Teach Through Games: Map it!

Teach Through Games: Map it!

 mapitAge level: Upper Elementary, Middle School

Description: The object of this geography game is to correctly place location cards in relation to previously placed cards and catch errors made by other players in order to accumulate the most point tokens. The game includes 200 location cards, 150 cities and 50 landmarks.

Skills & Modifications: I modify this game quite a bit when playing it with learners with autism. I rarely use the point tokens. Instead, the goal of the game is to run out of cards first. When a player plays a card, he/she immediately turns it over to see if they placed it correctly. If they did, the card remains in place. If they didn’t they have to move it to a correct place, then draw a new card.

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  • Cardinal directions – I love this game for introducing and practicing cardinal directions. The game includes a map for students to refer to, though with a couple of students I have modified the game by bringing in another, more detailed map. One modification I make for some students is to remove the cards that my learner may be unfamiliar with when introducing the game. Then I introduce new cards after they’ve mastered cardinal directions.
  • Longitude/Latitude – Each card includes the coordinates for longitude and latitude. This allows for a great deal of differentiation based on the different skill levels of the players. With some of my younger students, I haven’t yet introduced this component. However, other students are highly motivated by using the coordinates to determine if responses are correct.

Pros: Many of my students are highly motivated by the cards with pictures on them. It encourages conversation and increases interest in geography. I have the USA version of Map It, but there is also a World version.

Cons: None.

Ideas of extending the lesson: With one learner, I brought in a map of NYC with pictures of different landmarks. We used the compass rose card included in the game, and then played Map it using landmarks from our own city. She was excited about the game and it was a real-life application of how you might use cardinal directions to describe how to get from one place to another.

With another student, I brought in a big map of the United States. Each player was given 5 location cards. The goal was to place all your location cards on the map first.

Cost: $14.95 You should invest in this game if: you teach geography or social studies, you have a learner who is highly motivated by geography or famous landmarks, or you are seeking unique games for upper elementary and middle school students.



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