For kids who are growing up in a globally connected world, learning geography is essential so they can be a good citizen of the world. Unfortunately, geography is often overlooked in the face of other subjects like math or English. It’s deemed boring and useless.
With the right app, it’s possible to feel excited about geography. A case in point is Intro to United States, by developer Montessorium. Based on the Montessori approach, this neat app helps kids learn the names, shapes, location, and animals of each state through puzzles, challenges, and tracing exercises.
A Journey Through the United States
As made clear by the title, in Intro to United States you get to learn about the 50 states in the United States. The lessons include identifying each state on the map, discerning its shape, and recognizing an animal that can be found there. The states are grouped into sets of six as not to overwhelm the learner. For each set, you must complete a series of activities in order.
The first activity is to place the states on the map, one by one, like a jigsaw puzzle. Whenever you have successfully dragged a state onto its correct location, the app will name it aloud.
Next, you’ll tap through a slideshow of the states that you’ve placed on the map. Every three states, you’ll be quizzed on your ability to select a state by name. Once you’ve gone through all six states, you’ll be tasked to place them on the map.
In the third activity, you will once again be asked to select a state by name, only this time you’re working with all six states at once. Then, you must point out the correct state named by the narrator on the map.
In the fourth activity, you’ll be asked to draw lines to match the names to the states. Whereas in the fifth activity, you’ll tap through the various animals of each state. You’ll also draw lines to match the animals to their associated states.
In the sixth and final activity, you’ll learn to discern the shapes of the states by tracing them one by one. No points are given in this activity, so you needn’t worry and just try to draw it as closely as you can.
Parents Need to Know
Like past Montessorium apps, Intro to United States is based on the proven methodology of Montessori. While the traditional approach uses rewards and punishments, the Montessori method emphasizes on the feeling of progress. This unconventional approach encourages kids to enjoy the process of learning and builds their self-confidence.
That said, Intro to United States is as engaging as other apps that use rewards and punishments. While no scores are kept, the app allows kids to collect a colorful stamp every time they complete an activity set. This encourages them to keep going without distracting them from the main goal, which is learning.
Interface-wise, the app is simple and easy to use by kids as young as four years old. The minimalist design makes it easy to focus on the task at hand, and the sound effects are playful without being distractive.
A useful feature is the ability to choose how many states should be included in a set — 3, 6, 9, or 12. This allows you to adjust the app to suit your child’s ability. From the main screen, tap on the compass rose on the bottom right corner to access the Parent Portal. You will also find interesting articles about the Montessori approach, in this section.
The app has no third-party ads and no in-app purchases. External links are kept in the Parent Portal and protected. No Internet access is required to play.
If you’d like to purchase Intro to United States, please note that the app is only compatible with iPhone 6, 6+, and iPad.
Note: If you live outside the US, or if your child is ready to explore more countries, you might want to check out Intro to Geography - North America, also by Montessorium.
Why Kids Should Learn Learn Geography
I have to admit that geography was never my best subject. In fact, it was probably my worst. As a student, I didn’t understand why it was important that I know where Albania was, or which countries border the Black Sea.
But learning geography is more than just memorizing where countries are on the map. It’s about understanding our Earth and its physical systems, the spatial relation between countries, and getting to know the different cultures around the world and how they came to be.
All these things are even more important in today’s world, which is connected beyond borders. And learning geography is necessary so one can become a good citizen of the world.
Read more about why Bobby George, the founder of Montessorium, thinks that learning to love geography can make the world a better place.
Things I Like
In Intro to United States, you learn through repetition. But, the process is never boring because in each iteration, you feel a sense of progress. Once you’ve known where to place each state, it’s easier to associate them with their names. I like how the app symbolizes this learning process as a journey through a forest, with a start and an end.
A unique feature of the app is it provides a wholesome learning experience. In addition to the name and location of each state, you’ll also learn its shape and position in relation to other states. You can even discover the animal found in each state. This makes the app more interesting and educational for kids and adults alike.
Intro to United States makes it easy to discover the geography of United States. This app, based on the proven methodology of Montessori, helps kids learn all 50 states through engaging, carefully-designed activities. While it is made for kids, adults can also learn a lot from this app. I highly recommend it to level up your geography skills.
App was provided for our honest review.
Montessorium aims to create well-crafted, personalized, self-guided learning experiences for children. Their apps are based on the Montessori approach to education. You should also check out their other apps we’ve reviewed:
Intro to Cursive is a great way to introduce cursive writing to juniors, especially if they have mastered writing in block. Cursive writing improves their handwriting skills, and is an essential part of a complete life lesson in handwriting. If you’re planning to teach your juniors how to write in cursive, this is an app you must have.