Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Free Rice: Help the Hungry While You Study

FreeRice, a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Program, has two goals: to provide free education and help end world hunger. The site achieves both of these things by providing fun and educational trivia games that can be played over the web. Every time someone answers a trivia question correctly, the United Nations World Food Program donates ten grains of rice to hungry people for free.

Ten grains of rice may not seem like a lot, but if you play the games for just five to ten minutes each day, the grains can really add up. More than 80 billion grains of rice have been donated since the site's conception in October of 2007. And when you consider that hunger and malnutrition are the number one risks to health worldwide-- one child dies every ten seconds from hunger-related causes--you can be confident that any contribution you make is needed and appreciated by someone.

How to Play FreeRice

Playing FreeRice games is easy. Go to FreeRice.com. In the middle of the home page, you will see a multiple choice English vocabulary question like this:

select means:

rub out




To play, all you have to do is click on the definition that you think is correct. If you are right, FreeRice donates ten grains of rice to the hungry. If you're wrong, you will be shown the correct answer. Either way, you move on to a new question so that you can continue playing.

The site will automatically adjust to your level as you play. Answering a question incorrectly sends you to an easier level. Answering three questions in a row correctly sends you to a more difficult level. This system ensures that everyone can play and learn regardless of age or level of study.

Covered Subjects

English vocabulary is not the only subject covered on FreeRice. If you would rather study something else, you can click on the "subjects" tab at the top of the page to be shown other options. The site is constantly working to add more subjects and more material within each subject. The subjects currently offered on FreeRice include:

Tracking Your Donations

If you are interested in keeping track of how much rice is donated on your behalf, you can click on the "options" tab on the FreeRice home page. Within a few seconds, you can set things up so that the site remembers your personal rice donation total from the last time you played. You will need to have cookies enabled on your computer for this to work properly.

Using FreeRice in the Classroom

Teachers all over the world have brought FreeRice into the classroom to motivate and educate students. FreeRice can be played on any computer with an Internet connection and works quite well with interactive whiteboards. The site can also be used to create a competition among students or get them involved in community service.

Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes about pharmacy technician education for PharmacyTechnicianCertification.com.

Check out Interactive Whiteboard Activities on misterteacher.com

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