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All Games Level 1-2

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Welcome to GeoPlunge!

Thank you for your recent purchase of GeoPlunge. You are now part of a community of players across the country who are learning United States geography and much more through games where speed, strategy, critical thinking, and fun reign! Knowledge of U.S. geography is also helpful, but you can learn as you play. GeoPlunge games are frequently played in groups of three to enhance teamwork, but the games are just as easily played with one or two players per team.

There are virtually an unlimited number of games that you can play with the cards in the GeoPlunge®  box. This packet includes easy-to-follow rules for four of the games you can play at home or in the classroom, and we’ve also included rules for two different levels for each of these games (i.e., the most basic level and a somewhat more advanced level). Contact us at info@learningplunge.org if you are interested in free copies of even more advanced rules for these games, rules for other games, or our rules for early learning games. We also have video instructions for many of our games on our YouTube channel.  Rules for the following games are included in the packet:

  • Border-Up™: A fast-paced race where players try to find groups of border states from the cards they are dealt faster than the opposing team
  • State IQ™: A trivia game in which players learn border states, state capitals and the 2-letter state abbreviations in the easier version, and the largest cities, state nicknames, birds, flags, flowers of the states plus much more in the advanced versions
  • Dashing States™: A fast-paced race that helps players learn where all the states are located on a map; players can also learn capitals through this game
  • Play the Ranks™: A strategy-laden game where the state rankings in size, population, and date of entry into the union of the cards played by the teams determines who succeeds

While each of the games is fun and exciting to play separately, for even more variety (and as we do in GeoPlunge tournaments), try playing a combination of games all during the same match. Examples of this are described below:

GeoPlunge® Races

If you like race games, alternate between Border-Up™ and Dashing States™ races until one team wins the game.

GeoPlunge® Races and Rankings

If you like the race games and Play the Ranks™, play a Border-Up™ race, followed by a Dashing States™ race, followed by one round of Play the Ranks™, and repeat until one team wins the game.

GeoPlunge® State Trivia Contests and State Rankings Battles

If you like the trivia of State IQ™ and all of the strategies involved in Play the Ranks™, alternate between playing rounds of State IQ™ and Play the Ranks™, until one team wins the game.

GeoPlunge® All

Play one round of each of the 4 games in the following order: Border-Up™, State IQ™, Dashing States™, Play the Ranks™, and repeat until one team wins the game.

In Level 1, the first team to earn 10 points wins the game. In Level 2, the first team to earn 15 points wins the game. When playing any of these GeoPlunge® combination games, feel free to use any of the variations of the games described in the individual game rules. Have fun!

GeoPlunge Cards
  1. State name and abbreviation/postal code
    Note: Color designations relate to time zones. A dot in the upper right corner indicates a secondary time zone for that state.
    Red: Eastern Time Zone
    Green: Central Time Zone
    Blue: Mountain Time Zone
    Purple: Pacific Time Zone
    Brown: Alaska
    Orange: Hawaii
  2. Statehood: State rank based on the date the state entered the Union
  3. PATOS: President at the Time of Statehood
  4. State Flag
  5. Size: State rank based on square mileage of the state; Percent Water: Percent water of the state
  6. Population: State rank based on population
  7. Census information for 2000 and 2010. Electoral Votes: Number of Electoral Votes during an election
  8. State Flower
  9. State Capital (noted with a star on the map)
  10. State Bird
  11. 5 Top Cities based on population
  12. State Nickname
  13. Border States: Names of border state(s)

 Border-Up™: Level 1 and Level 2

Cards Used: GeoPlunge cards. Shuffle the cards before the game begins and after each race.

Players: Two teams with 1, 2, or 3 players per team

Objective: This game is a series of races! During each race, each team tries to find winning groups of cards as fast as it can. The border states of each state determine the winning groups, as described below. A team receives 2 points for winning a race, and in Level 2 it also has the opportunity to earn a bonus point (i.e., a third point) as described in those rules. Teams receive 1 point each for a tie. Play a race at a time until one team wins the game. For Level 1, a team needs 10 points to win the game, and for Level 2, a team needs 15 points to win.

Level 1:

For each race:

Step 1: Deal each team 18 GeoPlunge cards face-down. Teams do NOT turn over or look at their cards until everyone at the same time says, “Ready, Set, GeoPlunge!

Step 2: The teams then turn over their cards and the race begins. Each team tries to create 2 winning groups from the cards it was dealt. A winning group of cards consists of 3 cards where one state in the group borders both of the other states in the group. For example, the states Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina are one group because Virginia borders both Maryland and North Carolina. A team cannot use the same card in more than one group.

Step 3: A team shouts “GeoPlunge” as soon as it finds 2 winning groups.

Determining Who Wins the Race: If the first team to shout GeoPlunge shows its two winning groups of cards, it wins the race and earns 2 points. Otherwise, the other team wins the race and receives 2 points. If both teams shout at the same time, the race is a tie and each team wins 1 point, unless only one team shows its two winning groups. If that happens, that team wins the race and earns 2 points and the other team does not get any points for that race.

Level 2:

Level 2 is the same as Level 1, with the following exceptions: Each team tries to create 2 winning groups OR 3 winning groups if it wants to earn one bonus point. A team shouts “GeoPlunge” as soon as it finds 2 winning groups, or “ThreeOPlunge” as soon as it finds 3 winning groups if it is trying to earn a bonus point. If the first shouting team shouts ThreeOPlunge and shows its 3 winning groups, it wins the race and receives a total of 3 points for that race. If the first shouting team does not correctly show its 2 or 3 winning groups, the other team wins the race and receives 2 points.

Other variations to the game you may want to try:

  • Each winning group is made up of 2 cards with two states that border each other rather than 3 cards per winning group
  • Play for a different point total (e.g, play to 15 points in Level 1 for a longer game)
  • Play for a period of time rather than for a point total, and whoever is winning at the end of that period of time wins
  • Have a U.S. map available for players when first learning
  • Only use cards of specific regions (e.g., only states that are primarily in the eastern or central time zone)
  • See “Other Learning Activities Using GeoPlunge” for additional ideas about how to use your GeoPlunge cards

 

State IQ™: Level 1 and Level 2

Players: Two teams with 1, 2, or 3 players per team

Determining who guesses first: Each team picks a GeoPlunge card without looking at that card in advance. Whichever team’s card has a statehood ranking closer to 1 will be the first guessing team for the first contest in this game. Alternate which team is the first guessing team for each contest.

Level 1:

Cards Used: GeoPlunge cards and Power cards. Shuffle the cards before the game begins. Place the used cards at the bottom of their decks.

Objective: This game is a series of state trivia contests. For each contest, each team has up to 3 guesses to guess the state held by its opponent. Each team receives one new clue before each guess, unless otherwise stated.   A team earns 2 points for winning a contest, and teams receive 1 point each for a tie. Continue playing state trivia contests, one at a time, until one team wins the game. A team needs 10 points to win.

For each state trivia contest:

Step 1: Deal each team one GeoPlunge card face down. Each team may look at its card but should NOT show its card to its opponent.

Step 2: The dealer then turns over the top Power card in the deck. Each team will use the sequence of the letters A, B, and C in the upper right corner of that card to give clues about its GeoPlunge card to the other team.

A – first letter of the state Abbreviation, or Postal Code
B – 1 Border State (determined by the clue-giving team)
C – first letter of the state Capital

For example, let’s assume the dealer turns over the the Power card that has BAC in the upper right corner, see example. If that happens, when it is a team’s turn to give clues about the state it has, the first clue it will give will be one of the Border states of the state it has. Then, if necessary, the second clue it will give will be the first letter of the two letter state Abbreviation of its state, and then, if necessary, the third clue it will give will be the first letter of the name of the state Capital of its state.

If the Power card shows:

AAA: The first clue a team will give will be the first letter of the state Abbreviation of its state, the second clue, if necessary, will be the second letter of the state abbreviation of its state, and no further clue is provided but the guessing team, if necessary, will receive a third guess.

BBB: The first clue a team will give will be the name of one of the Border states of its state. The second clue, if necessary, will be the name of a second border state of its state. The third clue, if necessary, will be the name of a third border state of its state.

CCC: The first clue a team will give will be the first letter of the name of the state Capital of its state. The second clue, if necessary, will be the second letter of the name of the state capital of its state. The third clue, if necessary, will be the third letter of the name of the state capital of its state.

Step 3: The first guessing team has up to 3 guesses to try to guess the state of the GeoPlunge card in the other team’s hand.

Step 4: After the first guessing team correctly guesses the name of the state held by its opponent or has made three incorrect guesses, the teams switch roles. Use the same Power card for both teams. The second guessing team does not continue to guess once it has won or lost even if it has not made all three guesses.

Determining Who Wins a State Trivia Contest: Whichever team guesses the state of the GeoPlunge card in the other team’s hand in fewer guesses wins the state trivia contest and earns 2 points. If neither team guesses correctly or each team guesses correctly using the same number of guesses, the contest ends in a tie and each team receives one point.

Level 2:

Cards Used: GeoPlunge cards, Clue cards, Power cards, Cut-out card. Shuffle the GeoPlunge, Clue, and Power cards before the game begins and after each contest.

Objective: This game is a series of state trivia contests. For each contest, each team has up to three guesses to guess the state held by its opponent. Each team gets two new clues before each guess, unless otherwise stated.  A team receives 2 points for winning a contest and it also has an opportunity to receive a bonus point (i.e. a third point) as described below. If a contest ends in a tie, each team receives a point. Play a state trivia contest one at a time until one team wins the game. A team needs 15 points to win the game.

Step 1: Deal each team one GeoPlunge card face down. Each team may look at its card but should NOT show its card to its opponent.

Step 2: The dealer then turns the top Power card in the deck face-up. Teams use the order of the letters A, B, and C in the upper right corner of that Power card to give clues from two Clue cards before each guess.

For example, if the Power card turned face-up has BAC in the upper right corner (see example) each guessing team will receive two Type B clues before its first guess, two Type A clues before its second guess, if necessary, and two Type C clues before its third guess, if necessary.

For Type A and B clues, there usually will be options for which clue is provided as described by the Clue card. If the clue-giving team is required to show its opponent the state flag, use the cut-out card to hide all of the information with the exception of the state flag.

The dealer turns over 2 new Clue cards before each guess. Used Clue cards are placed at the bottom of the deck.

Step 3: The first guessing team has up to 3 guesses to try to guess the state of the GeoPlunge card in the other team’s hand.

Step 4: After the first guessing team correctly guesses the name of the state held by its opponent or has made 3 incorrect guesses, the teams switch roles. Use the same Power card for both teams. The second guessing team does not continue to guess once it has won or lost even if it has not made all three guesses.

Determining Who Wins a State Trivia Contest and Whether that Team Receives the Bonus Point: Whichever team guesses the state of the GeoPlunge card in the other team’s hand in fewer guesses wins the state trivia contest and earns 2 points. That team receives a bonus point (i.e. three points total) if it guessed correctly on its first guess. If neither team guesses correctly or each team guesses correctly using the same number of guesses, the contest ends in a tie and each team receives 1 point.

Other variations to the game you may want to try:

  • When first learning the game, have a U.S. map, and a sheet listing the states and capitals, available to the players OR when giving a clue during a Level I game, provide the entire abbreviation, the list of all borders states, or the name of the capital, instead of just partial information
  • When giving the first clues, the clue-giving team also tells the guessing team the time zone of the state of the clue-giving team’s card
  • Play for a different point total (e.g., play to 15 points in Level 1 for a longer game)
  • Play for a period of time rather than for a point total, and whoever is winning at the end of that period of time wins
  • Allow fewer or additional clues and/or guesses
  • Provide additional information about the state card not on the clue cards: (landmark located in that state, sports team in that state, “Home of _____ University, etc.)
  • Only use cards of specific regions (e.g., only states that are primarily in the eastern or central time zone.)
  • Only use cards of states that begin with certain letters (e.g., only use cards where the state names begin with letters A through L)
  • See “Other Learning Activities with GeoPlunge” for additional ways to use the GeoPlunge cards

 Dashing States™: Level 1 and Level 2

Cards Used: GeoPlunge Map cards, Answer key. There is only one state in red on each Map card. Shuffle the cards before the game begins and after each race.

 

Players: Two teams with 1, 2, or 3 players per team

Level 1:

Objective: Dashing States™ is a series of races! During each race, each team tries to, as quickly as it can, determine the identity of the states in red on 4 of its 5 Map cards so that it can sort those cards in alphabetical order by state name, and the first team to do so then announces the state names and state capitals of those states. A team earns 2 points for winning a race, and each team receives a point when a race ends in a tie. Play a race at a time until one team wins the game. A team needs 10 points to win the game.

For each race:

Step 1: Deal each team 5 Map cards face-down. Teams do NOT turn over or look at their cards until everyone at the same time says, “Ready, Set, GeoPlunge!

Step 2: The teams then turn over their cards and the race begins. Each team tries to place 4 of its 5 states in alphabetical order by state name, and then shout “GeoPlunge!  The unused card must be turned face-down before shouting GeoPlunge. The first team to shout GeoPlunge then announces the names of its four states and the capitals of those states.

Determining Who Wins the Race:  The first team to shout GeoPlunge wins the race and gets 2 points if it: 1) correctly placed its 4 states in alphabetical order before shouting GeoPlunge, 2) turned its unused card face-down before shouting GeoPlunge, and 3) after shouting GeoPlunge, correctly identified its 4 states and capitals. Otherwise, the other team wins the race and gets 2 points. If both teams shout at the same time, the race is a tie and each team wins 1 point, unless only one team successfully completes step 2. If that happens, that team wins the race and gets 2 points and the other team does not get any points for that race.

Level 2:

Level 2 is the same as Level 1, with the following exceptions:

Objective:  For each race, each team tries to, as quickly as it can, determine the identity of the states in red on 6 of its 7 Map cards (or all 7 Map cards if it wants to try to earn a bonus point) so that it can sort those cards in the manner described below, and the first team to do so then announces the state names and capitals of those states. A team earns 2 points for winning a race, and it also has an opportunity to earn a bonus point (i.e., a third point) as described in these rules. Teams receive 1 point each when a race ends in a tie. A team needs 15 points to win the game.

  • For Odd-Numbered Races: The Map cards a team uses must be placed in alphabetical order by state name.
  • For Even-Numbered Races: The Map cards a team uses must be placed in alphabetical order by the name of the state capitals.

The first team to sort the Map cards it is using in alphabetical order as described above, and then shout GeoPlunge, must then correctly identify the states and capitals of the states it is using as follows:

  • 1 Player on a team: That person announces all of the information.
  • 2 Players on a team: Each player on that team announces all of the information for 3 of the cards WITHOUT help from his/her teammate, as follows: the player on the left must identify the information for the 3 cards that are most to the left, and the player on the right must identify the information for the 3 cards that are most to the right.
  • 3 Players on a team: Each player on that team announces the states and capitals on 2 of the 6 map cards WITHOUT help from his/her teammates, as follows: the player on the left must identify the information for the 2 cards that are most to the left, the player in the middle must identify the information for the 2 cards in the middle, and the player on the right must identify the information for the 2 cards that are most to the right.

If the first team to shout GeoPlunge does everything right (i.e., placed 6 of its 7 cards in alphabetical order in the manner described above before shouting GeoPlunge, turned the other card face-down before shouting GeoPlunge, and after shouting GeoPlunge correctly identified the state names and capitals of the 6 cards it is using as described above), it wins the race and earns 2 points. Otherwise, the other team wins the race and receives the 2 points. If the first team to shout GeoPlunge is also seeking to get the bonus point, it needs to do everything right with respect to all 7 of its Map cards. In that instance, if there is more than one player on that team, any player on that team is permitted to announce the name of the state and the capital for the seventh Map card. If that team does everything right, it wins that race and earns 3 points. If not, the other team wins that race and receives 2 points.

Other variations to the game you may want to try:

  • Have a U.S. map available for players when first learning
  • Require the first team that shouts GeoPlunge to announce only the names of the states, but not the names of the capitals
  • In Level 1, award one bonus point to the first team that shouts GeoPlunge if it uses all of its cards, and then correctly announces the names of its states and capitals
  • In Level 2, allow a single player to announce all of the state names and capitals
  • Play for a different point total (e.g., play to 10 points in Level 2 for a shorter game)
  • Play for a period of time rather than for a point total, and whoever is winning at the end of that period of time wins
  • Instead of shuffling the cards after each race, place the cards that were just used at the bottom of the deck. For Level 1, shuffle the cards only after every 5th race. For Level 2, shuffle the cards only after every 3rd race.
  • Only use cards of specific regions (e.g., only states that are primarily in the eastern or central time zone)
  • Change the number of cards used in the game or the number of cards that need to be placed in alphabetical order (e.g., deal out 6 cards and have teams alphabetize and identify only 4 of them)
  • See “Other Learning Activities Using GeoPlunge” documents

 

Play the Ranks™Level 1 and Level 2

Cards Used: GeoPlunge cards. Shuffle the cards before the game begins and after each state ranking battle.

Players: Two teams with 1, 2, or 3 players per team

Objective: This game is a series of state ranking battles. For each state ranking battle, whichever team wins the most “tricks” wins the battle. A “trick” consists of two cards, one from each team. A team earns 2 points for winning a state ranking battle, and in Level 2 it also has the opportunity to earn a bonus point (i.e., a third point) as described in those rules. Teams receive 1 point each for a tie. Continue playing state ranking battles, one at a time, until one team wins the game. For Level 1, a team needs 10 points to win the game. For Level 2, a team needs 15 points to win.

Level 1:

For each state ranking battle:

Step 1: Deal 9 GeoPlunge cards to each team face-down. After looking at its cards, each team discards 1 card from its hand, face-down, so that each team has 8 cards. Then, to determine which team will play the first card for the first trick, turn face-up the 2 discarded cards. Whichever team’s discarded card has a statehood ranking closer to 1 is the lead team (i.e., the team that plays the first card) for the first trick.

Step 2: The teams then play 8 tricks, one at a time. Whichever team wins a trick becomes the lead team for the next trick.

  • For each trick, the lead team plays one card face-up and announces both (1) the name of the state that it is playing, and (2) the ranking category of either size, statehood, or population that will be used for that trick. The other team then plays a card face-up. Whichever team plays the card that has the better ranking in the category chosen by the lead team wins the trick.
    • For the first four tricks, 1st is the best ranking, followed by 2nd, followed by 3rd, followed by 4th, etc, in the category chosen by the lead team.
    • For the last four tricks, 50th is the best ranking, followed by 49th, followed by 48th, followed by 47th, etc, in the category chosen by the lead team.

Examples: If for one of the first 4 tricks the lead team plays the New York card and announces “Population,” and the non-leading team plays the Colorado card, the lead team wins the trick because New York’s population ranking is closer to 1 than Colorado’s.

 

If for one of the last 4 tricks, the lead team plays the New Mexico card and announces “Statehood,” and the non-leading team plays the Alaska card, the non-leading team wins the trick because Alaska’s statehood ranking is closer to 50 than New Mexico’s.

Determining Who Wins a State Ranking Battle: The first team to win 5 tricks wins a state ranking battle and earns 2 points. If both teams win 4 tricks, whichever team wins the last trick wins the state ranking battle and gets 2 points. If a team wins 5 tricks before all the tricks have been played, the state ranking battle ends early.

Level 2:

The rules for Level 2 are the same as for Level 1, with the following clarifications or exceptions:

  • Two things determine who wins each trick: (1) the base for the trick, which in this game is either 1 or 50, and (2) the state rankings of the cards played in the selected category. The selected category for a trick is either size, statehood, or population.
  • Playing the 8 tricks:
    • For each trick, the lead team decides which base and which category will be used for that trick. To do this, the lead team plays one card face-down and announces: (1) the name of the state that it is playing, (2) the base for that trick, which in this game is either 1 or 50, and (3) the category of either size, statehood, or population for that trick.
    • The other team then plays its card face-up. The lead team then turns the card it played face-up so the players can determine which team wins the trick. Whichever team plays the card that has the better ranking in the category chosen by the lead team wins the trick.
      • When the base for a trick is 1, the best ranking is 1st, followed by 2nd, followed by 3rd, followed by 4th, etc, in the category chosen by the lead team.
      • When the base for a trick is 50, the best ranking is 50th, followed by 49th, followed by 48th, followed by 47th, etc, in the category chosen by the lead team.

Examples: The lead team plays Georgia face-down, announces “Statehood” and a base of 1. It will win the trick unless the other team plays a card with a statehood ranking of 1, 2, or 3.

 

The lead team plays Maine face-down, announces “Population” and a base of 50. It will win the trick unless the other team plays a card with a population rank of 42 or higher.

Other variations to the game you may want to try:

  • Set a time limit for playing a card
  • Play for a different point total (e.g, play to 15 points in Level 1 for a longer game)
  • Play for a period of time rather than for a point total, and whoever is winning at the end of that period of time wins
  • Only use cards of specific regions (e.g., only states that are primarily in the eastern or central time zone.)
  • See “Other Learning Activities with GeoPlunge” for additional ways to use the GeoPlunge cards

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