What parents need to know
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
Language & Reading
- following directions
Thinking & Reasoning
- part-whole relationships
- work to achieve goals
Engagement, Approach, Support
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.
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.
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'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?
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.