Photograph courtesy National Geographic Studio
Geography is fun when kids get involved in “doing” geography. A great way to begin the school year is to plan an activity that engages students in:
- asking geographic questions
- collecting and organizing data
- analyzing the information gathered to answer the questions they raised
Conduct a Survey
a) Prepare a brief questionnaire based on how students travel to school each day. E.g., walk; bicycle; family car; school bus; public transportation.
b) Include other questions such as how far away each student lives, how long it takes to get to school, and what grade each student is in.
c) Once the data has been collected and sorted, an effective way to present the information gathered is construction of graphs. When students learn how to construct graphs using simple data, they will be more successful in interpreting data that is presented in graphs.
d) Help students analyze the patterns in the data as revealed by their graphs.
Map the School Neighborhood
a) Using butcher paper or poster board, make several simple grids with the school building in the center. Include the streets or roadways that run near the school.
b) Take students on a walk around the school grounds and have them work in groups to add buildings, houses, and large vegetation to the map. Encourage students to use symbols rather than drawing pictures of what they see.
c) Ask students to observe and record patterns and volume of traffic on the streets or roadways near the school.
d) Reinforce maps skills by reminding students to complete their maps with a title, a key, and a date.
e) Help students analyze the patterns in the data represented on their maps.
Simply memorizing terms and place locations can be tedious and even boring. One solution to this learning challenge is make the task fun with an atlas-based scavenger game.
Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to inspire students to be curious about the world. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging competition.
Registration for the 2015 Geo Bee has ended. Schools can register for next year's Geo Bee in August 2015.
School Geo Bees have all been held. Please mark your calendar for the upcoming State Geo Bee on March 27, 2015, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. To find out the location of the State Geo Bee for your state, email us at email@example.com.
The national competition of the Geo Bee will be held May 11-13, 2015, at the National Geographic Society’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. It will be televised on May 15, 2015, at 8 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel and NG Wild.
Gain a Global Perspective
The 2014 National Geographic Bee finalists gush about geography.
How to Help
Donations help fund schools to participate in the National Geographic Bee.
Fifty-four of the nation's brightest young geography whiz kids gathered in Washington, D.C., last spring to take part in the 26th annual National Geographic Bee.
Teachers can use these activities in the classroom to prepare students for the bee!
Simply memorizing terms and place locations can be tedious and even boring. One solution is to make the task fun with an atlas-based scavenger game.
The movement of people, goods, or ideas from one place to another is a process known as diffusion, which plays an important role in shaping the characteristics of where we live.
Springtime brings the possibility of extreme weather, including violent thunderstorms and tornadoes.