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by Terri Johnson, author of Homeschooling ABCs (www.homeschoolingabcs.com ) - dedicated to helping new homeschoolers gain the confidence and the necessary skills to successfully teach their children at home.

My Top Geography Websites

And They're Free!
Okay, I am having way too much fun! The Old Schoolhouse Magazine asked me to locate the best free geography sites on the web and I think that I have done just that. I have come up with 17 great sites for helping you teach your children geography while having fun at the same time. And the best part is that they are all free. Let me tell you about these great tools for learning. By the way, the links are in no particular order of preference, so just click on what sounds interesting to you.

Would you prefer this information packaged in an easy step-by-step curriculum that will guide your child in learning world geography in as few as 7 months? Download our complimentary Globalmania ebook here - www.knowledgequestmaps.com/globalmania.htm. Enjoy!


1. Seterra is free software that you can download onto your computer and play many geography based games. Locate countries, capitals, cities and more. Take quizzes and test your knowledge. The software will record the highest scores, so you can keep playing to get your score higher and higher. Great tool for your kids and yourself - http://www.wartoft.nu/software/seterra/

2. Sheppard Software has provided many free and fun to play geography games at their website - http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Geography.htm. There are various levels of play so that your beginners and advanced students alike can find something to hold their interest. You do need to have Flash Player 6 or higher on your computer to be able to play these games, but no other downloading is necessary. The instructions are minimal, so it takes a few minutes to get the hang of the games in some instances (or at least it did for me!). Also, they do have other games across the curriculum, so feel free to check out their science and vocabulary games as well - plus many others!

3. If you or your children like puzzles, then you will love this website! At this website - http://www.yourchildlearns.com/geography.htm - you can either play with the on-line puzzle maps, or you can download them to your own computer. If you would rather not download them, here is the direct link to the online map puzzles - http://www.yourchildlearns.com/map-puzzles.htm. These are a lot of fun and a great learning tool for kids of all ages (yes, even adults!).

4. Take National Geographic’s Geography Bee quiz! These questions can be fairly tough, but you get a second and even third chance to get them right (there are only 3 choices per question) thereby allowing you to KNOW the answer, which you are unlikely to forget. Also, the questions are new every day, so you can play every day and get new questions to answer. Very fun! Here’s the website - http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee

5. Test your knowledge of world or regional geography with this fun quiz at http://www.lizardpoint.com/fun/geoquiz/. A great aspect of this game is that children can see improvement quickly, even by their second round at the same quiz. Builds confidence and knowledge!

6. This quiz site - http://www.ilike2learn.com/ilike2learn/geography.asp - allows you to not only learn about the countries and capitals of the world, but also the mountains and bodies of water. If you need a hint, or the answer, it comes in the form of a pop-up, so you may need to disable your pop-up blocker. This site seems to add new games frequently. Great learning tool!

7. Another great quiz site - http://www.actionquiz.com/quiz.php?trivia=geography. Here you can play against other kids and teachers and see if you can win. You do not have to use your real name (no reason to, so don’t!) and the game uses a pop-up window. So, if your computer blocks pop-ups, you either have to disable that feature to play, or if you get a message that allows you to open the pop-up, you can go about it that way. Warning: this is a fun game to play and rather addicting. After playing five times against some strong opponents, I finally won!

8. This website - http://www.geosense.net - also allows you to play alone of against another player. You are asked to not only identify countries of the world but cities as well. It is quite challenging and also very addicting. I played six rounds against my opponent and only won twice (and I thought I knew my geography like the back of my hand - reality check!). If you do not mind that your scores are not recorded in their log, you can play as a guest. Or create a login ID to keep track of your scores and establish an identity at this site. (Parental caution: there is a chat element on the home page which would be best to avoid for your younger children certainly, and probably for your older children as well. I recommend that you navigate past the home page before turning the computer over to your child.)

9. This quiz site - http://www.garyradley.com/games - has both “find” games and “quiz” games giving your students a well-rounded familiarity with the countries of the world. My only trouble with these particular games was that it was sometimes difficult to click on the correct country because the hand spread over more than one country area. But overall, this is a great site to round out your online geography games.


Atlapedia and CountryReports are two great sites for general information. If your child or student needs to find some facts on a given country or view/print some maps for a particular region of the world, Atlapedia is a great all purpose website for gathering information for research papers, etc. - The website is http://www.atlapedia.com/index.html. Full color physical and political maps are available. Also, CountryReports lets you drill down on a world map to the country you are interested in and gives you some great facts and information and maps of that area. The website is http://www.countryreports.org/.


Do your kids like all kinds of maps - satellite, physical, political, even weather? Then they will enjoy creating their own maps at this site - http://plasma.nationalgeographic.com/mapmachine/index.html.

Would you like to see what the earth looks like a night as seen from space. This view of the world was taken from photos of the earth at night from a satellite. The earth is lit only from the city lights of civilization. Spectacular! - http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap001127.html

Okay, everyone knows about Google Earth, right? This is an incredible piece of software that is taken from actual photographs of the earth. In fact you can zoom right down into your own backyard. Mind-boggling! The software needs to be downloaded onto your computer. It is located here - http://earth.google.com/


Yes, this is one of my favorites! At this website - http://www.animatedatlas.com - you can watch a five or ten minute video about the growth of our nation. Superb and educational!


Are you in need of some worksheets to print out that will reinforce the geography you are teaching to your students. Here is a great site with lots of printables (my computer tells me that is not a word, but I think you know what I mean) - http://www.tlsbooks.com/geographyworksheets.htm.

This site gives you contact information of places where you can receive free geography materials - http://www.ed.gov/pubs/parents/Geography/free.html

And don’t forget the free downloads available from Knowledge Quest - just sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send the information right over to you.

This has been so exciting researching these free sites for you. If these games are played often and these resources tapped into and used, your students will gain tremendous knowledge and retention in the realm of geography (SO WILL YOU!). And it will be painless! That is the part I love! Have fun!

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Source: http://www.knowledgequestmaps.com/globalmania.htm

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