Photo: Students create map.

Photograph courtesy National Geographic Studio

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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:

  1. asking geographic questions
  2. collecting and organizing data
  3. 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.

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Registration for the National Geographic Bee is online.


This year registration for the National Geographic Bee is online only. Materials will be available for download as soon as registration payment ($100 per school) is processed. 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 motivate students to learn about the world and how it works. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging competition.

For inquiries, view our Frequently Asked Questions or email us at ngbee@ngs.org.



Celebrity Questions

Watch and see if you can answer the video questions from Keith Urban and astronaut Rick Mastracchio from the 2014 National Geographic Bee championship.



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    Fund a School

    Donations help fund schools to participate in the National Geographic Bee.

Winners' Video

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    2014 State Winners

    Fifty-four of the nation’s brightest young geography whiz kids will gather in Washington, D.C., from May 19 to 21 to take part in the 26th annual National Geographic Bee.

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