Stack the States: More than just Social Studies standards

How do you get students excited about using that ancient reference material known as an atlas?

Stack the States (iTunes $0.99) is an exciting, interactive app that asks students to answer trivia questions about all 50 states (including capitals, state mottos, state shapes, state flags, etc.).  With each correct answer, the student earns a state.  Using multiple states, students must stack them to reach a goal line in order to progress to the next level.

What we discovered in my classroom, is that students who were unfamiliar with the shape of each state really enjoyed having a “cheat book” (aka an atlas) to help them answer questions and identify states.

When I showcased the app to the whole class (using my dongle and document reader), they were excited to try the game.  However, they found it difficult to identify a state by its shape or capitol.  Then I asked them where we could find such information and ultimately introduced an atlas.  After a lively discussion and perusal of the atlas (again, using the document reader), we decided to have a classroom competition, challenging students   to work in pairs and get as many points as possible.  Not only did they learn how valuable a teammate can be, they also learned how to quickly look things up, what the names (and shapes)  of all the states and capitals are, and finally what an atlas is for!

As students progress, they earn states.  When all 50 have been earned, bonus games are revealed to add more to the learning and fun!

Check out the iTunes store for more great games from creator Dan Russell-Pinson like Stack the Countries and Presidents vs. Aliens.

Stack the States really stacks up when it comes to hitting multiple standards and engaging students to reach new heights!

Stack the States is available at the iTunes store!

Photo: Tammy Dunbar 2012

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