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K, 1st, 2nd


Science, Social Studies

Resource Types

  • Games
  • Interactive Media
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus



Microsoft Word

Plum's Island Explorer: Land and Water

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  • In this interactive game, students will explore a virtual world to better understand different landscapes, stopping at checkpoints for additional information and collecting litter along the way.
  • There are links for teacher tips, directions on game navigation, and a student worksheet with discussion questions.
Teaching Tips


  • Students will love this game-based way to learn about land and water formations, and the cartoon videos dispersed throughout the game are also very engaging.
  • All text is read out loud for students, so even those who struggle with reading will be able to play this game relatively independently, once they have learned the navigation controls.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students may need the terms evaporation, infiltration, freshwater, erosion, and others defined prior to playing the game and/or reading the article.
  • The checkpoints don't disappear as students visit them, so it may be helpful for students to have a list of the land forms and water bodies they need to visit.
  • Encourage students to follow and pick up the trail of garbage, especially when they don't see the next checkpoint on the map, as this trail leads them from checkpoint to checkpoint.


  • Older students can take notes on each land and water formation as they discover them throughout the game.
  • If many of your students struggle with fine motor skills and have difficulty using the navigation controls, this game can be played with the teacher using the controls and the students watching and telling the teacher where to go/what to do.
  • The teacher can also use the alternate media, which is set up like a slide show or online reading.
  • Students can create their own map, including each land and water formation and draw an example of each.
  • The teacher can discuss with students what might happen to the water and land formations as a result of weather events due to climate change, such as droughts, floods, erosion, etc.
Scientist Notes
This resource from PBS Learning Media is an interactive web-based game that teaches students about various land forms and water bodies as they explore Plum’s Island. Students are tasked with finding checkpoints, each of which features a short description of a geographic feature and most also include an educational and entertaining short video. Along the journey, students are tasked with picking up trash, hopefully instilling cleaning up litter as a lifelong habit. The game features a good tutorial, though it was not exactly clear how to exit the overhead map, so it may be useful to tell students that the + and - keys will zoom the map into and off of the screen. A number of great support materials are included for teachers, and the game tallies the trash that students pick up, allowing for a potential classroom competition. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • 2-ESS2-2. Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area.
      • 2-ESS2-3. Obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid or liquid.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.II.K.2 Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
      • SL.PE.1.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
      • SL.UM.2.5 Use multimedia; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
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