Intro to Geography - North America, by Montessorium

Common Sense Media says

Colorful study of North America's countries, maps, flags.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Intro to Geography - North America is very easy to use. The Road Map screen guides kids from activity to activity in order of difficulty and acts as a progress tracker. A narrator gives instructions during each activity. The one available setting lets you clear all progress for a new player.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The main screen includes (in very small print at the bottom left of the screen) the name of the developer and icons for kids to "share," "leave a review," and view the developer's "other apps."

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No personal information is requested. The developer's privacy policy can be found on its website.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Intro to Geography - North America, by Montessorium is designed to help kids learn the names, shapes, locations, and flags of countries within the North American continental region, including Central American countries and island nations. A narrator provides instructions for each activity -- all of which involve memorization and recall of facts -- and kids follow a progress road map to unlock succeeding activities. When players complete all 10 road map sections, they can go back to the beginning and play again.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • naming
  • vocabulary

Social Studies

  • geography

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This attractive app can be engaging for kids who stay focused on the beautiful maps and colorful flags. However, kids who need more interactivity than just tapping and swiping, and more visuals than maps and flags, might become bored.

Learning Approach

The multiple activities that require kids to recall the names, shapes, locations, and flags of North America in different ways promote memorization and retention. There's not a lot of depth, just basic map and flag facts.

Support

Clear, focused verbal instructions and brief informational paragraphs offer explanations for each activity. More progress information would help parents and teachers know which countries kids have mastered.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • naming
  • vocabulary

Social Studies

  • geography

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals

Kids can learn the names, locations, shapes, and flags of the North American countries. Intro to Geography - North America also helps them conceptualize the whole-part relationship between the continent and the countries within it. Kids learn which countries border each other and which are the largest and smallest countries, explore island nations, and even discover a tiny bit of culture by viewing the flags. Kids become familiar with maps of North America as they learn about its countries and flags.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Tap the first puzzle piece on the road map to begin. A map of one portion of North America appears, along with colored icons representing each of the three countries shown. The narrator says, "Can you place the countries?" Kids then move the icons into the puzzle-like map. When they're done, three more countries appear. Other activities include tapping a country to match a name and drawing lines to match a flag to a country. Activities offer a directed, if brief, way to discover North America.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

INTRO TO GEOGRAPHY - NORTH AMERICA introduces kids to maps of North America in a concise, structured way that can be both informative and limiting. The Montessori method does introduce kids to world geography at a young age, but because the visuals in these loosely Montessori-inspired activities include only maps, country names, and flags, this app is probably best suited for kids in mid- to upper-elementary grades.

If you're looking for an app to help kids memorize the names and locations of North American countries, this is an excellent option. This is not the app to choose, however, if you're looking for detailed information about those countries; it doesn't include statistics or facts about population, topography, capital city, culture, or climate. Kids' learning experience would be greatly improved with the inclusion of some photos and a bit of information about the life in each country as well as more interactivity and some hands-on extension activity ideas. As it stands, Intro to Geography - North America is a very narrowly focused (but effective) geography app.

Families can talk about...

  • Use a world map or globe to show your child where in the world North America is in relation to other continents.

  • Go online together to search for images and information about the cultures and ecosystems in North American countries.

App details

Device:iPad
Price:$3.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:October 23, 2012
Category:Education
Size:45.70 MB
Publisher:Montessorium, LLC
Version:1.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of Intro to Geography - North America, by Montessorium was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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