Stack the Countries is the second SPECTACULAR geography app by Dan Russell-Pinson. The combination of its educational merit, quality, and gaming feel, make it a stand out. The update of Stack the Countries contains the choice of three languages – English, Spanish and French. This gives the app wide audience appeal and offers practice for someone learning a new language. Our bilingual students tried it out and thought the game was “fantastico,” and their teachers were in awe when they saw the potential of the iPad in the classroom and the spectrum of this app.
The setting options provide a wide range of choices… you can narrow your playing field to just one continent at a time, among other things. We recommend beginning with just one continent and limiting the questions to 3 or 4 out of 8. Not that you can’t just dive right in and take on the whole wide world right from the get-go. Some students opted to do this and did just fine with the challenge! If the player answers the question correctly, they get to drop the country onto the platform. In order to successfully stack the countries, and to do so in the least number of moves, you can rotate and strategically plan before dropping. When the countries stack up to reach the checkered line, the player wins and is given a token country that gets placed on the world map. Once you receive 20 countries, a second game called Map It is unlocked. The next round begins as you try to collect 50 countries, this unleashes the third game called Pile Up.
Six different student profiles can be saved in the game, and there is also a guest player option. We tested this game out with a diverse cross-section of students for a week and were amazed at how eager, engaged, and enthusiastic the kids were. We often worked in pairs, which is something the iPad lends itself to naturally. Some approached it with a more serious attitude and were consumed with winning and reaching the next level. After a week, it was obvious that much needed geography skills were developing and serious learning was taking place. Lots of giggles and discussions ensued as the students interacted with the screen and one another. Throw some critical thinking skills into the mix, with the problem solving involved in the stacking of the countries, and this playing experience has it ALL!
This app is totally global…. Don’t walk, fly to the iTunes store and get Stack the Countries now!