Would you like to engage your elementary students, take them on a virtual field trip, and help history come alive for them?

These iPad apps impress students while helping them learn. NOTE: Many of these apps are available on other platforms, however, the iTunes URLs to use on your iPads and other Apple devices are what's shared below.

Stack the States - Elementary Social Studies iPad App

1) Stack the States App 

Have fun learning about all 50 US states. “As you learn state capitals, shapes, geographic locations, flags and more, you can actually touch, move and drop the animated states anywhere on the screen. Carefully build a stack of states that reaches the checkered line to win each level. You earn a random state for every successfully completed level. All of your states appear on your own personalized map of the United States.” – Stack the States App Description

Students enjoy collecting more and more states, and adding them to their maps. As a bonus for collecting states, they'll unlock additional games to play as they go along.

Geo Walk - Elementary Social Studies iPad Apps

2) Geo Walk App

Geo Walk features encyclopedia style articles about people, animals, historical events, and places around the world. “All articles can be explored in a fun way by traveling across the globe and learning where the building is, or where the natural habitat of an animal is, or where a famous person lived. Each card has a picture and text, you can share it on the social media or read a Wikipedia article. After reading and exploring you can test your knowledge by answering the quiz.” – Geo Walk App Description

Geo Walk has won a few awards in the app world, and it's easy to see why — you and your students will love taking virtual field trips by exploring this visually engaging app.

Presidents vs Aliens - Elementary Social Studies iPad App

3) Presidents vs. Aliens App

Students absolutely LOVE this game — learning all about US Presidents throughout history, and closing with a game flinging aliens across the iPad screen. “As you learn presidential facts, quotes, nicknames and historical events, you can use your knowledge to help the presidents defeat the aliens. Fling the presidents at the aliens to knock them all down. Use the many special objects and “Executive Powers” to increase the fun!” – Presidents vs. Aliens App Description

This is a great app to use as an incentive for students. After they finish their assigned work in class, let them play with one of more of these apps for 5 or 10 minutes as a reward.

Did you enjoy these apps? These were featured in SimpleK12's on-demand training session, Around the World in 30 Minutes: iPad Applications for Social Studies. To view the rest of the session and learn about more awesome social studies apps, purchase the on-demand session, or view as part of your Premium SimpleK12 Membership.

About the Author
Kimber Thompson is a Lead Moderator for SimpleK12 webinars and a Contributing Editor for SimpleK12.com. She writes frequently about education topics and is passionate about tools and techniques that inspire young learners. You may reach her with ideas and comments at editor@simplek12.com.