And this bonus one, too for a bunch of geography and social studies related puzzles and word games: www.digipuzzle.net.
14 Educational Websites Students Will Want to Visit
As I watched students play (and play and play and play), I started to understand what it was that enraptured them so thoroughly: It's the thinking. They make decisions that result in consequences and ultimately require more thinking. Players can't go on auto-pilot. They must engage their brain.
OK, I get it. No way will I reinvent the education wheel when I've stumbled onto the golden goose: Simulations -- not those shallow ones that walk players through the 'right' answers, but the deep, multi-layered type that are hard to find in the virtual world. I've had one (called SimTower) on my lab computers for ten years. Third graders discover it and play it as often as I let them -- which used to be every lunch hour until Minecraft replaced it -- right through the fifth grade, when the shine wore thin and they needed something new. It's listed below, but you can't buy it. It's only available as 'abandoned software' from the link.
Here are a few more software programs you can use to tantalize your students:
- Bridge Builder—learn how to design and test bridges
- iCivics—experience what it means to be part of a democracy
- Making History: The Great War—WWI strategy game
- MidWorld Online—learn French or Spanish while completing conquests
- Minecraft (links to MinecraftEdu—fee required)
- Mission US--students role play the American Revolution or the Civil War
- Past/Present—life as an American immigrant in the early 1900’s
- SimCity—learn how to run a city
- SimTower—learn how to run a high-rise