players can play solo or in up to six teams. They can choose to not be timed or have a timer with a limit of their choosing. The simplistic point-and-click interface means there's not much to do other than answer questions, but this keeps players focused. For team play, a moderator may be needed to keep players on task. Intermittent and unpredictable surprise questions worth double or triple the points spice up play and raise the stakes.

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While it's not going to win any awards for its technical prowess or groundbreaking learning design, Social Studies Quiz Game Show is a good way to brush up on factual content knowledge. The breadth of topic coverage makes the game interesting and challenging to students in grades 4-6, and is applicable to classroom content. Students can test their knowledge and will learn new things from the questions they answer incorrectly. Competitive team-based play, or even solo play with students setting challenges for themselves, makes up for a lack of gameplay variety or interactivity by adding a competitive hook. It's also not a one-and-done experience: With 15 categories to choose from, each experience is unique and allows for students to return again and again.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

With thought-provoking and sometimes tricky questions, Social Studies Quiz Game Show keeps students on their toes. 

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

As this is a trivia-driven game, factual learning is the primary goal. Students have to draw on their knowledge, intuition, and teammates to succeed, but they won't do much higher-order thinking or applying.

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

With feedback throughout the game, a thorough help screen, and a printable quiz, Social Studies Quiz Game Show sets the stage for bringing the knowledge out of the game and into the classroom.


Common Sense Reviewer
Jenny Bristol Homeschooling parent

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