Please welcome the talented Kristen of Aspire to Inspire! Today she shares a fun and engaging way to get students excited about social studies. Thanks for giving us so many great sites to go and explore, Kristen!
I’m always on the lookout for engaging and authentic learning activities to encourage students’ interest in social studies and to help them understand its relevance in their lives. This time, though, it was my husband who introduced to me a fantastic opportunity for students to use technology, map skills, and their knowledge of regions, topography, language, and other cultural elements to identify different world locations. GeoGuessr is a free, web-based geography game that challenges players to identify real-life locations from around the world using Google Street View.
Not the same image as above, but I wanted to show you the red pin.
- Natural resources
- Road signs and road markers (for example: How are lanes divided?)
- Language on signs and buildings
- Conditions of the buildings, roadways, and bridges
- Types of vehicles
- Plant life
- Culture (For example: What side of the road are people driving on? What are the ethnic backgrounds of the people in view? How are people dressed?)
Looking at this image, from my own knowledge and experiences, I recognized the wooden church architecture as something older (pioneer times? early 1900s?) than today’s churches. What really caught my eye is the white sign on the middle left. I recognized that sign as a type of historical marker that I have seen in other parts of the United States. I did a 360-degree view of the site and saw large hills and many types of trees (evergreens and leafy trees) surrounding this area. I also zoomed in on cars that were in a parking lot across the street from the church. They looked similar those in the United States. I did not see any English-language signs in the image, but I did recognize American-style street sign shapes. I took a guess that this site was somewhere in Tennessee based on these ideas (also because I had seen a very similar-style church on a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains). The site was actually in West Virginia, so I wasn’t too far off!
Not too shabby! At least I’m on the right continent.