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Thursday, April 2, 2009

The History Channel: 50 States

The History Channel has a great site with a wide range of resources on historical topics as well as many other areas of interest that would be appropriate for the k12 classroom. One resource in particular that I wanted to highlight today is their 50 States interactive map and games area. The interactive map (shown below) allows you to click on each state in order to learn about that particular state.

The screenshot below shows all the options available to learn more about the state of Michigan. The is the typical view of an individual state once you click on it from the main map. Each state has the same range of options and information available for students to explore. The "featured video" option was a little disappointing, however. When I was looking at the state of Michigan the featured video was about New Mexico. Plus, I had to watch a short commercial before the video started. I know they have to pay the bills but couldn't the featured video on the Michigan page at least be about Michigan?

Students can practice their knowledge of the states by playing one of the two flash based games that include "Name that Plate" and "Name the State". In "Name the Plate" players try to match the correct state to it's corresponding license plate in a race against the clock. Name the State is quite similar except you are trying to place the state in the right location on the map in a given amount of time. This site would be a great place to start when conducting research about the 50 states or when you're just trying to help reinforce basic United States geography.

4 comments:

caitlinteale06 said...

This is such a great idea! Its such a clever way to get students to learn in a fun and interactive way while incorporating technology into the classroom. This is definitely something that I will be able to pass on to friends and use!

Caitlin

Stein Brunvand said...

I'm glad you found it useful Caitlin. I think students would have fun with it and also learn a lot along the way.

Katie205 said...

Thanks so much for sharing! I am pursuing my teacher certification and am currently in an educational technology class. I'm always looking for new ideas to integrate technology in the classroom! Needless to say, I love the website. I think it would be great for doing research on states for a research paper! Its fun and educational which is the best part!

Stein Brunvand said...

Sure thing Katie. Good luck with the rest of your studies.