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Lesson plan; GeoGuessr- Build critical thinking skills with this map-based game

Think critically, ask questions, and learn geography

You’re shown a random spot on Google Maps. Then you guess the location. That’s Geoguessr in a nutshell. Surprisingly, this simple concept took the world by storm. It allowed people to have fun with each other from the comfort of their homes. What’s more, it’s a great way to learn about certain places around the world. Source:
As is the case with the geography game City Guesser, Geoguessr, too, has a huge educational potential. First, there is the ability for teachers to create their own custom geography quiz games to play with students in class. Quizzes can include up to five locations accompanied with questions. You can set the locations you want your students to work on and provide specific questions to test their geography knowledge. Students do not even need to register to play the game.
As students engage in geography-based games that prompt them to figure out locations based on geographical as well as cultural clues, they get to develop key skills including navigational, mapping, strategic and critical thinking skills. They learn about the different elements that make a culture unique and recognize that differences in geography and culture are a human asset and that no culture is superior to other. Source Educational technology.

Lesson plan

A good way to start this off would be to discuss the clues you might find if you explore the map a little before you make your guess. Write up some points to ponder on, like if you see a sign if you see cars and buildings. What else could you look for? Will you get better when you try? Is this just for fun or could it be used in geography? In my English class, we would have to speak English when working on this. I am including the article about the product here.

What it is: GeoGuessr is a fun map-based game where students get virtually “dropped” somewhere in the world, and must explore the landscape around them through Google Street View to determine where in the world they are. When they’ve determined where in the world they are, they click on the world map to make a guess. Students will be shown the actual location they are, as well as how far off they were from the correct location.

How to integrate GeoGuessr into the classroom: GeoGuessr is a fun way to challenge your students to use context clues, think critically, ask questions, and learn geography. It’s also a great way to help them explore the world from your classroom! I think GeoGuessr is best as a small group or class activity where students can work collaboratively to solve the challenge together. Begin by exploring on a projector-connected computer or classroom device. Ask students what they notice about where they’ve been dropped. What does the landscape look like? What natural features do they notice? What kind of climate would they guess they are in? What do the street signs look like? Do they see any clues that might help them? Next, invite students to ask questions (they don’t need any answers…sometimes the questioning process helps us ask better questions or notice new things!). Narrow down the part of the world students think they are in and make a guess. How close were they (this could lead to a mini-lesson on distance conversions)? GeoGuessr would make a great thinking prompt to start any class with. This exercise could take 10-15 minutes and jump-start your students in critical thinking and problem-solving. It’s a great way to model noticing, inquiry, using context clues, and thinking critically as they solve problems. All skills that are useful for any kind of learning!

GeoGuessr would also make a fun morning page writing prompt. Students must write a story, poem, descriptive writing, etc. about where they’ve been dropped.

How does Geoguessr point system work?

Geoguessr’ s point system rewards 5000 points for correct locations and 5000 points for correct answers. However, besides answering correctly, time plays a key factor in playing the game. The more time you spend playing a game the fewer points you accumulate.
When you first log in, you need to complete a quick tutorial that introduces you to the basics of the game. This tutorial is composed of three missions. In the first mission, you are provided with a picture of a random location and you are prompted to guess where you are using the accompanied Google Map. Based on your response, GeoGuessr provides you with data about the correct location and the number of points you earned. The closer you are to the location the more points you earn.

You may still play them for free, but they might not have the same features. Let’s look at these other geography guessing games:

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