Learning Social Studies concepts can be a challenge for children, as there is a lot of ground to cover within this one subject. These apps alone range in subject matter from geography and world cultures to news and history. Utilizing modern technology can help! Here is a list of our favorite Social Studies apps currently available at the app store.
News-2-You. This app is a virtual, symbols-based newspaper perfect for special-needs students. It includes the symbols system SymbolStix, along with audio voice narration. A new edition arrives in the online library for every week of the typical U.S. school year, and it covers popular current events topics such as movies, sports, holidays, and environmental issues, many of which are aligned with Common Core standards. In addition to the articles, you’ll find recipes, jokes, games, puzzles, related comprehension questions, and more. The narration is highly customizable, allowing you to change the voice to male or female, as well as make it slower, faster, higher, or deeper. There are also four reading levels raning from Simplified to Advanced.
Stack the Countries. This world geography app helps kids learn the major distinguishing facts about nearly two hundred different countries. Through flashcards and games, kids can discover and memorize the shapes, capitals, landmarks, major cities, borders, and more. The app contains more than 1,000 questions and multiple difficulty levels, making it suitable for a wide age range. If you’re looking for an engaging way for your child to study and practice global geography, look no further. For kids who already have a little geography knowledge, this is an excellent way to reinforce their learning with fun practice.
Homes by Tinybop. Homes provides an intimate look into the cultures and home lives of other countries. Kids take an interactive tour of homes around the world, in which they can see how other people live, eat, sleep, and play. It’s all a discovery process with no instructions, so kids are free to explore on their own. They can view the home from the outside, or get an x-ray-like view of the interior and then enter and explore each part of the home by tapping where they want to go. Kids see the types of foods the people who live in the homes eat, and even get to prepare some of it. They can explore bathrooms — some aren’t inside! — and see how laundry is done. Using the tags in different languages, kids can also practice learning another language and develop their vocabulary. This is a wonderful way to learn about cultures around the world!
BrainPOP Jr. The Social Studies module of this app contains a collection of clever videos and content for younger kids. The videos are divided into several sections, including American History, Ancient History, Biographies, Holidays, Economics, Geography, and more. Each video comes with specific links to lesson ideas, activities, quizzes, games, and background info. Kids can sort videos by topic or choose to view each one individually. Though a few of the videos are free, you will need a subscription to view the majority of the content, but it is definitely worth it.
The Oregon Trail. The mobile version of the classic game we all remember and love is finally here. Kids play the part of a pioneer emigrating west with his or her family by covered wagon. Along the journey, you must navigate through rocky terrain and across rivers, care for family members, hunt for food, and keep track of supplies. They make choices along the way and witness the consequences of their decisions. Text tips and hints help kids make informed decisions and prepare for unexpected events such as a sick family member or a broken wagon. They’ll make decisions about purchasing provisions, how fast to travel, when to take a rest, and which routes to take. A set of mini-games breaks up the somewhat repetitive gameplay with challenges to increase food or supplies. With each game transition, kids meet various historical figures and can read interesting facts about this fascinating time in American history.
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