Okay, admit it. Have you clicked down to street view in Google Maps, and then accidentally found yourself 20 minutes later strolling down the street where you once walked in a city you stopped in, trying to remember the name of that ice cream store? Or, strolling the paths you once walked on your semester abroad (ME)?
GeoGuessr is a website that turns strolling streetside via Google Maps into a game. AND – here’s the part that really gets me excited as a language teacher – you can limit the parts of the world it drops you into.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
Here’s how Geoguessr works:
- You start (duh).
- The game places you in a street view location *somewhere*. You can move around as much as you want, and look around as much as you want. The point is to try and figure out where the game placed you!
- You select on the map where exactly you think you are, according to the information you’ve gathered in your strolling.
- The closer you are = the more points. Boom!
- 5 rounds = 1 game. Careful…it’s addicting.
It’s super fun, and really encourages the students to pay attention to the surroundings. I find them googling characters, trying to figure out what language they’re seeing on the signs. I also encourage them to look at the scenery – what kinds of plants do you notice? Are there people? Are they dressed for warm or cold weather? Sometimes they notice things like – “HEY! This car is driving on a different side of the road!”
When to Use Geoguessr
When I taught 6th and 7th grade, I kept this in my toolbox to pull out during advisory or homeroom times. We would all get super into it, and I let the students record their scores on the whiteboard to encourage competition!
Worldwide makes for a really cool game, but what I really like is that you can select specific areas, or even topics. There’s a few that are for specific big cities or landmarks – really dig into the options!
My students easily play for 30-40 minutes and get “cranky” if I try to move them along. Like I said, you get hooked! Try a game for yourself and see!